Serena Williams shrugged off a French Open ban on wearing catsuits similar to the ones she wore when she won three previous French Open titles. The tennis superstar was asked about the catsuit ban at a press conference ahead of the U.S. Open tennis tournament this week.
Bernard Giudicelli, president of the French Tennis Federation, announced the ban last week, saying the catsuits were not in keeping with the respectable traditions and long history of the French Open. He added: “I think that sometimes we’ve gone too far.”
But Serena, 36, said she wears the skintight catsuits for medical reasons, not to flaunt her voluptuous curves.
Serena was hospitalized multiple times over the years for potentially deadly blood clots in her lungs. Blood clots often form in the legs and travel through the veins to the lungs where they can cause a deadly condition known as pulmonary embolism.
Serena says she nearly died after giving birth to daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian via C-section last September.
People who are susceptible to blood clots usually wear compression stockings on their legs — not full body suits.
“I think that obviously, the Grand Slams have a right to do what they want to do,” Serena said, explaining that she had spoken to Giudicelli and that she had a strong relationship with the French official.
Serena, who speaks fluent French, added that she is confident she will get the go-ahead to continue wearing the black catsuits at the French Open at Roland Garros Stadium next year.
“If they know that some things are for health reasons, then there’s no way that they wouldn’t be okay with it. So, I think it’s fine,” the tennis legend added.
Serena will begin her quest to win a seventh U.S. Open title on Monday, Aug. 27. She will sport a tennis outfit designed by fashion designer Virgil Abloh in collaboration with Nike.
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