Serena Williams has always been known for her bold on-court looks, and in her return to the French Open overnight, she certainly didn’t disappoint.
Williams, nine months removed from giving birth to her first child and experiencing life-threatening complications, took the court in a black Nike bodysuit as she won consecutive sets over 70th-ranked Kristyna Pliskova 7-6 and 6-4 to advance to the next round.
Catsuit anyone? For all the moms out there who had a tough recovery from pregnancy—here you go. If I can do it, so can you. Love you all!! pic.twitter.com/xXb3BKDGNF
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) May 29, 2018
In her on-court interview after the win, Williams explained the look.
“All the moms out there that had a tough pregnancy and have to come back and try to be fierce, in the middle of everything. That’s what this represents. You can’t beat a cat suit, right?” Williams said.
“I feel like a warrior in it, like a warrior princess kind of, (a) queen from Wakanda.
“I’m always living in a fantasy world. I always wanted to be a superhero, and it’s kind of my way of being a superhero.
— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) May 29, 2018
“I feel like a superhero when I wear it.”
Tuesday marked Williams’ first appearance in a majors match since she won the 2017 Australian Open while in the early stages of her pregnancy.
The look drew widespread admiration from tennis fans on social media.
Following her return to grand slam tennis after having her baby girl, Serena Williams wears a full, skintight bodysuit & braids in her first match at the French Open. You can’t tell me she ain’t the GOAT #RG18 pic.twitter.com/YjJmEkcjz6
— Troy (@Troy_Official) May 29, 2018
I am absolutely living for Serena Williams' bodysuit. The queen has returned.
— ⭐ amy o'connor ⭐ (@amyohconnor) May 29, 2018
— Kedzie Teller (@Kedz) May 29, 2018
— Marceline Mdn.☼ (@MarcelineMdn) May 29, 2018
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) May 29, 2018
While dresses or skirts are generally the go-to look for female tennis players, some users have noted that Williams is not the first to break the norm – American Anne White donned a white bodysuit at Wimbledon in 1985; Williams herself at least practiced in one in 2011.
What was once a scandalous outfit is now, if not de rigueur, simply no big deal, thanks to fashion taste makers like Serena Williams. Well done @serenawilliams for your fashion tribute to Anne White and her 1985 Wimbledon outfit. pic.twitter.com/FCGONKXLA1
— Alexis Shabadoo Jr. (@JDGoodness) May 29, 2018
— Nikhila (@kokudum) May 29, 2018
Beyond the pure aesthetics and functionality of the look, it is worth noting that the weather in Paris is in the low 70s and sunny – let’s just hope the super suit is breathable.
Williams, 36, has her own line of Nike tennis wear. But if you’re eager to get yourself into a similar outfit, you’ll have to wait – it appears the bold look is not yet available to the public.