ENTERTAINMENT
29/08/2019 7:52 AM IST

Serena Williams' Husband Alexis Ohanian Knows Just How To Troll Maria Sharapova

He knew exactly what to wear to his wife's U.S. Open match versus the Russian tennis player.

There were two winners at Serena Williams’ U.S. Open match against Maria Sharapova on Monday night: Williams — who handily defeated the Russian player in straight sets in less than an hour — and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian

Fans seem to think that Ohanian took a jab at Sharapova by wearing a black “D.A.R.E.” shirt underneath his jacket, which he only unzipped after the match was over and Williams had won 6-1, 6-1. 

Underneath the “D.A.R.E.” acronym, which stands for “Drug Abuse Resistance Education,” reads the old anti-drug program’s famous phrase, “Keeping Kids Off Drugs.” 

It appears Ohanian wore the shirt in a subtle dig at Sharapova’s two-year ban from tennis. In 2016, the International Tennis Federation found that Sharapova had violated its anti-doping rules by taking and testing positive for the banned substance meldonium for undisclosed health reasons. 

Intentional shade or not, fans loved Ohanian’s support for his wife: 

As writer Roxane Gay tweeted in response to an article about the shirt, “This is marriage excellence.” 

Williams and Sharapova have had a contentious relationship over the years, but there is no rivalry on the court, as Williams has soundly bested the Russian athlete in nearly all of their contests.

In Sharapova’s 2017 autobiography, “Unstoppable: My Life So Far,” the tennis player suggested she had a rivalry with Williams and spoke disparagingly of the American in passages throughout her book.

She said the “rivalry” began after her 2004 victory over Williams at Wimbledon. 

“Mostly I think she hated me for hearing her cry,” the 32-year-old wrote. “Not long after the tournament, I heard Serena told a friend ― who then told me ― ‘I will never lose to that little b**** again.’”

She also suggested that Williams hated her for being “skinny,” and included a racially charged description of the U.S. player as much bigger than she is ― though Sharapova is at least four inches taller than Williams. 

“First of all, her physical presence is much stronger and bigger than you realize watching TV,” Sharapova wrote in her book. “She has thick arms and thick legs and is so intimidating and strong. And tall, really tall.” 

KENA BETANCUR via Getty Images
TOPSHOT - Maria Sharapova (R) of Russia shake hands after losing against Serena Williams of the United Sates during their Round 1 women's Singles match at the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on August 26, 2019. (Photo by Kena Betancur / AFP) (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)

Williams has called Sharapova’s passages about her “100 percent hearsay.” In a 2017 interview with Vogue, Williams spoke about having to be “twice as good” as Sharapova because she’s black. 

“I believe that the other girls in the locker room will say, ‘Serena’s really nice.’ But Maria Sharapova, who might not talk to anybody, might be perceived by the public as nicer. Why is that? Because I’m black and so I look mean?” Williams said. “That’s the society we live in. That’s life.” 

But Williams doesn’t let her get it down. 

“They say African-Americans have to be twice as good, especially women. I’m perfectly OK with having to be twice as good,” she added.