Although the focus of Serena Williams' U.S. Open outfits will be on the fashion, Nike officials say all of Serena's on-court gear are rooted in enhancing performance.
The denim skirt is actually made out of proprietary wicking material and the sleeve that connects to the shoes in order to look like a boot helps support the calf, said Mindy Grossman, Nike's vice president for global apparel.
"This is not just about making a style statement," Grossman said.
Although many might see Williams' U.S. Open attire as a possible distraction for her, Grossman said Williams told Nike representatives that she plays well when she feels she looks good.
While Serena's Puma catsuit caused a stir at the U.S. Open two years ago, Puma did not release the outfits on a mass merchandise scale. Grossman said that Nike plans for Serena's outfits from this year's tournament to be unveiled to the public at a later date, though it's not yet clear if the sleeve extension to her black Nike tennis Shox, which create the look of a boot, will ever hit the market.
-- Darren Rovell, ESPN.com