Serena Williams' father Richard pulled out of walking her down the aisle just an hour before her wedding was due to start.
The tennis star tied the knot with Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian in New Orleans, Louisiana in November (17), and her father and longtime coach Richard was notably absent from the publicised wedding photographs.
On Wednesday's (16May18) episode of her documentary series Being Serena, the athlete revealed that Richard was due to walk her down the aisle, but pulled out at the last minute.
"He was in New Orleans, he had a suit, and I know he was really excited,” she said. "But then he wrote me and said: Serena, I don’t want you to be mad at me, but I just can’t walk you down the aisle. I’m not myself anymore. I’m just too nervous."
She recalled she wrote back saying, "Daddy, it’s okay, if you don’t want to come to the wedding at all, that’s okay too. I’m not going to be upset with you about it, so I don’t want you to be upset about it."
The 36-year-old explained that she was understanding because Richard, who divorced her mum Oracene Price in 2002, has had struggles in the past few years, including a stroke in 2016.
"His health is better now, but I know he still doesn’t feel like himself, doesn’t feel like he’s perfect. And if he doesn’t want to be up there in front of a lot of people, I completely understand," she continued. "Our family knows what we have. We just want each other to be happy. That’s what matters. I don’t think anything could ever change that.”
Serena, whose daughter Alexis was two months old when she got married, ended up walking herself down the aisle to How Far I'll Go from Disney animation Moana.
The revelation comes shortly after her pal Meghan Markle's dad Thomas said he would no longer be giving the former Suits star away when she marries Prince Harry on Saturday as he needed an operation following a recent heart attack. Serena is rumoured to be a guest at the royal wedding.