Serena Williams lands historic Sports Illustrated award

Serena Williams is the first solo female winner of the Sports Illustrated award for over 30 years. Picture: AFP/Getty
Serena Williams is the first solo female winner of the Sports Illustrated award for over 30 years. Picture: AFP/Getty
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SERENA Williams is Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year – the first female athlete honoured on her own by the influential US magazine in more than 30 years.

Williams came within two matches of tennis’ first calendar-year Grand Slam since 1988, a bid that ended with a semi-final loss at the US Open.

The magazine cover. Picture: Contributed

The magazine cover. Picture: Contributed

In all, the 34-year-old American won 53 and lost three during 2015, clinching five titles, including the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon.

Williams was No 1 in the WTA rankings all season.

“She was the most deserving person for the award. She had an amazing year.

“The way she won her events; the fact that she’s done this for so many years at such a high level,” said Paul Fichtenbaum, editor of the Sports Illustrated Group.

Runner Mary Decker in 1983 was the last female athlete to earn the magazine’s award by herself.