If you believe in romantic fairy tales and love stories then, the story behind the marriage between Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian would get you all to go ”Aww”. Both of them are exactly opposite in their field of work, having distinctive images. Literally, it was all against the odds and was just impossible for a tech genius to get married to a world-class athlete in the record. It was meant to be a ‘Destiny Thing’ precisely because how they met for the first time is so out of this world. The charming and utterly appealing origin story of this power couple has made everyone to believe in all those fairy tales and true love. Defying all those odds both of them have proved their connection and exceeded the expectation. Raising all the jealousy quotient for women, Alexis has presented himself as a loving husband who would take his wife to Italy just to fill out her cravings for Pasta. Similarly, Serena has become this ultimate image of a strong woman coping up with all her highs and lows in life and fighting out on the court showing her perseverance. Both of them as strong personalities have become a power couple from a meet-cute couple giving people all those relationship goals.
Serena Williams’ Husband
Well, first down to the introduction, Serena Williams is a world-famous American Professional Tennis Player born on September 26, 1981, in Michigan, United States. She has won the second most single titles 23 times in Women’s Grand Slam tournament of all time. According, to the Women’s Tennis Association, ranked her world no.1 in singles on eight separate occasions between 2002 & 2007, she reached No.1 ranking for the first time on July 8, 2002. Serena Williams is estimated to have $180 million of net worth according to a sports journal. Talking about her love life, before being in a relationship with Alexis, NY Daily News, People sourced that she was allegedly in a relationship with rapper Common up until 2010. Then, in August 2015, the rumor mill churning when Serena and rapper Drake were spotted dinner in Cincinnati. Drake’s presence in US open roused many rumors about their confirmation on the relationship but she insisted they were just friends and called Drake her ”lucky charm”.
Alexis Ohanian (spouse of Serena Williams) born on April 24, 1983, in Brooklyn, New York City, U.S.A, is an American internet entrepreneur and investor who is also a co-founder and executive chairman of Reddit (ranked 4th highest viewed social news website in U.S.A in 2018). He also works as a co-founder of the venture capital firm Initializes Capital. He is also known as the ”Mayor of the Internet” in 2012 by Forbes magazine. He was brought up by Armenian-American father and a German mother, his grandparents came to the U.S as refugees after the Armenian Genocide. He graduated from University of Virginia in 2005 and pitched the idea of MyMobileMenu to Y Combinator with his friend Steve Huffman which later on came up reddit.com with the goal of becoming the ”front page of the internet.” Later, he worked as full time with Huffman to lead Reddit which is a now-independent company in 2015. He then stepped back from the company in February 2018 to focus on investing. According to an online website, Alexis Ohanian’s net worth is estimated to be around $10 million. In the late 2010 and early 2011, Alexis had a major role on overturning the two bills with his Internet-enabled grassroots campaign which raised voice against Congress’s Stop Online Piracy Act and the Senate’s PROTECT IP Act. He is also very creative which can be seen in all the of mascots for the companies he started: Reddit alien ”Snoo”, Breadpig pig with bread wings, Hipmunk chipmunk ”Chip”, and Initialized Capital honey badger. Talking about his love life, The New York Times reported that he was on a 5 years long relationship with his college sweetheart, microbiologist Sabriya Stukes from which he was just gotten out before meeting Serena Williams.
First encounter with Alexis Ohanian
On May 12, 2015, in Rome, Alexis was passed out when he got back to the hotel, where he was staying for the Festival of Media Global Conference. He was hungover by the last night’s drinking with Wiig and friends when he came down for breakfast. He stated in the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. And the hotel personnel advised him to grab a coffee on the pool area of Hotel Cavalieri Hilton. He went there and just sat with his headphones working on the laptop without any awareness of the surrounding. Coincidentally, Serena was also there having her casual brunch along with friends before her first match in the Italian Open. As there were enough empty seats but he chose to sit aside with them, which made 35yr old Serena wonder as she told Vanity Fair,” This big guy comes, and he just plops down at the table next to us, and I’m like, ‘Huh! All these tables and he’s sitting there?’. With an intention to move him out of there, Serena’s friend Zane Haupt said with an Australian accent, ”Aye, Mate! There’s a rat. There’s a rat by your table. You don’t want to sit there”. But with Serena’s surprise this big guy Alexis was refusing and looking at them. As she told Vanity fair, she remembers how he said ”I’m from Brooklyn. I see rats all the time”. This awkward yet funny encounter with Alexis intrigued Serena with his gumption which made her invite him to join them.
