Project Grow

Serena Williams Keeps Showing Us How to Rise Above the Noise

Don't let naysayers get in your head.
Serena Williams Keeps Showing Us How to Rise Above the Noise
Image credit: Jean Catuffe | Getty Images
Entrepreneur Staff
Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture.
3 min read

Ahead of Serena Williams's first match at her 20th US Open, facing off against Magda Linette -- which she won, by the way -- Williams was in the news for comments made by Bernard Giudicelli, the president of the French Tennis Federation.

Giudicelli said that the French Open would ban catsuits like the one Williams wore to play in this year’s tournament. Why? “I think that sometimes we’ve gone too far,” he said. “It will no longer be accepted. One must respect the game and the place.”

Williams said that garment made her feel like a superhero and it was designed to help prevent blood clots, like the kind that led to nearly fatal complications during the birth of the tennis star’s daughter Alexis Olympia.

At best, Guidicelli’s argument could be described as specious. But fellow tennis icon Billie Jean King was one of many on social media who identified the toxic attitudes at play in his remarks.

“The policing of women’s bodies must end,” King wrote. “The ‘respect’ that’s needed is for the exceptional talent Serena Williams brings to the game. Criticizing what she wears to work is where the true disrespect lies.”

Williams took the high road, and had a sense of humor about the controversy. In a press conference, she responded to Guidicelli’s comments. “Everything’s fine guys. … When it comes to fashion, you don’t want to be a repeat offender,” she said. "The Grand Slams have a right to do what they want to do. … I feel like if and when, or if they know that some things are for health reasons, then there’s no way that they wouldn’t be OK with it.”

Unphased, Williams took to the court for her first match this week in a one shoulder tennis dress with a black tutu and fishnet compression tights. It was a custom creation designed by Louis Vuitton’s Virgil Abloh in collaboration Williams and Nike -- which just released an inspiring new commercial looking back at her career.

The limited edition collection -- called QUEEN -- is also going to be available for fans to purchase. Williams said the outfit helped her game. “It's easy to play in," she said. "Kind of aerodynamic with the one arm free. It feels really good. Yeah, the tutu is easy to play in because I practiced in it before. That was fun."

So what should you do if you find yourself dealing with an outmoded system? Know your strengths, get creative and let your talent do the talking.

More from Entrepreneur

One-on-one online sessions with our experts can help you start a business, grow your business, build your brand, fundraise and more.
Book Your Session

In as little as seven months, the Entrepreneur Authors program will turn your ideas and expertise into a professionally presented book.
Apply Now

Are paying too much for business insurance? Do you have critical gaps in your coverage? Trust Entrepreneur to help you find out.
Get Your Quote Now

Latest on Entrepreneur

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.