SHE’S ONE OF the most successful female tennis players ever to swing a racquet.
But Venus Williams seems to inspire more headlines with her on-court fashion choices sometimes.
The seven-time Grand Slam champion turned up for her Australian Open second round match with Sandra Zahlavova of the Czech Republic in a Jean Byrne-esque outfit this morning.
After a scare, she ultimately squeaked though to the next round. Her outfit, however, is the real top seed today.
On Monday, Venus opened play in Melbourne, winning decisively in straight sets over Sara Errani, in a little blue dress that was the centre of the post-match analysis.
The 30-year-old American informed reporters it was an “illusion” piece and confessed that at the last minute she chose to pair it with black shorts rather than go with the ‘commando look’ of shorts in a nude color.
Not so this morning however. Baffled commentators were left to wonder aloud if, like a dubious line call, she was in or out.
Her unique style has certainly never held her back in the past, so expect the elder Williams’ sister to accessorise her latest creation with the Australian Open title in a couple of weeks’ time.
Here’s 10 of Venus’s best on-court efforts.
Venus WilliamsVenus once said the worst thing about Wimbledon is the lack of colour. she makes up for it at other Grand Slams - like the US Open. Source: Mehdi Taamallah/PA Wire
Venus WilliamsThis is a relatively practical outing during the action at Flushing Meadows last autumn. Source: AP Photo/Darron Cummings
Venus WilliamsWilliams rocked up to the Rod Laver complex in the now-infamous hot-cross bun dress this morning.
Venus WilliamsWilliams reacts after winning her match against Mandy Minella of Luxembourg in Queens last September. Source: (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Venus WilliamsWilliams beat Shahar Peer last year in this 'New York-inspired' purple number.
Venus WilliamsVenus opened play on Monday in Melbourne. This dress drew plenty of ink from the sports journalists in attendance.
Venus WilliamsWilliams drew whistles when she appeared on the court in Paris in last May in a lacy, red-trimmed, black can-can outfit. She had come straight from a lock-in at the Moulin Rouge.
Venus WilliamsWilliams returns serve to Australia's Jarmila Groth in a tutu-effect skirt at the All-England club last summer. This is as avant-garde as it gets in SW19.
Venus WilliamsVenus serves to Shahar Peer of Israel during day six of the Sony Ericsson Open at the Crandon Park Tennis Center in 2009.
Venus WilliamsThe 30-year-old celebrates a victory in a relatively traditional effort at Wimbledon in 2008. Source: INPHO/Getty Images