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'Neither of us knew if she would be coming back': Serena's husband pays emotional tribute

The 36-year-old was unable to complete a fairytale comeback yesterday, but Alexis Ohanian has spoken of his pride.

Alexis Ohanian at Centre Court yesterday.
Alexis Ohanian at Centre Court yesterday.
Image: Michael Steele

SERENA WILLIAMS’ HUSBAND admitted that he feared the tennis superstar would die after giving birth to their daughter last year.

Alexis Ohanian, the internet entrepreneur and founder of Reddit, saluted the 36-year-old Williams for battling back from life-saving surgery to get within touching distance of an eighth Wimbledon title.

However, the American suffered a straight sets defeat to Angelique Kerber in Saturday’s final.

“Days after our baby girl was born, I kissed my wife goodbye before surgery and neither of us knew if she would be coming back,” Ohanian wrote on Instagram.

“We just wanted her to survive — 10 months later, she’s in the #Wimbledon final.”

The couple’s daughter Olympia was born in September but Serena then needed a series of operations to free her from the risk of clotting.

“Congratulations, @angie.kerber. @serenawilliams will be holding a trophy again soon — she’s got the greatest one waiting at home for her,” added Ohanian.

“Our family knows she’ll win many more trophies, too. She’s just getting started. And I couldn’t be more proud.”

Williams has vowed to use the pain of her shock Wimbledon final defeat to fuel her bid for future Grand Slam glory.

Williams was hoping to equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 major titles — but an error-strewn display resulted in a 6-3, 6-3 loss that ranked as her first Wimbledon final defeat since 2008.

Day Twelve: The Championships - Wimbledon 2018 Source: TPN

While Serena was frustrated by the surprise setback, she took heart from her run to the final in just the fourth tournament of her comeback following daughter Olympia’s birth in September.

“It was such an amazing tournament for me. I was really happy to get this far,” Williams said.

“It’s obviously disappointing, but I cannot be disappointed. I have so much to look forward to and I am just getting started.

“I entered Wimbledon just wanting to win some matches. It was super encouraging to know that I can compete and do well.”

She added: “I didn’t know a couple of months ago how I would be able to come back. It was such a long way to see light at the end of the road.

“So I think these two weeks have really showed me that, okay, I can come out and be a contender to win Grand Slams.

“I’m already deciphering what I need to improve on, what I did wrong, why I did it wrong, that whole madness that goes on in my mind.

“I just feel like I’m taking the steps in the right direction. I took a giant step at Wimbledon. But my journey has just begun.

“This is literally just the beginning. It’s good to just continue that path.”

- © AFP, 2018

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