Serena Williams picked up her well deserved Sports Illustrated SportsPerson of the Year award on Tuesday, and added to one of the longest resumes in sports, becoming only the third individual woman to claim the honour since its 1956 inception.
The star won the first three grand slam singles titles of 2015 after taking last year’s U.S. Open to hold all four crowns at once for her second career ‘Serena Slam’.
In 2015, Williams logged a 53-3 record, reigned as world number one every week for the second successive year and took her total of grand slams to 21, one less than Steffi Graf for most in the Open Era, at an age when most players have been long retired.
“I’ve been doing what I do for over 20 years professionally and that’s a long time to be playing,” Williams told Reuters before Tuesday’s awards dinner. “And this is the first time I was ever recognised as Sportsperson of the Year.
“So it really, really meant a lot to me. And being a woman and being only the third to be recognised is pretty awesome.”