Serena Williams’ Marriage Is Beautiful, Strange And Perfect

Serena Williams had been making headlines since she began her tennis career. Not only is she a top-ranked athlete, but she is also a fashion and media mogul worth millions. The tennis icon has seen her fair share of ups and downs but the biggest shock for fans came when she announced a surprise pregnancy and then married the co-founder of Reddit.

They might seem like total opposites, but when you dive deeper into the romance between Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian it’s both unique and inspiring.

It Was Not Love At First Sight

On the day Serena Williams met Alexis Ohanian in 2015, her friends were actually trying to get him away from her. The group was having breakfast together when Ohanian sat down next to Williams even though there were plenty of other seats available.

alexis ohanian and serena williams didnt know whe the other was when they met
instagram
instagram

Williams’ friends told Ohanian there were rats where he was sitting. He responded, “Is there really a rat here? I’m from Brooklyn, I see rats all the time.” The nonchalant answer intrigued Williams, who invited her new friend to come and sit with her old friends. And just like that, their relationship began.

They Claim That They Didn’t Recognize Each Other

Amazingly, both Alexis Ohanian and Serena Williams say they never knew who the other person was before they met. Ohanion told Vanity Fair that he thought he was talking to Serena Williams, but he wasn’t a tennis fan so he wasn’t sure.

serena alexis didnt know each other
Instagram
Instagram

Serena also admitted she had never heard of Reddit before meeting Ohanian. She did lie about it once, though. When Ohanian asked her one day what she thought of that site, she said she had just logged off it. She then couldn’t provide any further details.

They Took A Trip To Paris Together For Their First Date

A few weeks after they met, Williams and Ohanian went on their first date. The tennis icon was getting ready to compete in the French Open and invited Ohanian to join for a romantic weekend together. Ohanian accepted, because who would say no to Williams, but said he didn’t have high expectations.

He knew that even if she blew him off, he would still end up with an amazing story to tell his friends. Luckily for Ohanian, Williams kept her promise and they visited a zoo, several shops, and the Eiffel Tower.

Williams Posted Their First Couple Photo In November 2016

For over a year, Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian kept their relationship a secret. He proposed in December 2016 in Rome. Less than one month before then, in November, Serena posted the first picture of them together as a couple online.

In the utterly adorable photo, Williams and Ohanian are at a costume party together wearing bear themed outfits. In the actual photo, Williams didn’t say anything about them being a couple. All she wrote was, “Bear necessities.” Even without a true confirmation, the writing was firmly on the wall.

They Kept Their Romance A Secret

Williams and Ohanian dated for 15 months before they let anyone know. Once he proposed, there was no reason to hide anymore. The news shocked the world. Before the announcement, Williams had been linked to both Drake and Common. No one suspected she would ever fall in love with a tech guy!

Serena Williams enters Drake's car who was waiting inside for her moments after losing her semi-final against Roberta Vinci of Italy
Jean Catuffe/GC Images
Jean Catuffe/GC Images

As for Ohanian, he had just ended a five year relationship when he met Williams. He had been dating his college sweetheart and microbiologist Sabriya Stukes. Only one time in their 15 month courtship were Williams and Ohanian ever linked together.

He Proposed With a Rat

After spending a year with Williams, Ohanian knew he wanted to marry her. For their one year anniversary, he invited her to Rome, where he set up a trail of rose petals leading her to the spot they first met. There was even a plastic rat on the table just for fun!

serena williams and alexis ohanian had a special proposal
Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images
Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Williams said yes, and announced the engagement on Reddit. In the post, she referred to herself as the “Future Mrs. kn0thing,” using a play on Ohanian’s username. At the bottom of the post, Ohanian wrote, “And you made me the happiest man on the planet.”

Her Wedding Ring Was Gorgeous

On November 22, 2017, Serena showed off her dazzling wedding ring along with a picture of her adorable daughter Alexis. The ring is an emerald cut diamond ring with an eternity band that had a teardrop concave.

