Serena Williams’ outfit for her 2019 French Open tennis match on Monday made a few bold statements — literally. The all-star athlete played the game wearing a Virgil Abloh crop top and mini-skirt set featuring empowering words such as “mother,” “queen,” and more, according to Hollywood Life. Many fans believed the eye-catching fashion choice was in direct response to the French Tennis Federation’s ban on the catsuit she wore to last year’s French Open.
Photos from the match show Williams rocking the superhero-inspired outfit over a fishnet tank top on the court. The high-neck crop top featured thick white stripes with claw marks throughout the design, while the matching mini-skirt featured a high-low cut with the Nike swoosh on the waistband. The tennis player finished off her look with a black headband, black-and-white wristbands, white socks, and black-and-white Nike shoes.
When she wasn’t on the court, Williams also sported a bold matching black-and-white jacket which bore the French words for “Champion,” “Queen,” “Goddess,” “Mother,” and more.
Serena won Monday’s match against Russian tennis player Vitalia Diatchenko with scores of 6-0, 6-1.
The tennis pro shared a preview of her French Open look on Instagram on Sunday. In a black-and-white photo series, Williams posed alongside Abloh in the crop top, the jacket, and a floor-length version of the skirt featuring a high leg slit and more empowering French phrases.
“Let the Roland Garros begin. Here is my French Open look designed by @virgilabloh and @nike,” she captioned the post.
The post garnered over 250,000 likes as fans in the comments praised Williams for her powerful look.
“You never fail to impress,” one user said. “Everything is on point.”
“Designed by a king, worn by a queen,” another wrote.
Williams made headlines at the 2018 French Open when she opted to wear a tight catsuit, which was specifically designed to compress her body and prevent blood clots — a health problem she has dealt with in the past. Following her tennis match, the French Tennis Federation president, Bernard Giudicelli, announced that she wouldn’t be allowed to wear the black bodysuit in the future, according to USA Today.
“You have to respect the game and the place,” Giudicelli said.
“We are going to ask the manufacturers to let us know what is coming. I believe we have gone too far.”
The catsuit ban sparked a major controversy among tennis fans, some of whom believed the ban was sexist and racist. Williams, however, seemed to take the high road.
“When it comes to fashion, you don’t want to be a repeat offender,” she joked in a statement, clarifying that she wouldn’t wear the catsuit to another match anyway.
She added that she now wears fishnets to prevent blood clots on the court.
“I found a new solution,” Williams said.