The player Serena Williams, who shines at the Australian Open, said she was “inspired” by Florence Griffith-Joyner, “an incredible sportswoman” but controversial with “incredible” outfits.
SERENA WILLIAMS – It was not just the performance of Serena Williams that stood out on Monday February 8th. If the American tennis player started her Australian Open perfectly by crushing Germany’s Laura Siegemund, she also made a name for herself for her outfit.
Asked by journalists during the post-match press conference, she revealed that she had taken the example of Florence Griffith-Joyner, American sprinter, Olympic champion in the 100m and 200m in Seoul in 1988 and holder of exceptional records on both distances.
Serena on her #AusOpen outfit, inspired by Florence Griffith-Joyner.
"Yeah, I was inspired by FloJo, who was a wonderful track athlete, amazing athlete when I was growing up. (…) I was like, Oh, my God, this is sobrilliant. That's where we started." pic.twitter.com/0Q7ShNf01H
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) February 8, 2021
"This year we thought of what can we do to keep elevating the Serena Williams on the court."
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) February 8, 2021
“I was inspired by FloJo, who was a wonderful track athlete, an incredible athlete when I was younger. With her, fashion was constantly changing, her outfits were always incredible ”, explains the record holder for Grand Slam victories? Before adding that the idea came from her OEM with the aim of “continuing to raise Serena Williams on the court,” in her own words.
Beyoncé also paid tribute to her in 2018
This tribute still raises the question, because many suspicions of doping weighed on Florence Griffith-Joyner during her career. The latter holds records that have never been approached by any other female athlete. His sudden death in 1998 at only 38 years old had strongly reinforced this hypothesis.
But the doubts that hang over “FloJo” do not seem to mar the iconic image she sends to celebrities, especially African Americans. Indeed, Serena Williams is not the first to pay tribute to him. Beyoncé did the same in 2018, playing the athletic champion through a Halloween costume.
5 times Serena Williams’ outfits sparked controversy on the courts
With her muscular body and stylistic risk-taking, Serena Williams’ outfits are often emulated. Back on all the clothing controversies triggered by the star of the courts.
Will Serena Williams be talking about her again on the Roland Garros court? Nike, her official partner, revealed an exclusive outfit that pays tribute to her career and what the champion represents today to thousands of women around the world. With a 24-year career, Serena Williams has become an icon, an athlete and a mother who has broken the codes.
It must be said that sometimes, certain clothing choices caused him problems …
Serena Williams, the court slinger
On Tuesday, January 15, 2019, for her entry into contention at the 2019 Australian Open, the sportswoman arrived wearing a tight green Nike jumpsuit, accompanied by fishnet tights. An outfit that did not fail to make the press react, as is often the case when the sportswoman appears on the field.
At the end of August 2018, the President of the French Tennis Federation, Bernard Giudicelli, announced that the outfit worn by Serena Williams during the last Roland-Garros tournament would no longer be accepted. “I think sometimes we’ve gone too far. Serena’s combination this year, for example, won’t be accepted anymore. You have to respect the game and the place,” he reportedly told Tennis Magazine.
You can take a superheroine out of her costume, but you can never take her superpowers.
The outfit had already been talked about during the tournament which celebrated the great return of the American champion to 23 Grand Slam titles. This black jumpsuit, with a pink belt, a nod to the film Black Panther and to Catwoman, however, had a medical function since it allowed the young mother to have better blood circulation and to avoid the form of clots following the complications due to childbirth.
Despite everything, in the rest of his interview, Giudicelli explained: “For 2019, it’s a bit late, because the collections are already designed, but we will still ask the equipment manufacturers to communicate them to us”.
“We are women and we are proud”
Quickly, the Nike equipment supplier supported its flagship player by posting a simple photo of her in her black jumpsuit with the caption: “You can take a superheroine out of her costume but you will never be able to take her superpowers”.
For her part, when asked at a press conference ahead of the US Open’s debut, the American champion said: “I think Grand Slam tournaments have the right to do whatever they want”, adding: “I also think that if they know that certain things have a medical reason, there is no reason that they are not OK.”
Through her outfits, Serena Williams does more than trigger controversy, she questions our conception of the female body in the world of sport, but also in our daily lives. It’s interesting how every sports journalist turns to fashion critic when she appears on the tennis courts, deeming her stature “too masculine”.
“I’m proud to be able to show them what some women look like.”
Appeared twice on the cover of US Vogue and many other fashion magazines, designer of several clothing lines in the United States, the American champion has established herself as a fashion figure, but also representative of thousands of women whose physique athletic does not correspond to the limited standard of Western femininity.
Just after the birth of her daughter Alexis Olympia, Serena Williams wrote in an open letter to her mother, posted on Reddit: “I am proud to be able to show them what some women look like. We are not all the same. we have curves, sums strong, muscular, tall, short, to name a few, but all similar: we are women and we are proud! ”
1/5 Green mini jumpsuit and fishnet tights
Tuesday, January 15, when she entered the competition at the 2019 Australian Open, the tenniswoman showed up for her match against the German Tatjana Maria, in a Nike apple green jumpsuit and fishnet tights. Once again, the sportswoman took the win in style, beating her opponent 6-0, 6-2.
2/5 Serena Williams Lycra jumpsuit
It was as early as 2002 that Serena Williams, then known for her major sporting clashes with her sister Venus Williams, began to spark controversy over clothing. At that year’s US Open, the sportswoman entered Arthur Ashe Stadium wearing a black lycra jumpsuit that underscored her sculptural body.
3/5 Serena Williams Denim mini-skirt and high sneakers
It’s 2004, and two years after setting the stage in turmoil with her jumpsuit, Williams appears on court wearing black knee-high sneakers and a denim mini skirt. However, she will have to remove her shoes after the warm-up, as US Open organizers believe the outfit violated the rules for player dressing.
4/5 The Serena Williams white trench coat
The controversy resumed and this time at Wimbledon, in 2008. During the tournament, the champion wears a white trench coat during her warm-up for the opening match. An aesthetic decision that created excitement under the pretext that the sunny weather made such an outfit unnecessary. When asked about it, Serena Williams answers, without giving any justification: “I live in Florida and I probably have more coats than anyone here. I love coats and buy them all the time. I don’t know why since I live in Florida – it just doesn’t make sense.
5/5 The Serena Williams headband and purple shorts
In 2012, Williams entered the court at Wimbledon by deviating from the rule that requires players to wear only white. The sportswoman then opted for a headband and purple lycra shorts to match her pair of Nike, her official sponsor since 2004.
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