Back in September, Serena Williams came thisclose to becoming the first professional tennis player since Steffi Graf in 1988 to win a Grand Slam. She lost to Roberta Vinci at the U.S. Open in stunning fashion (are we still blaming Drake for that?) and missed out on an opportunity to make history in the process.
But that was pretty much the only thing that didn’t go Serena’s way in 2015. She won 53 of the 56 matches she took part in this year. She battled through illness, injury, and adversity to assume her place as one of the most dominant athletes of all time. And off the court, she continued to build her personal brand and spoke out against racial injustices and on behalf of the Black Lives Matter movement.
For these reasons—and more—Sports Illustrated just named Serena their Sportsperson of the Year, making her the first woman to win the award since 1983, and shot a photo of her sitting in a throne for their SPOTY cover:
If you need an explanation as to why she deserved the honor, you can go here. We’d also encourage you to check out this piece that we released over the summer explaining why Serena is now the G.O.A.T. in our eyes. Congrats to her on winning yet another prestigious honor.
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[via Sports Illustrated]