Serena Williams Named Sports Illustrated Sportsperson Of The Year

Serena Williams Sports Illustrated

Tennis star Serena Williams has been named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the year for 2015. Williams came out on top and beat out 11 other contenders for the number one spot in Sports Illustrated’s annual achievement.

Serena Williams has certainly earned her title as Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year. Sports Illustrated’s Group Editor Paul Fichtenbaum stated a strong case for why they decided to give the top spot to Williams this year.

“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.”

Throughout the year, Williams has been racking up headlines for her enormous list of achievements this year. For starters, Williams beat her sister, tennis player Venus Williams, while at the U.S. Open. Additionally, she won her 19th, 20th and 21st Grand Slam titles.

This marks yet another big feat in Williams’ career. The last female athlete to take home this honor was track star Mary Decker, and that was back in 1983. According to E!, Williams said the following in a statement.

“This year was spectacular. 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.”

While many are cheering over the Sports Illustrated honor, some are catching a huge slam that LA Times made when they announced the title. Right after the achievement was announced, the Los Angeles Times set up a poll featuring side by side pictures of horse American Pharoah and Serena Williams, to ask readers if they thought the right “sportsperson” won the title. It should be noted that American Pharoah is definitely not a person. Some were obviously offended by the comparison.

For the first time in a long time, Serena Williams’ love life has also been a driving force behind some of her headlines in the press. During the fall, it seemed like Williams and singer-rapper Drake had a romance that they decided to reignite. He supported her in the stands, and they were seen out and about on a few occasions.

Things got so serious at one point that Serena Williams’ rep had to deny reports that the two were engaged when rumors started to get out of hand. Williams’ rep told People, “They are simply longtime friends.” While it’s easy to tell that the rep is playing down the romance, there’s no proof that the two were engaged or ever in a serious relationship. These days, Drake isn’t settling down with anyone.

Besides getting to bring Drake home, other achievements in 2015 alone, were as follows: BET Sportsman of the Year, Best Female Tennis Player ESPY Award, Woman’s Sports Foundation Sportswoman of the Year, Harris Poll Top 10 Favorite Female Sports Star (at number 1), WTA Player of the Year, and of course the aforementioned Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year.

The last headline involving Serena was back in November, when she chased down an alleged phone thief who attempted to steal her phone. After the video was released of the thief being chased down, Williams took to Facebook to explain the whole situation to her concerned fans. After all, this person could have unlocked private information of Serena’s.

She explained that the suspicious phone thief caught her eye after he was lingering around her chair at a Chinese restaurant. When she realized said thief took her phone, she sprang into action.

“I looked at the chair, than shouted ‘Omg that dude took my phone!!’ Not thinking I reacted (hence the superwoman photo) I jumped up, weaved my way in and out of the cozy restaurant (leaping over a chair or two) and chased him down.

“He began to run but I was too fast. (Those sprints came in handy) I was upon him in a flash! In the most menacing yet calm no nonsense voice I could muster I kindly asked him if he ‘accidentally’ took the wrong phone. He stumbled on his words probably not expecting this to happen. While he was thinking of the right thing to say and eventually he said ‘Gosh you know what I did! It was so confusing in there. I must have grabbed the wrong phone.’ “

Do you think Serena Williams is deserving of the Sports Illustrated title?

[Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images]