Commentary

Venus' top five wardrobe malfunctions

Originally Published: January 18, 2011
By Kamakshi Tandon | Special to ESPN.com

Venus Williams has produced some of the sport's most elegant looks -- but some of its most memorable fashion disasters. Here's a look at her top five wardrobe malfunctions.

1. 1999 Australian Open -- Runaway beads

Back in the days when Venus and Serena Williams wore braids, flying beads from Venus' hair triggered a point penalty and a meltdown during her Australian Open quarterfinal match against Lindsay Davenport in 1999.

The first time the beads flew, the umpire called a let, drawing a protest from the younger American. The second incident came at break point down, putting her 3-0 in the second set. Almost in tears, she argued furiously with the umpire and referee, a far cry from the unflappable, impassive Venus of today.

Still emotional, Williams did not win another game, going down 6-4, 6-0 and refusing to shake hands with the umpire afterward.

2. 2010 Australian Open -- Nude underwear

[+] EnlargeWilliams
Lucas Dawson/Getty ImagesVenus' bare-apparent undershorts quickly became a talker in Australia last season.

Venus' debut at last year's Australian Open caused double takes around the world. At first glance, she appeared to have taken a page out of Andre Agassi's recently published book and decided to forego underwear altogether.

A close look would show it was only a pair of skin-colored undershorts, but the first impression created a huge buzz. "I had no idea that it would, first of all, that it would match so well my skin," she later recalled. "I was getting calls from my publicist in the middle of the night.

"I was, like, well, the last time this happened there were rumors I was married."

3. 2010 French Open -- See-through underwear

Reaction from the Australian Open didn't hold Venus back a few months later at the French Open. She wore a red and black lace corset dress -- tres chic to some, a little too Moulin Rouge for others. It was accompanied with sheer black underwear, leaving little to the imagination when the skirt flew up. This is one of the more modest examples -- some shots of her overhead are positively X-rated.

4. 2001 Australian Open -- Top-tugger

This 2001 two-piece top proved a little more daring than intended. What began as a small slit widened as Venus ran, forcing her to tug the lower end up between points. The style hasn't made a reappearance since.

5. 2010 U.S. Open -- Skirt-tugger

At the U.S. Open in September, Venus unveiled a dress made of tight, sparkly material that rode up her legs, forcing her to tug it down after practically every point. The action became so noticeable that CBS put up a tug monitor on the screen during her third-round match against Shahar Peer. At one count, it clocked 42.

Kamakshi Tandon is a freelance tennis writer for ESPN.com.