Will Serena Williams Getting Married Affect Her Tennis?

Serena Williams’ recent acceptance of a marriage proposal could represent a change in focus.

Serena Williams, according to a recent article at the WTA’s homepage, is engaged (December 29th). She and her fiance announced the engagement on Reddit, a popular social-media site that allows users to up-vote webpages that they like. The man who Williams, 35-years old, is engaged to is Alexis Ohanian.

For those wondering who he is, arguably Ohanian is best known for being engaged to Serena Williams. However, those in the know when it comes to the names associated with big websites know that Ohanian is a co-founder of Reddit, the same site that the news of the engagement was originally announced on.

It’s certainly a time for celebration for Serena Williams and many of her fans will be happy for her. However, those that are more focused on the tennis side of things, fans of sport that don’t necessarily care about the surrounding celebrity stories, might be wondering what it will mean for Serena’s tennis commitments. Time will tell of course, but if you don’t mind some gossip, I think it’s more likely to hurt than to help.

Getting engaged may represent a change in focus for Serena. For certain, her 2016 tennis season saw her suffer some setbacks, at least by her own standards. By practically anyone else’s standards what she accomplished in the season was amazing. However, she won just the one major after winning three the year prior.

Furthermore, in 2016 she lost the No. 1 ranking, perhaps for good, to Angelique Kerber. Shortly thereafter Williams ended her season, one that she turned 35 years old in. She wouldn’t be human if some of it didn’t weigh on her mind at least a little. Now she’s engaged and, accordingly, she must be making plans to get married.

Certainly, getting married and succeeding in sport isn’t mutually exclusive. A loving fiance or husband would only support a spouse’s dreams and vice versa. However, I think tennis fans can wonder if we’re seeing developments in Serena’s social  life that still might see her commitment to tennis decline. If so, then tennis fans can likewise wonder if a new era of women’s tennis is approaching. Even if her focus isn’t changing, there’s still the question of her age as 2017 quickly approaches.


Shane Lambert