Regardless of how laid back you are, most people turn into grizzly bears when a loved one is threatened. That certainly rang true with Serena Williams’ husband Alexis Ohanian when he heard of comments from former Romanian pro tennis player Ion Țiriac criticizing his wife’s age and weight.

Currently the head of the Madrid Open, the 81-year-old Țiriac was giving an interview on the Romanian television program ‘Network of Idols’ when he reignited former criticism of the 23-time grand slam champion by saying:

At this age and the weight she is now, she does not move as easily as he did 15 years ago,” Tiriac said. “Serena was a sensational player. If she had a little decency, she would retire! From all points of view.”

The comments did not sit well with Williams’ husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. He quickly shut down Țiriac through a response to Portuguese journalist José Morgado’s Twitter post which said:

“Safe to say Serena will never play Madrid again…” 

Ohanian posted a reply that said: “Safe to say no one gives a damn what Ion Tiriac thinks.

His follow up comments were equally pointed:

Tiriac, at his best, was ranked no. 8 in the world. To contrast, Serena Williams is currently ranked 11th, but has been ranked no. 1 for 10 separate years throughout her career. Impressive, to say the least.

Mr. Tiriac’s comments on Williams is not the first time the European billionaire has inappropriately opined on the 39-year-old’s age, weight, or athleticism. In 2018 he was speaking to a German Newspaper when he lamented the lack of new personalities in the world of professional tennis:

“With all due respect, but Serena Williams is 36 (years old) and 90 kilograms (198 pounds). I would like to see something else, I would like to see a player like Steffi Graf.” 

So far, Williams has made no response to Tiriac’s comments. Not that she needs, with Papa Bear Ohanian on the ball in speaking up for his family:

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