December 31, 2019
Serena Williams is closing out the year in a big way as she has been named The Associated Press Female Athlete of The Decade. The well-deserved title was announced on Saturday, December 28, as part of activities marking the end of a decade.
The last couple of years have posed some challenges for Serena – surviving a life-threatening delivery, juggling motherhood and tennis, and sustaining several injuries – but the fighter in her never quit.
Serena Williams at Wimbledon 2019 on July 11, 2019 in London, England. |Photo: Getty Images
Following a vote by AP member sports editors and beat writers, Serena, 38, took the top honors as the female athlete of the decade, Associated Press reported.
"Irrespective of the adversity and the odds that are facing her, she always believes in herself."
Between 2010 and 2019, Serena has won 12 more Grand slam singles titles, bringing her total Grand slams to 23. Serena is indeed a legend as history has it that no other woman had more than three grand slam titles over the past ten seasons.
Serena Williams at Sports Illustrated Fashionable 50 2019 in California on July 18, 2019 | Photo: Getty Images
According to Yahoo Sports, Serena also boasts 72 singles titles in her entire career and has won 37 in the last ten years. That is 11 more than anyone else in the sport.
During the decade, Serena also held the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) number one ranking for three and a half years in a row; a feat attained only by Steffi Graf.
In the 2012 Olympics, she won gold medals in singles and doubles alongside her sister, Venus Williams. Only five years later, Serena would almost lose her life while birthing her and husband Alexis Ohanian's daughter.
Per CBS News, Serena suffered several health problems after delivering Olympia Ohanian, including blood clots and a burst C-section. Serena was the runner-up another seven times at significant tournaments within the last ten years, four of which she entered into after having a baby in 2017.
Also, within the professional era, Serena is the oldest woman to win a Grand slam trophy. Currently, she is No. 10 in the WTA rankings. She reached the U.S. Open finals in September, losing to Bianca Andreescu, 19.
Describing the tennis superstar, USTA chief executive, and former WTA CEO Stacey Allaster, said:
“When the history books are written, it could be that the great Serena Williams is the greatest athlete of all time. ... I like to call it the ‘Serena Superpowers’ — that champion’s mindset. Irrespective of the adversity and the odds that are facing her, she always believes in herself.”
Following Serena was Gymnast Simone Biles, who won second place in the decade vote after winning the AP’s Female Athlete of the Year award.
Swimmer Katie Ledecky won third place for female athlete of the decade while Skiers Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin took the fourth and fifth positions, respectively.
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