The professional tennis player and the tech entrepreneur met by chance while staying at the same hotel in Rome. “This 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?'” Williams told Vanity Fair in 2017 of her first interaction with her now-husband by the hotel pool.
Ohanian joined the Michigan native for breakfast that morning and ended up scoring an invitation to her match at the Italian Open. In December 2016, just over a year after they bumped into each other, Ohanian proposed to Williams at the same hotel that sparked their romance.
“I came home a little late. Someone had a bag packed for me and a carriage awaited. Destination: Rome, to escort me to my very own ‘charming.’ Back to where our stars first collided,” the S by Serena founder penned in a sweet Reddit poem announcing her engagement. “And now it was full circle. At the same table we first met by chance. This time he made it not by chance, but by choice. Down on one knee, he said 4 words and I said yes.”
Before they could exchange their vows, the couple hit another major milestone in their relationship: their first child. The athlete accidentally revealed her pregnancy via Snapchat in April 2017 and five months later, gave birth to daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.
Two years later, Williams gushed about her husband’s ability to let her shine. “Alexis doesn’t dim my light,” she told Allure in January 2019. “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.”
She admitted that she noticed her “light would be dimmer” in past relationships — but not with the Reddit founder. “Now I feel like I can shine really bright and still do everything that I want to do,” she said at the time.
Ohanian doesn’t mind being known as Mr. Serena Williams. “I’ll be a self-made billionaire one day and most people will still know me as Serena’s husband (or Olympia’s dad),” he wrote via Twitter in April 2021. “And that’s fine by me.”
Keep scrolling to relive the power couple’s whirlwind romance: