Serena Williams speaks about marriage to Alexis Ohanian and reveals relationship advice from Oprah

Serena Williams has revealed the impactful dating advice Oprah Winfrey once gave her, revealing that she often felt as though she was being held back in previous relationships.

The 23-time Grand Slam winner married Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian in November 2017, two months after the couple’s daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian, Jr., was born.

While the pair have had a whirlwind love story – having met, had a baby and married within the space of just over two years – Williams admits that she hadn’t been thinking about the prospect of meeting a partner when they made each other’s acquaintance at the Rome Cavalieri hotel in May 2015.

“I was so committed to my job, and to being the best and working the hardest, and I think I still am,” she tells Allure magazine.

Being with Ohanian made Williams realise that she could have both a successful career and a loving partner at the same time, something that she hadn’t always felt with her exes.

Serena Williams on the cover of Allure magazine (Tanya and Zhenya Posternak for Allure)

The strength of her relationship with Ohanian has been highlighted by the advice once given to her by media mogul Winfrey, who interviewed Williams with her sister and fellow tennis superstar Venus in 2002.

“Oprah said, ‘Never let anyone dim your light.’ That really stuck with me,” Williams says.

“Alexis doesn’t dim my light. He doesn’t try to dim my light. He puts me in the light, even if I don’t want to be.”

She continues, explaining that her light often felt “dimmer” in former relationships.

“Now I feel like I can shine really bright and still do everything that I want to do,” Williams says.

The couple’s daughter, who they call by her middle name ‘Olympia’, is now just over a year old.

Williams and Ohanian both oversee the youngster’s Instagram account, which has accumulated more than half a million followers.

Williams believes it’s important to teach Olympia about the significance of self-worth, a lesson that her own mother, Oracene Price, taught her throughout her childhood.

“I think my mum instilled in us to be confident women, to really believe in ourselves, be proud of our heritage, our hair, and our bodies,” she says.

“That was something that was important for her to teach us. I’m definitely teaching it to my daughter.”

In addition to being widely regarded as one of the greatest athletes of all time, Williams has also spent the last few years investing in another passion of hers: fashion.

In May 2018 the entrepreneur launched her eponymous clothing line, with the aim of making women feel empowered and confident.

Williams isn’t a fan of the term “plus-size”, instead opting to label the larger sizes in her range as “great”.

“They say I’m great. I don’t look like everyone else. They still call me great. In fact, they call me the greatest,” she says.

“I thought, Ok, that’s it. That’s the word. It’s ‘great’.”