Serena Williams has for the first time talked about why her father did not walk her down the aisle on her wedding day.


The tennis star said her father, Richard, said he was “just too nervous” to carry out the customary wedding day tradition.

Williams revealed this on Thursday in the third episode of the HBO documentary ‘Being Serena’.

She said he relayed the message via a text message just one hour before the wedding.


“He was in New Orleans, he had a suit, and I know he was really excited,” she said.

“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.’”

Williams replied saying: “Daddy, it’s okay, if you don’t want to come to the wedding at all, that’s okay too. I’m not going to be upset with you about it, so I don’t want you to be upset about it.”


The tennis star, 36, said she understood why her father could not be there for her on the special day.

She said: “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. 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.”


Williams walked down the aisle alone at the Contemporary Art Center of New Orleans where her wedding took place.

The tennis star welcomed daughter Alexis Olympia two months before marrying Alexis Ohanian, Reddit co-founder.

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