Venus' lacy outfit draws questions

Williams: Dress is about 'illusion'
Lionel Cironneau/AP Photo
Venus Williams returns the ball to Spain's Arantxa Parra Santonja during Williams' win. Her outfit is drawing as much attention as her strong play.

PARIS --- Venus Williams ' latest fashion statement is generating plenty of questions.


During her second-round victory at the French Open on Wednesday, Williams sported the same black lace dress with bright red trim that she wore in her first match.

And after beating Arantxa Parra Santonja 6-2, 6-4, Williams was asked much more about the dress than, for example, the 128 mph serve she hit or the fact that she's now 14-2 on clay in 2010.

Williams said the corset-like outfit's overlay and skin-toned undergarments are "about the illusion of bareness."

"Lace has never been done before in tennis, and I've been wanting to do it for a long time," she said. "The illusion of just having bare skin is definitely for me a lot more beautiful."

ANGRY TSONGA: Top French player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga lashed out at French Open organizers for turning down his request to have his first-round match scheduled for the second or third day of the tournament.

Instead, he had to play on Day 1.

"Frankly, I was a bit disappointed because I was playing on a Sunday," the eighth-seeded Tsonga said after beating countryman Josselin Ouanna 6-0, 6-1, 6-4 in the second round Wednesday. "I had asked not to play on a Sunday, absolutely, because I had practiced in such a way that I thought I wanted to play on a Monday or Tuesday, to be totally fit. But they imposed it on me."

Tsonga said he deserved more respect considering his ranking and nationality.

"Today, we're in France. I'm French. I'm the French No. 1. I would have thought it was legitimate for me to be listened to," said Tsonga. "If you look at (Andy) Murray , if he decides on a day or a time schedule at Wimbledon, nobody is going to impose anything on him."