Serena Williams Surprises Fan with Heartwarming Gift

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After news of our engagement broke, a young man in Kentucky named Jarod reached out with congratulations and also a request for a dear family friend, Denise (aka, his “Nee Nee”). – He wrote, “I grew up watching tennis with my Mom's best friend and why I consider you my all time favorite athlete. She watches every single tennis match she possibly can, scheduling her limited vacation times around tournaments just to be able to watch every match. She dropped out of high school almost 35 years ago to support her family and works 70+ hours a week, sacrificing her health and free time to support them… Just this month she lost her dad to a heart attack and her sister to pneumonia. I just got home from her sisters funeral an hour ago. As you can guess it has been an awful Christmas season for her. Is there any way you could either send her a card or tennis ball to cheer her up?” – I’m grateful for all the people around the world who adore my wife; the world. This particular story moved all the people who upvoted it, but also us. After she won the Australian Open in 2017, Serena signed one of her practice balls for “Nee Nee” and I mailed it out. Jarod recorded a video of the surprise last year and said it was OK for me to share it today. – Today, Serena is going back to work at her first Grand Slam since Junior was born and our family is thrilled & proud to cheer her on with all of you—most certainly you, “Nee Nee.” 🎾 The Queen is back.

A post shared by Alexis Ohanian Sr. (@alexisohanian) on

Serena Williams made a dedicated fan’s day when she signed a tennis ball and had her husband send it to her supporter.

On May 29, Alexis Ohanian, the Reddit co-founder turned full-time venture capital firm partner, shared the story of a Kentucky resident named Jarod who hoped to help his mother’s best friend get a piece of her favorite tennis star.

“She watches every single tennis match she possibly can, scheduling her limited vacation times around tournaments just to be able to watch every match,” Jarod said of Denise, a.k.a. Nee Nee in a letter sent shortly after Williams’ engagement went public in December. “She dropped out of high school almost 35 years ago to support her family and works 70+ hours a week, sacrificing her health and free time to support them… Just this month she lost her dad to a heart attack and her sister to pneumonia. I just got home from her sister’s funeral an hour ago. As you can guess it has been an awful Christmas season for her. Is there any way you could either send her a card or tennis ball to cheer her up?”

After learning about Nee Nee’s story, Williams signed one of the practice balls she used ahead of the 2017 Australian Open — where she won her 23rd Grand Slam title during the early stages of her pregnancy with Alexis Jr. — and sent it to her fan.

“I’m grateful for all the people around the world who adore my wife; the world,” Ohanian wrote. “This particular story moved all the people who upvoted it, but also us. …  Jarod recorded a video of the surprise last year and said it was OK for me to share it today.”

“There’s something in the box?” Nee Nee says in the clip before squealing in delight. “Oh my Gosh! … No, I’m not gon cry but I feel like it.”

“Today, Serena is going back to work at her first Grand Slam since Junior was born and our family is thrilled & proud to cheer her on with all of you — most certainly you, ‘Nee Nee.’ 🎾 The Queen is back,” Ohanian concluded his post.

In response to the gift, many fans — including Nee Nee’s niece — have responded.

“Look at my auntie 😍😍. We had a rough year that year, we lost my mom (her sister) and my grandaddy (her dad),” wrote @temptationoftara. “I’m so happy that you and your beautiful wife were able to put a smile on her face that year because God knew she needed it. My mother and her were close; it was 6 of them and when my grandaddy and mom passed I knew it really hurt her that she’d lost both of her best friends. THANK YOU SO MUCH, YOU GUYS ROCK 💜.”

“Omgg this is such a beautiful thing to do!! God bless you all.. especially NEE NEE ❤❤.”

“This is wonderful! Made me tear up!! Just lovely!!”

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