Sports Illustrated’s “Sportsperson of the Year” award has been a coveted honour among athletes and performers from various sports since the award’s genesis in 1954. This year, World’s number 1 female tennis player Serena Williams was announced as the Sportsperson of the Year for 2015 and in achieving this accolade, Serena broke many barriers at once.
Serena Williams is now only the 3rd female athlete to to become the solo winner of this award. Billie Jean King was the first female recipient of this award in 1972 but she was a join winner with basketball coach John Wooden, After Mary Decker’s win in 1983, Serena becomes the first female solo winner after 32 years and she is also the first black female athlete to achieve this feat.
What makes this award even more spectacular is the fact that Sports Illustrated has always shied away from females tennis players and tennis players in general. After Chris Evert in 1976, no female tennis player had the chance to pull off this award in 39 years. More importantly, neither Stefi Graf, nor the fab four of men’s tennis, Federer, Nadal, Djokovich and Murray has bagged this award.
Serena Williams has had a stellar 2015 with a win loss record of 53 – 3. She won the 3 of the grand slams and fell in the final of the US Open. Serena has already equalled the 21 grand slam win record of Stefi Graf which will likely be shattered in 2016. After the award announcement, Serena wrote on Instagram, “For Sports Illustrated to recognize my hard work, my dedication and my sheer determination gives me hope to continue on and do better. As I always say, it takes a village, it’s not just one person. This is not just an accomplishment for me, but for my whole team. I am beyond honored.”
This year was spectacular for me. For SportsIllustrated to recognize my hard work, my dedication,… https://t.co/wsGPJZY7cn
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) December 14, 2015