Serena Williams made it clear during her first match at the US Open that she will not let a dress code dictate what she wears on the court – and people are praising the tennis star.
During her match on Monday, Williams wore a black and brown one-shouldered custom-designed tutu dress by designer and Off-White founder Virgil Abloh in collaboration with Nike.
The 36-year-old completed the outfit with compression fishnet tights and a pair of sparkly silver NikeCourt Flare sneakers as she won her match against Magda Linette.
Williams’ latest fashion choice comes after French Open organisers and president of the French Tennis Federation Bernard Giudicelli, took offence to the Black Panther-inspired catsuit Williams wore previously, which the new mum said helps prevent blood clots.
“It will no longer be accepted,” Giudicelli had said of catsuits. “You have to respect the game and the place.”
On social media, where the tutu was a hit with fans, people applauded Williams for continuing to wear what she wants.
Serena Williams explains her “Wakanda-inspired catsuit”
“Serena Williams was told she wasn’t allowed to wear her Black Panther catsuit back to the French Open because she had to ‘respect the game’. So she showed up in a tutu,” one person wrote.
Linda L. Richards
Yes @serenawilliams is a goddess queen. Can’t wear your catsuit? Fine: rock a tutu and slay! #SerenaWilliams
Another said: “They didn’t let Serena Williams wear her catsuit. She came out in a tutu. Yes Queen.”
Despite the backlash following the French Open’s new dress code, Williams had already planned to wear the Off-White dress to the US Open – and insists that her relationship with Giudicelli is “really amazing”.
Serena Williams wore a tutu during her US Open match (Getty)
“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 okay with it. So I think it’s fine,” Williams said of the French Open controversy.
Sometimes you need to give the patriarchy the middle finger. Other times you need to wear a tutu. @serenawilliams you absolute goddess! #FrenchOpen
The tennis star did say, however, that she wouldn’t be wearing the catsuit again – simply because “when it comes to fashion, you don’t want to be a repeat offender”.
According to Williams, who discussed her US Open dress with Vogue last month, her newest outfit choice made her feel “very strong and feminine.
“I felt so feminine in the tutu, which is probably my favourite part of it. It really embodies what I always say: that you can be strong and beautiful at the same time,” she said.
willing to design dresses for her for life.
Following the match, Abloh captioned a photo of Williams wearing the dress with: “Willing to design dresses for her for life.”