When Serena Williams took the Wimbledon court on Monday to face Russian player Arantxa Rus, she did so in an unexpected fashion. Literally.
The American tennis champ (and InStyle cover star) beat her opponent 6-3 and advanced to the second round after making her return to the tournament following a 724 day absence (not that anyone’s counting, cc: Wimbledon’s Twitter account). Now all of that was business as usual, but Williams’s getup might have been less expected to her newer fans.
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According to hoards of tennis watchers, Williams might have just won a Wimbledon match in 80-degree weather while wearing a pair of ice skater-like tights on her legs. Oh, and it also all went down during a heatwave.
If you’re squinting your eyes to see whether not she’s really wearing sheer tights in the first place (are they leggings? are they even there?), you aren’t alone. But hey, Williams was probably just following protocol. Wimbledon famously has an über strict dress code, which prohibits players from wearing bright pops of color, limiting them to white only. Some players like Andre Agassi refused to even play at one time because of the code, according to Time, but Williams hasn’t let it bother her, even pushing the envelope with brightly colored undershorts before.
Monday’s tights choice is not the first time that Williams has opted to wear something tight instead of something breezy to play tennis in recent months, though. The 23-time Grand Slam champion sparked a lot of talk when she made her return to the court after having her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. in an all-black skin-tight jumpsuit.
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While wearing said catsuit, she slayed both her competition and the fashion game. But the look also fulfilled a vital function—it helped her play safely by compressing her limbs to keep blood clots from forming.
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“I had a lot of problems with my blood clots, and, God, I don’t know how many I have had in the past 12 months,” she said afterwards, referring to health issues following a complicated delivery of her daughter. “So it is definitely a little functionality to it.”
But function aside, her tights get bonus points for making her look like an IRL superhero, and really, who doesn’t want that?
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