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, 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 and she 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, where 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 (25)
  • audreyv-4-bar
    12/17/2015 - 07:53 p.m.

    Serena earned this distinction, because she won an award that is normally given to a male athlete. however, Serena's athletic ability and dominance over women's tennis earned her the title. "'She was the most deserving person for the award, she had an amazing year.'"

    I found this article very interesting, because I am a fan on women's tennis and am aware of Serena's successful career. For Serena to win an award that is normally given to male athletes is very inspiring for everyone to hear.

  • oliviam-6-bar
    12/17/2015 - 11:05 p.m.

    Serena Williams is a tennis player for the United States. She was able to earn this distinction in the Sport's Illustrated because of her stellar record in her sport. Tennis. This quote supports this fact. "The 34-year-old American went 53-3 during 2015 with five titles." (p. 2)

    Another reason that Williams was mentioned in Sport's Illustrated is because there had not been a women mentioned in over thirty years. This quote states "There's more of a focus on women's sports now. It's grown considerably." (p. 9) This suggests that "It just feels like the right time to make the change." (p. 6)

  • Brandon1231-YYCA
    12/21/2015 - 12:48 p.m.

    I think that it is great to have a great women like Serena Williams be on the sportsperson of the year. She is a very great tennis player and I have seen her play. She is very aggressive and she will try her best to the end. She always manages to beat the other player, but sometimes she loses. Most of the games that I watched her play, she won.I only watch her play one game, and it was great. I think she won and she was moved up in the tournament. I think that she is a great player and she will become the sportsperson of the year again.

  • kyliea-Sch
    12/21/2015 - 03:02 p.m.

    This is a good story to ready if you really really like to learn about sports or to be an athletic person. And if you want to play tennis.

  • caitlynk-2-bar
    1/03/2016 - 09:54 p.m.

    Serena earned this distinction as quoted in the text,'"(...) The way she won her events; the fact that she's done this for so many years at such a high level,(...)"' Serena won the title won with five titles and was the only female honored by herself, by Sports Illustrated, in thirty years. I found this article interesting and surprising how a woman alone has not gotten chosen to be the Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the year award in three decades.

  • adorak-1-glo
    1/05/2016 - 06:58 p.m.

    Serena Williams was able to earn this distinction due to her hard work and dedication. This amazing tennis player was able to break gender boundaries by winning the Grand Slam (the last time a woman earned this achievement, it was in 1988). Serena continues to discharge her greatness on the field, and has become a role-model to many.

  • autumnc-1-glo
    1/05/2016 - 08:38 p.m.

    Serena earned this award because of her hard work as well as the fact that she has done so well for so long. She has very much deserved the award.

  • denisser-glo
    1/05/2016 - 09:12 p.m.

    Serena Williams earned this distinction because of her amazing year. As Paul Fichtenbaum said "She was the most deserving person for the award... She was a terrific candidate in a year of terrific candidates."

  • parkerl-1-glo
    1/05/2016 - 09:43 p.m.

    Serena has continuously excelled in tennis throughout her career and is always striving to do her best. She has worked so hard and has won multiple matches and championships.

  • amberc-1-glo
    1/06/2016 - 10:34 a.m.

    I think it's really great the Serena was able to be Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the Year especially because she's a talented African American female athlete. I personally think it's an improvement for female athletes since a female hasn't been honored with this award in over 30 years. So the fact that Serena Williams is the first female athlete to be honored with this award in over 30 years is really impressive especially for African American females.

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