For nearly three decades, Serena Williams has dominated the tennis court and demonstrated her finesse in sports—and style.
Along with her sister Venus, the fearless tennis player paved the way for Black athletes in what has long been considered an elitist sport. Williams changed the world’s very idea of what a winner looks like: she served up everything from leopard prints to tutu skirts and catsuits as she earned Grand Slam titles and emerged as champion of Wimbledon and the US Open, season after season.
Now, as Williams looks ahead to the next chapter in her life as a mother, a venture capitalist, a business owner and more, we shine a spotlight on her most daring on-court outfits and how they defined her legacy as one of the world’s greatest athletes.
1. 2002 US Open
When Williams took to the court in a short Puma catsuit that showed off her toned figure, she immediately stirred up controversy. Her ensemble was criticised for being risqué, even trashy, and her muscles were deemed as masculine.
But the misogynist and racist readings of Williams’ outfit ignored its power: here was a 21-year-old woman who felt confident in her body, a strength that saw her through to beating her rival Lindsay Davenport. With her baby pink headband and matching sweatband, her white-and-pink sneakers, and her Harry Winston diamond bracelet, Williams also asserted her femininity—and she would continue to do so throughout her career as an inspiration to female athletes everywhere.
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