Serena Williams and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian's love story began as most do: by chance. Alexis knew little about tennis and Serena wasn't a Reddit user, but it was still a match made in heaven (...pun intended!). Between their A-lister Big Easy wedding to the birth of their baby girl, here's everything you need to know about the tennis pro and the entrepreneur's romance.
- Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian first met in Rome in 2015 while staying at the same hotel.
- In December 2016, Alexis brought Serena back to the place where they first met to propose and a month later, the couple discovered they were pregnant.
- They welcomed a daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., on September 1, 2017.
- On November 16, 2017, the couple tied the knot in New Orleans.
May 12, 2015: A Chance Encounter
Serena recounted how she met Alexis in her Vanity Fair cover story in June 2017. The couple met by chance during breakfast at the Cavalieri Hotel in Rome. While Serena was dining with friends, Alexis sat down at the table right next to the group. "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 here?'" Serena told the publication. In an effort to get Alexis to move, the group told him there was a rat at his table. When Alexis didn't leave, Serena invited him to join her and the rest is, well, history.
Late May 2015: A Weekend in Paris
After playing poorly at the Italian Open (which Alexis attended the day they met), she invited him to the French Open. To her surprise, Alexis flew to Paris for the weekend to watch her play. The pair spent six hours together on the day of her first match, walking around the city, talking, and subsequently falling in love.
September 4, 2015: He's a Tennis Fan Now
Before meeting Serena, Alexis was not a tennis fan. However, their relationship was seemingly confirmed when he posted on Instagram from the U.S. Open in 2015. "Come at the queen, you best not miss," he captioned the shot of the court.
April 24, 2016: Happy Birthday, Alexis!
Alexis and Serena celebrated his 33rd birthday with a FaceTime call—a monumental moment because Serena is a Jehovah's Witness, meaning, she doesn't usually celebrate birthdays.
December 10, 2016: Back to the Beginning
For the proposal, Alexis brought Serena back to where it all began: the Cavalieri Hotel. There, he set a romantic table for two, covered the pool deck in roses and popped the question! Following the engagement, the athlete posted a poem on the Reddit thread "I said yes" about the proposal, which will definitely leave you in tears.
Early January 2017: 6 Tests Later...
Just a month after their engagement, Serena found out she was pregnant. After playing poorly during her first match of the year, the tennis star physically felt different, prompting her friend to suggest taking a pregnancy test. She took the test and sure enough, it read positive. But in true Serena fashion, one test was not enough. She took five more tests and the results were all the same. When she saw Alexis later, not a word was said and instead she handed him a paper bag of the positive tests. Iconic.
September 1, 2017: Introducing Alexis Jr.
On September 1, 2017, the couple welcomed a daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian. Not only is she named after her father, but baby Olympia's initials (AO) also pay homage to Serena's 2017 Australian Open win, which she won while pregnant.
September 13, 2017: The Ultimate Insta-Parents
Not long after their daughter was born, the pair created a joint Instagram account dedicated to Olympia. What's cuter than posting pictures of your baby and coming up with creative captions with your fiancé? We'll wait.
November 16, 2017: The Wedding of the Year
Two months after giving birth to their daughter, Serena and Alexis tied the knot in New Orleans. In front of a slew of A-listers (like Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and Kim Kardashian to name a few), Serena walked down the aisle in a gorgeous ballgown by Sarah Burton from Alexander McQueen—the same designer Kate Middleton chose for her 2011 nuptials. During the reception, the bride changed into two different Versace gowns: a beaded dress and a short feathered dress.
May 19, 2018: A Royal Invitation
As a good friend of Meghan Markle, the newlyweds scored an invite to the most exclusive event of the year: the royal wedding. Williams wore a pink Versace dress, pink pumps, and a matching fascinator.
October 12, 2019: A Family Affair
Serena solidified her status as sister-in-law of the year by being a bridesmaid in Alexis's sister Hayley's wedding. Alexis served as a groomsman and even Olympia took part in the nuptials as a flower girl. "She took her flower girl job very seriously," the athlete wrote on Instagram.
November 16, 2019: Celebrating Two Years of Marriage
Serena commemorated their anniversary by posting a sweet photo of the pair on their wedding day to her Instagram profile. The picture shows the two snuggled up next to each other wearing big smiles. She captioned it, "2 years and counting.... @alexisohanian is still putting up with me."
February 23, 2021: Architectural Digest Feature
In February 2021, Serena's Florida home was featured in Architectural Digest. She shared details about the creation of her dream home with the help of her sister, Venus, who owns an interior design company called V Starr Interiors. Her ultra modern and eclectic space included an art gallery as well as a karaoke room which featured a display of liquor bottles collected by Alexis.
March 26, 2021: Q&A for Bumble's the Question Game
In March 2021, Bumble released a YouTube video as part of their series classified as Bumble's Question Game. The clip shows Serena casually completing tasks around her home while answering a series of random personal questions regarding her day-to-day life. The tennis legend shared her advice about love, heartbreak, and relationships while painting outside. Serena confessed, "A deal breaker for me in a relationship is loyalty—well not having it, that is." She added, "Marriage is not bliss, but it can be if you work at it."
September 13, 2021: The Met Gala
Serena stunned in her "Superhero-inspired" look at the September 2021 Met Gala in New York City. Her silver bodysuit by Gucci featured embellished stars. It was accompanied by a pink feather-laden cape with a dramatic ombré train. Alexis stood by her side in a more subdued suit with a silver bow tie. The couple posed on the carpet together and walked up the steps of The Met hand in hand.
August 9, 2022: Serena Announces Retirement
In the September issue of Vogue, Serena announced her retirement from tennis. She cited her desire to expand her family as a reason to step back. "In the last year, Alexis and I have been trying to have another child, and we recently got some information from my doctor that put my mind at ease and made me feel that whenever we’re ready, we can add to our family," she wrote. "I definitely don’t want to be pregnant again as an athlete. I need to be two feet into tennis or two feet out."
August 29, 2022: Family Joins Serena for Last U.S. Open
In her last ever grand slam tournament at the U.S. Open, Alexis and her daughter Olympia showed their support as Serena won her first match in the opening round.