Serena Williams Isn’t Fussed That The French Open Has Banned Catsuits
by Tom Gainey | August 25th, 2018, 10:52 pm
  • 71 Comments

On the eve of the US Open, the big story in tennis isn’t the last Slam of the year, but rather the French Open. French Tennis Federation President Bernard Giudicelli recently said in an interview that the French Open will ban players from wearing catsuit-like outfits like the one Serena Williams wore this past year.

 

Was this just some sort of PR stunt by the French to get in the news just ahead of the US Open? If so, it worked.

Today, Serena, who’s coach is French and spends a lot of time in France, brushed it off knowing that if push came to shove, Serena’s going to win this battle.

“I think that obviously the Grand Slams have a right to do what they want to do. I feel like if and when, or 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.

“I’m sure we would come to an understanding and everything will be okay,” she added. “So it wouldn’t be a big deal. He’s a really great guy.”

Serena explained the catsuit was for medical reasons and to keep her fit after pregnancy and all the other issues she’s had.

With no catsuit at the US Open, Serena will have a new outfit uneveiled. But meantime, she says the cuitsuit controvery is over.

“We talked yesterday, yeah. Everything’s fine, guys,” Serena said of Giudicelli.

What great PR for Nike, Serena and for tennis which made made headlines across the country.

Serena opens play at the US Open Monday night against Magda Linette of Poland. Serena is trying to win her 6th US Open title and 24th Grand Slam which would match her with Margaret Smith Court for the all-time record.

She turns 37 in September.


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71 Comments for Serena Williams Isn’t Fussed That The French Open Has Banned Catsuits

BBB Says:

What a weird decision. Who cares? I didn’t particularly like it, but it’s a little absurd to argue that Serena Williams was somehow being disrespectful of the game and that her clothing needs to be monitored. Are they going after Rafa’s bum-picking next? Wasn’t Roddick big on doing some adjusting when he was on the court?


Van Persie Says:

A dress code is necessary in tennis, as it is when we go to enjoy classic opera.
Totally agree with Giudicelli on this one. Where I disagree with him: it was not the moment to express himself regarding this now. He should have said this during French Open or afterwards, or perhaps before the FO from 2019.

Also agree with Sean, this is a good PR for Nike.

Regarding : “You can take the superhero out of her costume, but you can never take away her superpowers”…the superpowers kind of disappeared when Serena had to face Maria :)


Wog Boy Says:

“You can take the superhero out of her costume, but you can never take away her superpowers”

That’s why she was tested far more often than any other player on tour this year…and she is strangely underperforming?!
I expect that Nike will design her next outfit inspired by “Swan Lake”.


AndyMira Says:

Ermm….When i see Serena in those outfit,i see a ‘naked women’ out there playin tennis…Maybe that’s why it was banned…Too distracted for men!!…Hehehe…I mean,it leaves nothing to imagination….If Serena wear a skirt outside,i’m sure it’s not going to be a controversy…But,then…

#SuperDiva!!


Van Persie Says:

Lol AM,

Yep, it kind of looked like a “naked woman”. One of her matches from that FO was on the background as my husband and I had some friends visiting us.
While some followers of her admired Serena for her courage for showing up like this at the French, one of my friends commented, he had nothing but respect and admiration for Serena’s husband for being able “to perform”.

Yes, Serena showed a lot of courage….but she has to digest also the nasty comments.


Van Persie Says:

and no, not Serena’s skin colour is the problem, as some like to suggest. She loves it to shock and to play the victim afterwards.
Always loved Whoopi Golberg. Not the most handsome woman, but what a lovely lady!


Wog Boy Says:

Sisters have a history of outrageous outfits. Few years back at AO Venus came out in outfit suitable for soft porn star, played one game with Andrea Petkovic and promptly retired but then was promptly booed by the spectators.
Basically she came out just to show her outfit grossly disrespecting fans in RLA who were waiting until 11pm to see Venus.
90% of fans at AO are ordinary people and families who are planing 12 months ahead their holiday in Melbourne and saving money, 90% of fans in RLA were working or middle class people (that’s not Wimbledon) who wanted to see Venus and waited with kids, entire families until 11pm and what has she done? Walked out, hit a few balls, called trainer and retired.
After she was booed she complained why, really why?!


BBB Says:

“She loves it to shock and to play the victim afterwards.”

How does that square with the fact that she’s the one saying it’s no big deal?

Funny, I don’t remember hearing any complaints about Petkovic when her bum was literally out of her outfit a couple of years ago.


Van Persie Says:

Yep BBB,

She said no “big” deal, so it is a deal….and then she let’s her fans ranting about racism.

About Petkovic, do not remember, I guess I did not see the match.


