King defends Williams after French Open reveals new dress code

Billie Jean King, the star of the 'Battle of the Sexes', has issued a pointed response to the French Open's proposed outfit regulations.

Serena Williams has taken the new dress code in her stride.   -  Getty Images

Tennis great Billie Jean King came to the defence of Serena Williams after the French Open announced a new dress code for the tournament, which bans her from wearing the tight black catsuit-style outfit she wore in May.

French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli said Williams, along with other players, will need to dress more conservatively at Roland Garros going forward.

"I believe we have sometimes gone too far," Giudicelli told Tennis Magazine.

"Serena's outfit this year, for example, would no longer be accepted. You have to respect the game and the place."

In response, King wrote on Twitter: "The policing of women's bodies must end. The 'respect' that's needed is for the exceptional talent @serenawilliams brings to the game. Criticizing what she wears to work is where the true disrespect lies."

Williams previously said the outfit was designed to protect against blood clots, which she has struggled with after giving birth to her daughter. She addressed Giudicelli's comments during a press conference ahead of the US Open, saying, "Everything's fine." 

"I think that obviously the grand slams have a right to do what they want to do," Williams said on Saturday. "I feel like if and when, or if they know that some things are for health reasons, then there's no way that they wouldn't be okay with it. I think it's fine."