Serena Williams wears zany outfit to the French Open after catsuit ban

She may have been banned from wearing at catsuit at last year’s French Open, but the controversy hasn’t stopped Serena Williams making a fashion statement on the court.

The tennis star, 37, turned heads in an unusual superhero-inspired outfit, designed by Virgil Abloh and Nike. 

The black and white ensemble even comes with a cape featuring the words ‘Mother, Champion, Queen, Goddess’ in French, although she did not wear this while playing.

Making a statement: Serena Williams made her debut at the French Open in a wacky black-and-white ensemble designed by Off-White's Virgil Abloh and Nike

Making a statement: Serena Williams made her debut at the French Open in a wacky black-and-white ensemble designed by Off-White's Virgil Abloh and Nike

Making a statement: Serena Williams made her debut at the French Open in a wacky black-and-white ensemble designed by Off-White’s Virgil Abloh and Nike 

Powerful: The ensemble featured empowering words like 'goddess', 'mother', 'queen' and 'champion' within the graphic design

Powerful: The ensemble featured empowering words like 'goddess', 'mother', 'queen' and 'champion' within the graphic design

Powerful: The ensemble featured empowering words like ‘goddess’, ‘mother’, ‘queen’ and ‘champion’ within the graphic design 

Saucy: Her crop top and skirt also featured black fishnet across the stomach, and she wore it with matching black-and-white sneakers

Saucy: Her crop top and skirt also featured black fishnet across the stomach, and she wore it with matching black-and-white sneakers

Saucy: Her crop top and skirt also featured black fishnet across the stomach, and she wore it with matching black-and-white sneakers  

A new look: Serena, 37, debuted her new look on social media the day before the tournament, revealing that it comes complete with a long cape and a maxi skirt

A new look: Serena, 37, debuted her new look on social media the day before the tournament, revealing that it comes complete with a long cape and a maxi skirt

A new look: Serena, 37, debuted her new look on social media the day before the tournament, revealing that it comes complete with a long cape and a maxi skirt

A new look: Serena, 37, debuted her new look on social media the day before the tournament, revealing that it comes complete with a long cape and a maxi skirt

A new look: Serena, 37, debuted her new look on social media the day before the tournament, revealing that it comes complete with a long cape and a maxi skirt

It comes after Williams was banned from wearing her trademark catsuits, with French Tennis Federation president, Bernard Giudicelli saying last year: ‘I believe we have sometimes gone too far. 

‘Serena’s outfit, for example, would no longer be accepted. You have to respect the game and the place.’ 

While the mother-of-one seems to have stuck to the new rules regarding player attire, she certainly wasn’t willing to go down without a sartorial fight – something she made very clear with her bold ensemble on Monday. 

Although perhaps more traditional than a catsuit in its skirt-and-top design, the vibrant pattern and multiple layers meant that all eyes couldn’t help but remain on Serena throughout the match, which she won two sets to one, even as she was warming up and began removing different layers.  

Upon her arrival at the court, Serena was wearing a long-sleeved jacket  

And her superhero outfit seems to have worked wonders, as she overcame a slow start for a 2-6, 6-1, 6-0 win over 83rd-ranked Vitalia Diatchenko of Russia in her opener.

Williams had completed only three matches since her Australian Open ended four months ago, and she cited a bothersome left knee when pulling out of her past two tournaments.

During an error-filled first set, Williams was constantly shaking her head and yelling at herself.

But the 23-time Grand Slam champion quickly changed the momentum by winning the opening three games of the second set.

Banned: After the French Open last year, the French Tennis Federation changed the regulations surrounding player attire, banning the tight catsuit that Serena had worn

Banned: After the French Open last year, the French Tennis Federation changed the regulations surrounding player attire, banning the tight catsuit that Serena had worn

Banned: After the French Open last year, the French Tennis Federation changed the regulations surrounding player attire, banning the tight catsuit that Serena had worn 

Coming back stronger: Serena clearly wasn't happy to go down without a sartorial fight, showing up in a very bold look that features empowering words like 'queen' and 'champion'

Coming back stronger: Serena clearly wasn't happy to go down without a sartorial fight, showing up in a very bold look that features empowering words like 'queen' and 'champion'

Coming back stronger: Serena clearly wasn’t happy to go down without a sartorial fight, showing up in a very bold look that features empowering words like ‘queen’ and ‘champion’

Layers: When Serena first started playing, she was wearing a plain, long-sleeved black sports jacket, which she removed after playing the first few points

Layers: When Serena first started playing, she was wearing a plain, long-sleeved black sports jacket, which she removed after playing the first few points

Layers: When Serena first started playing, she was wearing a plain, long-sleeved black sports jacket, which she removed after playing the first few points

Layers: When Serena first started playing, she was wearing a plain, long-sleeved black sports jacket, which she removed after playing the first few points

Layers: When Serena first started playing, she was wearing a plain, long-sleeved black sports jacket, which she removed after playing the first few points

Staying warm! Under the black jacket, Serena was wearing a long-sleeved shirt in the same black-and-white pattern as the rest of her outfit

Staying warm! Under the black jacket, Serena was wearing a long-sleeved shirt in the same black-and-white pattern as the rest of her outfit

Staying warm! Under the black jacket, Serena was wearing a long-sleeved shirt in the same black-and-white pattern as the rest of her outfit

After committing 14 unforced errors in the first set, Williams had a total of 10 in the second and third sets.

Afterward, Williams seemed more relieved than pleased at avoiding what would have been only the second loss of her career in the first round of a Grand Slam tournament – after her defeat to Virginie Razzano at Roland Garros in 2012.

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