Sports Illustrated names Serena Williams its Sportsperson of the Year

Serena Williams on the cover of Sports Illustrated
(Image credit: Twitter.com/SInow)

Serena Williams has had quite the year. Sports Illustrated agrees, naming her their 2015 Sportsperson of the Year.

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S.L. Price justifies the magazine's pick first by running through her accomplishments on the court:

Williams, 34, won three major titles, went 53–3 and provided at least one new measure of her tyrannical three-year reign at No. 1. For six weeks this summer — and for the first time in the 40-year history of the WTA rankings — Williams amassed twice as many ranking points as the world No. 2; at one point that gap grew larger than the one between No. 2 and No. 1,000. Williams' 21 career Grand Slam singles titles are just one short of Steffi Graf's Open-era record. Such numbers are reason enough for Sports Illustrated to name Serena Williams its 2015 Sportsperson of the Year. [Sports Illustrated]

But 2015 also marked a year, as Price points out, where Williams seemed to constantly battle not only illness and injury, but also people's perceptions of her as a black female athlete. For the first time, she returned to the elite tour stop in Indian Wells, California, where in 2001 the crowd booed her and yelled racial slurs. This time, she got a standing ovation.

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SI sings more of Williams' praises here.

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