Paris - Serena Williams will continue to wear her striking,
all-black catsuit in her French Open second round clash on Thursday despite
questions raised over whether or not it breaks the rules over appropriate
on-court playing gear.
The 36-year-old American dominated the headlines at Roland
Garros on Tuesday when she made her return to Grand Slam tennis after giving
birth to her daughter last year.
However, it wasn't her straight sets win over Kristyna
Pliskova which got people talking - it was her catsuit which she said made her
feel like a "super hero" and a "warrior princess" with a nod
to it being inspired by the "Black Panther" movie blockbuster.
"She will wear this outfit for her second match,"
said a spokesperson for manufacturer Nike on Thursday.
Czech world number 70 Pliskova questioned the legality of
the Williams outfit when she talked with Czech media after the first round
"I was wondering if it was in the rules," the
"I don't even know what material it is, it looks like
"They should follow the rules, otherwise play in the
However, there is no indication that the suit breaks any
Australian doubles player Arina Rodionova also questioned
"Nothing against Serena's outfit, looks pretty cool
actually," she tweeted.
"But just wondering how is that allowed by the rules if
we only allowed to wear legging until the middle of the calf the longest, and
ALWAYS have to wear skirt/shorts on top of the leggings. Were there any rules
Russian doubles star Alla Kudryavtseva said she hoped
Williams's revolutionary black outfit leads to a rethink over the playing
"I've been asked to put a skirt on over leggings many
times. You have no idea how uncomfortable that is. Or to take them off. That
happened too. On both grand slams and WTA tournaments," she tweeted.
"I hope now we can wear leggings alone! Go
Williams said the suit was crucial for her health and
well-being, claiming it prevented the return of blood clots which left her life
in danger after she gave birth to daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian in September.
Williams, a three-time singles champion in Paris, will face
Australia's Ashleigh Barty in the second round on Thursday as she continues her
bid for a 24th Grand Slam title.
She is playing at a Slam for the first time since winning
the Australian Open in 2017 when she was already almost two months pregnant.