This created the look of a halo around the large center stone. To make the ring even more impressive, the tip of the teardrop was three more pear cut stones. The ring itself was was 14 karats with the actual wedding band being made by XIV Karats LTD.

They Were Married Rather Quickly

From the time it took them to start dating and when they were officiallty married wasn’t terribly long by today’s standards. They first met in 2015 but were married in 2017, many people today date for two years with no plans for marriage.

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John Lamparski/Getty Images
John Lamparski/Getty Images

When they walked down the aisle, people all over the world wondered if maybe that had been in over their heads by getting married so soon. Luckily, it worked out for the two of them and they appear to be happily married.

A Shocking Pregnancy Reveal

Fans weren’t the only people shocked to find out Williams was pregnant. She learned herself right before she was scheduled to participate in the Australian Open! To make sure, she took six pregnancy tests, which all showed the same result. Determined to compete still, she got a doctors approval.

serena williams won the australian open while pregnant
WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images
WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images

When the world found out she competed and won, while pregnant, they were outraged. Even after Williams assured everyone that she was medically cleared to play, she was still labeled as irresponsible by naysayers. It didn’t help that her pregnancy reveal was an accidental Snapchat baby bump selfie!

Alexis Ohanian’s Most Romantic Gesture Will Surprise You

Alexis Ohanian is incredibly supportive of Serena Williams. He believes that men should champion the women in their lives, even when they’re more successful. That’s why he believes the most romantic thing he’s ever done for Serena is to just be there for her.

alexis ohanian gives serena williams all his support
Richard Shiro/Getty Images
Richard Shiro/Getty Images

That’s right, he knows the billboards are nice and so are trips to Italy, but nothing beats just letting her know he loves her. Speaking with Good Morning America he said, “I think the most romantic thing I’ve ever done was just showing up and doing my job as a husband and a father… the fundamentals, which is just being there.”

Ohanian Wants To Be His Best Self For Williams

Ever since going to that first tennis match, Alexis Ohanian has been hooked on Serena Williams. He literally went from tennis “know-nothing” to the sports number-one fan. It helps when your wife is the best tennis player of all-time!

Jean Catuffe/Getty Images
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Ohanian knew pretty quickly that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Williams. They met in 2015, and by 2016 he was ready to propose. He told Vanity Fair, “I felt like a door had been opened to a person who made me want to be my best self.”

Williams Return To Tennis Featured Another Outrageous Gift By Ohanian

As Williams was gearing up for her return to tennis in February 2018, Ohanian designed and paid to have four billboards put up in her honor. Each giant billboard had a picture of Olympia and Serena and read “G.MO.A.T” or “greatest momma of all-time.”

A few days later, Williams re-emerged on the tennis court with her family proudly watching from the stands. In her first match, she defeated Zarina Diyas. She would not go on to win the tournament, but she won the crowd over with athleticism and undeniable charm.

Serena Has Admitted Struggling With Motherhood

So far we’ve painted a pretty perfect picture of Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian. The truth is every relationship has its ups and downs, and after Williams gave birth, she slipped into depression. She told Vogue, “No one talks about the low moments — the pressure you feel, the incredible letdown every time you hear the baby cry.”

She also admitted that she would get mad when Olympia would cry, then feel guilty about feeling mad. The wave of emotions she felt becoming a mother surprised her, but if anyone is equipped to handle those emotions it’s her.

Her Tennis Ranking Fell To 453 When She Returned

Serena Williams was the number-one ranked tennis player in the world after winning the French Open and announcing her pregnancy. Taking so much time off crushed her ranking, sending her all the way to 453. When the ranking was announced, the tennis world fought back on her behalf.

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Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Many female players believed she was being unfairly punished with her ranking for having a child. A discussion even started regarding a rule change to accommodate female tennis stars when they become pregnant. Simona Helep even commented, “It’s normal to give birth. It’s normal to have a protected ranking… It’s more than tennis.”

