Serena Williams is Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the Year Serena Williams attends the 2015 Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Awards at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers on Tuesday, Dec.15, 2015, in New York. (Andy Kropa/Invision/AP/Bullit Marquez)
Serena Williams is Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the Year
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Serena Williams is Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the Year, the first female athlete honored on her own by the magazine in more than 30 years.
 
Williams came within two matches of tennis' first calendar-year Grand Slam since 1988. It was a bid that ended with a semifinal loss at the U.S. Open.
 
In all, the 34-year-old American went 53-3 during 2015 with five titles, including at 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. "She was a terrific candidate in a year of terrific candidates."
 
The announcement marks a switch to the formal name of the SI award. The past recipients were touted as Sportsman or Sportswoman of the Year.
 
"We just felt this was a natural evolution. We're not making a huge deal out of it," Fichtenbaum said. "It just feels like the right time to make the change."
 
Runner Mary Decker was the last female athlete to earn the magazine's award by herself in 1983.
 
The U.S. women's national soccer team was picked by SI in 1999. Speedskater Bonnie Blair in 1994 and gymnast Mary Lou Retton in 1984 were co-honorees with male Olympians.
 
"Men's sports have dominated until recently, when women's sports have grown in popularity, and the competition is better than ever," Fichtenbaum said. "There's more of a focus on women's sports now. It's grown considerably. Specifically why? I'm not sure."

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
How did Serena earn this distinction?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (80)
  • brookem-1-bar
    12/17/2015 - 07:08 p.m.

    Serena earned this distinction because, "She went 53-3 during 2015 with five titles, including at the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon. Williams was No. 1 in the WTA rankings all season." Serena has won so many awards, meaning she's good at tennis. She also won the award because the editor of the Sports Illustrated said, "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. She was a terrific candidate in a year of terrific candidates." This person is important because he was apart of making the decision on who wins the award.

    I chose this article because I didn't know she won the award, and I wanted to know more about it.

    • charlotteg-ren
      1/11/2016 - 07:47 p.m.

      I totally agree with you. All of her hard work paid off and she won 53-3. Also I agree with you because the person that make the decision that she won is very important.

  • ellerys-1-bar
    12/17/2015 - 07:28 p.m.

    Serena Williams earned the title of Sports Illustrated's sportswoman of the year because of her 53-3 season and her amazing tennis ability. Williams dominated the sports world in 2015 and deserved to be ranked as number one. Williams was the first female winner in over thirty years and she was the perfect recipient of this award. Serena Williams is the voice of women's sports for the year because of her outstanding ability in tennis and her ability to lead both the tennis and women's sports worlds proudly.

  • audreyv-4-bar
    12/17/2015 - 07:42 p.m.

    Serena earned this distinction, because she is the first woman to win the award in over 30 years. She also has been dominating the tennis world for several seasons with a record of 53-3. "'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. "

    I found this article very interesting, because I am a fan of women's tennis and specifically Serena Williams. To know that Serena has won an award that normally goes to men is very inspiring.

  • josiec-1-bar
    12/17/2015 - 09:45 p.m.

    Serena Williams earned this distinction because, "She had an amazing year. The way she won her events." This is why Serena Williams was voted Sportsperson of the year becasue of the way she played and how many events she one in all big tournaments. My opinion is that Serena Williams should win this award becasue of how well she has done this past year.

    • abbyp-ren
      1/05/2016 - 10:15 a.m.

      I totally agree with you. She did such a an amazing job and all of her work had certainly paid off.

  • caymanm-2-bar
    12/17/2015 - 11:27 p.m.

    Serena has earned her distinction by being one of the top for a very long time. She deserved the award. The article says" She was a terrific candidate in a year of terrific candidates." She had a great season this year. I thought this article was interesting because men's sports have been dominating Illustrated sports magazine.

  • paigea-3-bar
    12/17/2015 - 11:44 p.m.

    Serena earned this distinction because she has been doing so well as a female tennis play for consecutive years. Also men's sports have dominated recently, so Serena's breakthrough couldn't go unnoticed. The article proves this by stating,"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. "She was a terrific candidate in a year of terrific candidates." The article also said, "Men's sports have dominated until recently, when women's sports have grown in popularity, and the competition is better than ever," Fichtenbaum said. "There's more of a focus on women's sports now. It's grown considerably. Specifically why? I'm not sure." I enjoyed this article and I thought it was interesting that a female hasn't won this title for many years.

  • katherinec-3-bar
    12/17/2015 - 11:53 p.m.

    Serena won this distinction because of her games won and all 5 of her tiltes. It says," went 53-3 in 2015, with five titles." I found this interesting because of the number of games lost and number of games won, that's very impressive!!

    • abbyp-ren
      1/05/2016 - 10:16 a.m.

      I agree, the amount of times she has won and the ending score when this happens is just incredible! She showed that hard work had payed off.

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