But prior to meeting her now-husband, the tennis great received some wonderful words of relationship wisdom from the guru of advice ― Oprah herself.
“Oprah said, ‘Never let anyone dim your light.’ That really stuck with me. Alexis doesn’t dim my light,” Williams said in an interview for the cover of Allure’s February 2019 issue.
“He doesn’t try to dim my light. He puts me in the light, even if I don’t want to be,” she said.
“He pushes me to further points I never thought about. It always was something that I could see in some relationships — my light would be dimmer. Now I feel like I can shine really bright and still do everything that I want to do.”
Williams said she didn’t mean to slight anyone she dated before meeting Ohanian (she was linked to Common and Drake, among others).
“Not to knock anyone else I was with before, because they were all mostly amazing, but I know now I can be selfish, have a great career, and a great partner, someone that believes in me,” Williams said.
Ohanian and Williams first met in May of 2015 at a hotel where both were staying in Rome. The tennis superstar was seated next to her friends, and Ohanian sat down right next to them. A little too close, according to Williams.
“This big guy comes and he just plops down at the table next to us, and I’m like, ‘Huh! All these tables and he’s sitting here?’” Williams recalled in a 2017 Vanity Fair interview.
After failing to get him to move, Williams uttered some cringe-worthy first words to “this big guy.”
“We just don’t want you sitting there. We’re going to use that table,” she said she told him.
Undeterred, the two ending up chatting ― and now we all know how the story ends. Happily ever after.