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Saturday, August 17, 2019

Serena Williams downplays controversy over French Open ‘catsuit’ ban

Serena Williams

The French Open was the subject of criticism this week after seemingly taking shots at Serena Williams over her outfit and singling her out as a reason for the tournament’s new dress code, but Williams herself says there’s no problem.

Williams wore a tight black “catsuit” at this year’s French Open that she had said made her feel like a “queen from Wakanda,” but French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli recently said such an outfit “will no longer be accepted” at the tournament.

“I think sometimes we’ve gone too far. One must respect the game and place,” Giudicelli added.

His comments were widely criticized, but not by Williams, who reacted Saturday for the first time.

“Everything’s fine, guys,” Williams said, via Peter Bodo of ESPN. “He’s been so easy to talk to. My whole team is basically French, so, yeah, we have a wonderful relationship. I’m sure we would come to an understanding and everything will be okay. Yeah, so it wouldn’t be a big deal.”

Williams further hinted that the outfit, which also served to help control her circulation after the birth of her child last September, probably wouldn’t have been worn again anyway, and she’d found other ways to accomplish the same purpose.

“I wear tights that keep everything going with my blood,” Williams said. “When it comes to fashion, you don’t want to be repeat offender.”

Williams has been subject to some other institutional controversies since returning to the sport, and she would have had every right to be upset about this. Ultimately, she seems ready and willing to move past it.

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