*Venus Williams insists she is not trying to titillate male spectators at the French Open with her flesh-colored undergarments, which make her appear to be playing without underwear.
“That was never the objective,” the tennis star told reporters yesterday, adding that her outfits only generate attention because she has a “very well developed” backside.
“It all started in Australia with the slits, and it was about wearing a dress that looks like you have these slits with bareness (underneath),” said the world number two. “So the design has nothing to do with the rear. It just so happens that I have a very well developed one!
“It’s all genetic. If you look at mom and dad, you’ll see the same thing happening. If you look at my sister (Serena), you’ll see the same thing.”
Venus’s skin-tone underwear has given courtside photographers plenty of ammunition for racy photos and the 29-year-old said she was happy to attract attention.
“It’s really about the illusion. Like you can wear lace, but what’s the point of wearing lace when there’s just black under?” she asked reporters. “The illusion of just having bare skin is definitely for me a lot more beautiful. So it’s really not about anything else other than just that skin showing. So I’m glad that it’s gotten good reviews. I mean, it could be worse.”
Venus, a seven-time Grand Slam champion, reached the third round at Roland Garros on Wednesday by beating Spain’s Arantxa Parra Santonja 6-2, 6-4. Her next opponent is 26th seed Dominka Cibulkova of Slovakia, a beaten semi-finalist last year, for a place in the last 16.