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Serena Williams: why her dad didn't walk her down the aisle

WEDDING: Serena Williams married Alexis Ohanian in New Orleans in November last year

SERENA WILLIAMS’ dad sent her a text message on her wedding day to tell her that he wouldn’t be escorting her down the aisle.

Williams has recounted the moments that she found out her dad would not walk her down the aisle or attend her wedding in the third episode of her HBO documentary, Being Serena.

Her dad, Richard, revealed his decision just an hour before the tennis champion’s wedding to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian was due to begin.

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

“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: “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 36-year-old went on to explain why understood her father’s decision.

“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,” she said.

“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.”

“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.”

The 23-time grand slam winner and mother of one walked down the aisle alone as violinists played How Far I’ll Go, a song from the Disney film Moana.

The episode of Being Serena in which Williams made these comments aired the day before her friend Meghan Markle released a statement to announce that her own father, Thomas Markle, would not walk her down the aisle or attend her wedding to Prince Harry on Saturday May 19.

Williams is expected to attend the Royal Wedding on Saturday.

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