Serena Williams Reflects On Wearing Her Now-Banned Catsuit At The French Open In 2018: People Were Mad About It
Serena Williams recently took a trip down memory lane and reflected on some of her most iconic looks over the years, including the controversial, full-length catsuit she wore at the French Open in 2018.
As she reminisced over her past outfits both on and off the court, the tennis superstar– who recently announced her retirement–revisited some of her most memorable looks throughout her career. Looking back at her controversial catsuit, Serena Williams, 40, recalled that this was her first match after having her daughter. She said,
“This is my first Grand Slam after having Olympia. This was right after the royal wedding, and I was like, I worked so hard at those braids, I’m gonna keep ’em in, so I kept ’em in.”
She then expressed her surprise that officials for the French Open were upset about the skintight bodysuit. She said,
“Well, not people, the French Open was kinda upset about it. And I was like, why not? So when the tournament told me that I couldn’t wear that, I told ’em that no, no, no, you don’t understand, like this is for my health..They understood when I said that. They weren’t very happy about it, but they understood.”
“I feel like a warrior wearing it, a queen from Wakanda maybe. I’m always living in a fantasy world. I always wanted to be a superhero, and it’s kind of my way of being a superhero.”
Ahead of the match, Serena Williams made it clear that the black bodysuit she wore at the French Open was much more than a fashion statement to her. Most importantly, it was to protect her because of past bouts with blood clots. With the outfit, she also wanted to send a message about self-worth and feeling powerful as she returned to Grand Slam action nearly nine months after welcoming her daughter, Olympia, whom she shares with husband Alexis Ohanian. She explained at the time,
“It feels like this suit represents all the women that have been through a lot mentally, physically, with their body to come back and have confidence and to believe in themselves. I definitely feel like it is an opportunity for me to inspire a whole different group of amazing women and kids.”
The tennis superstar made headlines earlier this week when she announced she was retiring from the sport of tennis. In a recent cover story, Serena Williams revealed she will be retiring sometime after the United States Open tennis competition. Williams, 23-time Grand Slam champion, shared that her life is evolving and she’s focused on other things. Serena said:
“I have never liked the word retirement. It doesn’t feel like a modern word to me. I’ve been thinking of this as a transition, but I want to be sensitive about how I use that word, which means something very specific and important to a community of people. Maybe the best word to describe what I’m up to is evolution.”
The 40-year-old continued:
“I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me. A few years ago I quietly started Serena Ventures, a venture capital firm. Soon after that, I started a family. I want to grow that family.”
But I’ve been reluctant to admit to myself or anyone else that I have to move on from playing tennis. Alexis, my husband, and I have hardly talked about it; it’s like a taboo topic. I can’t even have this conversation with my mom and dad. It’s like it’s not real until you say it out loud. It comes up, I get an uncomfortable lump in my throat, and I start to cry. The only person I’ve really gone there with is my therapist!”
“One thing I’m not going to do is sugarcoat this. I know that a lot of people are excited about and look forward to retiring, and I really wish I felt that way.”
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