Serena Williams’ husband Alexis Ohanian once stood up in class to tell his school friends that he hated tennis.
Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit and Initialized Capital, reminisced about his childhood years in a letter he wrote to his younger self as part of the “Note to Self” series on CBS.
Ohanian, of course, is married to the 23-time Grand Slam tennis champion Williams and has regularly been seen cheering her on from courtside.
But he has not always enjoyed the sport. No, in fact, there was a time he couldn’t stand it.
“You’ll do a class assignment in the 4th grade where you’ll share just how much you hate tennis,” Ohanian told his childhood self. “That’s fine for now, but promise me you’ll keep an open mind later in life.”
It is not the first time Ohanian has made this confession. At Business Insider’s IGNITION conference last year, he said he “thought tennis was a joke of a sport” and that he’d even “change the channel” if it was on.
But he changed his mind when he met his famous wife and realized he was “naive and so wrong.” He even marvels at the way Williams is able to take rejection and defeat and find that next gear in the following match. “That is a mental strength that doesn’t get enough credit in sport,” he said.
Elsewhere in the letter, Ohanian wrote: “You’ll eventually get married, have a daughter, and even your own mango tree.
“You’ll spend your whole life creating: websites, companies, even logos that millions of people love, but none of those compare to how proud of you are of your most important creation: your family.”
Family is something Ohanian speaks about often. He has often spoke glowingly of Williams and previously said that his marriage to her provides him with a “front row seat to greatness.”
When she returned to tennis in 2018 after giving birth to their daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. in 2017, he even erected four giant billboards that proclaimed her the “greatest momma of all time.”
And as for being a good father, Ohanian knows all the words to his daughter’s favorite Disney movies “Frozen” and “Beauty and the Beast.”
Williams is set to compete at the 2019 Miami Open and will face either Laura Siegemund or Rebecca Peterson in the second round this week.
Ohanian and Williams live together in Florida so it is likely he will, once again, be supporting his superstar wife from courtside. Good thing he kept an open mind about tennis later in life.
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