Serena Believes She’s The Greatest Athlete Of All-Time

While many analysts consider Serena Williams to be the greatest tennis player of all-time, few are willing to put her in the conversation for greatest athlete of all-time. According to Williams, it’s because she’s a woman, “If I were a man, then it wouldn’t be any sort of question.”

serena williams is the greatest of all time
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

She has a point. Williams won her first Grand Slam at 17 years old and is still winning Grand Slams into her late 30s. She has the most titles ever in the open ear, and it’s not even close. She’s also earned $84 million in winnings, Yeah, she’s the G.O.A.T.

Olympia’s First Movie Was A Loud One

Before the couple got married, they took Olympia to her first movie. Ohanian rented out an entire theater so the family could see Thor: Ragnorak together, because Serena “really wanted to see her other man.” They knew the movie would be loud and violent, and planned accordingly.

thor ragnarok
Marvel/Disney
Marvel/Disney

In a video posted online before the film started, they let audiences know that Olympia had ear muffs, and that Ohanian would cover her eyes when things got to violent. The cute video ends with Serena asleep on Ohanian’s shoulder. Our hearts have officially melted.

They Are Both Huge Disney Nerds

Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian LOVE Disney. Instead of having a traditional wedding, they had a Beauty and the Beast themed, star-studded affair. Everyone was there, including Beyonce. As guests entered the occasion, they were treated to the song “Be Our Guest.”

Having such a non-traditional wedding was very important to Williams. After the couple exchanged self-written vows, they shared their first dance together with the song, “Tale as Old as Time” and “If I Can’t Have You.” Before the night ended, Ohanian surprised Williams with an all-white carousel.

Williams Took Her First Pregnancy Test At A Lingerie Event

Serena first suspected she might be pregnant when she began feeling “off.” She bought a pregnancy test and ended up taking it just before an event for lingerie company Berlei, who she’s a spokesperson for. The news made her do a double take and she says her heart dropped.

serena williams learned she was pregnant at a lingerie event

These days, Williams can laugh about it, telling Vanity Fair, “‘I was getting the styling done. An hour and a half later, I went back to the bathroom and I totally forgot about it… So I went back to get dressed and I went back in the bathroom and I was like, ‘Oh yeah, that test.'”

Williams Is Worth Over $100 Million More Than Ohanian

Alexis Ohanian is worth $9 million. After selling Reddit, he founded Initialized, a company focused on funding startups. Since starting the venture he has helped launch Coinbase for Bitcoin, as well as Instacart, a popular app where you can grocery shop from the convenience of your couch.

Williams Is Worth Over $100 Million More Than Ohanian
Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images
Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

Serena Williams is worth $150 million. She has earned nearly $90 million in tournament winnings, and another $60 million in sponsorships. And if you think Ohanian is jealous at all that his wife is clearly the breadwinner in the relationship, then you clearly haven’t been reading this slideshow.

Alexis Admits That His Relationship With Serena Has Been Humbling

Even though Ohanian has had an unbelievably successful business career, being married to Serena has shown him how difficult it is to be a professional athlete. In an interview with The New York Times, Ohanian claimed that “I thought I was the hardest-working person on the planet. I thought we were the hardest-working industry. That’s what we tell ourselves. It’s all malarkey.”

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Elsa/Getty Images
Elsa/Getty Images

He’s seen what it takes to be the best in the world at something, and he admits that it’s a lot harder than some people give it credit to be. Just another reason why he loves Serena so much.

Serena’s Romantic Past

Before falling for Ohanian, Serena had dated other public figures in the past. She once dated Drake and Common, both famous rappers and key figures in the hip-hop and music production industry.

pastrelationships.jpg
Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic
Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic

Clearly, the two are very different from the man that she ended up with, as both of her former flings were outspoken and in the public eye, unlike Ohanian. Although Common is much calmer and more ready to settle down than Drake, things still didn’t work out between the two. And we’re glad Ohanian is glad it didn’t!

