Venus Williams doesn’t decide what she’s going to wear on court until the morning of her matches

Venus Williams has a lot to celebrate — and the US Open hasn’t even started yet!

Ahead of 2019’s final grand slam, the 7-time grand slam winner launched her latest EleVen collection launch — the Phoenix Collection — and AOL caught up with the all-time great to discuss her latest activewear collection, how she picks out what she wears for the New York-based grand slam and why she can’t pinpoint her favorite tennis look she’s ever worn.

Check out our Q&A with Venus Williams below:

EleVen describes itself as a fashion-forward activewear brand. What’s your approach to striking a balance between making something fashionable while also maintaining its function? 

I have always loved fashion and fitness, and each collection is an opportunity for me to meld these two worlds together. As an athlete, I understand the importance that activewear needs to perform no matter the activity our EleVen girl has her sights set on. I started EleVen with the dream of creating a community to help empower women to feel and do their best in clothing that they can move and look great in. I personally test each piece to ensure that these boxes are checked because it is extremely important that we are creating the best!  

Talk to me about the inspiration behind the Phoenix collection specifically: What sparked the idea behind the print that we see throughout the different pieces? 

The intricate print that is woven throughout the Phoenix collection is inspired by the spirit of the mythological Phoenix bird (which the collection is named after!). I love that the Phoenix represents renewal, as I wanted to design something that celebrated a new season. It was also fitting because I was inspired by the spirit of flight and lightness when you’re moving through the air while attempting an ace or a straight set wins.  

Credit: EleVen

What went behind the decision to go with a lighter colorway versus a darker one this time around? 

I wanted this collection to give off a sense of lightness because it’s tough letting go of summer – I am a Florida girl after all! – and I am a strong believer that color affects your mood. Whether it’s playing in a tournament or running errands after a workout, I wanted to create a print that would inspire the EleVen girl to know that she can breeze through anything. This print is a seamless one to incorporate into your fitness wardrobe – it pairs with everything! 

You’re going to be wearing some of these pieces at the US Open. How do you typically approach what you want to wear when playing in New York City? Do you try to reflect that electric energy of inside Arthur Ashe at all? 

I like to wait to pick out my outfit until the morning of! I let the energy of the day, and where I am playing, inspire me and help me decide what I will feel and do my best in! I cannot wait to pair the spirit of flight and lightness, of the Phoenix collection, that makes you feel like you are floating with the electric energy of Arthur Ashe and New York City! I have a feeling it’s going to be an epic combination! I love New York and find the vibe of the city exhilarating – I’m very excited to be back! 

Do you have a favorite US Open outfit from over the years? Or one that you look back on and might regret? 

This is such a hard question because it is impossible to choose just one favorite! Each outfit holds such special place in my heart as they remind me of where I’ve come from and excites me to look forward to where I’m going. I am so excited to sport pieces from the Phoenix collection on the court this year!

RELATED: See photos of Venus Williams from throughout her career:

