Venus shows some skin (or skin-colored undies) while at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Oh, Venus Williams: a woman perfectly capable of making headlines based solely on her outstanding tennis record -- she's won eight grand slam singles titles, plus Olympic gold -- yet, unfortunately, she's decided to take after her catsuit-wearing sister Serena and try to create news in a far less appealing way.

For Williams' fourth round match of the Australian Open, the elder of the two champion siblings decided to thumb her nose at the tournament's new policy banning revealing clothing (enforced after a star Australian player wore a sort of see-through top last year) and don a dress of her own design that featured flesh-colored tennis panties which made it appear as if she was going au naturel, well, down under.

Clearly an intentional move, Williams, who holds a fashion degree, took to her Twitter page to defend the outfit, which also included a flesh-colored panel underneath a yellow dress with a plunging neckline.

"My dress for the Australian Open has been one of my best designs ever! [Ed Note: Hanging out with Andre Leon Talley does not a tasteful "designer" make. Sigh.] Its (sic) all about the slits and the V-Neck," she tweeted. "I am wearing undershorts the same color as my skin, so it gives the slits in my dress the full effect."

Riiiight... because it's ever so important to have your tennis dress mimic a red carpet gown with slits up to there or to trick viewers into believing you're having a Britney Spears crotch-shot moment. Totally the effect you want to go for.

According to the Daily Mail, Williams also went on to explain her outfit -- and thus promote her questionable design skills -- at a press conference.

"This is completely my design. I just sketched it out. The whole idea is just about the illusion that I'm wearing a deep V-neck," she said. "Then the idea was to wear shorts that were like the same color as my skin. It works very well, apparently."

Or not.

What it does, rather, is distract from the dialog of Williams' game (she won in three sets, by the way, and she and Serena are now only a match apiece away from meeting each other in the semifinals) and keep viewers and critics of women's tennis focusing on more petty -- and sort of sexist -- details like the players choices in clothes, jewelry, hairstyles and their grunting habits.

Williams' peek-a-boo design, in addition to the fashion antics of other players, also doesn't help the annoying branding of every young, somewhat good looking player (ahem, Maria Sharapova) as a sex symbol.

As for Venus the "designer" wanting to showcase her fashion line, we'd rather she choose a more appropriate venue -- a fashion show in Miami, perhaps? -- than a grand slam tournament. But maybe that's just us.

Let us know what you think of Williams' ploy in a comment below.