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Serena Williams recalls meet cute with husband Alexis Ohanian: 'We tried to get rid of him'

It wasn't love at first sight between the tennis legend and the tech founder, who married in 2015.

Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian might be going strong after five years of marriage, but it definitely wasn't love at first sight when the tennis legend first met the Reddit co-founder. In fact, it was more like annoyance at first sight.

During a new interview with Drew Barrymore, Williams admitted that she actually tried to get rid of her now-husband during their first encounter.

At the time, the 41-year-old was at the Cavalieri Hotel in Rome with a friend when who was then a stranger suddenly invaded her personal space.

"This guy shows up and the whole place is empty. And this guy, like really tall, he comes with his computer and he plops down right next to us. And he opens his computer and he starts typing," she explained. "And I'm just like, 'Why?' I was so angry, I was like, 'Why is this guy here?"

Williams and her friend attempted to scare Ohanian off by saying they saw a rat on the floor, but they couldn't fool him.

“Alexis looks and doesn’t flinch. And I’m like, ‘You’re not afraid of rats?' And he’s like, 'Um no, I’m from Brooklyn. But is there even really a rat there?' I guess he always knew I was full of stuff," the tennis pro recalled.

After they started talking a bit, Williams found out what the tech founder did for a living, but she'd never actually heard of Reddit before.

"So I didn't know what Reddit was and then we’re like, 'Oh we love that!' And he's like, 'Oh, have you seen it? What do you like?' And I was like, 'Uhh....'"

Before she left for the night, Williams asked Ohanian for his phone number and left for one of her tennis matches.

After the match was over, a tall man got into the car with her and she assumed he was a security guard, without ever actually looking over. Williams then turned to her agent and asked why she didn't tell her she needed security, assuming that she must have a stalker.

The tennis pro's agent then told her the man was Ohanian, who ended up talking with Williams' agent earlier in the night. They discovered they have a mutual friend and Williams' agent invited him to the match, without telling Williams.

Alexis Ohanian, Serena Williams
Ohanian and Williams at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in 2022.Evan Agostini / AP

After meeting for the second time, the two kept in touch for quite a while before things turned romantic.

“It really wasn’t anything for a long time 'cause we were just texting,” she explained.

One day, Williams accidentally invited Ohanian to Paris to see her play in a match. She had just played in another match and was semi-joking that he needed to see her play on a good day, since she hadn't played her best that day.

"I literally did not want him to come. I was not thinking about it that way or anything. And then he's like, 'Oh yeah, I'll be there,' and I was like, 'Oh man, what have I gotten myself into?" she said.

In 2017, the two lovebirds got married and welcomed their first child together, a daughter named Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.