Van Persie Says:

P.S.

regarding dress code: the pink suits from 80′s from beginning of this season, from Nike…. The ladies looked like 12-14 years old in them. It was nothing porno in them, but they were completely ridiculous. I watched Eugenie, Kvitova and Halep, and other ladies, wearing that. Could not take them seriously, really. I told it here. It suited Kasatkine, who still looks like a child.

There is an outfit for hammer throwing in sports, but this is not suitable for “white sport”, which is tennis.


BBB Says:

Does she control her fans?

Re Petkovic, you don’t remember, because nobody cared, and nobody complained about it. I saw it in person. Her butt cheeks were out of her outfit, and her skirt was very short, so you saw beaucoup butt cheeks.

To summarize: you can have your bum hang out, and that’s not disrespectful. You can grab your crotch and your bum before on court, and that’s not disrespectful. You can smash your tennis racquet into the court, and that’s not disrespectful.

Arguably the greatest female tennis player comes back from maternity leave, tries to send a positive message about body image to women who don’t look like the very beautiful Julia Goerges, and that’s disrespectful.

They could have told her privately that the outfit would not be permitted, but they chose to make a public statement right before the next major.

Yuck.


Van Persie Says:

The tennis players get warnings when smashing racquets or swearing on court.

Yes, the FO director should have act otherwise, I told, this was not the moment. Perhaps, Wimbledon has done it differently. Only an assumption. She looked nice and decent there.

But I agree, this was disrespectful from Serena. She made it about her, as she told, she likes to live in a phantasy land, or something like this. But civilization and common sense are about something else. No player is perfect on tennis court but she is the GOAT in female tennis, and I, as tennis watcher, should not live in Serena’s phantasy world.


Margot Says:

What’s a fat, old, white man with a criminal record doing telling the GOAT what she can and can’t wear?


Van Persie Says:

I would not mention criminal records , Margot :) The guy did not drive over anybody :).
But agree with you, he is white, and looks fat and old.


Giles Says:

They probably made a public statement to deter other women from following suit.


AndyMira Says:

VP…Yeah!…Serena certainly very courageous and i think before she wore that catsuit,she’s already know the impact of her action would be…there’s must be a negative comments about it from public…Good thing is she didn’t care!Hehe…

One thing i’m curious tho,why she didn’t wear it at Wimby?No need for medical reasons there?

And agree with u about NIKE’s outfit VP!…Sometimes really ridiculous!

Also agree with WB,both sisters have a history of outrageous outfit…especially Venus….Veryyyy outrageous sometimes!


Giles Says:

She would not have dared to wear that outfit in Wimby.


Margot Says:

OK VP: What’s an old, fat white man who has just lost a defamation of character law suit, doing telling etc etc…;)


Margot Says:

AM and Giles: In fact a skinny white woman did wear a white cat suit at Wimbledon, many years ago. But Giles is right, Wimbledon officials didn’t like it and told her not to wear it again. But only dear old-fashioned Wimbledon has a dress code, the other slams don’t. Am sure I’ve seen Azarenka and others come out with leggings and fleeces on when it’s cold at Wimbledon, white of course. Am sure too that Andy wears compression pants under his shorts.


Van Persie Says:

Yep Margot,

just checked, it is considered as “criminal record” in France.

BTW,

Just think about reactions here, if Roger had played as he posed with the AO trophy in 2017 :)…that “funky picture”.
OK, Nole is ripping his shirt off, but he does not play shirtless. Perhaps he would like that, but he is not allowed to. It would be disrespectful


Wog Boy Says:

Agree AM, particularly 2010 FO where Venus looked like she just walked out of brothel, Wild West Brothel.
I think Frenchies had enough of sisters outfits.


Van Persie Says:

Maybe Giles is right, it was not so much for Serena, perhaps officials from FO wanted to make sure, the FO will not turn into “Moulin rouge” in the future.


Wog Boy Says:

VP, too late, it was already Moulin Rogue in 2010, check Venuses pictures at FO from that year.


Van Persie Says:

Yep WB, checked now, did not watch her then :)


Margot Says:

Am completely torn between thinking women can wear what they darn well like and thinking, oh please, no. In real life, as well as tennis. ;) However in private life it should be about personal choice. I agree with VP this dude should not have made this issue personal and public about Serena. Probably, some time in January a wee press release about what is now considered acceptable/not acceptable at RG. That would’ve been diplomatic and done the job.


Van Persie Says:

Margot,

Off court, they can wear whatever they want, women and men. I am talking only about during the game, of course.
If Serena wants to go to the liquor store while wearing only bikini, it is not my business. Of course, if this foto would be discussed here, I would be allowed to have a good laugh and to tell my opinion.


