Taking a hands-on approach to her 2022 on-court look, 23-time-Grand Slam singles champion Serena Williams brought some serious glamour to her first US Open appearance for the year with a stunning look that bedazzled onlookers.
Designed in collaboration with Williams, Nike created a glittering long-sleeved dress for the former world No. 1 that takes its inspiration from the world of figure skating and features a skirt with six layers—one for each of her US Open titles.
“I had six layers to represent the six wins, but I took four out because it was too heavy,” she told Gayle King after the match.
Playing at the famous Arthur Ashe Stadium last night, Williams would go on to claim her career’s 106th US Open win against Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic, in a decisive 3-6, 3-6 victory.
According to Nike, Serena’s 2022 US Open debut outfit comprised of a custom PE NikeCourt Flare 2, paired with a figure-skating inspired outfit, complete with a crystal-encrusted bodice that ‘alludes to the night sky’ at the tournament, along with its accompanying jacket.
Nike emphasized how Williams enthusiastically took the project’s design and conceptualization under her control — ‘providing the full vision and dialing the details for a thrilling design created to make her feel comfortable and confident.’
The NikeCourt Flare 2s is a breathable, lightweight hard-court Nike creation that has been used on previous occasions by Williams, but now featured a depth of customized embellishments that truly make them special. Apart from the 400 diamonds set in black ceramic — which were crafted in collaboration with Serena Williams Jewelry — this iconic one-of-a-kind pair also features Williams’ initials and solid gold deubrés on the laces.
The deubrés themselves spell out ‘QUEEN’ — no doubt about that. The shoes, and Serena’s appearance at the tournament signal the end of an era for women’s tennis — one that began when she went pro in 1990 and changed the face of the game. Serena, who has lifted the US Open singles trophy in 1999, 2002, 2008, 2012, 2013, and 2014, will likely step away from the sport following this tournament.
Opening up to Vogue earlier this month, Williams shared that she has to choose between her athletic career and having a second child. “I definitely don’t want to be pregnant again as an athlete,” she explained. “I need to be two feet into tennis or two feet out.”
Williams’ comfortable win last night has secured her a tough second game tomorrow when she will face off against World #2, Anett Kontaveit.
Lead Image: @USOpen/Twitter