Tennis superstar Serena Williams will be forced to rethink her eye-catching fashion choices at next year’s French Open, because the body-hugging black catsuit she sported at the 2018 French Open will be banned.
Bernard Giudicelli, president of the French Tennis Federation, said new restrictions will be placed on what types of outfits players can wear on the court starting in 2019.
“I think that sometimes we’ve gone too far,” Giudicelli told Tennis Magazine. “It will no longer be accepted. One must respect the game and the place.”
Giudicelli didn’t elaborate, but did single out Serena Williams’ black catsuit as an impetus for the decision. At the time, Serena claimed that she needed to wear the tight compression catsuit to prevent blood clots following her pregnancy.
‘I Call It My Wakanda-Inspired Catsuit’
Williams and her then-fiance, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, welcomed daughter Olympia in September 2017.
Serena said the catsuit made her feel empowered like a warrior princess from the Afrocentric 2018 blockbuster film Black Panther.
“I call it my Wakanda-inspired catsuit,” Williams told Tennis Channel (video below). “It’s really fun. I feel like a warrior in it, like a warrior princess kind of…queen from Wakana…I feel like a superhero when I wear it.”
Like most sports, tennis has long had a dress code. For example, players are required to wear all-white at Wimbledon.
Serena loves making bold fashion statements with her outfits. On Instagram, Williams exhorted new moms to embrace their bodies while posting a photo of her infamous black catsuit.
“If I can do it, so can you,” she wrote in an Instagram caption.
Serena, who was once the No. 1-ranked female tennis player in the world, has been struggling with her game ever since she took time off to get pregnant and give birth.
At 37, Williams is past the age that’s considered “prime” in her sport, but her dominance is undeniable. Serena has been coy about when she will retire, but said if she weren’t playing tennis, she’d already be pregnant with baby No. 2.
“We’ve got to have more,” Williams told InStyle. “I don’t know if I want to play if I have another baby. If I weren’t working, I’d already be pregnant.”
Serena said she had an easy pregnancy but experienced an extremely difficult childbirth. Williams had an emergency C-section and was bedridden for the first six weeks after delivery. Serena, who suffered blood clots in her lungs and a hematoma, also struggled with postpartum depression.
But Williams is thrilled to be a mom. “As much as I love tennis, I need to be with her,” Serena said. “Since she was born, I haven’t been apart from her for more than a day.”