Serena Took A Beating On Social Media

Social media can be an incredibly dark place, filled with angry people that follow others just to make themselves mad and lash out. This was what had happened to Serena during her pregnancy. When certain photos were posted on social media, people began commenting about her weight gain and even making racial slurs and derogatory comments about the couples mixed relationship.

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Gilbert Carrasquillo/WireImage
Gilbert Carrasquillo/WireImage

Thankfully, Serena’s fans stepped in and defended her, subduing the haters. Serena openly thanked her fans for their defense, proving they will stand by her no matter what.

She’s Inspired Him To Stay Fit

For obvious reasons, Alexis’ line of work isn’t necessarily as connected to staying fit as Serena’s. While she’s exercising every day, becoming as fit as possible, Alexis is on the computer. So, in order to make sure that her man is healthy, fit, and happy, she has encouraged him to lead a more active lifestyle.

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Neville Elder/Corbis via Getty Images
Neville Elder/Corbis via Getty Images

From when the two started dating until now, pictures have revealed that Ohanian has been going to the gym frequently and taking his health seriously. After all, it would be hard not to if your wife is a professional athlete.

Serena’s Father Didn’t Walk Her Down The Aisle

In the wake of the drama about Meghan Markle’s father not attending the royal wedding, Serena Williams opened up about how her father was not there to walk her down the aisle either. She confessed that her father informed her just an hour before the wedding that he would not be there to hand her off. He was in New Orleans, had a suit, and was ready to go until he suddenly backed out.

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Julian Finney/Getty Images
Julian Finney/Getty Images

He wrote her saying “Serena, I don’t want you to be mad at me, but I just can’t walk you down the aisle. I’m not myself anymore. I’m just too nervous.” Although this might have been stressful to most brides, Serena kept her cool and was more than understanding.

No Birthday Parties For Their Daughter

Although their daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., turned one year old on September 1, 2018, the family didn’t throw an elaborate party as many people would assume. Serena explained that “Olympia doesn’t celebrate birthdays […] We’re Jehova’s Witnesses so we don’t do that.” Jehova’s Witnesses don’t celebrate birthdays, Christmas, Easter, and other holidays because the religion believes that specific celebrations displease God.

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CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/Getty Images
CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/Getty Images

They feel that every day should be appreciated and celebrated without picking favorites. While some may think her religion might affect her marriage, she claims that ” Alexis didn’t grow up going to any church, but he’s really receptive and even takes the lead. He puts my needs first.”

The Couple’s Honeymoon Was Dreamy To Say The Least

Serena and Alexis decided on the Bahamas to enjoy their honeymoon together. Amazingly enough, anyone can stay where they stayed, as long as you have $35,000 a week to shell out. The couple stayed at the Kamalame Cay Resort, just off of the Andros Great Barrier Reef.

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Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The couple brought along their infant daughter to the honeymoon at their four-room oceanfront villa. This was a perfect place for the new family to relax, enjoy each other’s company, and take a breather from all of the chaos in the outside world.

Ohanian Speaks Out For Paid Family Leave

Although Ohanian was lucky enough to be his own boss and incredibly wealthy at the time of his daughter’s birth, that’s certainly not the case for everyone. Since then, he has become a an advocate for a law mandating family leave for mothers and fathers.

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for WIRED25
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for WIRED25

In an op-ed for The Hill, he wrote that “being able to be present with my family was a privilege that unfortunately many parents in this country are not afforded […] “To have those moments and feel that closeness was just spectacular and there are things we have with each other that I’m grateful for.”

She Felt Like She Was Fighting For All Women On Her Road To Recovery

Even after the whole ordeal regarding her ranking, the French Tennis Federation announced that it was banning the Nike full-suit that Williams played in throughout 2018. However, the suit was a necessary for medical reasons as a precaution to help prevent blood clots. Serena commented that “It feels like this suit represents all the women that have been through a lot mentally, physically, with their body to come back and have confidence and to believe in themselves.”

CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP/Getty Images
CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP/Getty Images

In reference to the film Black Panther, she continued saying “I call it, like, my Wakanda-inspired catsuit…I’m always living in a fantasy world. I always wanted to be a superhero and it’s kind of my way of being a superhero.”

Hasn’t Missed A Day Without Her Daughter

Amazingly, considering how busy Serena is and how much traveling she does, she hasn’t gone a day without seeing her daughter since she’s been born. of course, this is also to the credit of her highly reliable staff. Already, Alexis Jr. has traveled to North Carolina, all over California, France, England Miami, Ohio, New York, the Bahamas.

Little Alexis has already been more places than a lot of adults, and she’s barely even one year old! She claims that Being around her every day is super important, and I want her to have just a great upbringing, the best way that I know how.”

Serena Started The Hashtag #ThisMama

Recently, Serena started the hashtag #ThisMama on social media to post about her experiences being a mother and to encourage others to do the same. She stated that Kids humble us. The other day on a flight home Olympia had so much energy and insisted on running up and down the aisle.

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When I finally got her to calm down and sit still, she threw up all over me and in the aisle.” She shared her story and wants the hashtag to become a platform for all mothers (and fathers) to share their experiences being a parent to create a sense of community for everyone.

She Had A Hard Choice When It Came To Losing Weight

While in the process of trying to lose weight in order to get back on her game, she was forced with a choice that broke her heart. When it became apparent that breastfeeding was holding her back from losing weight, something she needed to do in order to get back on top.

Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Imagine LA
Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Imagine LA

She opened up and said that “I literally sat Olympia in my arms, and I talked to her, and we prayed about it […} And I told her, ‘Look, I’m going to stop. And Mommy has to do this.’ And I cried a little bit, not as much as I thought I was. And she was fine.”

She Wants Her Daughter To Learn From Her Mistakes

While Serena has made it clear that she’s comfortable in her own skin, she’s been trying to get back into shape extra-hard simply to play tennis. However, it wasn’t always that way. Back in 2004, Serena publicly expressed that she desired to be a size 4.

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Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images
Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

Looking back, Serena can’t believe that she felt that way about herself, yet, she feels that it was an important step. She claims that “I love that I said that because I can understand. I can show Olympia that I struggled, but now I’m happy with who I am and what I am and what I look like…”

Serena And Ohanian Thought About Picking Up Their Life And Starting Fresh

While her rise back to the talk, her marriage, and the birth of her child has been the talk of the town, Serena was also having doubt about getting back into the game. Like most other parents that are doing what they love and have kids, it’s hard to not be around them all the time.

Raymond Hall/GC Images
Raymond Hall/GC Images

In an interview with Vogue, Serena admitted that “To be honest, there’s something really attractive about the idea of moving to San Francisco and just being a mom.” This way the family could start fresh and be close to the Reddit headquarters where Ohanian had been previously located.

Talking About Another Child

Although this was before Serena made the Wimbledon final, it’s clear that the couple have had thoughts about growing their family. Earlier in the summer of 2018, she told InStyle that if she wasn’t still playing and working hard, then she’d definitely already be pregnant again with another baby.

Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images
Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

She also claimed that she couldn’t say for sure that she would still want to play after having another child. Having one has already taken a toll on her as a professional athlete and as a mother, so two might be a little much.

She Relies On Her Family And Friends For Advice

As we’ve already mentioned, Serena has suffered from postpartum depression since the birth of her little girl. She feels like she isn’t being the best mom that she can although she’s proven otherwise. She notes that she reads on the issue frequently and how sometimes the symptoms of her depression can last for years.

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D Dipasupil/FilmMagic
D Dipasupil/FilmMagic

So, she’s created a support group for herself for advice and comfort. She spoke out on Instagram saying “I like communication best. Talking things through with my mom, my sisters, my friends let me know that my feelings are totally normal.”

