It’s love, set, match for Venus Williams, as friends wait to see if her new boyfriend, millionaire Nicholas Hammond, will sit courtside for her Australia Open matches. The pair has largely flown under the radar, but insiders close to the super jock don’t expect that to continue much longer.
“He’s a wealthy financier who goes between California and New York,” according to a source, who, along with other Williams’ associates, say Hammond’s name has come up a lot Down Under as Williams readies for this weekend’s tournament.
“She likes that he’s very private,” according to our spy. We’re told that Venus affectionately calls her beau “Nicky” and she’s telling friends she’s “very happy.”
Hammond — who’s 12 years younger than Williams — isn’t in it for the money, according to our spy.
“He’s definitely not a fortune hunter,” we’re told. “She’s head over heels for him.”
The “very handsome” 25-year old is an heir to Walter Annenberg’s TV Guide fortune. His parents are socialite Dana Hammond and her ex-husband James.
“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,” we’re told. We also hear that Hammond was Williams’ date to her sister Serena’s wedding in November.
Williams, the number two rated womens tennis player in the world, needed a shoulder to cry on Tuesday. That’s when she was upset by German racket-swinger Angelique Kerber at the Sydney International tournament. It was revealed on Thursday that she’ll be back in action Sunday when she takes on Swiss challenger Belinda Bencic in the first round of the Australia Open. All eyes will be on the VIP seats.
According to our source, Venus has expressed an interest in having kids, despite Vogue magazine’s report on Wednesday that her 36-year-old sister Serena, overcame life-threatening complications in September when she gave birth to her first baby.
With Brian Niemietz