Serena Williams hit the headlines for her eye-catching, body-hugging black catsuit at the French Open, an outfit she described as “fun and functional”, helping her prevent a return of the blood clots which put her life in danger after giving birth last year.
Here AFP Sports looks at three of the 23-time major winner’s best…or worst…Grand Slam wardrobe choices and some of her rivals in the fashion stakes:
2002 US Open
— A 20-year-old Serena Williams takes to the court in a striking thigh-length black lycra catsuit which kept the headline writers busy. Britain’s Daily Mail described the outfit as adhering to her “like clingfilm, emphasizing every astonishing body contour”.
The Sun only needed three words: “Nice Ace, Serena!” in reference to the American’s powerful physique.
No matter, Serena went on to win a second title in New York.
Denim dreams of Jimmy Dean
2004 US Open
— Serena made the quarter-finals in 2004 but if her tennis failed to shine by her standards, she was again making a splash in fashion.
This time, she opted for a denim mini-skirt, knee-high black boots and a studded black blouse.
“It’s inspired by James Dean,” she explained to many blank faces, referencing the doomed 1950s Hollywood icon.
Top of the crops
2004 US Open
— Don’t like the denim for the night session? How about a crop top for the heat of the afternoon?
Serena chose this option which showed off her tight abs with a studded navel for good measure.
Others with a taste for showy extravagance on court
Tiger (well, leopard actually) burning bright
2007 US Open
— Never one to shy away from a fashion challenge, Bethanie Mattek-Sands can rival Serena in colorful court appearances.
In New York, she went for a leopard-print top and shorts with matching visor.
“I like to be funky,” said Mattek-Sands who can also boast once appearing at Wimbledon dressed in all-white soccer-style gear and at another US Open in a cowboy hat.
Corset for concern?
2010 French Open
— Not to be outdone by her younger sister, Venus Williams played at Roland Garros in a black and red, corset-style outfit with flesh-colored underwear.
It drew immediate comparisons to Paris’s Moulin Rouge with the American insisting she was trying to “create an illusion”.
New jacket required
— Mattek-Sands arrived at the All England Club wearing a jacket with white tennis balls attached to the sleeves, a choice which has contributed to her being dubbed ‘The Lady Gaga of tennis’. AB
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