Inspiration comes from sprinter Flo-Jo who set athletic and fashion trends in the late 80s.
Tennis player Serena Williams had tennis fans – and more – talking after she appeared on court during the third day of the Australian Open in a one-legged cat suit.
Following her win, Williams — the Number 10 seed smashed Serbian Nina Stojanovic in the second round match-up 6-3 6-0 — revealed the inspiration behind the colorful catsuit was from the late Florence Griffith, the American sprinter who set world records and later died aged 38.
‘I was inspired by Flo-Jo, who was a wonderful track athlete, amazing athlete, when I was growing up,’ she said.
Griffith, who died in 1998 after suffering a severe epileptic seizure in her sleep, would occasionally wear one-legged suits during her races.
‘Watching her fashion, just always changing. Her outfits were always amazing,’ Williams continued.
‘This year we thought of what can we do to keep elevating the Serena Williams on the court.
‘The Nike team actually thought of this design of inspiration from Flo-Jo. I was like, ”Oh, my God, this is so brilliant”.
‘That’s where we started. Obviously, we made some changes and tweaks to it. It became this.’
The eye-catching outfit however caused a stir on social media, with tennis fans divided on the bold choice.
‘Love this suit. She is definitely getting back to her peak physical form,’ wrote one fan
Others were not so sure of the outfit.
‘Good job they pay her well, that’s atrocious,’ one Twitter user commented.
‘This looks mad uncomfortable, especially in Melbourne’s heat,’ another shared.
The Australian Open continues through Feb. 21. You can view on ESPN.