Serena Williams Addresses “Catsuit” Controversy in US Open Pre-Tournament News Conference
(August 25, 2018) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Serena Williams, under the weather for Media Day on Friday came to meet the media on Saturday. The six-time US Open champion was bombarded with questions about the controversy regarding the black catsuit she wore during the French Open.
The president of the French Tennis Federation recently called Williams’ outfit “disrespectful” and said that type of outfit would be banned from being worn in future Roland Garros tournaments.
Serena downplayed the incident.
“I think that obviously the Grand Slams have a right to do what they want to do. I feel like if and when, or if they know that some things are for health reasons, then there’s no way that they wouldn’t be okay with it.
Williams joked that she most likely would not wear the outfit again because the American said that “in fashion, you don’t want to be a repeat offender. It will be a while before this even has to come up again.”
Williams has been wearing compression-type outfits for health reasons after a difficult childbirth and her issues with past embolisms. “I wear tights that keep everything going with my blood, make sure that I’m staying pretty healthy out there.”
Williams is back at the US Open for the first time since 2016, as she gave birth to her daughter Olympia last September. She was asked about her approach to tennis since her daughter’s birth.
“I have more fire in my belly,” she said. “It’s very hard to describe. It’s very difficult to describe. I thought after having a child I would be more relaxed. I think I’ve said this before, but I’m not. I work just as hard if not harder actually. I just feel like I take it just as serious if not more. That’s been really surprising for me.”
Williams who took her daughter to Centre Court at Wimbledon admitted, that Olympia hasn’t come out to the US Open yet.
“It’s a very long drive and Olympia is not very good in the car,” Williams said. “Yeah, that’s one of the toughest things we work on. She’s not good if we’re more than a five-minute ride.
“We’ll have time next year.”
Serena Williams comes into the tournament as the 17th seed, getting a bump up to her ranking of 26. She’ll play Magda Linette from Poland. Williams is in the same quarter of the draw as her sister Venus and they could meet in a third-round match.
Asked about being the odd on favorite to win the title, she said: “I don’t know, that I would be the favorite at this point, almost a year after having a baby, is quite interesting.
“You know, I don’t know my draw, but I feel like I’m going to have to play — if I want to be the best, I’m going to have to start beating these people anyway.
“You know, it doesn’t matter to me. If anything, I can just continue to strive. That’s the message I’ve been preaching to women and people, that we face obstacles. You have to face those obstacles. Whether you get through them or not, there’s always another chance to get through them. You have to continue to work hard and believe in yourself. Things don’t always go your way, but continue to climb that mountain.”