Serena Williams' Iconic Catsuit Is Banned from Future French Opens

She wore the one-piece for health reasons.

(Image credit: THOMAS SAMSON)

Back in May, Serena Williams made her grand return to tennis at the French Open and wore a catsuit both her and her fans dubbed the "superhero" outfit. "I feel like a warrior in it, a warrior princess...from Wakanda, maybe," she said in an interview. "I've always wanted to be a superhero, and it's kind of my way of being a superhero."

The black-and-pink Nike bodysuit was a hit with the internet and Williams herself posted a photo with the caption, "Catsuit anyone? For all the moms out there who had a tough recovery from pregnancy—here you go. If I can do it, so can you. Love you all!!" The catsuit became a symbol of strength and resilience.

For those who couldn't wait to see her in the look again, however, that wish has ended. According to The French Tennis Federation president, Bernard Giudicelli, the one-piece is now banned from future tournaments.

In an interview for Tennis Magazine's 500th edition, Giudicelli called out Williams' catsuit and said, "I think that sometimes we’ve gone too far. It will no longer be accepted. One must respect the game and the place." He mentioned the rules won't be "as strict" compared to Wimbledon's, which require players to wear white.

This was the catsuit Serena wore at the 2018 French Open:

Aside from the catsuit looking cool, it had a functional purpose. Williams suffered blood clots in her lungs after giving birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian, and revealed she nearly died from the experience. "I've had a lot of problems with my blood clots, God I don't know how many I've had in the past 12 months," she said in an interview. "I've been wearing pants in general a lot when I play so I can keep the blood circulation going."

So the question now is, with the catsuit banned, will Williams still be able to wear pants? And why did Giudicelli single out the tennis pro (she's a three time French Open winner) in his interview?

Williams herself has called out discrimination in the past. (She said she was being drug tested the most.) Thus, I'm wondering...what are her thoughts on this new "rule?"


Serena Williams

(Image credit: Getty Images)
Fashion Editor

Marina Liao is the former fashion news editor at Marie Claire, where she covered celebrity style (from Meghan Markle to Katie Holmes), fashion trends, and shopping advice, plus conducted original interviews with industry insiders. She's now the Senior Commerce Editor at House Beautiful, where she owns coverage on deals and sales across home decor and accessories, in-depth product reviews on furniture and appliances, as well as news around new product launches since 2023. With help from leading designers and tastemakers, Marina spotlights quality products while tracking current design trends, a skill she’s mastered over six years in fashion media. Marina holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Stony Brook University, beginning her career in narrative-driven commerce coverage as an editorial assistant at PopSugar.