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Serena Williams Fell in Love with Alexis Ohanian for This Poignant Reason

The Reddit co-founder wanted her to have it all: love, a career, and motherhood.

Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian royal wedding 2018
Photography by: Serena Williams via Instagram

Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian, who wed back in November 2017, have always been vocal about their love for and faith in one another. As it turns out, the latter quality—undying support—is actually what drew the tennis champion to the Reddit co-founder in the first place. In a new interview with Allure, Williams revealed how her now-husband pushed her to be her best self early on in their relationship, something that ultimately helped her realize that he was the one.

 

He may be her biggest fan now, but when Williams met Ohanian, she didn't think a relationship was in the cards. "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." While she had relationships in the past, she admitted she couldn't make them work with her career—until she got to know Ohanian. "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."

 

Related: Serena Williams Says She Wanted a "Strong" Wedding

 

So, how did she know that he was the one? Williams actually took a piece of advice from her friend Oprah Winfrey. "Oprah said, 'Never let anyone dim your light.' That really stuck with me. Alexis doesn't dim my light," she said, adding that she feels empowered by Ohanian. "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."

 

He also helped her realize that she could have it all: A flourishing career, love, and motherhood (she and Ohanian are parents to their daughter, Alexis Olympia). According to Ohanian, being there for his wife is the key to helping her acheive this balance. "I think if you'd ask my wife, the most romantic things I've ever done for her have been just being there when she needed me," he told Access last year. "That's really all y'all have to do."