Serena Williams' husband shared a sentimental video ahead of her U.S. Open championship match

By Joelle Goldstein
September 08, 2018 12:25 PM
Credit: Karwai Tang/WireImage

Get your tissues ready!

Ahead of the 2018 U.S. Open Finals on Saturday, Alexis Ohanian shared a tear-jerking tribute video to his wife Serena Williams, who is just one match away from achieving her record 24th Grand Slam singles title.

Posting to Instagram on Friday morning, Ohanian shared the video along with a sweet message to his wife of 10 months.

“She fought for her life, for our child, for recognition, for equal pay, for women’s rights,” the Reddit co-founder wrote. “She never gives up. She’s passionate and unrelenting and the most inspiring person I know.”

The video opens with a clip of Williams, 36, during her post-game interview after winning the semifinals round on Thursday. The reporter can be heard acknowledging how Williams was not in the championship last year.

From there, the video flashes back and forth through a montage of Williams’ life over the past year, including personal footage of the tennis pro and her daughter Alexis Olympia in the hospital immediately after her birth, as well as Williams preparing for and playing in matches.

When the athlete is asked to reveal what it means to return to the finals a year later, her eloquent and emotional explanation can be heard over past match footage before returning to the original interview clip.

“It’s honestly really incredible. A year ago, I was fighting for literally my life at the hospital after I had the baby,” she explains. “Every day I step out on this court, I am so grateful that I have an opportunity to play this sport. No matter what happens in any match — semis finals, finals — I just feel like I’ve already won.”

In attempts to end the post on a lighter note, Ohanian, 35, revealed: “I had this made for @serenawilliams last night after her match with some home videos from 1 year ago this week.”

He then joked, “Help me make sure she sees it! #iloveyouserena”

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Ohanian’s sweet, inspirational message comes a year after Williams had a near-death experience.

On Sept. 1, 2017, the tennis pro gave birth to her daughter via emergency cesarean section. However, a pulmonary embolism during the process resulted in Williams becoming bed-ridden for the next six weeks.

Williams has also been candid about her struggle with postpartum depression, and previously revealed how difficult it was to leave her daughter’s side in order to return to the tennis court.

I didn’t think I’d be this attached,” Williams told TIME in August. “It’s difficult to leave her.”

On Saturday, Williams will take on Japanese player Naomi Osaka, ranked 20th, at 4 p.m. EST in New York City. This is only the second Grand Slam final Williams has reached since returning to the game last year and suffering health complications. She fell to Angelique Kerber at Wimbledon in London in July.