By Kelsey D’Auben
Today, Sports Illustrated Magazine announced that world renowned tennis star Serena Williams, would be their 2015 “Sportsperson of the year.”
Williams is the first woman to receive this title since it was given to track-star Mary Decker in 1983. She is also only one of four female individuals to ever receive the title. The US women’s soccer team as a whole was also given the title in 1999.
Williams has been named one of the greatest female tennis players of all time. She holds the most major titles of any active tennis player, male or female.
Along with holding three major titles and 21 grand slams victories, Williams is the only female tennis player to ever win all four majors after the age of 30. She is also the only player, male or female, to hold grand slam titles in two different decades.
This year, she was on the path to getting the grand slam (winning the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open in one calendar year) but lost the US open after an elbow injury attained earlier this year.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) December 14, 2015
Her loss was deemed one of the biggest tennis upsets of tennis history.
But nonetheless, she was still able to keep her No. 1 ranking at the end of the year. This is the 7th time Williams has been received the No. 1 ranking.
Sports Illustrated’s Christian Stone defended his publications’ decision to select Williams, despite some backlash from the public.
“Sports Illustrated honors her dominance in 2015, when she won 53 of her 56 matches, three of the four Grand Slam events and built the most yawning ranking points gap between her and her closest competitor in tennis history,” Stone wrote. “We honor her, too, for a career of excellence, her stranglehold on the game’s No. 1 ranking and her 21 Grand Slam titles.”
But the title of “Sportsperson of the Year” isn’t just about being a good athlete. The title is given to athletes who display the true spirit of sportsman-ship.
The “Sportsperson of the Year” issue will hit the stands December 21st.
Cover Photo Credit: Yann Caradec/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)