Serena Williams entered her final tennis tournament in style, wearing a diamond-encrusted Nike outfit. It was her first-round match at the US Open 2022 on 29 August.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion has been Nike’s face since 2003 and will remain so even after retirement, which she alluded to as her way to “evolve away from tennis” in an interview with Vogue earlier in August.
In the first round of the ongoing tournament at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, she defeated Danka Kovinic of Montenegro 6-3, 6-3 in the presence of over 23,000 spectators, including Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova, Mike Tyson, Anna Wintour, Vera Wang and former US president Bill Clinton.
Here’s all about Serena Williams’ diamond-encrusted Nike outfit
A dress inspired by figure skaters
Nike collaborated with Serena Williams Jewelry for the outfit. Williams herself gave her insights into the special wear.
In a statement, Nike said that the dress is inspired by the outfits worn by figure skaters.
“The embellished bodice and the skirt place Serena in the spotlight and allow her freedom of movement,” Nike noted.
The skirt has six layers as a nod to each of the six US Open titles Williams has won since 1999. However, Williams revealed that she further customised the skirt.
“I had six layers to represent the six wins, but I took four out because it was too heavy,” she told Gayle King after the match.
Nike also created a matching jacket and tote bag for Williams’ on-court arrival. Embedded with crystals, they shone in the evening light of the match.
More diamonds on sneaker
On her feet, Williams wore a special edition of the NikeCourt Flare 2. On the black tennis sneaker were encrusted diamonds forming the brand’s iconic swoosh. Its solid gold lace deubrés came with 400 hand-set diamonds designed by Serena Williams Jewelry. Williams’ initials were on the medial side of the sneaker.
Williams has been a US Open women’s singles champion in 1999, 2002, 2008, 2012, 2013 and 2014. In her Vogue interview, she said that though she could not win Wimbledon 2022, she will try to win in New York.
(Main and Featured images: Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)