The Reddit co-founder — who married Williams in November, just 11 weeks after the couple welcomed their baby girl, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. — shared a supportive Instagram post shortly after Saturday’s Ladies’ Singles Final.
Using a photo of the 36-year-old tennis star serving the ball with the words “just getting started,” quoting Williams’ post-match interview, Ohanian began by congratulating German player Angelique Kerber on her win.
“@serenawilliams will be holding a trophy again soon—she’s got the greatest one waiting at home for her,” he wrote, referring to their daughter. “Our family knows she’ll win many more trophies, too.”
He added, “She’s just getting started. And I couldn’t be more proud.”
“Days after our baby girl was born, I kissed my wife goodbye before surgery and neither of us knew if she would be coming back,” wrote Ohanian. “We just wanted her to survive—10 months later, she’s in the #Wimbledon final.”
The athlete said in an opinion piece on CNN.com that she “almost died” after giving birth. Her heart rate plummeted to dangerously low levels during contractions, causing doctors to perform an emergency cesarean section.
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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 becomes blocked by a blood clot) that led to multiple surgeries and a handful of additional medical troubles for the new mom.
Williams, a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, pointed out the dangers women face during childbirth and encouraged fans to donate to UNICEF and other organizations to help “demand governments, businesses and healthcare providers do more to save these precious lives.”
“Together, we can make this change,” she wrote. “Together, we can be the change.”
“It was such an amazing tournament for me. I was really hoping to get this far,” Williams said while fighting back tears. “It’s obviously disappointing, but I can’t be disappointed. I have so much to look forward to. I’m literally just getting started.”
She added with emotion in her voice, “To all the moms out there, I was playing for you today and I tried.”
Kerber defeated Williams 6-3, 6-3, clinching her first-ever Wimbledon win. Despite her disappointment over losing the tournament, Williams shared that she was happy for her opponent.
“She’s an incredible person, Angelique is, and she’s a really good friend, so I’m really happy for her,” she graciously remarked. “This is her first title and I know she’s going to really enjoy it and enjoy the moment. So congrats again. It’s amazing.”