Serena Williams Named ‘Sports Illustrated’ Sportsperson of the Year

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Credit: USA Today/Sports Illustrated

As if she needed any more accolades to add to her illustrious year, tennis superstar Serena Williams has amassed one more. Sports Illustrated has named the 34-year-old “Sportsperson of the Year.” A title she definitely earned.

Both on and off the court, Williams made headlines this year. From a New Year’s Eve dance with Donald Trump (yes, that Donald Trump) to successfully shutting down body shamers to coming within a win of the first Grand Slam in 27 years, Williams had an exciting year. But it wasn’t always an easy one.

Although she won three out of four major tennis titles this year, Williams worked harder than possibly ever before. She was desperately ill during the Australian Open and fighting a sore elbow and the flu at the French Open. At Roland Garros, Williams took the lead, lost it, and was forced to battle from behind.

Her victory at Wimbledon notched her her second “Serena Slam”, winning four straight majors in a row, and increased the drama leading up to the U.S. Open, the final major title of the year. Her win at the All England Club, also marked her 21st career major win, leaving her just one behind Steffi Graf, who holds the record for most major wins in the Open Era.

But it wasn’t to be. Williams succumbed to unseeded Roberta Vinci in a major upset at the U.S. Open. Even with her loss in New York, Williams proved that being on the wrong side of 30, doesn’t mean she is slowing down.

Serena Williams succeeds San Francisco Giants pitcher, Madison Bumgarner, as “Sportsperson of the Year.” The last time a woman solely held the title was track and field star, Mary Decker, in 1983.