Serena Williams Wins US Open in Black Tutu
Serena Williams won her opening match on Tuesday at the US Open against Magda Linette wearing a black tutu.
Williams, 36, wore an Off-White x Nike tutu that was designed by the founder of Off-White, Virgil Abloh, and is part of his “QUEEN” collection, which was inspired by Serena. She finished the outfit with a pair of sparkling tennis shoes, which come from the same collection. Abloh later went on to post a picture of Williams on his Instagram, saying, “Willing to design dresses for her for life.”
This win comes just two days after the French Tennis Federation stirred up controversy when it banned Williams from wearing her black Nike catsuit during the French Open. The president of the French Tennis Federation, Bernard Giudicelli, told Tennis magazine, “It will no longer be accepted. One must respect the game and the place. I think that sometimes we’ve gone too far.”
Williams wore the catsuit when she played her first match after giving birth to her daughter in September of last year. “I call it, like, my Wakanda-inspired catsuit,” she said at the time. She also posted a picture of it on Instagram and dedicated it to “all the moms out there who had a tough recovery from pregnancy.”
Williams herself experienced many difficulties during her own pregnancy, which included developing a pulmonary embolism when giving birth. With this in mind, Nike chose to make the catsuit functional as well as fashionable by creating a full-body compression garment, which could help with potential blood clots.
“It began with a pulmonary embolism, which is a condition in which one or more arteries in the lungs becomes blocked by a blood clot. Because of my medical history with this problem, I live in fear of this situation,” Williams stated in an interview to CNN.
“I had a lot of problems with my blood clots, and, God, I don’t know how many I have had in the past twelve months. So it definitely has a little functionality to it,” Williams commented about her catsuit. “I have been wearing pants in general a lot when I play, so I can keep the blood circulation going. It’s a fun suit but it’s also functional, so I can be able to play without any problems.”
Although Williams took the ban in stride, the French Tennis Federation’s decision to ban the catsuit caused a public outcry on social media, with many people feeling as though the ban was unnecessary. Nike, the creator of the catsuit, posted a picture of Williams on their Twitter account with the caption, “You can take the superhero out of her costume, but you can never take away her superpowers.”
— Nike (@Nike) August 25, 2018
This is Williams’ first US Open match since she gave birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., who turns one on Saturday.