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 (26)
  • theaw-4-bar
    1/06/2016 - 08:45 p.m.

    Serena Williams, the highest-ranking woman tennis player in the world earned this ranking by working hard throughout her life. Williams earned this distinction because out of the 56 games played during 2015 she won 53 out of those games. "She's done this(tennis) for so many years at such a high level," says Paul Fichtenbaum. I think it's time Serena did something like this because she is a woman role model to so many people around the world and she worked her way up the ladder and has stayed there for so long it is truly incredible. I liked this article a lot because I am a huge fan of Serena Williams.

  • Eugene0808-YYCA
    1/06/2016 - 09:37 p.m.

    I think this is cool because Serena Williams did have an amazing year with 5 titles, with a 53-3 overall score. With that many records, she definitely deserved this award. This is amazing because she is the first female athlete to win this award in more than 30 years. I agree with Fichtenhaum's statement in the last paragraph because women's sports are becoming more popular in countries.
    How did Serena earn this distinction?
    Answer: Serena earned this distinction by the way she won her events and titles.

  • Steve0620-yyca
    1/07/2016 - 03:40 p.m.

    I think that Serena did a really great job and put in a lot of effort. She was the Sportsperson of the Year. She was also the first female athlete honored on her own by the magazine in more than 30 years. She got the magazine's award in around thirty two years. Men's sports were really leading and popular but now, women's sports are having more attention. She had a lot of achievements on playing sports and did a lot of amazing accomplishments. I think that Serena deserved the award and must have been proud of it.

  • sheilah-6-bar
    1/07/2016 - 07:41 p.m.

    Serena Williams is a famous tennis player. She is sportsperson of the year because, "'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 is a hardworking tennis player who amazing at her sport. I find this article not very surprising because I know Serena Williams is an amazing candidate.

  • ellans-1-bar
    1/07/2016 - 08:38 p.m.

    Serena is a women tennis player that has five titles, including the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon. She won 53 matches out of 56 during 2015. "Serena is Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the Year, the first female athlete honored on her own by the magazine in more than 30 years." This statement shows how great a tennis player she was to earn this distinction. I think this article shows how women can be as successful and powerful as men. She is a great role model to young talent women all over the world.

  • gabriellek-1-bar
    1/07/2016 - 09:22 p.m.

    Serena Williams earned this distinction because she had an incredible season of 53-3 during 2015. With many other big wins such as the Australian Open, the French Open and Wimbledon and she was number 1 in the WTA rankings all season. Serena Williams has been able to keep up her victories at a high level. I found this article surprising that she is 34 years old and still plays the sport she loves at a high level and continues to win. Many people have a prime in their career around the age of 20 but Serena Williams is 34 and is still going strong. I found this article interesting that she only lost three tennis matches in her 2015 season. I am curious to find out who beat her and by how much.

  • batiar-3-bar
    1/08/2016 - 09:43 a.m.

    In the text above it states why Serena earned this dedication, Paul Fichtenbaum feels it's because, "'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.'" At the end of the season Serena "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." Serena will be the first women since 1983 to be on the cover of Sport's Illustrated. Sports has been taking more of a turn into women's recently and has been starting to get very big everywhere.This article is very interesting and inspiring, to find out that she will be the cover of Sport's illustrated is very interesting, but to be the first women since 1983 is truly amazing.

  • oscarb-1-bar
    1/08/2016 - 10:35 a.m.

    Serena 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." this seems like a huge deal for anyone to do and because she has done it, it is now called the "sportswomen of the year" to commemorate her as a women and an amazing athlete. I thought this was an amazing feet to the magazine and having her win was also cool.

  • evans1-phi
    1/13/2016 - 01:22 p.m.

    Serena earned this distinction by winning sportsperson of the year, and winning so many major tennis games consistently.

  • alaynas-phi
    1/13/2016 - 01:24 p.m.

    she earned this distinction by working hard and proving that girls can do anything boys can do

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