Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian's Relationship Timeline

Here's a look back at the tennis player and Reddit co-founder's love story since they first met in 2015

Serena Williams MET 2021
Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty

Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian are winning the game of love.

The tennis superstar and the Reddit co-founder met for the first time in May 2015 over breakfast in Rome. The two were seated next to each other, a coincidence that would ultimately lead to their relationship.

Williams made the first move, asking Ohanian to sit with her and her friends during breakfast — a sweet gesture that was quickly followed up by an invite to watch her compete in the 2015 French Open.

Prior to the match, the athlete and internet entrepreneur explored Paris together, marking their first official date. The next few months were support-filled, in which Ohanian cheered her on from the stands at games.

Surprisingly, Ohanian wasn't even a tennis fan prior to meeting Williams. In fact, he told Vanity Fair that he "never watched a match on television or in real life." He added, "I really had no respect for tennis."

After getting engaged in 2016, having their first child together in 2017, and tying the knot later that year, the two have graced red carpets, traveled the world, and shared smiles ever since.

Here's a look at Williams and Ohanian's love story through the years.

May 12, 2015: Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian meet

10th Annual LACMA ART+FILM GALA Presented By Gucci

Williams met Ohanian met by chance when they both sat down next to each other during breakfast at the Cavalieri Hotel in Rome.

"This big 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?'" the tennis star detailed in Vanity Fair's June 2017 cover story.

To make the long (adorable) story short, Williams invited Ohanian to sit with her — and the rest is history!

May 2015: Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian go on date in Paris

Following Williams' victory at the 2015 Australian Open, she invited Ohanian to watch her play in the French Open, the second leg of the Grand Slam circuit towards the month's end. Skeptic at first, the entrepreneur flew over to meet her.

Before the tournament commenced (which Williams would ultimately win), the two traveled around Paris together, she told Vanity Fair. They visited the Eiffel Tower, a zoo called La Ménagerie in the Jardin des Plantes and more.

Sept. 11, 2015: Alexis Ohanian supports Serena Williams at the U.S. Open

While Drake was in the stands at the 2015 U.S. Open to cheer on Williams, so was Ohanian. He shared a photo of the athlete on the court, writing, "Come at the queen, you best not miss. #USOpen."

Aug. 19, 2016: Serena Williams posts about Alexis Ohanian

Serena Williams and team
Serena Williams/Instagram

Though Ohanian continued to hint at the romance on social media throughout 2016, the tech mogul didn't pop up on Williams' Instagram account until later that fall, when he posed for a group photo among her friends. In the caption, Williams teased Ohanian as a "nerd."

Nov. 28, 2016: Serena Williams and Ohanian celebrate Halloween together

Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian halloween

The two spent Halloween together, seemingly confirming their relationship on Instagram as they posed in a "couples costume" for the occasion. Williams posted a photo of herself and Ohanian dressed up in bear-themed looks.

Dec. 10, 2016: Alexis Ohanian proposes to Serena Williams

Ohanian put a lot of thought into his proposal to Williams, a tactical one that took several months of strategic coordinating. (So tactical and secretive, that even Tommy Hilfiger was involved!) The surprise? He did it in the same spot they first met: the Cavalieri Hotel.

Dec. 29, 2016: Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian announce their engagement

Williams broke the news of her engagement with a poem on — you guessed it — Reddit. She wrote: "I came home. A little late. Someone had a bag packed for me. And a carriage waited. Destination: Rome."

She added: "To escort me to my very own 'charming.' Back to where our stars first collided. And now it was full circle. At the same table we first met by chance. But by choice. Down on knee. He said 4 words. And I said yes."

As for Ohanian, he wrote to fans on Twitter: "Thank you all for the kind words. Especially from all my Armenian brothers and sisters debating when they can claim Serena as Armenian."

Jan. 5, 2017: Serena Williams shows off her engagement ring

Serena Williams/Reddit

In early January 2017, Williams headed down under for the Australian Open and showed off her engagement ring for the first time. She turned to Reddit once again to showcase the band.

"Engagement shoe game," she captioned the photos as she sported Nike sneakers alongside a dressed-up Ohanian.

January 2017: Serena Williams opens up about her engagement to Alexis Ohanian

After securing a first-round victory in the Open, Williams opened up about her engagement in a post-match press conference, telling reporters, "It feels good."

