New tennis rules approve Serena Williams' controversial catsuit, allow protections for returning mothers
When the tournament banned the outfit, Serena received a lot of support and love from her fans and followers on social media
It looks like there has been a huge win for Serena Williams given that the 'Women's Tennis Association' announced a change in two of its rules. Serena's controversial catsuit leggings are now allowed in tournaments and mothers will be granted added rankings protection upon returning from maternity leave.
The 37-year-old Williams had sported her leggings while wearing her catsuit outfit at the French Open in 2018. This did not sit well with French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli who decided to ban the one-piece bodysuit "out of respect [for] the game and the place". The WTA will now allow "leggings and mid-thigh-length compression shorts without a skirt, shorts, or a dress."
As reported by Yahoo Sports, Serena may still not be allowed to wear the outfit at 2019 Roland-Garros though she will be able to wear it during other tournaments. Last year, Serena had to have an emergency C-section with her daughter Alexis Jr. and had developed many blood clots post the delivery. She also almost died due to complications which is why she sported the compression leggings while playing in the 2018 French Open.
She has now decided to dedicate the controversial catsuit to "mothers everywhere" post returning from her maternity leave. She added that the outfit made her feel like a "queen from Wakanda". When the tournament banned the outfit, Serena received a lot of support and love from her fans and followers on social media.
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Serena had her daughter Alexis in 2017 and returned for the 2018 French Open but had to withdraw from the competition as she had a pectoral injury. Giudicelli's choice to ban the outfit did not sit well with people and sparked a lot of outrage on social media. Many took to share that the move was "terrible" and "racist". A majority of people did not understand the reason behind the ban and added that it covers Serena's body.
One Twitter user shared, "Serena Williams, who wore an outfit specifically designed to help prevent blood clots because she almost 'died' after giving birth, won't be able to wear her catsuit again at the French Open because the tournament chief... doesn't like it. That's literally the only reason." Another user added, "Please explain how this catsuit is disrespectful? Sit down, dude."
WTA rule changes for 2019— Parsa (@Parsa_Nemati) December 12, 2018
• # of tourneys using SR moved from 8 to 12
• Rules introduced for SR related to pregnancy
• Main draw singles players who withdraw b/w start of qualies & their R1 match, eligible to receive 100% of R1 💰
• Leggings/compression shorts may now be worn pic.twitter.com/nPrk7KYyC2
Williams was very touched by all the support she got and shared, "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. I definitely feel like it is an opportunity for me to inspire a whole different group of amazing women and kids." Clearly, Serena's battle and struggles have paid off with the WTA making two massive changes.