Margot Says:

VP: A couple of years ago there were some pics of her and Woz in bikinis…..in the sea, not the off license! (In UK off license is your liquor store, don’t ask me why!)


Van Persie Says:

Well, like all of us, Serena is also allowed to have fun, to wear bikinis :)….we do not have the luck or the bad luck to be “published”, when we do :)


j-kath Says:

VP: And then there are the nude beaches….followed by a daring few pics. posted on FB – so I’m told.


AndyMira Says:

VP 9:35am…Very agree with u there sis!…They can go to liquor store naked for all i know,but on court i think public or in this case FO director still cannot accept the adventurous outfit that Serena wore..i mean,the director is an ol’ dude that certainly still clung to an ol’ tradition & value…And he wants to keep it that way….

But,in a way i kinda agree with that ol’ dude…Tennis is a serious sport,when we watch it,we want to enjoy it to the fullest…But we can’t do that when our eyes always strayed to the mount everest at the back & front…


skeezer Says:

Most every professional sport that I know of has some kind of “clothing” rule. I agree with the ladies here it just could have first been a personal call to Serena rather than bust this out in the news. They also could have made a statement for all players, not just single out Serena. Knowing Serena, she is a warrior, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she finds a way to be rebellious about it lol.

I think it adds some spice to the game, when players come out wearing something “progressive” or trying to shock the norm.
I mean c’mon now, Rafa busted out in sleeveless and pirate pants, Agassi came out with Denim shorts and bicycle shorts underneath? Maria came out in shorts ( when women were wearing skirts, then that was a shock! ) and Serena is not the first to come out in a body suit!

https://www.allure.com/gallery/tennis-fashion-history


AndyMira Says:

M!…Yeah!…I once seen her pic,but can’t remember her name tho…I have to applaud her,she already very innovative in what? 70′s?…Not to mention very brave…


Margot Says:

Peace breaks out on tennis. EEEEEK! The calm before the storm of the USOpen, I guess.


BBB Says:

How many racquets have been smashed with no warning? That is far more disrespectful to the game than what someone chooses to wear. It’s your equipment, and you’re destroying it.

Serena was more covered up than the gents with their sleeveless shirts.

If they want to prevent other women from wearing the same outfit, they can communicate with the players privately, as they do in other matters.

Curious that nobody seems to be addressing the question of whether adjusting your testicles or picking your underwear out of your bum is disrespectful to the game. I guess we have tolerance for men touching their nether parts, but heaven forbid a woman wear an outfit that covers her entire body except her forearms! Decorum, people!

As I said, I didn’t care for the outfit was awful, but it’s absurd for them to ban it under some vacuous theory that it’s a question of respect.


skeezer Says:

With you BBB on the mens’ picking syndrome, tics or not!


Daniel Says:

“How many racquets have been smashed with no warning? That is far more disrespectful to the game than what someone chooses to wear. It’s your equipment, and you’re destroying it.”

Agree!

Plus the “message” send for young kids and players.

They only throw racquets because they saw at some point (or in a major final) a top player doing it. And the cycle goes on and on and we get a 21 yld Zverev, possibly the future #1 for a few years, doing it regularly.

In a way, Serena could have avoided the whole thing if she had just used a skirt on top of the cat suit. Sometimes is best to be just a tad bit cautious to avoid some unnecessary stress.


Margot Says:

BBB: Rafa has OCD wouldn’t you say? So it’s quite possible he can’t help these tics. In the same way as he has very obsessive rituals round his water bottles, his towels etc. Wouldn’t you say this is a different issue from choosing what you wear.
I’ve no idea whether this decision was a collective one by the French tennis association or just a decision by this one guy, as it seems at the mo. Would seem to be very undemocratic and high handed if it is.
The question of “disrespect” is so subjective anyway. My feeling that something is “disrespectful” is no doubt different from yours. eg I personally don’t care if they break every racquet in the bag or stamp holes in their shoes, but I draw the line at spitting at your opponent’s box, as Connors used to do.


Margot Says:

PS IMHO smashing someone else’s equipment would be highly “disrespectful” not to say would cause mayhem on the court, but not your own. That just makes you look like an idiot!
Oh dear just giggling now at the image of Naughty Nick leaping over the net, snatching x’s racquet and smashing it against the net. I wish.


Mystic - Willow Says:

The USO isnt on where i am, they seem to have switched it from sky to Amazon prime, so annoyed as im paying almost 90 pounds for my subscription :-/


BBB Says:

Appreciate your comments, skeezer.

The way the issue was handled, coupled with the double standard, is what is leading people to ask what’s going on here.


Truth Says:

The top 20 women have far inferior athleticism, so Serena feels invincible about her everyday life and decisions.
If she had to fight so much harder to win, she wouldn’t be worried about who loves her tights and dress.


