The French Tennis Federation’s new dress code isn’t bothering Serena Williams.
She said today, per Chicago Tribune, “When it comes to fashion, you don't want to be a repeat offender,” speaking of the catsuit she wore during the French Open earlier this summer, which was subsequently banned. She initially wore the full-length outfit as a precautionary measure to prevent blood clots after giving birth to her daughter in September. However, Williams shared that she no longer needs to wear compression tights to help her blood circulate and won’t wear the catsuit to the U.S. Open.
“I think that obviously the Grand Slams have a right to do what they want to do,” she added. “I feel like if and when, or if they know that some things are for health reasons, then there's no way that they wouldn't be OK with it. So I think it's fine.”
Nike took to Twitter to respond to the Federation, writing, “You can take the superhero out of her costume, but you can never take away her superpowers. #justdoit,” alongside and black and white photo of Williams in the catsuit.
Williams also said that she has a good relationship with the federation and its president, Bernard Giudicelli, who told Tennis Magazine on Friday that they'll be implementing a new dress code because “I think that sometimes we've gone too far,” adding that, “One must respect the game and the place.”
At the press conference, after her match with Kristýna Plíšková, Williams said, “I feel like a warrior in it, like a warrior princess kind of, [a] queen from Wakanda,” she continued. “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. I feel like a superhero when I wear it.”
While most tennis players already have their uniforms ready to go for next year's French Open, Giudicelli said they'll be asking manufacturers to look at the designs in advance to make sure it's in line with their new rules.