Are Serena Williams and Common the Most Amicable Exes Ever?
#TBT: Check in every Thursday as we throw it back to some of our favorite celebrity couples of all time.
Who: Four-time Olympic Gold medalist Serena Williams, 37, and Oscar-winning musician and actor Common, 47.
How They Met: Details about the extremely private couple's relationship are scant, though it's been reported that they dated on and off from 2007 to 2010. (Serena made a guest appearance in one of his music videos in 2007). In April 2008, they were spotted hand-in-hand together in Miami, and three months later, Serena played it coy when asked about their relationship in Ebony magazine.
“I think he’s a great guy,” she said at the time. “He’s obviously a great artist who is timeless and classic. You can’t beat that. But I have to focus on tennis because that’s my goal in life.”
When asked what she was looking forward to that summer, however, she offered a sweet shout-out to the rapper, telling Ebony that her plans included seeing Wanted, the action movie starring Angelina Jolie, James McAvoy, and Common.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing that film."
She stayed mum yet again in 2009 when the Guardian asked if she was dating Common, replying, "I may or may not be." When pressed on whether or not he was "the one," she said that she hoped he was, because she hated to start from scratch.
One thing she was upfront about, however, was that the two weren't living together.
"Oh no, I don't live with people unless I'm married," she told the Guardian.
Why We Loved Them: Their unwavering support for each other.
Even after they broke up, Common was equally supportive of Serena, telling TMZ that she would absolutely dominate on the court again after taking a break to focus on her pregnancy.
"She's a champion, you know she's real," he said in 2017. "Look at what she's done, she's done something nobody has ever done, she's the greatest tennis player to ever play, one of the greatest athletes to ever do it. You know she'll be back, she's a winner."
When They Peaked: At their first (and only) red carpet debut together.
They attended the premiere of Date Night in 2010 and posed for photos in perfect business-attire-chic sync.
The Breakup: Serena confirmed in an interview with Harper's Bazaar in 2010 that she and Common were done for good by April of that year.
"His schedule is actually worse than mine," she said. "He didn't want the responsibility. It's really tough."
When she was told that he sang her praises to Access Hollywood ("[She is a] beautiful, intelligent woman, fun and spiritual woman. I think she's an incredible person."), she was confused.
"So I called him and I was like, Why are you saying all this stuff when we're not together?" she said.
Common later opened up about the breakup in 2015 to Meredith Viera, telling her that "it was kind of a mutual break-up but she initiated it. It’s okay though, we’ve got a great understanding and I care about her as a person … so we can keep that friendship."
Where They Are Now: It looks like he wasn't kidding about that friendship. Not only did the two of them reunite on the red carpet last year, they also held a talk together at a charity event in 2018.
While rumors of a reunion circulated in 2016, by that point, Serena had already begun dating future husband Alexis Ohanian. She and Ohanian met in 2015, and were Instagram official shortly afterwards.
They were also engaged by the end of that year, and welcomed their adorable daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. in 2017.
Since 2010, she's also gone on to win a second "Serena Slam," which is what we now call it when someone wins four Grand Slams in a row, and has rightfully become known as the greatest athlete of all time.
Common, meanwhile, has been steadily building out his music and acting careers, having starred in Suicide Squad, The Tale, and John Wick: Chapter 2. He also won an Oscar in 2015 along with John Legend for Best Original Song for "Glory," featured in the movie Selma. He was nominated for another Oscar in 2018 for "Stand Up for Something," a song written for the movie Marshall, and has an album coming out at the end of August.