Being Serena

In May 2018, the documentary series Being Serena was released on HBO and partnered with IMG’s Original Content group. Being Serena provides an inside look into the personal life of Serena during her pregnancy, marriage, and experiences balancing being a new mother and one of the world’s greatest professional athletes have to have ever lived.

Mike Pont/WireImage
Mike Pont/WireImage

The show also gives a first-person perspective into her growth from being just a tennis player into a businesswoman, investor, and a major force in the worlds of technology, fashion, fitness, and philanthropy.

Serena Wanted To Show Her Real Self

Apparently, it was Serena who approached HBO with the idea for the miniseries. She says that she remembered all of the footage her father had of her mother when she was pregnant and had her, so she wanted the same for her daughter. She also saw it as an opportunity for the world to see her for who she really is.

She admits that “A lot of people see me on the court, and they only judge and see that side of me, and there’s so much more to my life and to me […] That’s not me, actually to be honest, on the court. As much a part of my life as it is, I become a different person when I play tennis. This series was the perfect opportunity to prove otherwise.

Their Love Is Perfect

It’s okay to be jealous of Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian. Their love is pure and perfect. They post the cutest and funniest videos of their adventures online for all of us to see. If you haven’t, you have to watch the one where they bust out some crazy dance moves while listening to New Edition.

In a 2017 Instagram post, Williams got really sappy, writing, “He’s my rock my backbone my love. I am so lucky to have found this wonderful man that treats me better than a queen. I love you Alexis you make me excited to wake up every morning knowing I’ll get to see you.”

Venus And Serena Williams: The Beginning

Venus Ebony Starr Williams was born on June 17th, 1980. She was born in Lynwood, California, to parents Richard Williams and Oracene Price. Serena was born one year later on September 26th, 1981.

beginning
Photo Credit: Gary M Prior/Allsport
Photo Credit: Gary M Prior/Allsport

When Venus was seven years old, her parents started to notice that she had a particular talent for tennis. A professional local tennis player saw her with a racket and knew that she was special. Serena also knew her way around a tennis court at a young age.

Early Training And Coaching

Venus and Serena were so good at tennis that when Venus was ten and Serena was nine, the whole family moved to Florida so that the girls could go to Rick Macci’s tennis academy

Early Training And Coaching
Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage
Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage

The girls’ father didn’t always agree with Macci, but he respected his expertise and liked that “he treated his daughters like kids, allowed them to be little girls.” Richard, Venus and Serena’s father was also a tennis player, and he later pulled his daughters out of Macci’s academy and started coaching them himself.

Other Members Of The Family

Venus and Serena aren’t the only two Williams sisters. These two actually have at least ten half-siblings. Their mother had three daughters from a previous relationship, and Richard had six children with his ex-wife, Betty Johnson.

Other Members Of The Family
Photo by E. Charbonneau/WireImage for Vanity Fair Magazine
Photo by E. Charbonneau/WireImage for Vanity Fair Magazine

Venus and Serena are the only children that Richard and Oracene had together. In 2002, Richard and Oracene got divorced, and Richard had a son with his third wife, Lakeisha (who is one year older than Venus) in 2012.

Serena’s Fashion Controversy

Serena Williams has always showcased her own unique sense of fashion and sportswear on the tennis court. In 2002, she wore a black catsuit to the US Open and people were talking about it for weeks.

Serena's Fashion Controversy
Photo Credit: Ken Levine /Allsport
Photo Credit: Ken Levine /Allsport

In 2004, she wore denim skirts and knee-high boots. Some commentators have been critical of Serena’s fashion choices, and some have even called her out for disrespecting the game of tennis with her clothes. Serena responded by being the best tennis player the world has ever seen.

A Family Tragedy

Venus and Serena’s half-sister, Yetunde Price, was shot and killed while she was sitting in her car in her hometown of Compton, California. The incident happened in 2003 when Tetunde was just 31 years old.

A Family Tragedy

Yetunda was Oracene’s eldest daughter. She was also the mother of three of her own children. She was determined to pay her own way and raise her children with the money she made owning a hair salon.

