Serena Williams had caused a stir in last year's French Open when she unveiled a 'Black Panther' catsuit which was subsequently banned. For this year's French Open, Serena Williams again made an entrance, this time wearing a cape emblazoned with the words: "Mother, champion, queen, goddess." The legend of "mother, champion, queen, goddess" was written in French in a nod to her hosts. Once the cape was removed, Serena Williams revealed a black and white zebra-stripe print dress, split at one thigh. Fans on Twitter went gaga over Serena Williams' new fashion statement but the American star herself admitted that her Roland Garros outfit was "a lot to carry, but so is being Serena".
The French Open authorities had serious issues with Serena Williams' outfit the last time she played at Roland Garros. This year she has the words Mother, Champion, Queen, Goddess emblazoned on her zebra-striped cape. Guess no one should have issues with that.#FrenchOpen— Nitin Naik (@toi_nitinnayak) May 27, 2019
Just beautiful....— Mandiweni Mushoriwa (@MandiweniM) May 24, 2019
She looks amazing!!— Shiz (@Shiz03613209) May 24, 2019
Wait, what. This is her outfit for the FO?! Warm up and all? Wow.— Aldrin Enrile (@banglababy) May 24, 2019
There should be a Serena line period. Nobody else— Dana Gregorich (@dana_gregorich) May 24, 2019
She looks fierce! Wow.— 102Titelhunger (@VolleyMePlease) May 25, 2019
The 37-year-old American survived a first-set scare before defeating Russia's Vitalia Diatchenko 2-6, 6-1, 6-0 to reach the second round.
But as she struggled to impose herself on her 83rd-ranked opponent, it looked like her dazzling choice of costume for the occasion might come back to haunt her.
"It was just to remind everyone that they can be champions and are queens. So I love that about it," she said of her 2019 dress and cape.
"Yeah. It is a lot to carry, but so is being Serena Williams."
The American, who is attempting to equal Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 Grand Slam titles, racked up her 800th career main draw win with her victory in front of a half-full Court Philippe Chatrier.
After dropping the first set, she was in danger of suffering just the second opening round defeat of her Grand Slam tournament career.
But normal service was quickly resumed as she racked up 12 of the last 13 games.
"You know, I have been dealing with a lot, and then I just got nervous out there and I stopped moving my feet.
"There were like concrete blocks on my feet. I was, like, 'You gotta do something'.
(With AFP Inputs)