Serena Williams has been told that the black catsuit she wore at this year’s French Open will not be allowed next time round at Roland Garros.
Despite wearing it partly for medical reasons, France’s Tennis Magazine Bernard Giudicelli, President of the French Federation, said that it had gone ‘too far’.
“Serena’s outfit, for example, would no longer be accepted,” he said, in announcing a Wimbledon-style clampdown on which clothes are allowed in Paris.
“We are going to ask manufacturers to let us know what is coming. You have to accept the game and the place.”
Williams, seeded 17th for the US Open next week, has however played down on what some had thought would snowball into another basket of controversy.
“I feel like if they know that some things are for health reasons, and then there’s no way that they wouldn’t be okay with it, so I think it’s fine,” she said.
‘The president of the French Federation, he’s been really amazing. He’s been so easy to talk to. My whole team is basically French, so we have a wonderful relationship. I’m sure we would come to an understanding and everything will be okay.’
The fact that Williams did not want to further inflate the catsuit debate suggests a strong desire to avoid distractions, as she tackles a task that will not get any easier with the passing years. She re-echoed her readiness for the battle ahead adding that she remains a strong contender on the court all the way.
“If anything, I have more fire in my belly,” said Williams. “It’s very difficult to describe. I thought after having a child I would be more relaxed, but I’m not. I work just as hard if not harder actually. I feel like I take it just as serious if not more. That’s been really surprising for me.”