Sports

Who Is Qai Qai? Serena Williams' Daughter's Doll Becomes Internet Sensation at the Australian Open

As one of the most successful tennis players of all time, Serena Williams is used to dominating headlines, but her performances at the Australian Open have so far been overshadowed by the tournament’s breakout star: her daughter’s doll.

Williams’ daughter, Olympia Ohanian, has carried her doll Qai Qai everywhere in Melbourne, where she is following her mother’s progress through the tournament alongside her dad, Reddit co-founder Alexis.

Read more: Cartoon depicts Serena Williams as a crying baby and Naomi Osaka as a blonde woman 

The doll has been spotted courtside at the Rod Laver Arena during Williams’ games and practice sessions, as well as taking in the sights of the capital of Victoria.

All its adventures have been captured on camera and shared on Instagram, where Qai Qai—pronounced "Qway Qway"—has amassed over 90,000 followers. According to the New York Post, the Instagram profile is operated by Alexis Ohanian.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Williams revealed she had chosen the doll’s skin color herself as she wanted her daughter to have a black doll.

“I wanted her to have a black doll,” Williams told reporters, as reported by Melbourne newspaper The Age.

“Growing up, I didn’t have that many opportunities to have black dolls. And I was just thinking, like, I want her first doll to be black. And her heritage, obviously she’s mixed, she’s Caucasian and black, but I feel like that was her first doll and I said her second doll would be Caucasian.

“I definitely want to always teach her love and teach her just basic human—humans should always have love for each other, no matter what color they are.”

With such famous parents, the spotlight is never too far for Williams’ daughter and the toddler has her own Instagram page, with over 540,000 followers.

Qai Qai’s stay in Melbourne doesn’t look like it will end anytime soon, as Williams comfortably strolled into the third round of the Australian Open on Thursday by beating Eugenie Bouchard in straight sets.

The 37-year-old beat the Canadian 6-2, 6-2 and will play Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska in the third round. Should Williams beat the world number 57, she will face the winner of the match between her sister Venus and the current world number one Simona Halep.

Williams last won a Grand Slam tournament when she triumphed in Melbourne in 2017. If she were to add an eight Australian Open crown to her belt, she would become the joint-most successful player in the history of women’s tennis alongside Margaret Court.

With 23 individual Grand Slam titles, she is already the most successful woman in the Open Era.

Serena Williams Serena Williams of the US celebrates her victory against Canada's Eugenie Bouchard after winning their women's singles match on day four of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 17. Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

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