Alexis Ohanian Praises Wife Serena Williams' 'Depth of Influence' Ahead of Her Expected Retirement

·3 min read
Serena Williams, Alexis Ohanian and daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian
Serena Williams, Alexis Ohanian and daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian

Alexis Ohanian Instagram Serena Williams, Alexis Ohanian and daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian

Alexis Ohanian penned a touching message for his legendary wife, Serena Williams, after the tennis champion announced she'd be "evolving away from" the sport earlier this week.

Ohanian, 39, shared a sweet photo of himself and the couple's 4-year-old daughter, Olympia, along with a heartfelt tribute to Williams' career and legacy.

"I've seen over the last 7 years how much y'all love my wife — what she means to so many, worldwide," wrote Ohanian. "It's unlike anything I've ever seen. Plenty of folks have told me 'how Reddit changed their life,' but the scale & impact of 'how Serena changed my life' stories absolutely dwarfs it."

He continued, "And that's just the stuff I hear when people come up to me to say hi. You simply cannot overstate the breadth and depth of influence she's had on so many people. As far as I can tell, she has no idea. @serenawilliams doesn't think about it, or even realize it."

RELATED: Serena Williams Says She's 'Evolving Away from Tennis' After the 2022 U.S. Open

Alexis Ohanian, Olympia Ohanian Jr, and Serena Williams attend the 2021 AFI Fest: Closing Night Premiere Of Warner Bros. "King Richard" at TCL Chinese Theatre on November 14, 2021 in Hollywood, California
Alexis Ohanian, Olympia Ohanian Jr, and Serena Williams attend the 2021 AFI Fest: Closing Night Premiere Of Warner Bros. "King Richard" at TCL Chinese Theatre on November 14, 2021 in Hollywood, California

Jon Kopaloff/Getty

RELATED: Serena Williams Covers 'Vogue' with Daughter Olympia as She Reveals Plans for a Second Baby

Ohanian, who wed Williams in Dec. 2017, also added a photo of a fan holding up a sign for his wife that read, "Queen."

Williams appreciated the sweet message, leaving multiple heart emojis in the comments of her husband's post. The 40-year-old athlete will try to win a history-making 24th Grand Slam victory at the U.S. Open at the end of the month before beginning an "evolution" away from tennis, she announced on the Sept. 2022 cover of Vogue Tuesday.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

"I have never liked the word retirement," Williams wrote in a first-person essay for the magazine. "It doesn't feel like a modern word to me. I've been thinking of this as a transition, but I want to be sensitive about how I use that word, which means something very specific and important to a community of people. Maybe the best word to describe what I'm up to is evolution."

RELATED VIDEO: Serena Williams Bids Tearful Farewell After Canadian Open Defeat: 'I'm Terrible at Goodbyes'

"I'm here to tell you that I'm evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me." Williams said that she has been "reluctant to admit" to herself or the people around her that "I have to move on from playing tennis."

RELATED: Serena Williams on How Getting Married, Starting Family Helped Her Realize There's 'More to Life'

"There is no happiness in this topic for me," she said. "I know it's not the usual thing to say, but I feel a great deal of pain. It's the hardest thing that I could ever imagine. I hate it. I hate that I have to be at this crossroads. I keep saying to myself, I wish it could be easy for me, but it's not. I'm torn: I don't want it to be over, but at the same time I'm ready for what's next."

Williams, the founder of investment firm Serena Ventures and the clothing line S by Serena, said that she wants to refocus her attention elsewhere, and she and Ohanian want to have another child.

"I definitely don't want to be pregnant again as an athlete," she explained. "I need to be two feet into tennis or two feet out."