Serena Williams has been named Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year after the world number one tennis player won three grand slam titles in 2015. The 34-year-old becomes the 10th female recipient of the award, which has been voted for by journalists for the prestigious American publication since 1954.
Williams won the Australian Open, the French Open and Wimbledon to put herself on course for the first grand slam completed by a female player since Steffi Graf in 1988. At the US Open she reached the semi-final before being defeated in three sets by Roberta Vinci, but still finished the year as the oldest world number one in the history of the women's game.
"This year was spectacular for me," Williams, the third tennis player to win the prize, wrote on Instagram. "For Sports Illustrated to recognize my hard work, my dedication, and my sheer determination gives me hope to continue on and do better. As I always say, it takes a village it's not just one person. This is not just an accomplishment for me, but for my whole team. I am beyond honored. I love you guys! 2016? #letsdoit."
Though the 34-time grand slam champion prevailed in a vote carried out by SI's writers, Williams finished 11th out of 12 nominees in an online poll conducted by the magazine. Readers chose grand slam winning horse American Pharoah – winner of the Triple Crown and the Breeders Cup Classic – ahead of the likes of athlete Usain Bolt and tennis player Novak Djokovic.