By extreme surprise both of them were unaware of each other, Alexis as an avid fan of football and basketball and had ”never watched a match on television or in real life. It was the sport -even if ESPN were announcing tennis updates, I would just zone out. I really had no respect for tennis”, said to Vanity fair. Then Alexis realized his ”rat tolerance” was a tennis legend of all times, and he was having brunch with her. Similar was the case for Serena as she knew nothing about the tech world, yet she showed curiosity and asked him about his visit. Alexis told her that he came for a conference and he was the main speaker. He shared his motive of coming in this Internet Conference with her and as he described she got to know about his website Reddit. Serena had no clue about it, but she played along pretending as if she knew about the website, claiming that she had been on it earlier in the morning. To which Alexis, ”Oh, were you? What do you like about it?”. Being speechless on the question Serena exclaimed with a long ”Wellllll…” which was saved by her friends Jessica and Jill tolling in. At first, Serena thought he was becoming close with her maybe because he was interested in Jessica and started asking him about her website and if she should have some sort of app. Alexis thought ”This is an interesting, charming, beautiful women.” But he was moving out of his long 5yr relationship with his college sweetheart Sabriya Stukes. He was slightly hungover yet he said, ”I was not thinking beyond.” Yeah sure, I can give you some feedback on your website.” And later, Serena gave her number to him saying it was purposed for the latter tech-related questions. Jill (Serena’s close friend) got to know that Alexis was a client of WME for his speaking gigs and invited over to the match that night. Serena had won the match and afterward heading back to the hotel on a van they ran into each other again. As she said in Vanity fair, ” I see this super-tall guy get in our van and I was like, ‘Oh my God, Jill. Tell me what’s wrong. Do I have another stalker? Why is Rome sending personal security to me? And she’s like, ‘No, that’s Alexis, ‘ I remembered his name because it was a unique name. I was like,’ Oh, I remember.’ Later, after all the sweet-notch part, all her team went for dinner. Alexis also joined as he was invited to join by Serena had dinner together that night. Even though they didn’t hang out on the rest of the trip, there was something like a spark that lit between them which was instantaneous and from where their magical love story started with.
Second Intentional Encounter with Alexis Ohanian:
Now it wouldn’t be wrong to say that Serena was all in making a bold move for this meeting with Alexis. She texted and invited him to Paris to see her performance in classic inverted L.A style expecting that he will not turn out. Stated in Vanity fair, it was her effort to show him how well she can play as he saw her play poor in the previous match. But as all those lucky stars were shining upon them, Alexis unexpectedly did visit Paris. In an interview, he said that he had no specific expectations and eventually he didn’t know those L. A style invites. ”Even if she blows me off and we don’t even hang out, I’m still going to have an amazing time in Paris, and I’ll have an even better story for all my childhood friends when I was like, ”Yeah, I went to Paris for a weekend. I was supposed to meet up with Serena Williams, she blew me off, but I’ve got other friends there, and we had a great time.’ ” Alexis was also playing the part as he pretended it as a coincidence saying he was supposed to be in Paris but actually he wasn’t. In addition, he also bluffed about being busy in Saturday saying he was only there for a weekend acting cool to Serena. However, they ended up spending the day together, because the big tournament for which Serena was going to play wasn’t started so both got into an Uber near Serena’s apartment and drove toward the Eiffel Tower. This became a great opportunity for Alexis and Serena to know and explore each other. As a well-known celebrity, Serena was always circled by people, press and glamour scenes but Alexis was different, he was a true traveler without any rules. And for six hours they roamed the streets of Paris enjoying the engulfing beauty of the city which made all those scenarios going around become more romantic. And slowly, the faith that she showed upon Alexis became more passionate. Despite all these people around them, they could only feel each other being unaware of the crowd. On that day, they visited an exhibition that was happening in a zoo named La Menagerie in the Jardin des Plantes. Confessing on a tv show the late show with Stephen Colbert, he said, ”There was a big cat, leopard (majestic creature) and it was a feeding time. Oh! it was a show. A dead bunny was thrown to him and, a leopard just went in, blood everywhere. She’s very romantic and she is standing right in front of me and I can tell she is unsettled and uncomfortable. And I held her and told, ”It’s cool, it’s cool, we’re gonna keep going”. And at that moment, ” I was like there’s something a connection.” Now that’s a bliss making it all happen for this couple for which we witness today.
