Just like at any other major tennis tournament, the Williams sister were once again top competitors and the subject of controversy.
Only one of them riled up critics, and it was not the one who infamously berated a line judge.
No, this time around it was the older Williams, Venus, who caught everyoneâ€™s critical attention. Parading around in outfits that have been described as reminiscent of a burlesque house, a lingerie show, or the Moulin Rouge, Venus did not do her character any favors.
Her sister, in contrast, looked marvelous. She was professional and stylish, while remaining pretty and ready to play. Serenaâ€™s singles outfit was routinely labeled perfectly lovely, even making Yahoo Sportsâ€™ best dressed list. The caption under her photo is very telling: â€œDid Serena not get the memo? How tasteful. How classy. It's like Venus' dress, only the exact opposite.â€
The question becomes then, why would Venus wear an outfit that obviously sparked controversy and took the focus off of her tennis? The easiest answer is because she wanted the attention. Iâ€™ll hold off on responding to that for just a second.
Letâ€™s explore what her other options were. First, she could have not worn the corseted dress to begin with, an unlikely choice since Venus designed the outfit herself.
Second, she could have retired the dress after her first match when the press made it their focal point. The dress would have been the subject of chatter for a few days, and Venus wouldâ€™ve had to respond to questions about why she wasnâ€™t wearing it anymore, but her dignity and professional reputation would have remained intact.
In short, she could have taken the high road, but instead she chose a different path.
Sadly, I think the easiest answer to the proposed question is the right one: she wanted attention. Unfortunately she chose to get press by wearing lace instead of playing great tennis (which she also did by the way). This is not the first time either of the Williamsâ€™ sisters has been entangled in a tennis fashion controversy. In the past, there has been talk about the beads they used to wear in their hair and the bright colors of their dresses.
While both have abandoned the former, Serena found an elegant way to keep the latter alive. On the singles courts, she looked pristine in her blue dress, which occasionally matched the sky of Roland Garros. On the doubles court, Serena match pale orange and pink in two-piece dress that was befitting of summer.
The same could not be said of Venus. Playing with her sister as they advanced and won the doubles trophy, Venus looked like she was trying to make up for lost ground by wearing a plain black athletic dress. I applaud the effort, but I donâ€™t think it worked.