A new rule from the Women’s Tennis Association will be helpful to Serena Williams should she choose to wear her skin-tight black catsuit to the French Open again.
The tennis champ’s attire drew criticism from French Tennis Federation President Bernard Giudicelli back in August, with Giudicelli vowing to implement stricter apparel rules that would ban such threads after Williams sported the Nike-branded outfit in May at the 2018 French Open.
“I think that sometimes we’ve gone too far,” he told the Associated Press then, in reference to Williams’ look. “It will no longer be accepted. One must respect the game and the place.”
But on Tuesday, the WTA Rules Committee and Board of Directors took a different stance.
In a summary of their key player-related rule changes set for implementation in 2019, the organization approved an ensemble like Williams’ — writing, “leggings and mid-thigh-length compression shorts may be worn with or without a skirt, shorts, or dress.”
Williams’ sleek catsuit was noticeably different from her usual tennis attire. When asked about it in May, she referenced the film Black Panther, telling reporters it made her feel like a “queen from Wakanda.”
“I feel like a warrior in it,” Williams continued. “I’ve always wanted to be a superhero, and it’s kind of my way of being a superhero.”
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In addition to making her feel powerful, Williams said the catsuit nearly saved her life.
Following the birth of her daughter Alexis Olympia in September of last year, Williams has suffered from a number of health issues.
“I’ve had a lot of problems with my blood clots, God I don’t know how many I’ve had in the past 12 months,” Williams explained at a news conference in May, according to NPR.
“I’ve been wearing pants in general a lot when I play so I can keep the blood circulation going.”
RELATED STORY: Serena Williams’ Black Catsuit Banned at French Open: ‘One Must Respect the Game,’ Tournament Says
Williams’ wasn’t just being scrutinized for what she wears on the court. In August, the tennis star spoke out about the frequent drug tests she has been subject to throughout her career.
“Look at me,” Williams said during an interview with TIME in reference to her muscular physique. “I was born this way. They’re like, ‘Oh, she can’t be that great, she must be doing something.’ ”
Williams was tested five times in 2018, three times in 2017, and six in 2016.
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