Tennis champion Serena Williams recently revealed why her father didn’t want to walk her down the aisle at her wedding to Alexis Ohanian.
The 36-year-old recalled her wedding day in the new HBO documentary, “Being Serena” and revealed that her father, Richard Williams, surprisingly told his daughter that he didn’t want to walk her down the aisle just one hour before the nuptials were set to start.
“He was in New Orleans, he had a suit, and I know he was really excited,” Williams told Vogue. “But then he wrote me and said: ‘Serena, I don’t want you to be mad at me, but I just can’t walk you down the aisle. I’m not myself anymore. I’m just too nervous.’”
The new mom, who had just given birth to her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. two months prior, completely understood and supported her father’s decision.
“Daddy it’s okay, if you don’t want to come to the wedding at all, that’s okay too,” Williams wrote. “I’m not going to be upset with you about it, so I don’t want you to be upset about it.”
Williams shared how she was more concerned about her father’s health than about her being walked down an aisle.
“Maybe a lot of daughters wouldn’t react the same way, but I know the struggles he’s had these last few years. His health is better now, but I know he still doesn’t feel like himself, doesn’t feel like he’s perfect. And if he doesn’t want to be up there in front of a lot of people, I completely understand,” Williams said.
“Look, when we first came on the scene, there were a lot of people who didn’t get him. I don’t think a lot of them wanted to get him. I don’t think a lot of him could have anyway. Our family knows what we have. We just want each other to be happy. That’s what matters. I don’t think anything could ever change that,” she continued.
Serena and Venus Williams’ father suffered a stroke in July 2016, right before both of their victories at Wimbledon.
Take a look at Serena Williams and her father over the years below.