The U.S. Open 2020 is underway with no live spectators, but Serena Williams still had a fan cheering her on in the stands: her 3-year-old daughter, Olympia.
The toddler was spotted in the stands with her dad, Serena Williams' husband, Alexis Ohanian, during Williams’ match against Sloane Stephens on Saturday.
In a clip from the game, Olympia points and waves to her mom on the court and exclaims, “Mama!” In response, her mom takes a slug of water and excitedly waves back. Naturally, her daughter is all smiles after that. Ohanian's mask, which read "GIRL DAD," also got some attention after the sweet exchange went viral.
"This moment is so pure,” ESPNW captioned the video on Twitter.
Williams talked briefly about her daughter watching her play in an on-court interview Saturday. "I hope that she saw her mama fighting," she said.
The U.S. Open 2020 kicked off on Aug. 31 in New York City and is the first Grand Slam event since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Safety measures are in place for the tournament, including no live spectators and limited social contact among the players and their entourages. Athletes must also undergo regular COVID-19 testing.
After Serena Williams' match against Stephens on Saturday, which Williams won, she could snag her first Grand Slam title since winning the Australian Open in 2017, when she became the greatest player in Open history with 23 Grand Slam wins.
At a post-match press conference, Williams got candid about the importance of competing in this tournament and the pressure she faces when it comes to winning new titles and setting records.
“Every day having 'Serena' on your back is a massive target, for the tour, for press, for stress, but as Billie Jean King said, 'Pressure is a privilege,' so I wouldn’t want it any other way,” she said. “I just try to think about how fortunate I am to have been in this position and honestly to be Serena. It feels weird to say that.”
Williams also discussed what it's like to be a mom competing in the tournament: "I'm so happy that there are so many moms in the event, obviously, because I'm one. I have a totally new respect for moms."
"I would never have thought that I would be playing as a mom," she continued. "The plus is that one day your daughter can say she was there. Whether she remembers or not, I'm always going to have pictures. But other than that, it's all minus. I'm not with her, I'm not around her and it's hard. For me, it's hard because I spend a tremendous amount of time with her. So, on that note, I'm going to go be with her. Thank you."
The tennis ace echoed the same sentiment earlier this year when she spoke with TODAY Parents and acknowledged the struggles of being a working mom.
"I don't know how moms do it," she said. "I work a lot, and I can't imagine working a full day like most working women and then go back to their babies. I'm fortunate enough that I have days off, and I get to make my schedule and then can spend the rest of the day with her. And that's still hard."