Romantic Proposal of all times:
A source told E! News that they had never seen Serena this happy before with a man. It sounds so cheesy, but it was love at first sight. They laugh non-stop and theta really fuels their relationship.” This may be the reason because Serena was doing the things that she had never done for anyone before. She is a Jehovah’s Witness and part of that religion restricts the celebration of birthdays but she went out of comfort zone wishing Alexis ”happy birthday” through FaceTime on April 24. Beforehand, Alexis was little unaware of the hard work that goes off on the tennis as he stated on Vanity fair that ”he thought he worked hard- it is a part of the romance of high tech that everyone work 18 hours a day and then curls up under the desk for a few hours’ sleep with their laptop as teddy bear and pacifier-but he realized it was nothing compared with Serena. ” She herself describes her work ethic as carrying ”three pyramids” on her shoulders. How her hard-work meeting up with the expectations of the millions of fans and focusing on the game with great tactics is spell-bounded. Alexis said to Vanity fair,” I felt like a door had been opened to a person who made me want to be my best self… I find myself just wanting to be better by simply being around her because of the standard she holds.” Not only as a part of happiness but also because Serena was letting him be the best version of himself which made him want to marry this amazing woman after dating her for a year and a half. Alexis has said ”watching Serena compete has changed how he measures success in business” So the date was fixed as Alexis was all set to propose Serena on December 10. There were lots of planning’s, reservations going on without Serena’s knowing and to this her friend Jill Smoller and Dakota Baynham played a very significant part in this. Firstly, Serena was scheduled to go to India and later to be stopping by on the way back and spending the night at Cavalieri as Jill Smoller had planned but all got on vain when the India trip was canceled. However, Dakota Baynham, Serena’s executive assistant came aboard for the rescue as he consulted with Alexis on the plan and secretly packed her bags. The major help came by Tommy Hilfiger as he scheduled a meeting at her house in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida for some discussions on the clothing line, which made her be getting picked up for the airport. And a supporting role, Jill came to her house and told her that she had to visit Alexis in Italy, as he is willing to go on a spontaneous trip, similar to the previous one they had taken to the Disney World a few weeks earlier. How quick Serena best proves women instinct works as she said in an interview that as she got on the plane, feeling anxious she realized the reason behind this spontaneous trip. ”I knew it was coming. I was like, ‘Serena, you’re 35, you’re ready. This is what you want.’ ”
As a perfectionist, Alexis arranged this romantic evening instructing the hotel to fill the room that they had shared a year earlier with gorgeous flowers. To create a beautiful, cozy moment together he had cleared the hotel staff out with no one but only them in the hotel. Alexis as a gentleman accompanied her downstairs to the same table by the pool area where they had their first funny encounter with each other. He replicated their first meeting with a little plastic rat on the table which was the same exact spot where they had first led eyes onto each other two years earlier. And as anyone can imagine he got on one knee and proposed her which became a blissful moment in their life. The couple went on a romantic vacation to Mexico, relaxing on the beach, clicking photos which was shared through Instagram. Both of them were initially very private about their blossoming romance for which they dated nearly for 15 months keeping it under the wraps very cleverly until their public announcement of their marriage.
