On first glance, I was not in love with the black catsuit Serena Williams wore to the French Open this year. It was her first appearance at one of the majors since the 2017 Australian Open (which she won), and Serena had been through a lot physically and emotionally with her pregnancy, Olympia’s birth and trying to make some kind of comeback. Serena explained the catsuit as being “Wakanda-inspired” and she kept talking about how it made her feel powerful. I grew to love the catsuit when I learned that it was specially designed for the blood circulation in Serena’s legs, since she has a history of major clotting issues. The catsuit was about more than “a look” – its functionality and medical necessity made it more than a mere fashion choice. Well, the president of the French Tennis Federation has a problem with all of that. He’s decided to introduce a dress code at the French Open, and he sounds like a major bitch.
Serena Williams won the 2017 Australian Open when she was nearly two months pregnant, and she gave birth to a daughter last year. But the birth was followed by a six-day medical crisis in which Williams suffered blood clots in her lungs, and she says she nearly died. So like any good superhero costume, Williams’ black Nike catsuit was functional.
“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,” she 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.”