Barty relishing 'opportunity' to face returning Serena in Paris

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Serena Williams has always been known for her bold on-court looks, and in her return to the French Open overnight, she certainly didn't disappoint. If Serena wins other two matches and so reaches second week, or better fourth round, she becomes the favorite to win the title according to the former world No.

'So no one really knows about it, but now that we have that platform and now that we are talking about it, I am vocal about it.

"She will wear this outfit for her second match", said a spokeswoman for manufacturer Nike on Thursday.

"I don't want her to ever feel like I'm not around". "[The suit] definitely has little functionality to it".

The last time she had been spotted on a court was in a first-round loss to Naomi Osaka in Miami in March. "I always wanted to be a super hero".

The suit is, however, not only fun but also functional.

Williams was taken to a tie-break in the opening set by the big-serving Pliskova, with the scoreline eventually 7-4 in her favour.

The skintight outfit also serves a serious objective, helping the 23-time grand slam champion's blood circulation after a hard childbirth.

"I have been wearing trousers in general a lot when I play so I can keep the blood circulation going. It was a wonderful experience and it just kind of helped me get everything going and get my competition and competitive juices flowing", said Serena.

Williams, the 2002, 2013 and 2015 champion in Paris, was on Tuesday playing a claycourt match for the first time since she finished runner-up to Garbine Muguruza in the 2016 final in Paris. So I was just winging it in the last minute.

Williams, 36, gave birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., in September 2017, and has not played in a major tournament since. I nearly died. But now, she's the reason why this all means even more than it did before.

"When we spoke, she came to Mouratoglou Academy and we did a few practices and I sat with her and told her she was not ready. I'll be excited to go out and see what I can do".

Next up for Williams is a clash against Australian 17th seed Ashleigh Barty. She could be considered the most unlucky of seeds in a Grand Slam, for there can never have been a more risky floater in the draw.

The catsuit, according to Williams, is created to help prevent blood clots and also wanted to represent for the moms out there who might need a boost of confidence after giving birth to their little ones.

Williams elaborated on her comments in another interview, adding that she hoped her on-court appearance would inspire "a whole different group of awesome women".