Symbol of Serena and Alexis love” Olympia”
On January 2017, Serena had shown a poor performance at the Australian Open, in Melbourne which made her thrive for victory and she practiced. During her practice she experienced something different in her body, she thought it may be due to some hormonal changes. And while consulting with her friend Jessica Steindoff, she got an immediate advice which she hadn’t anticipated which was the pregnancy test. Jessica got her the pregnancy kit but she didn’t take the test immediately. Following that next week on an event of a lingerie company, she was invited as a spokesperson. After her hair-makeup was done she was ready for the event, but suddenly she went to the bathroom and took the pregnancy test which was major shocking news for her as the first test showed positive. She was all on denial about this news, so she got another five pregnancy kits and took the test but all came in positive. She told the Vanity Fair how stressful that moment was, ”Oh my God, this can’t be -I’ve got to play a tournament,” she said. ”How am I going to play the Australian Open? I had planned on winning Wimbledon this year.” She called Alexis and told him to come over to Melbourne, being unknown of the circumstances he thought maybe it was some minor health-related issues and flew immediately out of San Francisco. The moment of truth for Alexis was so precious that at first, he was shocked after seeing all those six positive pregnancy tests. However, a decision had to be made with the medical advice, whether she could play or not. The medical officials thought she was only 2 or 3 weeks pregnant and gave her permission to play. But when a thorough examination was done in and without knowing of the 8 weeks baby within her, she played and won the match. It was all kept private deprived of Serena’s own coach and tournament officials, only Alexis, Jessica, Jill, Venus knew about her pregnancy during the Australian Open. On an interview to Vogue, Serena confessed about her emotional moment with her baby who they named ‘Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.’ was born on September 1, 2017, by emergency cesarean-section after her heart rate was dangerously low during contractions. She was having blood clots in her lungs and a pulmonary embolism which had caused trouble breathing during the labor of her daughter. However, the surgery went well and when the newborn baby was laid on her mother’s chest, Olympia stopped crying, ”that was an amazing feeling,” Serena remembers. Before their wedding, Alexis had rented out an entire movie theatre so the whole family could watch Thor: Ragnarok together. It was Olympia Junior’s first movie where he was super conscious of her daughter as he put earmuffs on her ear to protect from the loud. Now, their daughter is stepping on 11 months but as Serena follows some practices as a Jehovah’s Witness, Olympia won’t be celebrating her birthday.
Beauty and the Beast themed Wedding:
Alexis and Serena’s wedding was like a dreamy fairytale wedding that any girl would dream of. November 16, 2017, the date when the meet-cute couple officiated their relationship in front of the whole world held special meaning as it was the birthdate of Alexis’s mother. Serena explained to Vogue,” It is her birthday, and we wanted her to be represented at the wedding. Obviously, we wish that she could be here for this, but choosing her birthday as our wedding date was a nice way of making sure she’s still involved and made us feel more connected to her on our day.” It was a star-studded wedding in with the presence of Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland, Eva Longoria, Kim Kardashian West, Anna Wintour, Ciara and La La Anthony in Contemporary Arts Centre in New Orleans(Alexis’s favorite city besides Brooklyn). Serena decided to announce the engagement on Reddit with Ohanian’s help as he drew a customized version of Reddit’s alien logo ”Snoo” and named herself the ” future Mrs. KnOthing”( KnOthing is Ohanian’s Reddit username). The celebration was kept low key with only 250 guests; the wedding invitations were put in a classic way. Guests received boxes with ”Tales As Old As Time” scrawled on the side, emblazoned with an S&A logo. Inside the box were, the wedding invitation, an antique gold scroll created by Alpine Creative Group. Their wedding was French ball themed, Beauty and Beast -style décor, complete with a gold arch of flowers at the end of the aisle, long tables were covered in lame fabric and lots of surprises. As per the vision of Sarah, the whole wedding was a result of nontraditional style. The whole setup of the aisle was different, all the chairs instead of sofas were faced to the aisle instead of the altar which was much more like a fashion runway. The Bridesmaids had their custom Galia Lahav dresses, and Serena’s beloved Yorkshire terrier, Chip had his own tiny tuxedo while making the entrance on the aisle. Whereas, Serena wore this dramatic strapless belted princess gown by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen with a cape and a bouquet of white roses and gorgeous jewelry and Alexis looking handsome in an Armani suit.
