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Serena Williams, all black catsuit, make headlines at the French Open

Serena Williams made a triumphant return to the French Open, drawing headlines for her play and for her outfit
Serena Williams made a triumphant return to the French Open, drawing headlines for her play and for her outfit

Serena Williams made a big statement and made a triumphant return to major championship tennis Tuesday.

Ranked No. 453 in the world, Williams won her opening round match at the French Open Tuesday against world No. 70 Kristyna Pliskova. Williams, the 23-time major champion, gave birth to a daughter in September and saw her rankings tumble while she was out.

The Women's Tennis Association -- the governing body of the women's tennis tour -- is mulling a rules change to protect seedings and rankings for players returning from maternity leave.

Meanwhile, Williams, 36, made headlines with her tennis in a 7-6, 6-4 win and for her outfit. She wore a skin-tight, all black Nike catsuit that brought to mind the skin tight catsuit she wore at the 2002 U.S. Open.

Williams called this one her "Wakanda" catsuit, referencing the movie "Black Panther," and it said was her catsuit, version 2.0.

"We designed it way before the movie," she said, "but still, it kind of reminds me of that."

She said the outfit also had some functionality. When she gave birth, she had some complications related to a pulmonary embolism.

"I had a lot of problems with my blood clots, and, God, I don't know how many I have had in the past 12 months. So it is definitely a little functionality to it," Williams said. "I have been wearing pants in general a lot when I play, so I can keep the blood circulation going. It's a fun suit, but it's also functional, so I can be able to play without any problems."

She also dedicated the look to all mothers recovering from tough pregnancies.



"It feels like this suit represents all the women that have been through a lot mentally, physically, with their body to come back and have confidence and to believe in themselves," Williams said after beating Kristyna Pliskova 7-6 (4), 6-4 at Court Philippe Chatrier. "I definitely feel like it is an opportunity for me to inspire a whole different group of amazing women and kids."

The Associated Press contributed


Social media seemed to approve of Serena's look and her game.

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