Madrid Open owner Ion Tiriac, 81, is not a big fan of Serena Williams, 39. The Romanian businessman recently explained why the African-American professional tennis player needs to retire.
“Serena was a sensational player,” Tiriac told TVR. “If she had a little decency, she would retire. At this age and the weight she is now, she does not move as easily as she did 15 years ago.”
Williams has been married to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, 37, since 2017. On January 5, 2021, he took to Twitter to slam Tiriac’s statement about his wife.
Also known as the Brazov Bulldozer, Tiriac is currently the president of the Romanian Tennis Federation. He is a former professional tennis player himself.
Tiriac played tennis professionally from 1968 to 1979. In 1975, he became the first man to play against a woman in a sanctioned tennis tournament by defeating Abigail Maynard 6–0, 6–0 in their round one match at USTA pro circuit’s Fairfiled County International Tennis Championship.
Williams made history several times, as well. In 2009, she appeared in a series of online videos and print advertisements for Tampax Pearl tampons, making her the first active female professional athlete to appear in a feminine hygiene product advertising campaign.
Also in 2009, Williams and her sister Venus Williams, 40, bought a small stake in the National Football League team Miami Dolphins. They became minority owners of the team and the first African-American women to hold any amount of ownership in an NFL franchise.
On July 21, 2020, Serena was announced as part of a nearly all-female investors’ group that was awarded a new franchise in the National Women’s Soccer League. Ohanian, the only male in the ownership group, holds a minority interest but is classified as the lead investor.
Serena’s most recent Grand Slam win as at the 2017 Australian Open, which took place at the Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia from January 16-29, 2017. Venus was her runner-up.