Serena Williams is taking the lead with her on-the-court style with a tennis look fit for a champion.
On August 29, the tennis champion will play at this year's US Open in Flushing, Queens in a custom Nike set designed by Williams with a "hands-on approach."
"Inspired by graceful competition dresses worn by figure skaters, the embellished bodice and the skirt place Serena in the spotlight and allow her freedom of movement," the brand noted of the outfit's details in a statement. The skirt also holds symbolic meaning, built with six layers that honor Williams' "six previous title wins in Flushing."
The set's matching jacket and tote bag, splashed in a deep midnight hue, and its light-refracting "crystal-encrusted bodice" also mirrors the starry night sky, under which William's will play her match against Montenegro's Danka Kovinić on Monday evening.
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The 23-time Grand Slam winner will also take the court in a pair of custom NikeCourt Flare 2 sneakers, featuring a "diamond-encrusted Swoosh design and her initials on the medial side" as well as gold lace deubrés decorated with "400 hand-set diamonds in black ceramic created in collaboration with Serena Williams Jewelry."
As her possible last chance to redeem her 24th Grand Slam title (which will tie her with Margaret Court's record), the US Open will also be Williams' last round of matches before she embarks on her "evolution'' away from tennis.
In her cover story for Vogue's September 2022 issue, published earlier this month, the all-star opened up about her new journey away from her prolific, long-standing career.
"I have never liked the word retirement," Williams, 40, wrote in an essay for the publication. "It doesn't feel like a modern word to me. I've been thinking of this as a transition, but I want to be sensitive about how I use that word, which means something very specific and important to a community of people. Maybe the best word to describe what I'm up to is evolution."
She also shared that she's been "reluctant to admit" entering this new life chapter.
"There is no happiness in this topic for me," she said. "I know it's not the usual thing to say, but I feel a great deal of pain. It's the hardest thing that I could ever imagine. I hate it. I hate that I have to be at this crossroads. I keep saying to myself, I wish it could be easy for me, but it's not. I'm torn: I don't want it to be over, but at the same time I'm ready for what's next."
Williams revealed that she hopes to focus on "other things that are important" to her, such as focusing on home life with her husband Alexis Ohanian and their four-year-old daughter Olympia. The two also hope to have another child.
While speaking on the "A Conversation with Champions" panel, alongside her sister Venus and fellow tennis players Nick Kyrgios and Naomi Osaka, at the Lotte New York Palace hotel in New York City on August 26, Williams expanded on her interpretation of "evolution".
"It's more like an evolution of Serena," she explained. "So for me, I feel like a lot of people could relate to that. Sometimes you just have a platform to just talk about what a lot of people can't really put into words or really talk about. Yeah, it's just an evolution," she said, adding that she's "excited about the new things that I've been doing and I'm continuing to do."