Serena Williams on Saturday defended the president of the French Tennis Federation, who confronted a backlash after saying he supposed to ban outfits just like the form-fitting catsuit Williams wore on this yr’s French Open.
Williams stated she spoke on Friday with the president, Bernard Giudicelli, who lately instructed France’s Tennis Journal that he would introduce a gown code at Roland Garros as a result of “one should respect the sport and place.”
After a number of supporters in tennis and outdoors the sport objected to Giudicelli’s choice as disrespectful to Williams, she instructed reporters that she was not involved.
“The president of the French Federation, he’s been wonderful,” Williams stated at a United States Open information convention, including, “We now have an exquisite relationship.”
Williams has stated the catsuit had helped defend her from blood clots that had sophisticated her restoration from childbirth final yr. The French Open was her first Grand Slam look after giving start to her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian. A month later at Wimbledon, Williams as an alternative wore compression tights to maintain her blood circulating.
“I’ve since discovered different strategies,” stated Williams, explaining that the catsuit wouldn’t be in proof at the US Open. “In relation to vogue, you don’t need to be a repeat offender.”
Williams additionally stated that she was assured that any match director would enable exceptions to a gown code if well being concerns had been concerned.
Her feedback adopted rebukes to Giudicelli from athletes akin to the previous tennis stars Billie Jean King and Andy Roddick. “The policing of girls’s our bodies should finish,” King stated on Twitter, the place Roddick wrote that the ban was “so dumb and shortsighted it hurts.”
Nike, which sponsors Williams, posted a tweet that referred to the truth that she had stated that the catsuit had made her really feel like a superhero “queen from Wakanda,” the fictional nation within the movie “Black Panther.”
The submit had a message superimposed over of Williams within the catsuit: “You may take the superhero out of her costume, however you’ll be able to by no means take away her superpowers.”
Williams, who turns 37 in late September, will start looking for her seventh United States Open singles title on Monday, when she faces Magda Linette of Poland, who’s ranked 60th on the planet. Williams stated she had no thought how tough her path at Flushing Meadows could possibly be till a reporter instructed her.
With an upgraded seeding to No. 17 from her world rating of No. 26, she may face her sister Venus, the 16th seed, within the third spherical. She may then meet top-seeded Simona Halep, this yr’s French Open champion, within the spherical of 16.
The final time Serena Williams performed in the US Open, she misplaced within the semifinals in 2016 to 10th-seeded Karolina Pliskova regardless of holding the No. 1 world rating. The yr earlier than, once more because the world No. 1, she was upset within the semis by unranked Roberta Vinci.
Williams can also be looking for her 24th main singles championship, which might tie the document held by Margaret Courtroom. She was the runner-up at Wimbledon final month, dropping to Angelique Kerber, however she has received simply one in every of her three hardcourt summer time matches. The Open is her seventh match since her return from maternity depart.
“I really feel like all the pieces is simply completely different when it comes to I’m dwelling a unique life,” Williams stated about her return to Flushing Meadows as a mum or dad. “If something, I’ve extra hearth in my stomach. It’s very tough to explain. I believed, after having a baby, I’d be extra relaxed, however I’m not. I work simply as exhausting, if not more durable, really. That’s been actually shocking for me.”
If Williams has realized one factor over the past yr, she stated, it was to be rather less self-critical.
“I really feel like I’ve to be good to myself,” she stated, including: “That’s the message I’ve been preaching to girls and folks. It’s important to face these obstacles. Whether or not you get by way of them or not, there’s all the time one other probability.”
The Related Press contributed to this text.