Serena Williams is the heavy favorite to take the women’s singles crown at this year’s Australian Open even despite falling short in the last two tournaments down under due to successive ankle injuries. To help her chances of staying healthy on her quest for a sixth career Aussie title, it looks like Nike is taking the Kobe approach for Serena’s next shoe.
Williams stepped onto the blue courts of Melbourne Park in a pair of unidentified Nike sneakers that feature what looks to be a built-in sleeve that extends over the ankle for additional support. Though the design isn’t quite as dramatic as the Nike Kobe 9, the idea is essentially the same here: to provide an extra layer of protection for Serena’s ankles. It looks to be working took.
The top seeded Williams looked to be in excellent form during her opening round match against Australian teen Ashleigh Barty on Monday. Armed with her new mid-top sneakers, Williams moved around the court with quick footwork en route to a convincing 6-2, 6-1 win over her opponent.
Look for Williams to continue her impressive play down under as she chases her 18th career grand slam single’s title. Much more to come on her new sneakers as well.