Serena Williams is going out in style.
The tennis legend and 23-time Grand Slam singles champion revealed in the cover story of Vogue’s September issue that she might hang up her racket after playing the US Open in Flushing Meadows, NY. And on Monday night, she beat Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic to advance to the second round.
Goat (the greatest of all time) has used her apparel to make complete statements throughout her career – on and off the court – and the Nike NKE.
Its chief design officer told the New York Times that he designed her tennis lines — including swan-song sets. (Again: She’s on. The cover September issue of Vogue.)
And Williams kicked off her farewell tour on Monday with a custom PE NikeCourt Flare 2 sneaker emblazoned with a diamond-encrusted Nike “swoosh” and her initials, as well as gold lace debriefs (a decorative shoelace tag) in a 400-piece collection. Diamond in Black Ceramic, which was created in collaboration with Serena Williams’ jewelry line.
Williams took to her Instagram stories on Monday to reveal that the balls were fit for a queen, describing herself as “so stunning, so radiant, so amazing.”
“So these shoes are amazing. Like, but I can’t wear these, can I?” “I must let them sit in this box somewhere in my bedroom,” she said.
According to a Nike press release, she paired tennis outfits inspired by the competition dresses worn by figure skaters, including a crystal-embellished bodice that “reflects the night sky at the competition.” The look also includes a six-layer dress for Williams’ previous six US Open titles.
Nike’s statement explains: “Inspired by the elegant competition dresses worn by skaters, the embellished body and skirt keep Serena in the spotlight and allow her freedom of movement.” The dress consists of six tiers, her previous six titles won in Flushing. With a matching jacket and tote, the deep-hued and crystal-encrusted bodysuit reflects light and glows brightly, symbolizing the night sky at the competition.
The US Open could be Williams’ last tournament “away from tennis,” as she wrote in a poignant Vogue essay about her next move. Williams, who turns 41 in September, never stops working for good; She plans to grow her venture-capital firm, Serena Ventures, and raise her family. She has her first children’s book hitting shelves this fall.
But she is approaching retirement from tennis with mixed feelings: “There’s no joy in this title for me… I hate it.”
Read more: Serena Williams feels there’s ‘no joy’ in retirement – like many who leave a job they love
But she got into the US Open because of support. Check out her entry from Monday night:
“The reception has been really overwhelming,” Williams told reporters, according to ESPN. “It was loud and I could feel it in my chest. It was a great feeling. It’s a feeling I’ll never forget, so I really — yeah, that meant a lot to me.
But perhaps no one was driven to watch Williams play, as her now 4-year-old daughter, Olympia, was spotted taking pictures of her mother in the stands. On Monday night, Olympia’s style was crucial, as well; In the year When she won her first US Open in 1999, Williams wore white pearls to inform the hairstyle she wore.
And after it was announced earlier this month that she was planning to retire from the sport professionally, ticket prices for the tournament – particularly the Williams match – soared. Some tickets for her opening match on Monday night were selling for around $1,000 on secondary markets.
And of course she dressed the part.