35 PHOTOSVenus Williams through her careerSee GalleryVenus Williams through her careerSAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA – FEBRUARY 02: Venus Williams of the U.S. returns the ball to Kristina Mladenovic of France during the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy-2017 tennis tournament match on February 2, 2017 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. (Photo by Il’ja Smirnov/Kommersant via Getty Images)Tennis prodigy Venus Williams, 14 , of Pompano Beach, Florida, waits to take the court in Oakland, October 27. She will make her professional debut at the WTA Tour tournament in Oakland, on October 31, taking advantage of a soon-to-be defunct rule that admits 14-year-olds to the pro ranksVenus Williams of the United States backhands a second set volley with Martina Hingis of Switzerland on March 23 during the third round of the Lipton Championships. Williams lost to Hingis in straight sets 6-4 6-2. SPORT TENNISVenus Williams (L) of the United States and sister Serena Williams laugh as they celebrate their doubles win at the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows September 12, 1999. The Williams sisters defeated Sandrine Testud of France and Chandra Rubin of the United States 4-6 6-1 6-4 to win the title. PJVenus Williams of the USA smiles after winning her match against Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand at the French Open at Roland Garros stadium June 1st. Venus Williams won 6-2 6-2. JCK/WSVenus Williams of the US is all smiles as she poses for photographers with the trophy after defeating [Lindsay Davenport] in the final, July 8. Williams won the match 6-3 7-6 to take the title.Venus Williams of the United States returns to Nathalie Tauziat of France during their match at the U.S. Open in New York September 5, 2000. PJ/SVU.S. second world ranking tennis player Venus Williams flashes a smile as she holds up the trophy after winning the final against her compatriot Meghann Shaughnessy at the "Betty Barclay Cup 2001" in Hamburg May 6, 2001. Williams won in straight sets 6-3 6-0. CHA/CRBVenus Williams of the U.S.A. reacts after winning her third round match against Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova at the Australian Open in Melbourne January 18, 2002. Williams won in three sets 3-6 6-0 6-4. REUTERS/Mark Baker MDB/RCSVenus Williams of the U.S. serves during her match against Russia’sElena Bovina during the Trilogy Tennis Tournament, The Collins Cup, atthe Royal Dublin Stadium in Ireland December 7, 2002. REUTERS/PaulMcErlanePM/NMB/CMCTennis star Venus Williams applauds Reebok Human Rights Award winner [Christian Mukosa, a lawyer and human rights monitor in the Kivu provinces of the Congo], as she waits to present him his award during ceremonies in Boston, April 10, 2003. The awards are given annually to young human rights activists under the age of thirty from all over the world.Venus Williams of the U.S. returns to Belgium’s Kim Clijsters in theirwomen’s singles semi-final match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championshipsin London, July 3, 2003. Williams won the match 4-6 6-3 6-1.REUTERS/Ian Hodgson REUTERSIH/ASAVenus Williams (R) shows pictures to Billie Jean King (L) during the Federations Cup match in Portoroz, April 25, 2004. REUTERS/Srdjan ZivulovicSZU.S tennis players Serena (L) and Venus Williams smile during a children’s tennis practice session on court at Wimbledon in south west london, June 17, 2004. The Wimbledon championships begin on June 21.Venus Williams celebrates after winning her quarterfinal match against Serena Williams at the Nasdaq 100 Open.Venus Williams celebrates after winning her quarterfinal match against her sister Serena Williams at the Nasdaq-100 Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, March 29, 2005. Venus won the match 6-1 7-6 (8-6.) The Williams sisters have meet 14 times, Serena has won five of the last six and leads the series 7-6. REUTERS/Jason ArnoldVenus Williams of the U.S reacts during her match against [Bulgaria’s Sesil Karatantcheva] in the third round of the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros May 27, 2005. [Karatantcheva won 6-3 1-6 6-1.]Venus Williams arrives during a ceremony to honor Billie Jean King at the U.S. Open in New York, August 28, 2006. The tennis center was renamed the Billie Jean King USTA Tennis Center. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES)Venus Williams of the U.S. returns a shot to Maria Kirilenko of Russia during women’s single final at the Korea Open tennis tournament in Seoul September 30, 2007. REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak (SOUTH KOREA)Venus Williams of the U.S. returns the ball to Elena Dementieva of Russia during their quarter-final match at the WTA Dubai Tennis Championships February 19, 2009. REUTERS/Jumana El Heloueh (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES)Venus Williams of the U.S. returns the ball to Samantha Stosur of Australia during their Madrid Open tennis quarter-final match May 14, 2010. REUTERS/Susana Vera (SPAIN – Tags: SPORT TENNIS)U.S. tennis player Venus Williams smiles during a news conference at the Sports Congress and Exhibition at Aspire Dome in Doha November 13, 2011. Williams said Sunday she has changed her diet following the autoimmune disease that kept her out of this year’s U.S. Open and is hoping the new approach will propel her back to the top of the women’s tennis rankings. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad (QATAR – Tags: SPORT TENNIS SOCIETY)Serena Williams (L) and her sister Venus Williams, of the U.S., pose with their gold medals during the presentation ceremony for the women’s doubles tennis at the All England Lawn Tennis Club during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 5, 2012. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth (BRITAIN- Tags: OLYMPICS SPORT TENNIS)Venus Williams of the U.S. hits a return shot to Maria Kirilenko of Russia during their first round match in the 2012 Cincinnati Open tennis tournament in Cincinnati, Ohio, August 14, 2012. REUTERS/John Sommers II (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT TENNIS)Venus Williams of the U.S. reacts after winning the match point during a women’s singles match against Simona Halep of Romania at the Pan Pacific Open tennis tournament in Tokyo September 25, 2013. REUTERS/Yuya Shino (JAPAN – Tags: SPORT TENNIS)Venus Williams of the U.S. holds the trophy after defeating Alize Cornet of France in their women’s singles final match at the WTA Dubai Tennis Championships, February 22, 2014.REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Tags: SPORT TENNIS)Venus Williams of the U.S. smiles after defeating Anett Kontaveit of Estonia during their fourth round match at the U.S. Open Championships tennis tournament in New York, September 6, 2015. REUTERS/Eduardo MunozMIAMI, FL – NOVEMBER 29:Venus Williams attends the Ocean Drive Magazine and Roche Bobois celebrate the December Issue with Heidi Klum on November 29, 2016 in Miami, Florida.(Photo by Sergi Alexander/Getty Images)Venus Williams of the US celebrates her victory against Coco Vandeweghe of the US during their women’s singles semi-final match on day 11 of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 26, 2017. / AFP / PETER PARKS / IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE(Photo credit should read PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 26:Ternnis star Venus Williams on the court during the 22nd Annual Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 26, 2017 in the Queens borough of New York City.(Photo by Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic)NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 24:Tennis player Venus Williams plays badminton during the 2017 Lotte New York Palace Invitational at Lotte New York Palace on August 24, 2017 in New York City.(Photo by Noam Galai/WireImage)NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 24:Professional tennis player Venus Williams attends the 2017Lotte New York Palace Invitational at Lotte New York Palace on August 24, 2017 in New York City.(Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for LOTTE New York Palace)CINCINNATI, OH – AUGUST 16: Venus Williams of the United States hits a forehand during a match in the Western & Southern Open on August 16, 2017 at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Cincinnati, OH. (Photo by Shelley Lipton/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)TORONTO, ON – AUGUST 7:Venus Williams of the United States prepares to return a serve against Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania during Day 3 of the Rogers Cup at Aviva Centre on August 7, 2017 in Toronto, Canada.(Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)PHILADELPHIA, PA – JULY 24:Tennis player Venus Williams attends the 2017Mylan World TeamTennis Washington Kastles vs Philadelphia Freedoms match at Michael J. Hagan Arena at St. Joseph’s University on July 24, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania(Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 15:Venus Williams of The United States in action against Garbine Muguruza of Spain in the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon on July 15, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)Up Next

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