Elio Pis and Venus Williams
Michael Kovac/FilmMagic, Vallery Jean/FilmMagic
09/05/2012 at 12:00 PM EDT
Venus has a hot new man!
After dropping out of last year's U.S. Open
and announcing she was suffering from Sjögren's Syndrome, a happy and healthy Venus Williams
made a triumphant return to the New York Grand Slam tournament last week with her new boyfriend at her side. The tennis champ, 32, has been dating Cuban model Elio Alberto Pis, 24, for several months, PEOPLE has learned.
And it's been a love match on and off the court.
The couple were seen holding hands and sweetly kissing each other while walking through the corridors of Arthur Ashe Stadium. During all of her matches, Pis sat courtside with Williams's friends and family, cheering the two-time U.S. Open winner. Her return was cut short, though. Williams lost to Germany's Angelique Kerber in the second round on Aug. 30, and she was eliminated from the doubles competition with younger sister Serena
on Sept. 3.
With Williams set to present her clothing line, EleVen, during New York Fashion Week, expect to see more of Pis. As he steps out with the tennis ace, here are five things to know about the guy that has won over her heart: 1. He's a model on the rise
Pis has worked with Williams on her athletic line, EleVen
. The two posed together for her website, showing off her ready-to-wear tennis apparel. The 6'1 hunk has also been featured in French Vogue
with Brooke Shields
and has modeled for Russell Simmons's clothing line.
2. He's a hard worker
The Cuban – who now lives in Miami – studied diligently to learn English and put himself through school. He graduated with a psychology degree from Florida International University in 2010.
3. He's outspoken
According to his Facebook page, Pis describes himself as a "constant thinker, optimistic, a free spirit and blunt."
4. He's a DeNiro fan
He loves to play checkers and enjoys reading books such as Robert Wright's The Moral Animal
. The 1993 Robert De Niro crime drama A Bronx Tale
is his favorite movie, and he likes listening to Miami recording artist J-Toven.
5. He loves tennis
Pis lists only one sports hero on his Facebook page. His favorite? None other than Venus Williams, of course.