Paris, France : Serena Williams, who wore an outfit specifically designed to help prevent blood clots because she almost died after giving birth, won’t be able to wear her catsuit again at the French Open because the French Tennis Federation President (FFT) Bernard Giudicelli does not like it.
Serena Williams caused a sensation with the black catsuit she wore at this year’s French Open tournament. But French tennis officials aren’t as fashion-forward.
From now on, players’ attire apparently will be subject to a dress code — and Williams’ sleek outfit is out.
“I feel like a warrior in it, a warrior princess … from Wakanda, maybe,” she told reporters in May, referring to the movie Black Panther. “I’ve always wanted to be a superhero, and it’s kind of my way of being a superhero.”
Williams won the 2017 Australian Open when she was nearly two months pregnant, and she gave birth to a daughter last year. But the birth was followed by a six-day medical crisis in which Williams suffered blood clots in her lungs, and she says she nearly died.
So like any good superhero costume, Williams’ black Nike catsuit was functional.
“I’ve had a lot of problems with my blood clots, God I don’t know how many I’ve had in the past 12 months,” she said at the May news conference. “I’ve been wearing pants in general a lot when I play so I can keep the blood circulation going.”
But in an interview, French Tennis Federation President Bernard Giudicelli reportedly said the tournament would be introducing a dress code.
“I think that sometimes we’ve gone too far,” Giudicelli reportedly said.
He specifically mentioned Williams’ outfit and declared: “It will no longer be accepted. One must respect the game and the place.”
“For 2019, it’s a little late because the collections are already designed, but we will still ask the equipment manufacturers to communicate them to us,” he said.
He said the French Open’s dress code would not be so strict as the one at Wimbledon, which requires players to dress almost entirely in white. “White does not include off white or cream,” the English tournament clarifies, in case you had doubts.
Williams, who Forbes says is the top-earning female athlete in the world, has won the French Open three times.
U.S Open: Serena handed ‘tough draw’
Serena Williams was handed a difficult path to the final after being drawn on Thursday in the same quarter as older sister Venus and world number one Simona Halep.
The American is aiming for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title at this year’s U.S. Open.
Serena will start her campaign against Polish world number 60 Magda Linette and could face Venus in the third round before a possible fourth-round showdown with Romanian top seed Halep.
The 23-time Grand Slam winner is seeking her sixth trophy in New York and is seeded 17th.
Holder Sloane Stephens meets Russia’s Evgeniya Rodina in the first round and could face former world number one Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in the third.
She could also face Belgian 15th seed Elise Mertens in the fourth and seventh-seeded Ukrainian Elina Svitolina in the quarter-finals.
Defending men’s champion and top seed Rafael Nadal, who last year won his third title at Flushing Meadows, will play fellow Spaniard David Ferrer in the first round.
French Open champion Nadal could face South Africa’s Wimbledon runner-up Kevin Anderson, the fifth seed, in the last eight in what would be a rematch of the 2017 U.S. Open final.
Men’s second seed Roger Federer, who won the last of his five U.S. Open titles in 2008, is in the same quarter as twice champion and sixth-seeded Serb Novak Djokovic.
Federer will start against Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka with Australian Nick Kyrgios, the 30th seed, a possible third round opponent.
Wimbledon champion Djokovic, who could face Federer in the quarter-finals, will start against Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics.
The U.S. Open begins on Monday.