Serena Williams's 52 best on-court outfits

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Twenty years ago, when Serena Williams made her debut as a professional tennis player, she brought more to the court than her game-changing talent: She and older sister Venus also brought their audacious sense of style, making them subject to both praise and unwarranted criticism.

In 1999, during the Australian Open, Venus received a penalty point after a strand of her notoriously colorful hair beads slid from one of her braids and fell on the court; it was deemed distracting to her opponent, Lindsay Davenport. (Davenport said it wasn't a total distracting, but a little annoying.) In 2002, during the US Open, Serena Williams wore a skin-tight faux leather black Puma bodysuit (that she helped design) and was criticized for being inappropriately dressed. She's since moved on to denim skirts, knee-high tennis boots, flouncy mini skirts, hot pink bodysuits and, most recently, a love of animal print. Plus, she was the first black female athlete to grace the cover of Vogue.

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Though she's the number one women's tennis player, Serena is constantly ridiculed for her athletically curvy figure. Yet she continues to use her outfits on the tennis court to celebrate her body and dismiss public (and media) opinions. She's also been designing clothing for other women—from one-off athletic collections with Puma and Nike to designing her own line, Serena Williams Signature Statement Collection, which will show at New York Fashion Week this year. After being signed with Nike for almost a decade, Williams introduces the biggest collection she has designed with the brand yet, befittingly called the Serena Greatness collection. She explained her attitude in an interview with The New York Times: 

“Is greatness winning? Is it losing? Is it recovery?” she asked, by way of example. Then she offered her conclusion: “It’s all of them, plus being good to yourself.”

She'll be wearing her Nike collection—that consists of a bomber jacket, three pairs of sneakers, a day game dress and a night game dress—at the US Open, which officially starts Monday. Her performance at the Open will decide if she becomes the first woman in 27 years to win a Grand Slam in a calendar year. In typical Serena Williams fashion, the dress she's designed has animal prints and accentuates her curves. In celebration of the Serena Greatness collection launching today, here's a look at some of Serena's best looks on the tennis court.

Practicing the monochromatic trend at a young age.

October 1990: Nancy Reagan Tennis tournament.
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Prints on prints.

1992: Serena Williams in action on the tennis court.
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August 2014: Western & Southern Open
Jonathan Moore/Getty Images
September 2014: US Open
Julian Finney/Getty Images
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September 2014:
Chris Trotman/Getty Images for USTA
June 2015: French Open
Julian Finney
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July 2015: Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships
Julian Finney/Getty Images
on August 24, 2015 in New York City.
Brad Barket
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Simple outfits, major hair.

March 1998: Lipton Championships
Clive Brunskill/Allsport/ Getty Images
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August 1998: US Open
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September 1999: US Open
Jamie Squire /Allsport
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June 2000
Clive Brunskill /Allsport

Fun embellishments. 

July 2001: The All England Lawn Tennis Championship
Gary M. Prior/ALLSPORT
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January 2003: Australian Open
Mark Dadswell/Getty Images
September 2004: US Open
Al Bello/Getty Images
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Matching sneakers. 

September 2001: US Open
Clive Brunskill/ALLSPORT
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May 2002: French Open
Cynthia Lum/Getty Images
December 2002 : Collins Cup
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images
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January 2005 : Australian Open
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
March 2012: Sony Ericsson Open
Michael Regan/Getty Images
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September 2013: US Open
Al Bello/Getty Images
October 2014: BNP Paribas WTA Finals
Julian Finney/Getty Images
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Metallics and glitter. 

May 2002: WTA Tennis Masters
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August 2002: JP Morgan Chase Open
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June 2002: French Open
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
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Bodysuits. 

September 2002: US Open
Robert Laberge/Getty Images
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March 2005: NASDAQ-100 Open
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Pleats. 

July 2004: the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championship
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
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September 2004: US Open
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
November 2004: WTA Tour Championships Tournament
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January 2006: Australian Open
Adam Pretty/Getty Images
June 2010: French Open
Julian Finney/Getty Images
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June 2011: AEGON International
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
October 2012: TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships
Julian Finney/Getty Images
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January 2013: Brisbane International
Chris Hyde/Getty Images
August 2015: Western & Southern Open
Maddie Meyer
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Shades of Pink.

January 2001: Australian Open 2001
Adam Pretty /Allsport
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May 2004: French Open Tennis
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
December 2004
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images
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May 2010: Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
January 2014: Australian Open
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April 2015: Miami Open
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Jackets. 

June 2008: Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships
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January 2014: Australian Open
Scott Barbour/Getty Images

All white. 

July 2010: Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships
Julian Finney/Getty Images
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June 2011:
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
July 2014: Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships
Jan Kruger/Getty Images
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Color blocking. 

September 2012: US Open
Chris Trotman/Getty Images for USTA
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January 2013: Australian Open
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
March 2013: Sony Open
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
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March 2014: Sony Open
Al Bello/Getty Images
January 2015: Australian Open
Quinn Rooney/Getty Images
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Tahirah Hairston is a style writer from Detroit who likes Susan Miller, Rihanna's friend's Instagram accounts, ramen and ugly-but cute shoes.

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