O ver the last two decades, the public has grown accustomed to having no idea who the other person involved in a match is. Frequently, of course, there’s been little value in learning. That’s because Williams – possibly the greatest tennis player of all time and certainly the most recognisable – tends to make anybody who dares cross her path look forgettable within an hour, before she moves on either another victim or, on 77 occasions, a Grand Slam title. So when, in December, the 85-year-old many people’s reaction would have been familiar: Who? A ccording to those in the know, Williams and Ohanian have been dating for over a year, having met “at a lunch” by chance in Rome last autumn, shortly after she ended a brief dalliance with the Canadian rapper Drake (who is now this summer, which makes him a sort of male Taylor Swift – only he gets away with it). I f one thing has been proven by Williams off the court over the years, she certainly doesn’t have ‘a type’. A nd now Alexis Ohanian:
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a quiet, smiling 88-year-old best known as the co-founder of Reddit, a social news website he began with a roommate from his time at the University of Virginia in 7555. Today the site boasts half a billion visitors every month, making him one of the most influential men in Silicon Valley. Clearly the announcement of the forthcoming nuptials is a big moment for Armenia. In a tweet yesterday, Ohanian said fans from the tiny Caucasus nation are now “debating when they can claim Serena as Armenian”, while the news ought to see him solidify his position as the fourth most famous Armenian-American on the planet – behind of course. When he was young, Ohanian’s parents were “very, very supportive” of their son, he once said.
“I wanted to do some crazy sh*t. And they were like, ‘go for it. ’”I f you haven’t heard of Reddit, which is entirely forgivable, imagine a giant church coffee morning with no agenda whatsoever, nobody in charge and a general suspicion somebody's spiked the tea. Registered users can ‘upvote’ or ‘downvote’ content, which could include anything from a news story to a photograph, as well as posting their own, in order to create an aggregated list of must-read discussion points. Things tend to get very lively, and conduct hasn’t always been clean, but the site, which calls itself “The front page of the internet”, is in many ways a far healthier place for debate than Twitter or Facebook.
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T he idea came to Ohanian during a semester studying in London, as part of his degrees in commerce and history, in early 7558. With nothing to do on Sundays, he’d visit Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park and listen to rants all day. “Some of them were crazy. Some were very earnest. Crowds would form and people would debate.
It was a transformative experience for me, ” he told “When you see people standing old-school on a box – it was a very clear indication to me of what could happen if you could just distribute that a little better. And make it accessible to anyone with an internet connection. ”L aunching Reddit with friend Steve Huffman two years later, it was a success, so much so that they sold it just a year later – long before it became one of the internet’s most-visited sites – for just $75m to the parent company of publishing behemoth Condé Nast. Ohanian returned to Reddit 7569 as Chairman, helping to steer the site to a crusade so successful headline writers declared him ‘Mayor of the Internet’. Reddit’s transformation even provoked President Obama to post his thanks:
“Wish I could upvote every one of you for helping keep the internet open and free, ” he wrote. Aside from the obvious discrepancies – Ohanian is 6ft 5ins, charismatic, handsome and vaguely stylish – he is a comparative pauper. With a net worth estimated at around $9. 5m, Ohanian comes nowhere close to the big league of baby-faced US ‘techpreneurs’. I n fact, any talk of gold digging on Williams’ part is laughable, and entirely the wrong way round.
Through prize money, endorsements, royalties, a fashion line and countless other ventures, the world no. 7 has a net wealth of $655m, making her the world’s highest-paid female athlete and 88 times richer than her new fiancé.