Devastating tragedy that inspired Serena Williams' new outfit

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Serena Williams, pictured here in action at the Australian Open.
Serena Williams stunned fans with her new one-legged outfit at the Australian Open. Image: Getty

Serena Williams has revealed how her striking one-legged catsuit is a tribute to late American athlete Florence Griffith Joyner.

The 23-time grand slam champion stunned fans on Monday when he strode out onto Rod Laver Arena in the red, pink and black number at the Australian Open.

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Sporting one full-length leg and the other cut off at the thigh, Serena sent fans into meltdown with her latest in a string of eye-catching outfits.

But it was only after her match that fans got the full story about the outfit.

Speaking in her post-match press conference, Serena revealed how the catsuit was inspired by Flo-Jo.

The reigning 100m and 200m world record holder, Flo-Jo died in 1998 after suffering a severe epileptic seizure in her sleep.

The American champion was just 38.

Flo-Jo was known for her striking running outfits and often wore one-legged pieces.

“I was inspired by Flo-Jo, who was a wonderful track athlete, amazing athlete, when I was growing up,” Serena said.

Florence Griffith Joyner, pictured here before her tragic death.
Florence Griffith Joyner often wore one-legged numbers on the track. Image: Getty

“Watching her fashion, just always changing. Her outfits were always amazing.

“This year we thought of what can we do to keep elevating the Serena Williams on the court.

“The Nike team actually thought of this design of inspiration from Flo-Jo. I was like, ‘Oh, my God, this is so brilliant’.

“That’s where we started. Obviously we made some changes and tweaks to it. It became this.”

Serena Williams also inspired by Tom Brady

But it wasn’t just Flo-Jo inspiring Serena on Monday, with the tennis great also taking inspiration from NFL champion Tom Brady.

Serena was eager to get off the court to catch the end of the Super Bowl and watch legendary quarterback Brady, 43, win his seventh championship - this time with Tampa Bay.

“It's unbelievable - my only word is it’s unbelievable,” said Williams, who is chasing her own slice of history as she tries to equal Australian great Margaret Court's record of 24 grand slam singles titles.

“He's amazing in action.

“To be competing ... at 43 is unheard of and it's super inspiring for me at my ripe young age of 30-something.”

Serena Williams, pictured here after winning her opening round match at the Australian Open.
Serena Williams flexes her muscles after winning her opening round match at the Australian Open. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)

The 39-year-old, who is seeded 10th at Melbourne Park, had withdrawn from the Yarra Valley Classic semi-final against Ash Barty citing concerns over her shoulder last week.

However she didn’t appear hindered in the one-sided affair which she described as “vintage 'Rena”.

“I wasn't sure how my serve would be after a little bit of that shoulder, but it's feeling good, I'm feeling good,” Williams said.

Williams defeated Laura Siegemund 6-1 6-1 in her opening-round match, and will take on World No.99 Nina Stojanovic on Wednesday.

with AAP

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