He’s everything we’ve come to expect from the partner of a professional athlete — a headline-grabbing, social media sensation who wears loud outfits that catch the eye from the grandstand.
In many ways, Serena Williams’ husband Alexis Ohanian is the ultimate WAG.
But where that acronym has been used to describe the wives and girlfriends of our stars in a condescending way, the tech millionaire turned tennis husband is being celebrated as he rewrites the rules on the traditional sports spouse.
The 37-year-old, whose net worth is estimated at anywhere between $40 and $70 million, has become a regular fixture in the crowd as Williams’ continues her history-making career.
It’s certainly a shift from the strong, silent type we’ve been used to on the sidelines in the past but Ohanian is being held up as the model modern-day man as his public adoration and over-the-top gestures set a new standard.
The grandson of Armenian refugees was a big name in the tech world before meeting the 23-time grand slam champion, co-founding social news website Reddit and a venture capital firm.
But marrying someone of Serena’s stature opens up completely different doors — like invites to Royal weddings, the Met gala and of course the players box at tournaments like the Australian Open.
Ohanian is using his new-found profile for change, championing causes like paternity leave after spending months at home caring for his wife and baby, Alexis Olympia, after Serena “nearly died” giving birth.
In June last year he resigned from Reddit’s board and asked to be replaced by a black candidate in response to the death of George Floyd.
A month later he was announced as the lead investor in a primarily female ownership group awarded a new franchise in America’s national women’s soccer league which also included 14 former players and actor Natalie Portman.
But he also appears to be taking care of business at home, showing off a splashy romantic side that has seen him fly Serena to Italy on one occasion because she was craving pasta and announcing she was the “Greatest Momma of All-Time” on a series of billboards in California.
“I will always try to show my wife how much I appreciate and support her,” he wrote in Glamour.
“As an entrepreneur, one of my big mantras is to surprise and delight. I guess I’ve applied that in some way to romance, and if I can think of a way to top myself, I’ll keep pulling out the stops.”
There’s also behind-the-scenes commitments the loved-up couple make for each other, like ensuring they get proper quality time.
“You have to show up,” he wrote. “You have to be supportive. These are the things that matter …
“There are no phones, just conversation. And we’ll spend the day together lounging around the house, or playing hide-and-seek, or going for a swim in the pool. Just being a family on those days means so much to both of us — more than a billboard, a video montage, or a whirlwind trip to Italy.”
He’s also conceded Serena’s career, which has netted her more than $120 million (AUD) in prize money, let alone sponsorship, takes far more effort and energy than his.
“I hated tennis for a long time, until I met my wife and tried to learn it,” Ohanian said.
“Now I appreciate the world of tennis — I understand how the world of tennis is a difficult and intense world.
“In the world of technology we work really hard, but we have been naive. The work done by a professional tennis player, both physically and mentally, is absolutely on another level.”
Sounds like the type of guy you want in your corner.