Serena Williams insists the black bodysuit she wore at the French Open much more than a fashion statement.
The 36-year-old revealed that she wears the “catsuit” to prevent blood clots – a problem she has struggled with previously including during her pregnancy.
Williams, who returned to action on Sunday for the first time since giving birth to her daughter in September, also believes it sends a message of strength to women around the world.
“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 Rolland Garros.
“I definitely feel like it is an opportunity for me to inspire a whole different group of amazing women and kids.
“I feel like a warrior in it, like a warrior princess or Queen from Wakanda maybe,” she added. “I’m always living in a fantasy world, I’ve always wanted to be a superhero and it’s kind of my way of being a superhero.
“I had a lot of problems with my blood clots – and God I don’t know how many I’ve had over the past 12 months – so there’s definitely a little bit of functionality to it. I’ve been wearing pants a lot in general 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.”