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/ Source: TODAY
By Ree Hines

When Serena Williams hit the clay court at the French Open last year, she did so in style — but it was a style the French Tennis Federation didn't appreciate.

The black catsuit she wore, which the 23-time Grand Slam champ said made her feel like "a warrior" and "a superhero," was subsequently banned from the tournament altogether.

So when she stepped onto the court for her first singles round this year, fans weren't just watching her game — all eyes were on the 37-year-old's outfit, too.

And she didn't disappoint when it came to either spectacle.

Serena Williams during her first-round victory over Vitalia Diatchenko of Russia on Day 2 of the 2019 French Open at Roland Garros stadium on May 27 in Paris, France.Getty Images

Williams won her match against Russia's Vitalia Diatchenko on Monday, and she did so in another bold design fit for a warrior — and for a "queen," "champion," "goddess" and "mother."

And if anyone had any doubts about that, all they had to do was read her garment.

Serena Williams wears a special Nike jacket with French text, reading "Championne" (Champion), "Reine" (Queen), "Deesse" (Goddess) and "Mere" (Mother), during the warmup prior to her first-round victory on Day 2 of the 2019 French Open.Getty Images

Those words were written in French on the jacket Williams sported during her warmup for the match, which, like the rest of the ensemble, was created by Off-White's Virgil Abloh for Nike.

Clearly, you can take away the catsuit, but you can't take away Williams' fierce fashion sense or winning attitude — even if you try.

It was three months after the tennis great first wore her formfitting catsuit that French Tennis Federation President Bernard Giudicelli declared it off-limits in future games.

Serena Williams hit the court in style at the French Open on May 29, 2018, in Paris, France.Getty Images

"I think that sometimes we've gone too far," he said, referencing what she wore. "(It) will no longer be accepted. One must respect the game and the players."

But Williams said she hadn't been trying to disrespect anyone with her attire. Months before the tournament, she'd suffered from dangerous blood clots following her pregnancy with daughter Olympia, and the catsuit served as a compression garment to prevent further blood clots.

Fans and fellow players rallied in support of Williams, but she didn't sweat the controversy.

Serena Williams debuted her tutu on Day 1 of the 2018 U.S. Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 27 in New York City.Getty Images

Never one to repeat a look anyway, she made her first post-ban appearance days later at last year's U.S. Open — in a tutu!