Serena Williams has been banned from wearing her “Wakanda-inspired catsuit” – a reference to the Marvel Comics film Black Panther – at future French Open tournaments.
Williams caught the eye at Roland Garros earlier this year after donning a black bodysuit for her return to grand slam action.
More than just a fashion statement, the full-length, skin-tight outfit is designed to protect against blood clots after the American revealed doctors had found a haematoma – a swelling of clotted blood outside of a vessel – in her body following the birth of her daughter Olympia.
“I almost died after giving birth to my daughter Olympia,” Williams said. “First my C-section wound popped open due to the intense coughing I endured as a result of the embolism.
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“I returned to surgery, where the doctors found a large hematoma, a swelling of clotted blood, in my abdomen. And then I returned to the operating room for a procedure that prevents clots from traveling to my lungs.”
Addressing the outfit at Roland Garros, Williams said it made her feel “like a warrior princess” and presented her with “an opportunity to inspire a whole different group of amazing women and kids.”
Williams has not worn the outfit since the French Open but it now appears she won’t have the chance to do so again.
In a surprising piece of criticism on the eve of the US Open, the French Open president Bernard Giudicelli has said Williams – and other players – will need to be more conservative at future editions of the tournament.
Speaking to Tennis Magazine, Giudicelli said: “It’s a bit late because the collections are already designed but we are going to nonetheless 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.”
Williams is yet to respond to the news but the announcement has drawn sharp criticism on social media.