Serena Williams’ opening matches at any Grand Slam are all the time on the radar. And whereas the 23-time Grand Slam winner’s play made the last word assertion on Monday, Williams’ trend assertion in first-round play on the French Open made loads of headlines as effectively.
Shortly earlier than posting a first-round win over Vitalia Diatchenko of Russia, Williams debuted her newest attire designed for her by Virgil Abloh in partnership with Nike.
This coming a yr after her black compression-material catsuit prompted controversy — the outfit drew criticism from French tennis officers that resulted in backlash and help for Williams.
Williams didn’t sport a full robe when she walked out onto Court docket Philippe Chatrier on Monday, however a scaled-down model with the phrases “mom, champion, queen and goddess” in French as a part of the print.
Ultimately yr’s French Open, Williams wasn’t solely making an attempt to make a trend assertion when she wore the outfit that she known as her “Wakanda-inspired catsuit,” referring to the fictional nation within the movie “Black Panther.”
The complete-length leggings have been additionally worn for well being causes. In what was her first Grand Slam match since giving beginning to her daughter 9 months earlier, they have been a precaution after a well being scare associated to blood clots.
Serena Williams’ newest trend assertion was as soon as once more the subject du jour throughout her opening-round match at Roland Garros. Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Photographs
French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli later mentioned the outfit would now not be accepted. “One should respect the sport and the place,” he mentioned.
Williams downplayed the feedback on the US Open, saying she now not wanted to put on the leggings as a result of she discovered that compression tights additionally work to maintain her blood circulating. (She wore tights at Wimbledon, when she made it to the ultimate.)
As for Monday’s match in opposition to Diatchenko, Williams received off to a sluggish begin, committing 14 unforced errors earlier than dropping the primary set 2-6.
Williams shortly regrouped in the course of the break, overwhelming the 28-year previous Russian within the second set 6-1.
The three-time French Open champion gave Diatchenko no quarter within the third set, shutting her out 6-Zero to cap the 90-minute victory.
Williams arrived in Paris having withdrawn from every of her previous two tournaments due to a balky left knee, and the one earlier than that due to sickness. She had performed solely 9 matches all season, and so her pursuit of a record-tying 24th Grand Slam title — fourth at Roland Garros — isn’t any certain factor.
Whereas Williams confirmed no apparent indicators of her latest knee downside within the early going, she did not look as much as her finest, both. Her motion wasn’t supreme, and she or he typically reached for photographs as a substitute of thumping them.
After her mistake-filled first set, Williams dedicated six unforced errors within the second set and simply 4 within the third. Her winner depend went the opposite method: from 5 within the first set to 9 within the second to 11 within the third.
Williams will now face the winner of the Dalila Jakupovic-Kurumi Nara match within the second spherical.
Data from the Related Press was used on this report