Serena Williams’s Husband, Alexis Ohanian, Served Up Shade at the U.S. Open


Honey, I checked the LinkedIn page for Serena Williams's husband, Alexis Ohanian (6-feet, 5-inches tall) and under profession it just said "A REAL ONE."

It turns out, not only is he the G.O.A.T.'s biggest cheerleader but he is also shadier than the ground under the Giving Tree.

While watching his spouse summarily shutdown a challenge from Maria Sharapova, Ohanian revealed a subtle but also very not subtle fashion dig at Williams' opponent.

After unbuttoning a black jacket, Ohanian revealed he was sporting a classic '80s-style D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) shirt. A thrift store find or a shady message ordered, express mailed, and served right on to the court for this specific purpose? Only the refs can say for sure.

Now, I must divulge, I am not a tennis-head and I don't really… know what's happening but the minute I saw Ohanian's shirt my shade sensors went haywire. "I am very confused," I cried, "but I love it!"

So, as I usually do when I sense a drag is a-foot, I went to my old gossipy butler friend AskJeeves, who always has the tea. Seems Sharapova wrote some petty things about Williams in her autobiography, alleging that Williams hated her and has a grudge against her. "Alexa, play 'Obsessed' by Mariah Carey."

Then in 2016, Sharapova failed a drug test at the Australian Open and was banned for two years. Now she's back, facing Williams for the 19th time and Alexis Ohanian decided this was a perfect opportunity to pull out a Nancy Reagan read from the moth balls! How dare he!

Now, what me and my girl Jeeves cannot quite figure out is why some of y'all are still on Al Gore's internet taking up valuable pixels talking about how Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova are in a rivalry, when Williams has beaten Sharapova 19 times out of 20 now (thanks Jeeves!) and is living her unbothered, didn't write a book about it life. When you face someone 20 times and 95 percent of them you lose, it's not a rivalry; it's a hierarchy.

I'm going to start manifesting this energy into everyday life. Just walking into the CrossFit class I rarely attend and passively participate in and announcing "You are all my rivals." E-mailing Jesse L. Williams, attractive star of Grey's Anatomy whom I do not resemble in the least: "You are my rival. We are up for the same roles." Calling into Ira Madison III's successful pop culture podcast, "Hey rival; what's good?!"

No shade (beyond the obvious shade) but let's use words that make sense. Rival is just not realistic.

Anyway, back Ohanian, serving shade couture. What I love most is that for much of the match he wore his jacket completely buttoned up. But like the Sondheim lyric says, "Ah but underneath!" He's just sitting there, giggling to himself, feeling those iron-on letter press against his chest and thinking, "Oh, it's about to be so on!"

This is shade that includes a reveal. Sis is over here pulling some season finale of Drag Race stunts on the side of a tennis court and, reader, I love all. Beloveds, get yourselves someone who will don a costume to subtly remind your not-rivals exactly who you are. I don't know if the Williams-Ohanian household has a family crest, but if it does, it surely reads "Don't start none; there won't be none." And that's a match point.

R. Eric Thomas R Eric Thomas is a Senior Staff Writer at, home of his daily humor column "Eric Reads the News," which skewers politics, pop culture, celebrity shade, and schadenfreude.

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