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China Daily / Sports

Williams sheds tears after seeing billboards

Serena Williams of the US hits a shot during her Women's singles final match against Venus Williams of the US on Australian Open in Melbourne, Jan 28, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

LOS ANGELES - Serena Williams' husband Alexis Ohanian is paying for four giant billboards to mark the star's return to tournament play in California next week.

Ohanian, borrowing a tactic at the center of Oscar-nominated movie Three Billboards, Outside Ebbing Missouri, delighted Williams after the giant signs appeared on the highway heading to the desert city of Indian Wells.

The first three billboards, which also feature images of the couple's baby daughter, spell out the message, "Greatest Momma Of All Time".

A fourth billboard reads: "Serena Williams - G.M.O.A.T - Alexis Jr + Sr."

In an Instagram post, Ohanian revealed he had designed and paid for the ads himself.

"These just went up alongside the highway into Palm Springs," Ohanian wrote.

"I wanted to welcome her back to tennis. Designed them myself with some help from Jr."

Williams was bowled over by the gesture.

"Literally, I'm crying," she wrote in a comment under Ohanian's Instagram post. "This is so sweet. I love you."

Williams, 36, has not played a full WTA tournament since missing most of 2017 due to the birth of her daughter.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion played in a Fed Cup game for the United States earlier this month and will return at next week's BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.

Agence France - presse