Serena Williams

On finding out she was pregnant during the Australian Open:

 “Oh my God, this can’t be—I’ve got to play a tournament,” said Serena. “How am I going to play the Australian Open? I had planned on winning Wimbledon this year.” […] Test No. 2: Positive. Test No. 3: Positive. Test No. 4: Positive. Test No. 5: Positive. Test No. 6: Positive.”

On first meeting Alexis in Rome and asking him to move away from her:

“We were trying to get him to move and get out of there,” said Serena. “He kind of refuses and he looks at us. And he’s like, ‘Is there really a rat here?’ ” At which point Serena remembers the first words she ever said to him.

“No, we just don’t want you sitting there. We’re going to use that table.”

“I’m from Brooklyn. I see rats all the time.”

“Oh, you’re not afraid of rats?”

“No.”

Which is when Serena suggested a compromise and invited Alexis to join them.

Serena Williams Vanity Fair

On having their first date in Paris:

But Alexis did come to Paris for the weekend.[…] The tournament, which Serena would ultimately win, had not started yet. So Alexis and Serena got into an Uber near Serena’s apartment and drove toward the Eiffel Tower. They stopped at a zoo Serena knew about called La Ménagerie in the Jardin des Plantes, then at a stall selling candies. Serena became excited, like a small child, and Alexis bought her some.

They just walked and roamed, Serena placing her faith in Alexis because he was a tried-and-true traveler, where all you needed was a backpack and the only rules were none. Alexis also sensed that this was not something Serena ever got to do as a worldwide celebrity, so much of her life being about regimen and glamorous scenes where acolytes circled like fireflies. For six hours they walked all over, the magic of the day multiplied by the city’s heartbreak of beauty, which only made it more beautiful.