While her tennis has been as flawless as ever, what’s catching attention this time is the outfit that the 23-time Grand Slam winner is sporting at Melbourne Park.
Turning up in a multi-coloured, one-legged catsuit, the 39-year-old tennis great has been the cynosure of the competition and said that her latest kit was inspired by the legendary late sprint queen Florence Griffith Joyner.
Popularly known as Flo-Jo, the American great was a three-time Olympic champion and was well-known for her bold on-field style. Be it the various bodysuits or her six-inch-long manicure -- often sporting the colours of the US flag -- the American ace often mixed fashion and sports well.
“I was inspired by Flo-Jo, who was a wonderful track athlete, amazing athlete when I was growing up,” Serena Williams said after her opening match against Germany’s Laura Siegemund at the Australian Open on Monday.
“Watching her fashion, just always changing, her outfits were always amazing. The Nike team actually thought of this design of inspiration from Flo-Jo. I was like, ‘Oh, my God, this is so brilliant’,” Serena added.
At the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, Florence Griffith Joyner bagged a silver medal in the 200m. But she also turned heads by sporting long painted fingernails.
Florence Griffith Joyner, who still holds world records in the 100m and 200m, also clinched three gold medals (100m, 200m, and 4x100m) and a silver (4x400m) at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul
Besides her one-legged suit in vivid colours, she also donned a hooded speed skating bodysuit at the 1987 IAAF World Championships. During the 1988 Olympic trials at Indianapolis, the bold Flo-Jo has turned up in a laced tracksuit.
“It’s so wild, I keep debating which ones are the best,” Serena Williams said.
Serena Williams also said that she looked up to the NFL great Tom Brady, who pocketed his seventh Super Bowl title, this time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, for inspiration.
“It’s unbelievable... it’s unreal,” Serena Williams, who’s played over 100 matches at the Australian Open, said of the 43-year-old Brady, who spent the first 20 seasons of his career with the New England Patriots.
“I just was watching as much as I could. You can’t say it was the system he was in before. It’s definitely Tom Brady... he’s Tom Brady. He’s amazing.”