August 25, 2018 update: During an interview today in advance of New York’s U.S. Open tournament, Serena Williams commented on the catsuit controversy and told the press there wasn’t an issue.
In reference to the French Tennis Association president’s anti-catsuit comments, Williams explained, “We already talked. Like I said we have a great relationship. We talked yesterday. Everything’s fine you guys.”
On whether she would wear a catsuit at the U.S. Open, Williams said she found other solutions to stay on top of issues related to blood clots. She added, “And when it comes to fashion, you don’t want to be a repeat offender. It’ll be a while before this has to come up again.”
Read the original story below.
Tennis great Serena Williams made quite the stir in May 2018 when she made her first competitive appearance post-childbirth at the 2018 French Open tournament in Paris. Williams won her first match wearing a black Nike catsuit, which she said at the time made her feel like a super hero.
French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli today (August 24, 2018) let it be known he wasn’t a fan of the look. In an interview with Tennis magazine, Giudicelli explained new player dress codse have been put in place that were in part inspired by Williams’ catsuit.
Addressing an upcoming tournament, Giudicelli stated, “It’s a bit late because the collections are already designed but we are going to nonetheless ask the manufacturers to let us know what is coming.”
Giudicelli specifically noted Williams’ catsuit would not be allowed to make a second appearance. “I believe we have sometimes gone too far,” he said. “Serena’s outfit this year, for example, would no longer be accepted. You have to respect the game and the place.”
He noted the dress code won’t be as strict as Wimbledon, which requires players wear “suitable tennis attire that is almost entirely white.”
While Williams’ catsuit made a style statement, according to Williams, it also served a function in that it was designed to help prevent blood clots, which have been an ongoing health issue for the player.
For the upcoming U.S. Open tournament, which begins on August 27th, Williams will wear a dress and shoes designed by Nike and Off-White designer Virgil Abloh.
Williams hasn’t commented on the dress code rule change, but has noted throughout her career that she and her sister have been subject to much higher levels of scrutiny and criticism compared with other players.
Serena Williams press conference