Serena Williams knows that husband Alexis Ohanian is not only her biggest cheerleader, but also her greatest defender. He’s spoken up for his wife before when he feels like she is unfairly attacked, especially when it comes from within the tennis community. And, unfortunately, he had reason to need to do so again recently, when former tennis player Ion Tiriac decided that he had some opinions he needed to share about one of the sport’s GOATs. (That’s Greatest Of All Time!)
“Serena was a sensational player,” the 81-year-old Triac said to Romanian public channel TVR in a recent interview. “If she had a little decency, she would retire. At this age and the weight she is now, she does not move as easily as she did 15 years ago.”
Hold up, now. Williams is only 39 years old, incredibly fit, and crushing two full-time jobs — in the home and on the tennis court. Ohanian shares the same opinion and decided to hit back on Twitter.
2021 and no holding back when a racist/sexist clown with a platform comes for my family.
— Alexis Ohanian Sr. 7️⃣7️⃣6️⃣ (@alexisohanian) January 4, 2021
“2021 and no holding back when a racist/sexist clown with a platform comes for my family,” the Reddit co-founder wrote. “Safe to say no one gives a damn what Ion Țiriac thinks.”
Yep, we were fine without Tiriac’s opinion, because even though he impressively won the 1970 French Open in men’s doubles, his tennis record doesn’t hold a candle to Williams’ 23 Grand Slam singles titles, ranking her second for all-time singles titles behind Margaret Court. We didn’t even count her doubles and mixed doubles Grand Slam titles, which gives her a combined all-time high of 39. So, we understand Ohanian’s frustration with such gross and unwarranted criticism.
One Twitter user agreed with Ohanian, “You go Alexis. Most of us are tired of these people. I am glad you are able to defend your family freely when ever, and how ever you want. I salute you!” He quickly responded with, “I’m always hungry.”
Williams didn’t publicly comment on Tiriac’s recent comments on her career this time, but she did tell The New York Times in 2018 the first time he criticized her weight and age.
“I always say people are entitled to their opinion,” Williams explained. “Clearly there’s more to women’s tennis than me. There’s a lot more, but I’ll have words with him, believe me, I’ll have words with him. It’s an ignorant comment, and it’s a sexist comment, and maybe he’s an ignorant man.”
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