After a 14-month absence from the tennis tournament scene following the birth of her daughter, Serena Williams made her comeback to the court on Tuesday at the French Open in the most G.O.A.T.-worthy way. She won her first Grand Slam match against Czech Republic’s Kristyna Pliskova in a 7-6, 6-4 first-round victory and did so in a “warrior” catsuit that had a very powerful message.
“I feel like a warrior in it, like a warrior princess kind of, (a) queen from Wakanda,” Williams said of her Nike spandex look, referencing the powerful wardrobing in Black Panther. “I’m always living in a fantasy world. I always wanted to be a superhero, and it’s kind of my way of being a superhero. I feel like a superhero when I wear it.”
And it she not only was a superhero in her playing, but in her attitude too. “It feels like this suit represents all the women that have been through a lot mentally, physically, with their body to come back and have confidence and to believe in themselves.”
She wrote on Instagram that she dedicated her match to all other moms who experienced complicated pregnancies. “For all the moms out there who had a tough recovery from pregnancy—here you go. If I can do it, so can you. Love you all!!”
During the birth of daughter Alexis Olympia, Williams had to have an emergency C-section, suffered from multiple blood clots afterward and was bedridden for six weeks as part of her recovery.
Fans on Twitter went wild over the powerful message behind her sleek catsuit.
@serenawilliams You go!!! Mom’s everywhere are rooting for you! #FrenchOpen
— Doctor Paula (@drpaula65) May 30, 2018
#Serenawilliams rock her Nike catsuit – Gorgeous @serenawilliams Congrats Queen pic.twitter.com/szJj1gGB5Z
— Bayibiking (@Bayibiking) May 29, 2018
Following her return to grand slam tennis after having her baby girl, Serena Williams wears a full, skintight bodysuit & braids in her first match at the French Open. You can’t tell me she ain’t the GOAT #RG18 pic.twitter.com/YjJmEkcjz6
— Troy (@Troy_Official) May 29, 2018
And fans even channeled the star with their own recreation of the catsuit on Wednesday.
@Merentia channeling @serenawilliams today at work @Smile904FM #BlackPanther #Wakanda #catsuit #tennis @frenchopen4you pic.twitter.com/HX5fR9vRfA
— Reinard Ludick (@ReinardLudick) May 30, 2018
Her comeback win after giving birth is even more impressive considering her ranking in the tournament. She was ranked no. 453 which left the three-time French Open champion to play against the highest ranked players early in the tournament.