Who is Venus Williams' millionaire boyfriend?

American tennis star Venus Williams will undoubtedly be remembered as an all-time great, but she's spent the majority of her career in the shadow of Serena Williams, the most decorated female player ever. Her younger, more successful sibling has upstaged Venus off the court in recent years, too — Serena was a guest at Meghan Markle's lavish wedding to Prince Harry in 2018, which took place not long after she tied the knot with business mogul, Alexis Ohanian. She may have left it a little late to catch up with Serena professionally, but reports suggest that Venus has gone and bagged herself a new beau with a huge fortune of his own.

Nicholas Hammond is the child of socialite Dana Hammond and her ex-husband, James. Dana's grandmother was the sister of the late Walter Annenberg, who at the height of his career presided over a "vast communications empire" that included titles like TV Guide, Seventeen Magazine, and The Philadelphia Inquirer. When Annenberg passed away in 2002 at the age of 94, half of his reported $4 billion fortune was divided among his relatives, as per his (and his wife's) wishes. "Family wealth should stay within family lines," the will stated (via Los Angeles Times), meaning Dana — and, by extension, Nicholas — presumably became filthy rich.

He's been described as "a wealthy financier who goes between California and New York" by sources close to him, but what else is there to know about Nicholas Hammond? Read on to find out.

He was her date to Serena's star-studded wedding

Meghan Markle's wedding guest list was undeniably impressive, but just as many big names turned out for her BFF, Serena Williams. Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and Kim Kardashian were among the stars who descended upon New Orleans to watch the sportswoman take Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian (father of their baby girl, Alexis Olympia) as her lawfully wedded husband. Around 250 lucky guests partied the night away following the ceremony, and bridesmaid Venus Williams was apparently right in the thick of it — the Daily Mail obtained footage of her twerking up a storm on the dance floor.

The tennis pro looked stunning in her custom made Galia Lahav dress, but nobody was talking about the guy she brought along. Nicholas Hammond was reportedly Venus' date for her sister's wedding, however the presence of the likes of Queen Bey and Kim K presumably allowed him to slip under the media radar. In fact, some media outlets wrongly identified him as Venus' ex Elio Pis, according to Page Six. Williams became smitten with the Cuban model back in 2013 and she couldn't seem to keep her hands off him at the time, but they didn't last.

They've been all over each other in public

Venus Williams definitely wasn't afraid to pack on the PDA when she was dating Elio Pis and she's been exactly the same with Nicholas Hammond, getting up close and personal with him out in the open. In December 2017, the financier and Williams were spotted enjoying a festive date at Tom and Anthony Martignetti's East Pole restaurant, where things got more than a little cozy. "They were cuddled up the entire time they were inside the restaurant, even kissing while waiting to be seated and continuing the affection at their table," a Page Six source confirmed. The lovebirds enjoyed their meal and are said to have split the bill at the end of the night.

According to the insider, the pair had been "going on dates" for some time when they were seen enjoying the cuisine (as well as each other's company) at The East Pole, but things were still "relatively new" at that stage. "I'm not sure she's calling him [her] boyfriend yet," the source said. The frisky dinner date was back in December 2017, however, and things seem to have moved into definite boyfriend territory since then.

They're setting serious gym couple goals

You might find this shocking if you've watched her on the court recently, but Venus Williams will turn 40 in 2020. How does the ageless tennis legend manage to keep in such good shape? In July 2018 she answered that question, sharing the secrets of a "grand slam body" with Vogue. Williams began her tutorial with some air squats to help get those "firm glutes" and moved onto side-lying clams because they "help your tushy look amazing." The decorated pro then went through a series of crunches, planks, sit-ups and push-ups before she was done.

If just the thought of this makes you want to lay down, trust us, you aren't alone, but one person who apparently can keep pace with Williams in the gym is her new millionaire boyfriend. Any uncertainty about the nature of her relationship with Nicholas Hammond was washed away in April 2018 when the pair were pictured (via Entertainment Tonight) on a post-workout stroll in New York City. The super-stacked Hammond braved the cold in a skimpy t-shirt while Williams wore a Team USA jacket over her workout gear. The pair walked down the street hand-in-hand and even stopped for a cheeky smooch.

He caused quite the stir at the Australian Open

Nobody really knew who he was when Venus Williams became romantically linked with him, but Nicholas Hammond has actually been courtside for some of Williams' biggest matches since they started dating. He was first spotted in the Williams family box at the 2018 US Open according to the Daily Mail, and Hammond even made the long trip Down Under to cheer her on at the 2018 Australian Open, Entertainment Tonight confirmed.

The wealthy New Yorker was apparently the talk of the town when he showed up in Melbourne for the first Grand Slam event of the season, with sources close to the Williams camp telling the New York Daily News that Hammond's name was being frequently tossed around during the tournament. His decision to join her on the other side of the world seemed to convince those close to the tennis player that he was interested in more than just adding to his already considerable net worth. "He's definitely not a fortune hunter," the camp insider said. "She's head over heels for him."

If this is what losing looks like, who needs to win?

