The Special Meaning Behind Serena Williams’ Crystal-Encrusted Final US Open Outfit

Serena's last dance.
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For her final match point, Serena Williams will shine bright like a diamond in a crystal-emblazoned outfit. 

The tennis legend is currently competing in her last ever US Open, and her last professional tennis tournament after announcing her retirement last month

“There comes a time in life when we have to decide to move in a different direction. That time is always hard when you love something so much. My goodness do I enjoy tennis. But now, the countdown has begun,” she shared on Instagram.  

With that in mind, anticipation for the US Open this year was at an all time high as the 40-year-old stepped out on the court for her first game of the tournament. That was for a number of reasons: Would this game be her last? Will she do something special for the beginning of the end? And, of course, what would she wear? 

As we’ve all come to know (and love), Williams has become a fashion icon in her own right for choosing symbolic, boundary-pushing and style-conscious outfits for her appearances on centre court. 

And to finish off her repertoire, the athlete didn’t hold back. For her final tournament, she has opted for a black Nike dress design which is encrusted with star-like crystals and a ballerina-style skirt with six intricate layers. 

(Credit: Getty)

The design makes Williams look as though she’s dancing around the court, which essentially, she is. Her prowess and presence as she plays is riveting, not unlike watching a professional dancer perform. With her last get-up, it’s the ultimate spectacle—and every part of the design was intentional.

“Working with Serena is an honour, it is a blast, and it is an adventure,” said Nike’s lead apparel designer, Carly Ellis, who collaborated with Williams for her final look.

The design was inspired by figure skating apparel, with the skirt’s six layers each representing the six US Open titles Williams has won throughout her career. The crystals on the bodice represent the night sky over the Queens stadium. 

“She loves the grace, strength, and sheer skill of ice dancers, and was really inspired by the embellishments their costumes are known for. So we worked into several different designs, combining her ideas; experimenting and ideating,” Ellis continued in an interview with Harper’s BAZAAR US.

“Once we had her dress dialled, we, of course, wanted to build in some surprises for the Queen, which came in the form of the crystal-emblazoned train and bedazzled jacket.”

She added that the design truly embodies Williams’s bravery, uniqueness, and bold beauty.

She wanted this dress for the US Open to be unforgettable, but she wanted a different kind of disruption. Her key word was iconic.”

Suffice to say the brief was nailed. 

(Credit: Getty)

Williams’ final matches will be attended by numerous celebrities, with the likes of Queen Latifah, Hugh Jackman, Ashley Graham and Mike Tyson among those at her first match against Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic, which Williams won in straight sets. 

Of course, her husband Alexis Obanian and her four-year-old daughter, Alexis Olympia, are her biggest supporters on the sideline. Williams explained in her retirement announcement that she was stepping back in order to focus on her family. 

“I have to focus on being a mom, my spiritual goals and finally discovering a different, but just exciting Serena. I’m gonna relish these next few weeks,” she said. 

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