Serena Williams’s daughter Olympia basks in U.S. Open spotlight


Serena Williams brought the power to the U.S. Open on Monday night, but the cuteness quotient was boosted by someone else.

Her daughter, Olympia Ohanian — that’s Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. — offered her own entertainment the moment she set foot in Arthur Ashe Stadium, upstaging a celebrity-laden crowd with beaded braids that were a touching callback to her mom’s first of six U.S. Open championships in 1999.

Wearing sparkly attire that mimicked her mother’s, she snapped photos and chatted with her dad while Williams took care of business by dispatching Danka Kovinic in a first-round, straight-sets win.

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“It was either her wear beads or me,” Williams told reporters afterward. “I wanted to do it, but I just didn’t have the time … was so happy when she had them on. It’s perfect on her.”

Olympia, who turns 5 on Thursday, is a prodigy in her own right. Olympia’s résumé, in no particular order, includes making the cover of the September issue of Vogue (the foldout part; Mom got the cover treatment), owning an Instagram account with more than 600,000 followers and impossibly adorable photos of her antics; and becoming the youngest co-owner in pro sports when she was part of a group that acquired Los Angeles’s Angel City soccer franchise at the age of 3.

In between snapping pictures of Mom, Olympia played with her aunt Isha Price’s hair and sat applauding the action on Dad’s lap. Afterward, there was ice cream in the player’s lounge.

In the Vogue interview, Williams explained that she is weeks away from evolving into a life away from the court, a life that will include business ventures and possibly expanding her family.

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“Believe me, I never wanted to have to choose between tennis and a family. I don’t think it’s fair. If I were a guy, I wouldn’t be writing this because I’d be out there playing and winning while my wife was doing the physical labor of expanding our family,” Williams told Rob Haskell. “Maybe I’d be more of a Tom Brady if I had that opportunity. Don’t get me wrong: I love being a woman, and I loved every second of being pregnant with Olympia.

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“I was one of those annoying women who adored being pregnant and was working until the day I had to report to the hospital — although things got super complicated on the other side [when she nearly died]. And I almost did do the impossible: A lot of people don’t realize that I was two months pregnant when I won the Australian Open in 2017. But I’m turning 41 this month [Sept. 26], and something’s got to give.”

But not quite yet. A second-round singles match Wednesday against second-seeded Anett Kontaveit looms, as does doubles play with her sister Venus, and the enthusiasm is only likely to intensity.

“The crowd was crazy,” Williams said during the post-match ceremony, with her husband and daughter standing nearby. “They really helped pull me through. I was really pumped up, like, ‘Yes, I got this.’”

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