Nike takes on French Open after it suggests banning Serena Williams' catsuit

Nike has issued a barbed rebuke to the French open after its president suggested it could ban tennis champion Serena Williams from wearing a black bodysuit during the tournament.

'You can take the super hero out of her costume, but you can never take away her superpowers,' said the brand on Twitter.

Williams, a Nike ambassador, wore the specially-designed catsuit to compete last year.

However, in a recent chat with Interview magazine the president of the French Tennis Federation, Bernard Giudicelli, suggested the outfit didn't show respect for the competition.

"We are going to ask the manufacturers to let us know what is coming. I believe we have sometimes gone too far," Giudicelli said. "Serena's outfit this year, for example, would no longer be accepted. You have to respect the game and the place."

Nike was reported to have engineered the 'power suit' for Williams to help prevent blood clots forming while she competed; a complication she suffered after giving birth to her daughter in 2017.

While Williams herself downplayed Giudicelli's intent, her sponsor has chosen to directly address the controversy.

The 23-time grand slam winner told the Guardian back in may that the suit made her feel like "a superhero" and a "warrior princess".