Upcoming Match-ups

Catsuit or no Catsuit, Serena Williams is the French Open Favorite

Alex Kilpatrick

by Alex Kilpatrick in Tennis

Aug 24, 2018 · 4:31 PM PDT

Serena Williams catsuit
Serena Williams in her full body "catsuit" that is somehow at the center of this tennis controversy. (Photo by MAO/Panoramic/Icon Sportswire)
  • Serena Williams won’t be allowed to wear her compression “catsuit” on court at the French Open next year
  • She still is, and probably will remain, the betting favorite, though

The president of the French Tennis Federation announced that Serena Williams’ “catsuit” would not be allowed at the 2019 French Open. This caused something of a controversy, although not on the odds sheet. Serena Williams is currently the betting favorite to win that tournament.

2019 French Open Odds

Player Odds
Serena Williams +550
Angelique Kerber +800
Simona Halep +800
Caroline Wozniacki +900
Garbine Muguruza +1000

These lines haven’t moved much since they opened, and I don’t imagine that they will any time soon. Certainly not with this news. There is the possibility that Williams withdraws from the tournament, but that doesn’t seem hugely likely.

You can watch these odds evolve over at the French Open odds tracker:

Let me know if they move because of this!

What’s Up With the Catsuit?

Last year, Serena Williams took to wearing long tights and a tight top on court, which was quickly dubbed a “catsuit”. Women typically wear dresses on court, and Venus Williams will sell you one, but Serena preferred full tights.

A fun angle to all this is that Serena started wearing the tights because the compression effect might prevent blood clots. Serena Williams has suffered from blood clots in the past, and after giving birth suffered from pulmonary embolisms.

Earlier today, AP reported that the president of the French Tennis Federation, Bernard Giudicelli, is putting an end to the catsuit. Giudicelli thinks player outfits have “gone too far,” and that the catsuit “…will no longer be accepted. One must respect the game and the place.”

There’s obviously a lot going on here. Tennis tournaments institute dress codes all the time, and those dress codes are all pretty problematic and dumb. Here’s a Wimbledon official checking the underwear color of a junior player:

Tennis is dumb about clothes generally. If the prohibition stands, Serena Williams won’t be able to wear the “catsuit,” although she’ll still be very able to win the tournament.

She followed Wimbledon’s dress code to the letter this year, and should be able to do the same at Roland Garros. Whether or not she wants to, however, is up to her.

Author Image