Serena Williams made her return to the court earlier this year rocking a fierce Black Panther-inspired catsuit, which she said made her feel like a “warrior princess.”
“I call it, like, my Wakanda-inspired catsuit,” she revealed. “We designed it way before the movie, but still, it kind of reminds me of that. 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.”
She also explained at the time that she had a history of blood clots and the suit was specifically designed to help prevent the clots from forming while on the court.
Williams, 37, wore the compression catsuit at the 2018 French Open, prompting French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli to ban the one-piece.
During an interview with Tennis Magazine, Giudicelli stated: “We are going to ask the manufacturers to let us know what is coming. 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.”
The ban sparked outrage on social media and support from folks like ex-pro tennis player Anne White (see clip below) and ex-Iran president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Now, the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has clarified the rules for female players’ clothing, including compression pieces like Serena’s catsuit.
“Leggings and mid-thigh-length compression shorts may be worn with or without a skirt, shorts, or dress,” the organization wrote, as reported by the BBC.
But as noted by TMZ, Serena still faces problems with the catsuit, as the rule changes only apply to WTA Tournaments … NOT Grand Slams.