All the details of what went down before and during Serena Williams & Alexis Ohanian’s wedding in New Orleans
Some might say that just like the protagonists in Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve’s fairy tale, Serena and Alexis are an
unlikely match from two very different worlds. She’s the greatest female athlete ever, arguably the greatest athlete of all time. (No man has ever taken home a title pregnant! Enough said.) Meanwhile, he’s the founder of Reddit (the birthplace of many a meme), a guy who grew up playing Game Boy, and has been referred to as the “mayor of the Internet.” When they met, she’d never heard of Reddit, and he had never watched a single one of her matches. But, as we all know, opposites attract.
It all started in Rome with a meet-cute worthy of a romantic comedy. Despite being notoriously disciplined, Serena is not a morning person. But she’d heard good things about the epic breakfast at the Cavalieri Hotel, where she was staying for the Italian Open, so she got out of bed early and went with a few members from her team to check it out. They arrived at the buffet only to find that it had closed just five minutes earlier, so instead, they grabbed a table by the pool and ordered à la carte. Alexis was speaking at a conference and staying at the same hotel. That morning, he had also made his way down early to indulge in the buffet he’d heard so much about. When he, too, discovered that it was no longer open, he took a seat at a table next to Serena’s with the intention of ordering food and doing work on his laptop.
Frustrated that an interloper was encroaching upon their space, Serena’s friend Zane started teasing Alexis, saying there was a rat at his table and that he should move. “I was so annoyed that he’d sat down next to me,” remembers Serena. “There were so many empty tables!” Undeterred by the frosty reception he seemed to be receiving, Alexis jokingly responded saying that he was from Brooklyn—he’d seen lots of rats, and they didn’t bother him. Serena started cracking up and asked him to join her group. He obliged but was still a little unsure whether the person with whom he suddenly found himself having breakfast was actually the Serena Williams.