American tennis star Serena Williams, who wore her “Black Panther” inspired cat-suit at the 2018 French Open, will no longer be allowed to wear the ‘unacceptable’ outfit at the 2019 event.
After the birth of her daughter, the 23-time Grand Slam champion returned to playing in the slams at the 2018 Roland Garros tournament, wearing the eye-catching outfit, which is inspired from the Marvel Comics’ Black Panther film.
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) July 27, 2018
Williams has always maintained it was by no means a fashion statement but was worn to help prevent blood clots.
But in an interview carried by France’s Tennis Magazine, French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli said that the outfit would be disallowed in the future.
“It’s a bit late because the collections are already designed but we are going to nonetheless ask the manufacturers to let us know what is coming,” Giudicelli told France’s Tennis Magazine.
“I believe we have sometimes gone too far. Serena’s outfit this year, for example, would no longer be accepted. You have to respect the game and the place.”
In May, Williams said the outfit sent a message of strength to women around the world.
“It feels like this suit represents all the women that have been through a lot mentally, physically, with their body to come back and have confidence and to believe in themselves,” Williams said.
“I definitely feel like it is an opportunity for me to inspire a whole different group of amazing women and kids.”
Williams kicks off her US Open against Magda Linette in the first round at Flushing Meadows chasing a 10th title in New York City.