There are spouses who like to troll their partners (cough, cough, we’re looking at you, Ryan Reynolds and Chrissy Teigen). Then there is husband of the year, Alexis Ohanian, who supports his wife, Serena Williams, so much, he’ll happily shade her biggest competition.
While Serena wore another version of a catsuit for the U.S. Open, the Reddit co-founder wore a vintage D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) shirt. And if you don’t get a shiver from all that shade, then perhaps you don’t know about Serena’s opponent’s history. Maria Sharapova, who has been touted as one of the best players of the game, was banned from the sport for 15 months after testing positive to a banned substance. While many players publicly condemned her, Serena took the high road when she didn’t have to, admitting that she was surprised by Maria’s announcement but commended her for being “upfront with what she had done.” Now, fast-forward to 2019, Alexis and his brazen choice of tee, and WOW.
It’s not clear whether Sharapova noticed Ohanian’s shirt under his jacket, or if it was an intentional nod to Sharapova’s past, but it might have propelled Serena into playing a level we’ve not seen from her in a while. Despite playing fairly well, Maria just couldn’t get a handle on Serena’s game and was trounced in under an hour, losing 6-1, 6-1 to her longtime rival. Though perhaps “rival” is a loose term considering Serena’s all-time record against Maria now stands at a blistering 20-2.
Whatever the case, fans of both players—former world No. 1s, it should be pointed out—had feelings about Alexis’ tee. Unsurprisingly, Williams’ loudest cheerleader sent social media into a tailspin, as some found it impressive that he was willing to play mind games as a means of supporting his wife.
Alexis Ohanian showing up to the match between Serena & Maria Sharapova in a D.A.R.E t shirt is the type of solidarity in pettiness I need from my partner. pic.twitter.com/iH1oBW8djO
— farxiyo (@hausofriya) August 27, 2019
— get on the drums, ro (@oscar_pope) August 27, 2019
This is true love. Some Men buy flowers. Some men buy gifts. This man brought a bouquet of fresh cut petty.
And had the nerve to stand all the way up and applaud in it.
Alexis, sir: pic.twitter.com/0W6TuqFe9Y
— BlackXtian (@BlackXtian) August 27, 2019
While others thought his fashion choice was disrespectful and petty.
Serena’s husband wore a “D.A.R.E” t-shirt to her 1st round match w/ Sharapova tonight. Ouch.
— cameron keys (@cm_keys) August 27, 2019
Serena’s husband is truly appalling. Can’t stand that guy. A disrespectful twat. People like him are what make these losses painful.
— Christian (@ItsMeCree_) August 27, 2019
That it is so utterly bitter and toxic, don’t be mad at Sharapova for being beautiful and getting sponsorships, be mad at the system that perpetuates and rewards stereotypes.
— Rick Molon (@RickMolon) August 27, 2019
Monday night’s match was the first time the two women have faced off since Pova returned from her doping suspension in 2017 and Williams came back from maternity leave in 2018. In fact, it was the first time Serena and Maria have ever played each other at the U.S. Open, which is shocking considering how long their “rivalry” dates back.
As far as the rest of the tournament goes, we’re not sure who we’ll be paying more attention to—Serena or Alexis.
JK, it will obviously be Serena.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) August 27, 2019