AceShowbiz - Serena Williams has shrugged off tennis officials' confirmation that she will be banned from wearing a catsuit at the French Open next year.
Bernard Giudicelli, the president of the French Tennis Federation, announced a new stricter dress code for his tournament on Saturday, August 25 - and cited the superhero style black Nike catsuit Serena wore earlier this year as unacceptable.
The move prompted outrage on social media - with fans and tennis stars like Andy Roddick and Billie Jean King all criticising the decision.
This is so dumb and shortsighted it hurts. Sometimes it’d be nice if the sport got out of its own way. https://t.co/As85ymSiFK— andyroddick (@andyroddick) August 25, 2018
The policing of women’s bodies must end. The “respect” that’s needed is for the exceptional talent @serenawilliams brings to the game. Criticizing what she wears to work is where the true disrespect lies. https://t.co/ioyP9VTCxM— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) August 25, 2018
However, at a press conference ahead of the U.S. Open tournament, Serena claimed she was unbothered by the move.
"I think that obviously, the Grand Slams have a right to do what they want to do," she said, explaining that she had spoken to Bernard and that she had a strong relationship with the French official.
As well as making a fashion statement by wearing kit many compared to a costume from the recent superhero blockbuster "Black Panther", Serena donned the catsuit for medical reasons, with the compression tights helping to regulate her blood circulation to combat her post-pregnancy health issues.
She suffered from blood clots in her lungs and a pulmonary embolism during her pregnancy, and as a result gave birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian, via caesarean section last September.
During the interview, Serena went on to explain that she has found other ways of regulating her blood flow, and is confident that if she needed to wear specific suit for medical reasons she would be given the go-ahead.
"If they know that some things are for health reasons, then there's no way that they wouldn't be O.K. with it. So, I think it's fine," the tennis legend added.
Her quest to win a seventh U.S. Open title gets underway on Monday, August 27 - but Serena will not be wearing the catsuit, and will instead sport a tennis outfit designed by fashion designer Virgil Abloh.