Venus Williams gets 'friendship ring' from heir boyfriend

Venus Williams and her boyfriend, Nick Hammond, may be ready to take things to the next level.

Hammond recently gave Williams a "friendship ring" -- not an engagement ring -- to symbolize his commitment to the seven-time grand slam champion, Page Six reports. The couple has kept their romance extremely private for well over a year now, and Hammond told the outlet that he intends on keeping things that way.

"We have a firm commitment to one another to keep our relationship private," Hammond, who is the heir of TV Guide billionaire Walter Annenberg, said.

A source close to Williams, 38, and Hammond, 26, said that "they are in love, but no one has mentioned any engagement."

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The couple was photographed holding hands in the streets of New York back in April, and Hammond has been spotted in Williams' player box at several high-profile tournaments, including this year's Australian Open and last year's US Open.

Most notably, though, Hammond was Williams' date to younger sister, Serena's, wedding to Alexis Ohanian in November of last year.