"I really haven't thought about it too much, because I wasn't even really gonna think about it until after the tournament," Williams continued. "So, I just keep saying, 'February, I'll start looking at the bigger picture of my life.' But right now I'm just so focused that this is all I can think about."

She added of Ohanian, "He's incredible — a really nice person. I think he definitely treats everyone the same, which is really cool to see. Really, really nice to see."

Jan 26, 2017: Serena Williams blows a kiss to Alexis Ohanian from the court

During a later match in the tournament, Williams was caught blowing a kiss to Ohanian, who was watching from the stands.

May 1, 2017: Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian make their Met Gala debut

Alexis Ohanian (L) and Serena Williams
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

Williams and Ohanian made their Met Gala debut in 2017, only a few months after the couple announced their engagement and revealed they were expecting. Dazzling in Versace, the mom-to-be glowed in green as she showed off her baby bump on the red carpet.

Sept. 1, 2017: Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian welcome their daughter Alexis Olympia

Serena Williams, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. and Alexis Ohanian attend the 2021 AFI Fest - Closing Night Premiere of Warner Bros. "King Richard"

Williams and Ohanian welcomed their first child, daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., together on Sept. 1, 2017. But it wasn't until years later that the tennis star opened up about her near-death experience after giving birth.

"Every mother, everywhere, regardless of race or background deserves to have a healthy pregnancy and birth," Williams penned in an opinion piece on CNN in February 2018.

She noted that she "almost died" after giving birth to her first child. Her heart rate plummeted to dangerously low levels during contractions, causing doctors to perform an emergency cesarean section.

Though the surgery went well, what followed was a six-day battle with a pulmonary embolism (a condition in which one or more arteries in the lungs become blocked by a blood clot), leading to multiple surgeries and a handful of additional medical troubles for the new mom.

Oct. 31, 2017: Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian celebrate their first Halloween with Olympia

The new parents dressed up their newborn as a superhero to celebrate her first Halloween, sharing a photo of the precious moment on Instagram. "When you realize you're the hero Gotham needs," the proud parents captioned the snap.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

Nov. 7, 2017: Serena Williams goes on a girls' trip before her wedding

La La Anthony, Venus Williams, Serena Williams and Ciara having lunch at the Baccarat Hotel in NYC Saturday 11/4

Prior to her nuptials to Ohanian, Williams celebrated by throwing a luxurious girls' weekend in New York City, which included five-star spa treatments, trapeze-ing, tea brunches, and dancing out on the town with famous friends.

Nov. 15, 2017: Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian have a wedding rehearsal dinner

The evening before their wedding day, the biggest names in Hollywood descended on New Orleans to celebrate the upcoming nuptials of Williams and Ohanian. Eva Longoria, Cynthia Evros, and more gathered at held at celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse's restaurant Meril.

Nov. 16, 2017: Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian get married

Approximately 11 weeks since the couple welcomed their first child together, Williams and Ohanian tied the knot at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans on Nov. 16.

They said their "I dos" in front of a slew of celebrity guests, including Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian, Eva Longoria and husband José Bastón, and fellow tennis star Caroline Wozniacki.

Sept. 8, 2018: Alexis Ohanian posts a tribute to Serena Williams ahead of the U.S. Open

Serena Williams/Instagram

Williams' husband shared a sentimental video ahead of her U.S. Open championship match in September 2018.

"She fought for her life, for our child, for recognition, for equal pay, for women's rights," Ohanian wrote alongside the tear-jerking tribute video. "She never gives up. She's passionate and unrelenting and the most inspiring person I know."

Feb. 14, 2019: Alexis Ohanian reveals his 'simple Sunday tradition' with Serena Williams

The Reddit co-founder penned a letter for Glamour published on Valentine's Day detailing the ways in which he keeps his romance with Williams alive.

Though Ohanian has become known for his self-described "extravagant" romantic gestures — including flying Williams to Italy when she was craving Italian food — it's "the simpler things that are the most important," Ohanian wrote.

"You have to show up. You have to be supportive," he said. "These are the things that matter." The best move? His "simple Sunday tradition" of making pancakes.

Jan. 26, 2021: Serena Williams says she's found happiness in her family

The 23-time Grand Slam champion opened up about how Olympia and Ohanian have impacted her happiness amid the pressures of being one of the best tennis players in the world.