The Events Leading Up To The Death

Sadly, Yetunde was a victim of gang violence. She didn’t know it, but on the night of her death, she was parked outside of a trap house. Two members of the Southside Compton Crips gang opened fire on her car because they thought they were defending the house. Yetunde was with her boyfriend at the time.

The Events Leading
Photo by Cynthia Lum/Getty Images
Photo by Cynthia Lum/Getty Images

Her boyfriend didn’t immediately realize that Yetunde had been hit, so he sped away to a relative’s house where he called 911. He soon realized that Yetunde had been shot in the head, and by the time they got to the hospital, it was too late.

Serena Recently Opened Up About Her Sister’s Death

This year, Serena appeared on activist Naomi Wadler’s web series and spoke about her reaction to her sister’s death. Naomi Wadler is just 12 years old and she’s already taking steps to make the world a better and less violent place.

Serena Recently Opened Up About Her Sister's Death
Photo by Bernie Nunez/Getty Images
Photo by Bernie Nunez/Getty Images

Serena spoke to Wadler about the recent prevalence of gun violence (and discussions about gun violence) in the media: “People are talking about it now because it’s happening more widespread. But it’s been affecting our community for years.”

The Importance Of Conversation

Williams applauded Naomi for her willingness to stand against gun violence in such a public way at such a young age. Naomi is young, but Serena was also young when she was thrust into the public eye. She has since been able to use her fame to spread awareness about many social issues.

The Importance Of Conversation
Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Serena added, “I think we need to get comfortable with having uncomfortable conversations. Situations are never really gonna get better if you always avoid it, you have to take it head-on.”

Turning Tragedy Into Drive

Both Serena and Venus mourned the loss of their sister. Even though her death devastated their entire family, Venus and Serena persisted in their careers and continued to improve their game in honor of Yetunde. Yetunde prided herself on being an independent woman. She had sisters who had money, but she wanted to carry her own weight in the world.

drive
Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Even though Serena and Venus appeared to be strong on the court, they were facing their own personal battles. Serena told Naomi, “I went through depression. I never even talked about it to my mom. No one knew I was in therapy, but I was. I was so close to my sister.”

Venus Williams Was In A Car Accident

Venus Williams was involved in a car crash that ended up killing a 78 year old man back in 2017. Another car hit her SUV while she was driving through an intersection. At first, police determined that she was at fault for the accident, but after reviewing surveillance footage, they concluded that she hadn’t caused the crash.

Venus Williams Was In A Car Accident
Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

A third driver who had made an illegal turn in front of Williams’ car had actually caused the series of events to unfold.

They Boycotted The Indian Wells Masters

Back in 2001, Venus Williams pulled out of the Indian Wells Masters tournament just four minutes before she was scheduled to play against her sister. The spectators at the match didn’t like that very much and the next day, Venus and her father wore booed as they arrived at the court.

They Boycotted The Indian Wells Masters
Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Richard accused the crowd at the event of being racist, stating, “The white people at Indian Wells, what they’ve been wanting to say all along to us finally came out: stay away from here, we don’t want you here.'”

Serena’s Activism Is Inspiring

As Serena Williams’ career has progressed, she has become more conscious about the way she uses her platform. She often takes to social media to advocate for causes that are important to her. Serena is a strong supporter of Black Lives Matter, and she’s quick to call out racism when she sees it.

activism
Photo by CAROL NEWSOM/AFP/Getty Images
Photo by CAROL NEWSOM/AFP/Getty Images

Serena was listed among the 35 “most remarkable and beautiful black women” in the world in Essence magazine, and she’s also been recognized as an activist by the NAACP.

Venus Has Branched Out Into Business

Venus Williams isn’t just a star tennis player, she’s also an entrepreneur. She’s the CEO of an interior design firm called V Starr that’s based in Jupiter, Florida. Venus also has her own fashion line. She teamed up with Steve & Barry’s to release EleVen, an activewear line that is consciously modeled by athletes rather than traditional models.

