Venus Williams’ Smashing Sports Wear

Smash: a strongly hit overhead, typically when the player that hits the shot is very close to the net and can therefore hit the ball very vertically, often into the stands, making it unreturnable.

She is probably the most controversial woman tennis player in the 2011 Australian Open today not only because of her game or her grunts but most especially because of her sportswear. Not discounting her skills on the tennis court but her outfits which are becoming shorter as she grows older is something else. No doubt Venus Williams’ is a great tennis player but her fashion sense is something that can be remedied. Looking back on interviews with her about her sport wear apparel I would say she really makes it a point to amaze people, some may say she wants to grab the attention and in this she succeeds. But, not all her sportswear outfits are controversial. Some of them, especially when she was younger, looked really great on her.

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As a young girl of 14, she went pro and impressed almost all of us with her prowess. And since then has shown not only her skills in the tennis court but her ability, and definitely guts, to stay true to her dreams. She has made a lot of accomplishments and a lot of firsts in the history of tennis and has received a lot of awards individually or together with her younger sister Serena. Despite her busy schedule she was able to finish her associate degree in Fashion Design and with Cum Laude honors at that. She is also an entrepreneur being the chief executive officer of her interior design firm "V Starr Interiors". She is also part-owner of NFL team Miami Dolphins.

Fight for equal prize money

If there is one thing that women tennis players should be grateful for to Venus Williams it is the fact that she is one of the main reasons that they are getting the same prize money as the men tennis players both in Wimbledon and French Open. Although Billie Jean King and many others have been protesting the unequal pay between men and women tennis players, it was during Williams’ protest that the change was made. On the eve of 2006 Wimbledon, Venus accused Wimbledon of being on the “wrong side of history” in an essay that was published in The Times. After that essay was published, former Prime Minister Blair and the Parliament publicly endorsed her arguments. Then Women’s Tennis Association and UNESCO also campaigned for gender equality in sports to which Venus Williams was asked to lead the campaign. In 2007 Wimbledon who was under so much pressure relented and announced that all competitors in all rounds will be awarded equal prize money and the French Open followed suit. Unwittingly, she was the first woman to benefit from the equalization of the prize money when she won the 2007 Wimbledon.

Unfortunately, whatever she has done and how awesome she really is on the tennis court can sometime be overshadowed by her sports wear. What makes it really funny is just when you thought she has donned her worst she manages to do it again and again. Take a look at her fashion style over the years:

2007 Family Circle Cup
2007 Family Circle Cup
2009 Australian Open
2009 Australian Open
French Open-Roland Garros 2008
French Open-Roland Garros 2008
Beijing Olympics
Beijing Olympics | Source
WTA Barclays Dubai Tennis Championship in 2009
WTA Barclays Dubai Tennis Championship in 2009
US Open 2007
US Open 2007
2009 US Open Day 5
2009 US Open Day 5
2009 Wimbledon
2009 Wimbledon

And here are some of the more controversial ones. In fact, I added three of these talked-about outfits when I made one of my hubs entitled My List of the Most Iconic Sportswear Uniforms and I asked whether sports wear plays a part in a team’s attitude towards winning, especially if they do not feel comfortable in it.

Sony Ericsson Open in 2009 and also at the Madrid Open
Sony Ericsson Open in 2009 and also at the Madrid Open
Day four of the French Open at Roland Garros on May 26, 2010 in Paris, France
Day four of the French Open at Roland Garros on May 26, 2010 in Paris, France | Source
Sony Ericsson Open
Sony Ericsson Open
2010 US Open
2010 US Open
2010 Wimbledon
2010 Wimbledon
2010 US Open Day 12
2010 US Open Day 12
Day one of the 2011 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 17, 2011 in Melbourne, Australia
Day one of the 2011 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 17, 2011 in Melbourne, Australia | Source
Day 2 of the 2011 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 18, 2011 in Melbourne, Australia
Day 2 of the 2011 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 18, 2011 in Melbourne, Australia

After her game at the Sony Ericsson Open the questions were not about the game or about her reaction to the win. Nobody seemed to care about that but what they were really interested in was the red, spaghetti-strapped corset trimmed with a flounce.And when asked, this is what she had to say:

"The motif is really about sporty sexy, and kind of that whole attitude of bringing that to my game," she said. "I usually don't wear red. This is kind of new for me."

And then same goes every time she wears one of these outlandish outfits. Funny things is that writers often say that they will no longer waste their time writing about her sports wear and break their own word each time she comes out wearing a really garish one, worse than the one before.

Tennis fashion before was really good but over the years the skirts have become shorter (it is actually barely-there), the colors louder and the style more daring than ever. Unfortunately, the Williams sisters have become icons in their own right and other younger tennis players are following their lead and their fashion sense is becoming de riguer. Add to the attention-grabbing outfits are the dangling earrings and other jewelry often seen on them. I do long for the day that the tennis sportswear becomes tamed down so that we can watch the game and focus on it rather than on the peek-a-boo style that shows more skin. Sadly though, Venus Williams has promised that she will be wearing more original dress designs and according to her:

"There'll be more illusion, and also skin... more skin this year.”

So, what do you think?

Venus Williams remains to be one of the best tennis players out there is a fact. Tennis is one sport without their own sportswear uniforms (except that you have to wear white for Wimbledon) leaving it all up to the players to decide what to wear. The only problem is that every time I watch her play I get distracted by the sportswear so I am not able to concentrate on the game itself. Maybe it's just me but every now and then I wonder if anything embarrassing will happen and I cringe at the thought. I certainly hope that one day another fashion icon will come to lead a new kind of fashion in the tennis court. Or maybe Venus can revert back to her old fashion style which wasn't really so bad.


Do you think Venus Williams' sports wear really matters in her game?

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Comments 2 comments

Cathyrin profile image

Cathyrin 5 years ago from Philippines

I adore Venus when she plays and smashes her racket on the other hand, when it comes to her fashion and style, it's another story.:)


Marie-Renee profile image

Marie-Renee 5 years ago Author

@ Cathyrin, thanks for reading my hub and for the comment. Yes, Venus is really a great player. Just wish she goes back to her old fashion style and not experiment with others styles and fabrics.

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