Both of them had written their vows themselves, Alexis’s called Serena his queen and their daughter their princess. His vows let everyone cry with happy tears as he told Serena, ” You are the greatest of all time, not just in sport. I’m talking about as a mother and as a wife. I am so excited to write so many more chapters of our fairy tale together. And my whole life I didn’t even realize it, but I was waiting for this moment. And everything that I have done, everything that I am so proud of in my career, and in my life, for the last 34 years, pales in comparison to what we’re doing today. And I am so grateful, and I am so in love.” After they were pronounced husband and wife, guests were out on the streets for cocktails. Later a second, line parade led everyone back inside where the world themed dinner was served accompanied by the band music ”Be Our Guest”. The décor was put bold and blunt as the seats of the guests at four long tables were named after Serena’s Grand Slam wins. Serena had three outfit changes for the evening, and she wore her second feathered Versace dress for the reception with Nike sneakers. And after dinner, was a Versace ensemble with a short skirt which she carried well while having a dance with her husband Alexis on the song ”Tale as Old as Time”, which was then segued into ” If I Can’t Have You”. There was also a surprise performance by New Edition. After all this Alexis had a big surprise for Serena waiting. He went up on stage talking about his competitive nature and right then the curtains dropped, showcasing this illuminated all-white carousel. Serena was out of words with all the excitement, while the guests were all jumping on horses with the Ginuwine’s ”Pony” playing. All those fairytale stories of a charming Prince was this image that turned out real as Alexis for Serena, their love for each other, their romantic gestures for each other and their craze for Disney made their wedding to be very precious. As they say love reigns, their fairy tale came true making all people believe in love again.
After their wedding and their little baby’s birth, they have moved to San Francisco. As Alexis is a co-founder of Reddit his works are mostly based on there so they got a beautiful house in Silicon Valley, to settle and start their life as a family. ”To be honest, there’s something beautiful about the idea of moving to San Francisco and just being a mom,” she says. Serena returned to the tennis court in February 2018 which was her most anticipated comeback to tennis after giving birth to Olympia. Their marriage and how their support for each other is beyond our imagination, which was proved by Alexis as he showed his affection in his handy work when he marked Serena’s return to tennis by erecting four Billboards on the highway outside Palm Springs, California which boasted the acronym, ”G.M.O.A.T’ (Greatest Momma of all Time). Serena’s triumphant return at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California. Her family cheered her on with her extravagant win over the first round in the tournament. She is eventually aiming for the 25 Grand Slam Victories, which would exceed the record of 24 held by the Australian tennis legend Margaret Court. Alexis has become a fixture at her wife’s matches often showing up in the stands to watch her play. He backs up his rom-com overtures with daily support, including pushing for paid paternity leave, a policy he came to value after Serena’s post-birth complications. Their cute, funny and romantic relationship moments can be witnessed all over on the social media. This year they will be celebrating their first marriage anniversary and unfolding more dimensions of their relationship and exploring the most spontaneous adventure together forever. Their journey can also be watched in the documentary ”Being Serena”, she explained that this documentary was merely for her daughter because when she was a child, she used to love those old videos of mom. And she felt responsible for documenting everything for Olympia to watch later.