Sports Illustrated has named its Sportsperson of the Year for 2015. The cover of the magazine’s Dec. 21 issue proclaims that the title has been awarded to Serena Williams.
The article cites the tennis champion’s $74 million in prize money, part of what SI calls “one of the greatest late-career runs in sports history.” But SI also notes that Williams’ year, which included three Grand Slam titles, saw her enter “celebrity hyperspace.”
On the court, the report notes that Williams, 34, went 53-and-3 in matches and extended her “tyrannical three-year reign at No. 1.”
The report adds: “For six weeks this summer — and for the first time in the 40-year history of the WTA rankings — Williams amassed twice as many ranking points as the world No. 2; at one point that gap grew larger than the one between No. 2 and No. 1,000.”
The Sportsperson of the Year honor has been awarded since 1954, when runner Roger Bannister received the title. Only one individual has won the title more than once, with golf standout Tiger Woods receiving the honor in 1996 and 2000.