PARIS — Serena Williams will no longer be allowed to wear her skin-tight black catsuit at the French Open.
The French Tennis Federation president, Bernard Giudicelli, says the tournament that Williams has won three times is introducing a dress code to regulate players’ uniforms because, “I think that sometimes we’ve gone too far.”
In an interview in Tennis Magazine’s 500th edition, Giudicelli singled out the figure-hugging black suit that Williams wore this year at Roland Garros.
“It will no longer be accepted,” Giudicelli said. “One must respect the game and the place.”
Williams told reporters in May that the outfit made her feel like a superhero.
“I feel like a warrior in it, a warrior princess … from Wakanda, maybe,” Williams said, 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.”
After giving birth to a daughter last year, Williams suffered a six-day medical crisis where blood clots formed in her lungs and she says she nearly died. The Nike suit wasn’t just a fashion statement, but also functional to keep her blood circulation in check.
“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,” Williams 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.”
Giudicelli said Roland Garros’ new rules won’t be as strict as Wimbledon’s, which require that players wear white, but will “impose certain limits.”
Many player uniforms for 2019 have already been designed but Giudicelli said the FFT will be asking manufacturers for an advance look at them.