Did Nicholas Hammond's presence put Venus Williams off her game? Whether he had anything to do with it or not, the 2018 Australian Open certainly didn't go Williams' way. In a turn of events that not many expected, she was knocked out of the competition in the first round by unseeded 20-year-old Swiss player Belinda Bencic. The veteran Williams was humble in defeat. "I don't think I played a bad match," she said (via BBC). "She just played above and beyond. I just have to give her credit for that."

What's one of the perks of getting eliminated early from a Grand Slam? More time to vaca! According to the Daily Mail, after Williams' loss, she and Hammond (and their entourage) jetted off to the tropical island of Hamilton in northern Queensland to unwind in a nearly $9,000 a night mansion with sweeping ocean views, luxury swimming pools, and an open bar. No word on who bankrolled this consolation prize, but we think it's safe to say that this pair wasn't feeling the pinch.

He clearly likes it, but has he put a ring on it?

Rumors that Venus Williams is engaged have swirled ever since she was spotted wearing a silver diamond band on that finger, but has Nicholas Hammond really put a ring on it? According to legendary Page Six editor Richard Johnson, yes, but it isn't that kind of ring. "It's not an engagement ring, but a 'friendship ring,' one friend of Hammond's told me, and not to be confused with the diamond ring Venus has owned for many years that has sparked speculation in the past." The veteran gossip columnist also contacted a source with intimate knowledge of the situation, who confirmed that wedding bells were not going to be ringing for the pair any time soon. "They are in love," the insider said, "but no one has mentioned any engagement."

Johnson also reached out to Hammond himself for comment, but the muscular millionaire refused to divulge any information about the status of his relationship with Williams. "We have a firm commitment to one another to keep our relationship private," Hammond said. According to New York Daily News intel, the fact that he likes to keep things under the radar was a big plus point for Williams. "She likes that he's very private," a source claimed.

Williams is thought to have been engaged once before. According to Hello!, golfer Hank Kuehne was seen "at her matches between 2007 and 2010," with engagement rumors beginning a year into the relationship.

She's already met the parents

Nicholas Hammond's family reportedly owns several swanky properties in the States, but they appear to spend most of their time in the Hamptons, a long-time haven for affluent New Yorkers. Speaking to Sotheby's about her passion for wine collecting, Nicholas' mother Dana Hammond was asked about her favorite hotel in the city, and gave an answer only a crazy rich person would give. "I have never stayed at a New York City hotel, so have no idea," the socialite-turned-philanthropist said. "But I would probably pick The Plaza because I like the food court." She's clearly a woman with very high standards, though Venus Williams has reportedly been getting along with her new beau's mom just fine. 

"Nicky has met up with Venus in Palm Beach where his family has a $20 million mansion, as well as in the Hamptons where they have a $20 million house," one insider told the New York Daily News. This was backed up by local news outlets in Palm Beach, where sightings of Williams and the Hammonds have become increasingly common. "Nicholas has already brought her home to meet his mother and stepfather, Dana Hammond and Dr. Patrick Stubgen, at their gigantic home on North Lake Way," the Palm Beach Daily News confirmed. "His mom likes her, and she likes the mom, who, as an heiress to the Annenberg fortune, is one of the few people who are as rich as she is."

He's in her... preferred age demographic

It may be true that the majority of rich men have a tendency to go for younger women, but Nicholas Hammond takes after his wine-collecting mother in that he's developed a taste for something a little more mature. Venus Williams is 12 years older than the financier, though despite the age gap (and despite the fact that both prefer to keep things private) they've looked more like a pair of teenagers when they've been out and about together, kissing and cuddling without a care in the world. It's a relief for fans of the tennis pro to see her so happy, but the truth is she's been there with a much younger guy before.

Cuban model Elio Pis was only 24 when he began dating Williams, who was 32 at the time. The pair's relationship was made public knowledge in 2013 when photos of them embracing on a court in Miami came out in the press. According to the Daily Mail, Pis joined Williams in Miami for the 2013 Sony Open, cheering her on courtside just as Hammond later did. The world renowned sportswoman met her handsome ex for some food when she returned to Miami in 2017, and while there's been no suggestion that they're anything other than friends today, maybe Hammond should think about leveling up that "friendship" ring, just to be sure.

Hope he's ready to start a family

In 2017, Serena Williams gave birth to her first child, a daughter she and her now-husband Alexis Ohanian decided to name Alexis Olympia. The tennis star would later reveal that it wasn't smooth sailing — she was bedridden for six weeks following an emergency caesarean section. "I almost died giving birth to my daughter," Serena said in piece she penned for CNN. "It began with a pulmonary embolism, which is a condition in which one or more arteries in the lungs becomes blocked by a blood clot. Because of my medical history with this problem, I live in fear of this situation."

Venus Williams was super excited to become an auntie (she even bought her own baby stroller in preparation for Alexis' arrival), but you wouldn't blame her if she decided child birth wasn't for her after watching her younger sister go through such an ordeal. That doesn't seem to be the case, however. According to New York Daily News sources, Venus still very much intends to have a child of her own. When she spoke to Elle in 2018, the elder Williams sister said she deserves to be just as happy as Serena. "I have worked so hard all my life, so one of my personal goals after this chapter is to actually have a life," she told the lifestyle mag. "Because I work and travel so much, it's become a goal to one day slow down."