Serena Williams engaged to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian

Getty Images
10 Comments

Tennis great Serena Williams is tying the knot.

Williams announced her engagement to Alexis Ohanian on Thursday, posting a poem on Reddit that she accepted the proposal of the social news website’s co-founder.

Williams’ agent, Jill Smoller, confirmed the engagement in an email to The Associated Press.

Ohanian wrote on his Facebook page, “She said yes.”

Williams, 35, has been dating Ohanian, 33, for over a year.

Her poem:

“I came home/A little late/Someone had a bag packed for me/And a carriage awaited/Destination: Rome/To escort me to my very own “charming”/Back to where our stars first collided/And now it was full circle/At the same table we first met by chance/This time he made it not by chance/But by choice/Down on one knee/He said 4 words/And I said yes.”

Williams in July won Wimbledon for the seventh time to tie Steffi Graf’s record of 22 Grand Slam titles. In September she passed Roger Federer for most all-time Grand Slam match victories, winning her 308th in the U.S. Open.

No wedding date has been announced.

Alcaraz turns away Fritz to reach semifinals in Miami

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – The hopes of American men’s tennis rest largely on the talented rackets of Taylor Fritz and Tommy Paul.

But a Spanish roadblock named Carlos Alcaraz is in the way – never more illustrated by the last few days at the Miami Open.

Two days after routing the Australian Open semifinalist Paul, the top-ranked Alcaraz took his spectacular arsenal to the highest-ranked American man in No. 10 Fritz and blasted into the semifinals with a 6-4, 6-2 victory at Hard Rock Stadium.

Before a packed crowd that included John McEnroe and was split in support, Alcaraz broke Fritz’s serve in the first game. He used that one break to squeak out the first set and finished the match in tidy 1 hour, 18 minutes. Alcaraz faced just two break points and turned away both chances as he improved his match record to 18-1 in 2023.

“I took the opportunity of every break point I had,” the Spaniard said. “I was solid and aggressive at the same time.”

This was the first meeting between the two and an opportunity for Fritz to assess how close he is to a breakthrough. The match was postponed Wednesday night, only delaying the inevitable.

“Obviously playing the best player in the world, you can’t just drop your serve to start both sets,” Fritz said. “He doesn’t give you much for free. … All the important points in the match, he won.”

The 19-year-old Alcaraz proved too tough in Miami against two Americans who reside in South Florida. Fritz moved recently to Miami and Paul has lived in the Delray Beach/Boca Raton area for years.

Alcaraz will play Jannik Sinner in Friday’s semifinals, a rematch of their semifinal at Indian Wells, where Alcaraz went on to win the title.

The reigning U.S. Open champion and defending Miami Open champion boasts a glorious drop shot, beautifully controlled groundstrokes and a sneaky net game. Alcaraz’s graceful court coverage is reminiscent of his countryman Rafael Nadal. There are no clear weaknesses, as Fritz found out.

Fritz had one moment to seize, gaining a break point against Alcaraz trailing 2-3, trying to get back on serve. Alcaraz saved the break point in fantastic fashion. Fritz initially made a lovely pop-up retrieve of a would-be winner, but Alcaraz boldly took a chance moments later, rushing to the net to convert a difficult low volley winner.

In an earlier quarterfinal of extreme height, No. 5 Daniil Medvedev ended the career-best run of 6-foot-7 American qualifier Chris Eubanks with a 6-3, 7-5 victory.

For all his accomplishments, the 6-6 Medvedev, who has won 22 of his last 23 matches, had never made the Miami Open semifinals.

It sets up an all-Russian semifinal Friday as he faces Karen Khachanov, who beat Francisco Cerundolo 6-3, 6-2. Medvedev holds a 3-1 career advantage against his longtime friend.

“We are from the same age group,” Medvedev said. “I’m almost sure we know how the match is going to go and it’s a question of who’s going to make the best shot.”

Medvedev, who lost to Alcaraz in the final at Indian Wells, has garnered three ATP titles this year (Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai).

Eubanks, a 26-year-old former Georgia Tech star ranked 102nd, had never advanced to a quarterfinal of an ATP event of this level and had actor Jamie Foxx in the stands cheering him on.

“It’s been a dream week for me,” Eubanks said, noting Foxx has followed his career for “the past couple of years.”

Eubanks was on serve with Medvedev early, leading 3-2 before a brief rain delay. Medvedev came back roaring to win the next four games to close out the set. Eubanks said Medvedev made a “tactical change” after the delay, moving in on his second serve.

The other women’s semifinal was finally set with 15th seed Petra Kvitova advancing to face unseeded, 74th-ranked Sorana Cirstea, who beat Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka on Wednesday.

In a quarterfinal postponed by Wednesday night’s rain, Kvitova defeated No. 18 seed Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

Shaking off a rash of double faults in the second, Kvitova prevailed in the third, but she could be at a competitive disadvantage without a day of rest facing Cirstea. Neither Kvitova nor Cirstea will have an extra day to prepare for Saturday’s final.

The other semifinal had already been set with Elena Rybakina facing Jessica Pegula Thursday night in a battle of top-10 stalwarts.

Cirstea beats Sabalenka at Miami; night matches rained out

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
1 Comment

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Sorana Cirstea advanced to her first semifinal of a WTA 1000 event in a decade, beating Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka 6-4, 6-4 at the Miami Open on Wednesday.

The 32-year-old Cirstea beat the highest-ranked opponent of her career by knocking off the second-ranked Sabalenka. Cirstea previously defeated No. 4 Caroline Garcia this month at Indian Wells and topped Garcia again in the second round at Miami.

“I think I’m a bit speechless,” Cirstea said. “I came out knowing that it’s going to be a really tough match. Aryna hits so hard, so I knew I had to hold my ground, and I’m very, very happy with my performance today.”

The 74th-ranked Romanian, who has two career singles titles, will face either Petra Kvitova and Ekaterina Alexandrova in the semifinals. The Kvitova-Alexandrova match had been scheduled for Wednesday night but was postponed to Thursday because of rain; also postponed was the men’s match between top-ranked Carlos Alcaraz and No. 10 Taylor Fritz.

Alexandrova advanced on Tuesday when Bianca Andreescu suffered a left ankle injury and left the court in a wheelchair. On Wednesday, the 22-year-old Andreescu tweeted that she tore two ligaments in her ankle and will be out indefinitely.

“It’s tough to say exactly how long it will take, but let’s just say it could’ve been much worse!! I’m going to take it day by day, and I am optimistic that with the right work, rehab, and preparation, I’ll be back on court soon,” the 2019 U.S. Open champion said in her social media post.

Sabalenka had six double faults, three of them on break points, and made 21 unforced errors to just nine for Cirstea.

“I guess people like to keep count of the age, the years, the results, but I never do that. I just mind my own business, work hard, do my thing, believe in my game, work with my coach Thomas Johansson – we just started in December and so far, I think it’s going great,” Cirstea said.

In the men’s draw, 11th-ranked Jannik Sinner beat Emil Ruusuvuori 6-3, 6-1.