Serena Williams’ husband Alexis Ohanian is one of the most renowned internet entrepreneurs of all-time, but he reckons his wife’s legacy is much bigger than his. Having heard stories from fans about how much their lives have been impacted by the 23-time Grand Slam champion, Ohanian has come to the conclusion that his biggest legacy – social media platform Reddit – doesn’t compare to what Williams has achieved.
The Reddit co-founder posted his observation on Twitter, a few days after the former World No. 1 announced to the world that her retirement clock has officially started. Alexis Ohanian remarked that the love the 41-year-old’s fans have for her is unlike anything he has ever seen.
“I’ve seen over the last 7 years how much y’all love my wife—what she means to so many, worldwide. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen,” Ohanian wrote. “Plenty of folks have told me “how Reddit changed their life,” but the scale & impact of “how Serena changed my life” stories absolutely dwarfs it.”
The 39-year-old declared that it would be impossible to quantify the exact influence Serena Williams has had on people’s lives, adding that she isn’t even aware of her own importance. As far as Ohanian was aware, it was not something the 23-time Grand Slam champion consciously thought about.
“And that’s just the stuff I hear when people come up to me to say hi. You simply cannot overstate the size and influence [Serena Williams] has had on so many people,” Ohanian wrote. “And for what it’s worth, as far as I can tell, she has no idea. She doesn’t think about it.”
“I don’t particularly like to think about my legacy; I hope that people come to think of me as symbolizing something bigger than tennis” – Serena Williams
Serena Williams commented on what she thought her legacy would be during her retirement announcement, remarking that it was not a topic she wanted to focus on. However, she hoped that, thanks to her, more women athletes would get the opportunity to “be themselves” on the court and be proud of themselves for living their best lives.
“I don’t particularly like to think about my legacy. I get asked about it a lot, and I never know exactly what to say. But I’d like to think that thanks to opportunities afforded to me, women athletes feel that they can be themselves on the court,” she said. “They can play with aggression and pump their fists. They can be strong yet beautiful. They can wear what they want and say what they want and kick butt and be proud of it all.”
The American admitted that she was not perfect by any means and that her career had been riddled with mistakes, just like any other player. At the same time, Serena Williams was of the opinion that it would help serve as a launching pad for the coming generations.
In the process, the former World No. 1 hoped her legacy would come to mean more than her success on the tennis court, symbolizing something far bigger than just the number of Grand Slams she has won.
“I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my career. I’m far from perfect, but I’ve also taken a lot of criticism, and I’d like to think that I went through some hard times as a professional tennis player so that the next generation could have it easier,” Serena Williams said. “Over the years, I hope that people come to think of me as symbolizing something bigger than tennis. I’d like it to be: Serena is this and she’s that and she was a great tennis player and she won those slams.”