On the first day of the 2018 Wimbledon Championships, Serena Williams powered through her opening round match against Dutch player Arantxa Rus to qualify for the second leg of the tournament.
But it wasn’t without a struggle. The 23-time Grand Slam champion — who won 7-5, 6-3 — faced challenges with Rus’ two-handed backhand, London’s gusty wind conditions and a recent pectoral muscle injury.
The one thing on her side? Compression legwear.
During the French Open in May, the tennis superstar memorably wore an all-black, Wakanda-inspired Nike catsuit that went viral and garnered international attention for its mighty fashion statement.
“I feel like a warrior in it, like a warrior princess kind of, [a] queen from Wakanda,” Williams explained, citing the fictional African nation in the groundbreaking 2018 Marvel film, “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.”
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Like the catsuit, Williams’ attire at this year’s Wimbledon tournament had a functional purpose. Her head-to-toe white outfit was offset with a pair of skin-colored compression tights that offered numerous wellness benefits, including better blood circulation, increased overall energy and reduced stress.
The 36-year-old athlete — who welcomed her first child, daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian, in September — has been open about her post-birth complications due to a blood clot. Compression socks and hosiery are also recommended for diabetics, frequent travelers and pregnant women.
Adding support to Williams’ play were the kinesiology tapes wrapped around each ankle, which she normally has braced before each match. The technique prevents sudden jerks from injuring the joints and improves stability on the court.
Serena Williams Wins First Match at Wimbledon in All-White Nike Dress