"I've been so focused on my career my whole life, but when I had a family and got married, I realized that there's so much more to life. And that was great," she tells PEOPLE.

March 29, 2021: Serena Williams opens up about marriage challenges with Alexis Ohanian

Alexis Ohanian Talks Being a 'Business Dad' to Daughter Olympia, 4: I Want Her 'to See Me Working'
Alexis Ohanian Sr./Instagram

Williams admitted that marriage "is not bliss" without work as she opened up about matrimony and motherhood for Bumble's The Question Game.

"Marriage is not bliss," she admitted with a laugh when asked what was the most surprising thing she learned about marriage. "But it can be if you work at it." She added during the video that "a dealbreaker for me in a relationship is definitely loyalty. Well, not having it, that is."

July 14, 2022: Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian vacation in Greece

Williams and Ohanian enjoyed some family time in Greece, sightseeing with Olympia in the country for the first time in July.

"Just the 3 of us," Williams captioned an Instagram post, which featured an image of the S by Serena founder posing for the camera in a casual black dress while Ohanian kissed Olympia on the cheek.

Before making their way to Greece, Williams and Olympia enjoyed some mother-daughter time in the U.K.

Aug. 9, 2022: Serena Williams talks about expanding her family with Alexis Ohanian

Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian
Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian. Jim Spellman/Getty

Williams opened up in a first-person essay for Vogue about her decision to begin an "evolution" away from tennis and her hopes of adding another little one to her family of three.

"In the last year, Alexis and I have been trying to have another child, and we recently got some information from my doctor that put my mind at ease and made me feel that whenever we're ready, we can add to our family," she writes. "I definitely don't want to be pregnant again as an athlete. I need to be two feet into tennis or two feet out."

Aug. 12, 2022: Alexis Ohanian praises Serena Williams ahead of her expected retirement

Alexis Ohanian penned a touching message for his legendary wife after the tennis champion announced she'd be "evolving away from" the sport. He shared a sweet photo of himself and Olympia, along with a heartfelt tribute to Williams' career and legacy.

"I've seen over the last 7 years how much y'all love my wife — what she means to so many, worldwide," wrote Ohanian. "It's unlike anything I've ever seen. Plenty of folks have told me 'how Reddit changed their life,' but the scale & impact of 'how Serena changed my life' stories absolutely dwarfs it."

He continued, "And that's just the stuff I hear when people come up to me to say hi. You simply cannot overstate the breadth and depth of influence she's had on so many people. As far as I can tell, she has no idea. @serenawilliams doesn't think about it, or even realize it."

August 2022: Alexis Ohanian cheers for Serena Williams at the US Open

Serena Williams of USA with husband Alexis Ohanian and their daughter Olympia Ohanian Jr during the ceremony honoring her career following her first round win on day 1 of the US Open 2022, 4th Grand Slam event of the season at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 29, 2022 in Queens, New York City
Jean Catuffe/Getty

Ohanian was seen supporting Williams from the 23-time Grand Slam champion's box along with celebrities like Zendaya, Spike Lee and Tiger Woods.

The proud husband also posted about the tournament on social media, sharing a clip on Instagram of himself in the stands watching a match with Olympia on his lap. In the video, Ohanian can be seen shouting with excitement and pumping his fist while Olympia looks around. "Babygirl unphased. Dad losing it. As usual," he wrote in the caption.

The Reddit co-founder also shared a carousel of photos of him and Olympia at the event, in which he wears a sweatshirt that says "GOAT" featuring photos of his wife. In another snap, Ohanian gives Williams a sweet kiss.

On Twitter, the Ohanian uploaded a video of Williams walking onto the court at Arthur Ashe stadium as Olympia proudly snaps photos with a pink camera. Along with the video, Ohanian wrote, "I cannot wait to develop these photos!"

November 4, 2022: Alexis Ohanian responds to Drake's song lyrics about him being Serena Williams' "groupie"

On Drake's latest album, Her Loss, the rapper threw shade at Ohanian on the track titled "Middle of the Ocean."

"Sidebar, Serena, your husband a groupie / He claim we don't got a problem but / No, boo, it is like you comin' for sushi," he can be heard saying.

Ohanian addressed the verbal jab immediately — and with a bit of humor.

"The reason I stay winning is because I'm relentless about being the absolute best at whatever I do — including being the best groupie for my wife & daughter," he tweeted.

Related Articles