Serena Williams’s Epic Catsuit Isn’t Welcome At Next Year’s French Open And You Already Know Why
Serena Williams and her catsuit may have received a rousing reception on social media as she played in the French Open back in May, but those behind the tournament now say the look may have been a bit too much. Because of that, they are banning such uniforms for next year’s tournament.
According to the New York Times, French Tennis Federation president, Bernard Giudicelli, said in a new interview with Tennis Magazine that a dress code would be put in place because “I think that sometimes we’ve gone too far.”
Speaking of going too far, Giudicelli pointed out that looks like the Nike catsuit Williams wore is an example. In his opinion, such uniforms don’t show much respect to the game.
“It will no longer be accepted,” he said. “One must respect the game and the place.”
He said that limits will be put in place, and that the French Tennis Federation will request an advanced look at player uniforms as they are created by brand manufacturers.
I definitely thought “revolutionary” as opposed to “inappropriate” when she debuted the outfit this past spring. It had medical benefits, it gave me Black Panther vibes, and it was the perfect look to prepare for a serious comeback. And while I get that everyone is probably more used to the classic tennis skirts and dresses in bright colors, one can’t help but wonder if the fact that the suit hugged Serena’s curves so closely had more to do with Giudicelli’s desire to all of a sudden call into question her “respect” of the game via her outfits. Had Maria Sharapova or Angelique Kerber worn such a look, I doubt the kickback would have been as strong from the French Tennis Federation. But because Serena is a shapely woman, the end result is that all of a sudden there needs to be a dress code for players.
Williams said about her Nike catsuit after the look went viral that the super tight look was made to do a few things: empower other moms, help to stave off blood clots by providing circulation, which she has a history of, and make her feel like a superhero.
“I’m always living in a fantasy world,” she said. “I always wanted to be a superhero, and it’s kind of my way of being a superhero.”
“It’s a fun suit,” she added, “but it’s also functional so I can be able to play without any problems.”
But it looks like she has found herself with unexpected problems after all. It makes me think of the ways in which Serena has been singled out in her sport, with the body shaming, the questions about being intimidated by the looks of her white competitors, and particularly, with the drug testing.
Williams has won the French Open three times, and she is preparing to compete in the U.S. Open in Queens, New York starting Monday, Aug. 27. Catsuit or no catsuit (though we would love to see another one), we will be rooting for her on and off the court.