“Winning” and Serena Williams should really be synonymous that this point.
In the tennis phenom’s latest “W,” she has been crowned as the Sportsperson of The Year by Sports Illustrated, rounding out a spectacular display of greatness in 2015. Williams is now the first lone woman athlete to grace the coveted magazine issue since 1983. A worthy conclusion to one of her best seasons yet, Williams’ 21 Grand Slam titles, three majors and 53-3 record – among other accolades – earned her the position.
“Serena has made a very strong case as not only the greatest tennis player of her generation but of all time, and after the string of performances she put together in 2015, she is one of the most dominant athletes playing today,” Sports Illustrated released in a statement according to AOL News.
Williams’s quest for her 22nd Grand Slam title was cut short by a stinging upset when she was bested 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the U.S. Open semifinals by the unseeded Roberta Vinci, but that did not stop the celebration of her spectacular year. With the Sports Illustrated honor, she is also the first active tennis player to receive the honor since 1976. In an Instagram post, she marked the recognition as motivation to have an even better season next year.
“This year was spectacular,” Williams wrote. “For Sports Illustrated to recognize my hard work, dedication and sheer determination with this award gives me hope to continue on and do better. As I always say, it takes a village—not just one person. This is not just an accomplishment for me, but for my whole team and all my fans. I am beyond honored.”
Read the full Sports Illustrated feature here.