Paris - Serena
Williams will be banned from wearing her "Black Panther" catsuit again
at the French Open after Roland Garros chiefs described the outfit as
"going too far".
The 36-year-old American star stunned Paris this year in her
body-hugging outfit which she said was inspired by the "Black Panther"
superhero movie and made her feel like a "warrior princess".
As well as describing it as "fun and functional", Williams insisted
it helped her prevent a return of the blood clots which put her life in
danger after giving birth last year.
However, the French Tennis Federation (FFT) insist that the outfit or
anything similarly eye-catching will not be welcome at Roland Garros in
"I really believe that sometimes we have gone too far," FFT president
Bernard Giudicelli told Tennis Magazine in remarks reported by French
"The outfit of Serena this year, for example, will no longer be
accepted. You have to respect the game and the place. Everyone wants to
enjoy the showcase."
Giudicelli said that there will be "certain limits" on clothing for
the 2019 French Open although he admitted it may be difficult to take
too hard a line.
"For 2019, it's a little late because the collections are already
designed, but we will still ask the equipment manufacturers to
communicate them to us," he said.
Former US Open winner Andy Roddick condemned the decision, tweeting:
"This is so dumb and shortsighted it hurts. Sometimes it'd be nice if
the sport got out of its own way."
Nike responded to the ruling with a play on the "Black Panther"
theme, posting on Instagram: "You can take the superhero out of her
costume, but you can never take away her superpowers."