Serena's BestOn-Court Fashion
Serena Williams is the best tennis player in the history of the sport -- and the most fiercely stylish athlete of all time. Fashion is her passion; she studied design for two years and oversees two successful clothing collections with Nike and HSN. Off the court, Serena is a chameleon: sexy, demure or elegant. On the court, her body-conscious ensembles -- and her history-making wins -- have helped cement the tennis star's legendary status. Slay, Miss Williams. Slay.
Illustrations by T.S Abe
Beautiful, Yet Dangerous
2014 US Open first round against Taylor Townsend
Simple V-neck Nike tennis dress worn with black undershorts? Pretty standard. But add a black-and-white leopard print and long glossy bright pink nails that complement her wrist band, and you've got full-throttle Tennis Fashionista. Flirty, playful and unapologetically modern, Serena's style game has just enough Compton to shake folks up.
2014 Wimbledon doubles with sister, Venus
Serena was forced to retire from the match after appearing disoriented and double faulting. Rumors swirled that she was either drunk, on drugs or was pregnant, all of which she denied. Pity that the controversy overshadowed one of her classiest on-court looks. Extra points awarded for her soft, pretty hairstyle and elegant cat-eye makeup.
2008 US Open final against Jelena Jankovic
Care to see the most spontaneous expression of adult joy from the best athlete in the world? It happens at the end of this match when Serena -- resplendent in a fiery red dress, matching headband and nails -- tosses her racket in the air, screams like a kid and jumps and jumps and jumps. Epic and wonderful.
2002 US Open quarterfinal against Daniela Hantuchova
Ah, yes, the infamous black "Catwoman" outfit. Safe to say the 21-year-old Wimbledon champ raised a few eyebrows when she walked onto the Arthur Ashe court wearing this Lycra second-skin shorts (really short) suit. Serena later told reporters, "If you don't have a decent shape, this isn't the best outfit to have." Buuuuurn!
Serena in 1992
Five years before she placed in her first World Tennis Association semifinal in Chicago, 11-year-old Serena was perfecting her serve and practicing her powerful backhand on public courts in Compton, California. This matching two-piece outfit and her sweet signature braids gave us a glimpse of her future chicness.
Bright and Lovely
2015 Australian Open final against Maria Sharapova
Both Williams sisters love bright colors, and Serena's nearly backless dress in neon lime green and pink has more in common with a bathing suit than a staid country club frock. This was a loud, no-nonsense bit of business, and Serena dazzled as she dominated Sharapova to claim her 19 Grand Slam win.
Sassy and Classy
2016 Wimbledon fourth round against Annika Beck
Wimbledon's traditional whites have always looked gorgeous against Serena's sun-kissed brown skin, and this Nike dress played that up beautifully. It also captured the two sides of Ms. Williams' on-court personality -- the tight, take-no-prisoners turtleneck top is paired with a classic swingy pleated skirt.
She Wears Short Shorts
2003 Rome Masters
These bright "Clockwork Orange" micro-shorts were a peak into Serena's vivid and provocative fashion imagination. The look blended small Paris catwalk details (a wide, low-slung belt and tiny back pockets) with a colorful summer-in-Ibiza aesthetic.
2006 US Open
The dress that brought something slightly unexpected to the storied hardcourts of Flushing Meadows, New York. The colors were muted: slate gray, muted bronze, dim gold and a quick pop of Serena red. But the swirling abstract patterns and the major diamond jewelry made this ensemble something that only a Williams sister would wear.
Queen of the Colosseum
2004 US Open first round against Sandra Kleinova
Perhaps it wasn't her prettiest look, but Serena's Gladiator-style blue denim Nike miniskirt, studded tank top and black sneaker go-go boots was certainly her boldest fashion creation. Unfortunately, the 22-year-old Serena didn't yell "Are you not entertained?" as she handily finished off her first-round opponent in two sets.
A Collaboration with the UndefeatedPhoto Reference by Getty Images