Alexis Ohanian Passionately Defends Serena Williams Over Comments About Her Weight And Age

Olivia Blair
·2-min read
Photo credit: Earl Gibson III - Getty Images
Photo credit: Earl Gibson III - Getty Images


We tend to see Alexis Ohanian watching his wife of three years Serena Williams on the tennis court, where he's regularly seen enthusiastically cheering with their daughter Olympia or jumping up and down with nerves.

But this week, Ohanian launched into one of his most impassioned defences of his wife after reading comments made by the owner of the Madrid Open.

According to Romanian media, Ion Tiriac - also a former professional tennis player and the current president of the Romanian Tennis Federation - suggested Williams should retire from tennis, bringing her 'age' and 'weight' into the mix.

'At her age and the weight she is now, she doesn't move as easily as she did 15 years ago,' he said, according to reports and a translation confirmed by ELLE UK. '... If she had a bit of decency, she would withdraw.'

After being alerted to the comments, Ohanian derided Tiriac taking to Twitter to say that 'no one gives a damn' what the 81-year-old Romanian businessman thinks before launching another offensive where he claimed he and Williams' three year old daughter Olympia has more Grand Slam titles than Tiriac.

Doubling down on his defence of his wife - who holds 23 Grand Slam titles to her name - Ohanian affirmed that he will not 'hold back when a racist/sexist clown with a platform comes for my family', linking to a 2017 article where Tiriac defended his friend and fellow former tennis player Ilie Nastate after he was fined and temporarily banned from the tennis federation for making racist comments about Williams and Ohanian's then unborn child.

Tiriac has so far not responded to the criticisms from Ohanian (ELLE UK has reached out for comment) but he has a track record of disparaging Williams. In 2018, not long after Williams welcomed Olympia, he referred to Williams as '36 years old and 90 kilograms,' saying he wished women’s tennis had more headliners.

Photo credit: Matthew Ashton - Getty Images
Photo credit: Matthew Ashton - Getty Images

Williams responded telling the New York Times: 'I always say people are entitled to their opinion. Clearly there’s more to women’s tennis than me. There’s a lot more, but I’ll have words with him, believe me, I’ll have words with him. It’s an ignorant comment, and it’s a sexist comment, and maybe he’s an ignorant man.'

Sign up to our newsletter to get more articles like this delivered straight to your inbox.

In need of more inspiration, thoughtful journalism and at-home beauty tips? Subscribe to ELLE's print magazine today! SUBSCRIBE HERE

You Might Also Like