Venus Has Branched Out Into Business
Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images

Venus said, “I love fashion and the idea that I am using my design education to actually create clothing and footwear that I will wear on and off the tennis court is a dream come true for me. The vision has been to create a collection that will allow women to enjoy an active lifestyle while remaining fashionable at the same time. I’m thrilled with everything we’ve created to launch EleVen.”

The Williams’ Sisters Are Part-Owners Of The Miami Dolphins

In August 2009, Venus and Serena decided to become part-owners of the Miami Dolphins. With this investment, they became the first African-American women to secure ownership of an NFL team.

The Williams' Sisters Are Part-Owners Of The Miami Dolphins
Doug Murray/Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Doug Murray/Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Stephen M. Ross, the majority owner of the Dolphins, commented, “We are thrilled to have Venus and Serena join the Dolphins as limited partners. They are among the most admired athletes in the world and have become global ambassadors for the game of tennis. Their addition to our ownership group further reflects our commitment to connect with aggressively and embrace the great diversity that makes South Florida a multicultural gem.”

Serena Broke Advertising Barriers

In 2009, Serena Williams became the first still-competing professional athlete to appear in a tampon commercial when she starred in a Tampax Pearl advertising campaign. In the commercial, she hits a series of tennis balls thrown at her by “Mother Nature” who was played by Catherine Lloyd Burns.

Serena Broke Advertising Barriers
Photo Credit: Jamie Squire /Allsport
Photo Credit: Jamie Squire /Allsport

A brand manager for Tampax commented, “A lot of celebrities are not open to working with our brand, and we’re thrilled that Serena is.” Serena has always been about female empowerment.

Venus Is Dealing With An Autoimmune Disease

In 2011, Venus Williams was diagnosed with Sjögren syndrome, a long-term autoimmune disease that affects the body’s moisture-producing glands. That year, Venus was forced to withdraw from the US open so she could properly address her symptoms.

Venus Is Dealing With An Autoimmune Disease
Photo by Paul Harris/Online USA
Photo by Paul Harris/Online USA

After she was diagnosed, Venus cut meat, dairy, and eggs out of her diet. She also cut down on the amount of sugar she was eating. Her new eating habits helped calm Sjögren syndrome flare-ups. This disorder also causes fatigue which is something Venus has struggled with for years.

Venus Williams’ Dating History

From 2007 until 2010, Venus Williams dated professional golfer Hank Kuehne. Kuehne already had a son with his ex-wife when he and Venus started dating. Right after his relationship with Venus ended, Kuehne began dating his now-wife, Andy.

Venus Williams' Dating History
Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images
Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Venus is now dating Nicholas Hammond who is an heir to publisher Walter Annenberg’s fortune. Nicholas is twelve years younger than Venus. Maybe Nicholas is really mature for his age. Nicholas was Venus’ date to Serena’s wedding.

Serena Was In Beyoncé’s Music Video

Beyoncé and Serena Williams are really close friends. Beyoncé was at Serena’s wedding in New Orleans, and she has been a strong supporter of her fellow superstar. Beyoncé asked Serena to be in the music video for her song “Sorry” which appeared on her hit visual album, Lemonade.

Serena Was In Beyoncé's Music Video
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Williams said that the director of the video told her, “We would love for you to be in this particular song. It’s about strength and it’s about courage and that’s what we see you as.”

These Ladies Live For Charity

The amount of good these two sisters have done in the world is absolutely staggering. Serena started her own foundation that provides university scholarships for American students in need of financial aid. Her foundation has also helped build schools in Kenya and Jamaica.

These Ladies Live For Charity
Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images
Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

In 2003, Serena was awarded a Celebrity Role Model Award from Avon Foundation for work in breast cancer. In the early 2000s, Venus and Serena would play tennis and visit schools in black neighborhoods to raise money for various charities, and now, they work with domestic abuse organizations, AIDS foundations, hospitals, and give so much back to their community.