NEW YORK — While her competitors were busy envisioning baselines, Venus Williams was talking hemlines Thursday night.

At 6 feet, 1 inch, Williams was all limbs in a Diane Von Furstenberg minidress as she delicately negotiated her perch on a Barbie pink settee — the same shade as the tennis balls that decorated the designer’s town house. The occasion was the launch of Rbk by Diane Von Furstenberg, the patterned tenniswear Williams planned to wear at the U.S. Open. Ranked fourth going into the tournament, Williams withdrew unexpectedly Friday afternoon because of an abdominal muscle strain. Her sister, Serena, is sidelined from knee surgery.

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