Serena Williams shares ‘rare sighting’ of her father as he plays with granddaughter Olympia

‘King Richard but I call him daddy,’ tennis star wrote in reference to upcoming film King Richard

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Wednesday 10 November 2021 21:38 GMT
Serena Williams shares 'rare sighting' of father Richard with her daughter
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Serena Williams has shared a “rare sighting” of her father Richard Williams playing with his granddaughter while praising the 79 year old.

The tennis star reflected on her father’s constant dedication to his family with a video showing Richard supporting his granddaughter Olympia Ohanian as she rode a bicycle down the sidewalk.

In the brief clip, Richard can be seen holding up his phone and filming the four-year-old, before cheering her on as she passed him.

“A rare sighting, the one and only GOAT. Still motivating ... King Richard, but I call him daddy,” Serena wrote in the caption of the Instagram video, with the athlete referring to the upcoming movie depicting her father’s life King Richard.

The film, which stars Will Smith, tells the story of Richard’s dedication to the blossoming tennis careers of his daughters Serena and Venus, and how he let nothing stop them from achieving their goals.

Ahead of the 19 November release of the film, Serena, who is played by 14-year-old Demi Singleton, described the movie as “surreal,” with the tennis player revealing during a Warner Bros press conference: “No word describes it better than surreal. Just to see these incredible actresses and everyone behind it just putting this all together about our dad’s journey but, because of myself and my sister, it really is like: ‘Wow, OK, really? Are we really something?’

“Then to have Will play this role as my father and the way he just embodied Richard Williams, it just took the whole film to a whole new level. It’s so emotional, it’s well done and it’s a brilliant piece of work.”

Venus also found the depiction of her family “emotional,” with the 41-year-old tennis star, who is played by 15-year-old Saniyya Sidney, adding: “It’s super emotional. I’ve seen the trailer, I’ve read the script, and every time I watch it my eyes are just watering.”

Serena’s sweet tribute to her father comes after she previously acknowledged that Richard, who was her tennis coach for many years, prefers to stay out of the spotlight, with the 40-year-old revealing in her documentary Being Serena that he had wanted to walk her down the aisle during her 2017 wedding to Alexis Ohanian but had backed out an hour before the ceremony.

“He was in New Orleans, he had a suit, and I know he was really excited,” Serena recalled in the HBO documentary. “But then he wrote to 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.’”

According to Marie Claire, the 23-time Grand Slam singles champion said she “completely” understood, as she added: “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.”

At the time, Serena also acknowledged that their family “knows” what they have and that all that matters is wanting one another to be happy.

In response to the rare video of Richard, many of Serena’s followers shared messages of support for the “legendary” icon.

“Papa Williams always there to support and encourage!!” former professional Danish tennis player Caroline Wozniacki wrote, while another fan commented: “He’s legendary and an icon to us all.”

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