Tennis world erupts over Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka at Met Gala

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Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka, pictured here at the Met Gala.
Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka at the Met Gala. Image: Getty

Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka have sent tennis fans into a frenzy with their appearances at the annual Met Gala in New York.

The tennis superstars were among the 400 guests invited to the annual event, which was pushed from its traditional May timeslot last year and morphed this year into a two-part affair.

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The official theme of the gala, which raises money for the museum's Costume Institute, is "American Independence," leaving plenty of room for interpretation.

It coincides with the opening of "In America: A Lexicon of Fashion," the first of a two-part exhibition at the Met's Anna Wintour Costume Centre.

The two-part gala marks the Costume Institute's 75th anniversary. The Met Gala raises the bulk of the institute's annual funding, including a larger gathering scheduled for May 2.

That date reclaims the first Monday in May for the gala and will celebrate the exhibition's second part, "In America: An Anthology of Fashion," in the period rooms of the museum's American Wing.

Considered fashion's biggest night, A-list guests from music, film, TV, tech and beyond are encouraged to embrace the theme of the new exhibition each year as they slowly make their way up the museum's red-carpeted stairs. 

Interpretation is everything when it comes to how they dress - and how they enter.

Osaka wore a Louis Vuitton gown with a print of multi-coloured koi fish to represent her biracial heritage, designed by her sister Mari.

Williams wore a slick bodysuit and elaborate feathered cape by Gucci.

Tennis stars dazzle at Met Gala

Among the 400 guests were a number of star athletes, with Williams and Osaka joined by fellow tennis players Emma Raducanu, Leylah Fernandez, Felix Auger Aliassime, Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams.

Raducanu, 18, stunned the tennis world last week by winning the US Open as a qualifier, beating fellow teenager Fernandez in the final.

Raducanu became the first qualifier in tennis history to win a grand slam, leaving the tennis world in awe with her extraordinary display.

Auger Aliassime also enjoyed his best result at grand slam level, making it to the semi-finals before being beaten by eventual champion Daniil Medvedev.

As for Williams and Osaka, uncertainty surrounds when we'll see tham back on the court.

Osaka lost to Fernandez in the third round at Flushing Meadows before flagging her intentions to take some time away from tennis.

The World No.5 has struggled on the court since withdrawing from the French Open in May amid a row with tournament officials over her attendance at press conferences, which she said had a negative impact on her mental health.

Leylah Fernandez and Felix Auger Aliassime, pictured here at the Met Gala.
Leylah Fernandez and Felix Auger Aliassime at the Met Gala. Image: Getty

The 23-year-old Japanese star announced her plans to take a break after her bid to retain the US Open title ended in shock loss to Fernandez.

"How do I go around saying this? I feel like for me recently, like, when I win I don't feel happy," she said.

"I feel more like a relief. And then when I lose, I feel very sad. I don't think that's normal.

"Basically, I feel like I'm kind of at this point where I'm trying to figure out what I want to do, and I honestly don't know when I'm going to play my next tennis match.

"I think I'm going to take a break from playing for a while."

Serena Williams and husband Alexis Ohanian, pictured here at the Met Gala.
Serena Williams and husband Alexis Ohanian at the Met Gala. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

Williams has had an injury-marred season and has not competed since she retired from her first-round match at Wimbledon due to a leg injury.

The 39-year-old decided to sit out the year's final grand slam event on the advice of her medical team and did not give a timeline for her return.

"After careful consideration and following the advice of my doctors and medical team, I have decided to withdraw from the US Open to allow my body to heal completely from a torn hamstring," she wrote in a statement on Instagram.

"New York is one of the most exciting cities in the world and one of my favourite places to play - I'll miss seeing the fans but will be cheering everyone from afar."

While Osaka was named on the entry list for the upcoming Indian Wells event, Williams was not.

with AAP

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