BBB Says:

Is OCD more of a concern than pulmonary embolisms?

I don’t particularly care if Rafa picks himself, or Roddick adjusts himself. And if Petkovic wants to have her butt hang out, ok.

But it’s arbitrary to draw the line at what Serena wore.


RZ Says:

I don’t know how I feel about the dress codes (I haven’t looked into them), but I don’t know why the FTF president needed to call out Serena. They could have just made the rules without mentioning her or her outfit. If he was asked about it, he could have said something vague to the extent of “I’m sure she will find something that works for her within our rules.”


RZ Says:

One more general point – a player’s outfit should be based on what maximizes his/her ability to play their best. While Nike, Adidas, and the other clothing companies want those clothes to be fashionable so that they can sell those designs to the public, ultimately the player wants to wear what they are most comfortable in and could move most easily in (and in Serena’s case at the French Open, what will provide compression to assist with her embolism issues)


Giles Says:

Rafa will be wearing sleeveless at the US Open this year. Yeeehaaa!


AndyMira Says:

Oh!Really Giles??YESSSS!!…What colour?


BBB Says:

Daniel, Mary Carillo has proposed fining players every time they break a racquet, and that the proceeds be donated to kids who can’t afford to play the game.


Giles Says:

^^ What a wonderful idea. If it does happen, hope the fine will be substantial.


Giles Says:

AM. Sorry don’t know the colour. If I hear anything I will let you know.


BBB Says:

Giles, we agree on something! I will mark this day on my calendar :-)


Daniel Says:

That would be great BBB. They are all rich, so at least their tantrums will be good for something.


Mystic - Willow Says:

Giles well it will save him a few seconds between points ;-)


Mystic - Willow Says:

^ Black and grey are lucky colors for him at the USO ^


Mystic - Willow Says:

BBB Thats a great idea ….


Mystic - Willow Says:

Anybody any idea how i can watch the USO as skys not showing it where i am ?


Mystic - Willow Says:

^Rafa fans thats what hes wearing i believe ^


RZ Says:

Mystic – Willow, I read something about Amazon being used to watch some matches in the UK. Have no idea how it works though.


Mystic - Willow Says:

RZ No me niether, im so angry as im paying alot of money for something im now not even getting, its bank holiday today, but ill be ringing sky up tomorrow and giving them a piece of my mind , when your paying almost 90 pounds a month you do expect to get everything all the channels etc ….


Margot Says:

Mystic: First month of Amazon Prime is free, then you can cancel, which is what I shall be doing, but I’ve heard they’ll get AO as well.
It’s a streaming service RZ so you can get films, music, TV shows as well as USOpen.
Soon Amazon will rule the world and the countryside will turn into a giant warehouse…


Mystic - Willow Says:

wont let me on there Margot ….


Margot Says:

Willow have you got an Amazon account? If you have its straightforward but if you haven’t you have to create one by giving your email and making a password.


RZ Says:

Thanks Margot. I have Amazon Prime and use it quite a bit, but haven’t used it for live streaming. I don’t think US Open matches are being streamed via Amazon in the US.


AndyMira Says:

Haaa!!…This is much more acceptable outfit for Serena!!….Loved it!!…Even tho it looks really weird with one sleeves there!Hehe…But,i’ll take it!!….

Btw…Serena could lose to Linette too today…Linette is one of those players who could surprise any players if she feels up to…Let’s see….


AndyMira Says:

Linette should varied her shots like make a drop shots or slice it…to disrupt Serena’s rythmn & make her run a little bit…Her size & lack of match fitness will make it harder for her to run continuosly…Trading shots against Serena from the baseline won’t work coz serena’s powerful groundstrokes r huge & deep…It’s hard to handle that & Linette have trouble with it atm….


Mystic - Willow Says:

I Really want to watch the tennis Margot, but im so annoyed paying almost 90 pounds a month and im not getting everything what a con !


Giles Says:

So Serena is wearing tutu’s instead. Does she realise how ridiculous she looks? Come on Serena, get your dress sense in order. You’re not a school girl anymore!


Mystic - Willow Says:

Funnily enough she looks so elegant when she goes out like at the Royal wedding, i wish these ladies would dress like athletes rather than jewelled dolls, Justine Henin was one of the exceptions and a refreshing change ….


j-kath Says:

I haven’t had much luck with Amazon – they gave me football and then cricket. I had to wait a month to get my money back – now they interrupt everything I go to look at.

There’s a current live tennis link via the main ATP page – prices much cheaper than M-Willow’s quote. Worth a look M-W…you can always decline. If you proceed and then don’t get what you thought you would get then you can cancel provided you use credit card.


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