Serena Williams reveals why she fell for husband Alexis Ohanian in emotional interview
Serena Williams's star has been on the rise since the Women's Tennis Association ranked her world number one in singles for the first of eight separate occasions in July of 2002. Since then, she's gone onto hold the most Grand Slam titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles among active players, while juggling being a new mother, and wife to Reddit co-founder, Alexis Ohanian.
On that latter point, the 37-year-old recently opened up to Allure about what made her relationship to her now-husband click.
Williams spoke to Allure about her marriage to Ohanian, whom she wed November of 2017, after dating since 2015.
She revealed that she was focused on her career rather than finding love when she met the 35-year-old. "It just hadn’t happened, and I really didn’t think about it much," she said. "I was so committed to my job, and to being the best and working the hardest, and I think I still am."
"Not to knock anyone else I was with before, because they were all mostly amazing, but I know now I can be selfish, have a great career, and a great partner, someone that believes in me," Williams continued.
She also told the publication that none other than Oprah Winfrey gave her some relationship advice which helped inform her romance with Ohanian;
"Oprah said, 'Never let anyone dim your light.' That really stuck with me. Alexis doesn’t dim my light. He doesn’t try to dim my light. He puts me in the light, even if I don’t want to be. He pushes me to further points I never thought about."
"It always was something that I could see in some relationships — my light would be dimmer. Now I feel like I can shine really bright and still do everything that I want to do."
In the interview, Williams also spoke about parenting her daughter, Alexis Olympia, and how she's teaching her to be "strong".
"I want her to know that being strong is never easy. Not in this world we are living in," she asserted. "Standing up for yourself is not going to be easy, but it’s always eventually respected."
"Those are the people who’ve made a difference in this world, people that stand up for what’s right. If you look at history, those are the people that you really remember. And at the time, oh, my God, it seemed impossible."
The tennis superstar recently opened up about the difficult decision to stop breastfeeding her then 11-month-old daughter - at
the recommendation of her male coach.
Williams spoke about how she nursed Alexis for eight months, despite concerns that it would make her return to professional tennis more challenging. After she resumed clay-court training in France her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, recommended that she stop breastfeeding entirely. Understandably, Serena was unhappy with Mouratoglou's suggestion initially.
"It’s absolutely hard to take from a guy," Serena told the publication. “He’s not a woman, he doesn’t understand that connection, that the best time of the day for me was when I tried to feed her. I’ve spent my whole life making everyone happy, just servicing it seems like everyone. And this is something I wanted to do."
Eventually, however, Serena decided that in order to advance her career, she would quit breastfeeding. But before she did, she let Alexis know of the impending change."I looked at Olympia, and I was like, ‘Listen, Mommy needs to get her body back, so Mommy’s going to stop now,’" she recalled. "We had a really good conversation. We talked it out."