Serena announces engagement in Reddit post

Serena Williams posted a photo on Instagram four weeks ago of herself and Alexis Ohanian at a costume party. The pair have not revealed a wedding date despite the engagement announcement.
Serena Williams posted a photo on Instagram four weeks ago of herself and Alexis Ohanian at a costume party. The pair have not revealed a wedding date despite the engagement announcement.PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/SERENAWILLIAMS

WASHINGTON • Tennis superstar Serena Williams announced on Thursday that she is engaged to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, breaking the news with a poem on her verified Reddit account.

Williams, 35, and Ohanian, 33, did not reveal a wedding date in the postings, listed under the Reddit tag "isaidyes".

"I came home. A little late. Someone had a bag packed for me. And a carriage awaited. Destination: Rome. To escort me to my very own "charming". Back to where our stars first collided. And now it was full circle. At the same table we first met by chance. This time he made it not by chance. But by choice. Down on one knee. He said 4 words. And. isaidyes," Williams posted.

The couple have been dating since at least late last year, but have kept their relationship low-key, with the exception of a few Instagram posts.

US Weekly reported in October last year that Williams and Ohanian were dating, and that the couple met at a lunch not long after Williams was linked to the rap star Drake.

The tennis legend was previously also linked to her coach Patrick Mouratoglou and rapper Common.

Four weeks ago, Williams posted a photo of the couple at a costume party.

Within minutes of the engagement announcement, comments on the photo were dominated with congratulatory messages.

Ohanian shared Williams' Reddit post on his Facebook page with the message: "She said yes."

He also commented on her Reddit thread, writing: "You made me the happiest man on the planet."

In an interview with Vogue in July, Williams was asked to identify the most romantic thing a man had ever done for her.

"It hasn't happened yet," she replied. On Twitter, Ohanian had called the interview "pretty great."

A user replied to him, and to Williams: "Alexis, I think you need to get on that most romantic thing."

Ohanian is significantly less known by the public, but he too has risen to the top of his field since starting the site that would become Reddit with his college room-mate, Steve Huffman, 11 years ago.

The site was acquired by American mass media company Conde Nast just 16 months after it began.

Despite her engagement, Williams is set to focus on tennis and will aim to win her seventh Australian Open title next month.

She is preparing for the start of the 2017 tennis season, having lost her world No. 1 spot to Germany's Angelique Kerber this year.

Both she and her sister Venus arrived in Auckland yesterday for the ASB Classic - a warm-up tournament leading up to the Open.

Venus Williams said she had to keep a lid on the news of her sister's engagement after getting the early word. "I might just be her big sister, I might know these things," she said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE GUARDIAN, NYTIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 31, 2016, with the headline 'Serena announces engagement in Reddit post'. Print Edition | Subscribe