Ace! Serena Williams Has Been Named the Associated Press’s Female Athlete of the Decade

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 07: Serena Williams of the United States reacts during her Women's Singles final match against Bianca Andreescu of Canada on day thirteen of the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 07, 2019 in Queens borough of New York City.   (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Congratulations are in order for Serena Williams, who was just named The Associated Press‘s Female Athlete of the Decade! Since the start of the decade, the 38-year-old tennis star has received a stunning 12 Grand Slam singles titles, gotten married to Alexis Ohanian, dealt with some serious health issues, and become a mother to baby Olympia — beyond impressive!

“Whether it was health issues; coming back; having a child; almost dying from that — she has endured it all and she is still in championship form.”

“When the history books are written, it could be that the great Serena Williams is the greatest athlete of all time . . . I like to call it the ‘Serena Superpowers’ — that champion’s mindset,” said Stacey Allaster, chief executive for professional tennis at the US Tennis Association, which runs the US Open. “Irrespective of the adversity and the odds that are facing her, she always believes in herself . . . Whether it was health issues; coming back; having a child; almost dying from that — she has endured it all and she is still in championship form. Her records speak for themselves.”

Gymnast Simone Biles, who was honored as AP‘s 2019 Female Athlete of the Year, finished second to Serena for the decade award, followed by Katie Ledecky, Lindsey Vonn, and Mikaela Shiffrin.

“She’s been my idol growing up,” Simone told AP. “She’s remained humble. She’s stayed true to herself and her character and I think that’s really neat about an athlete. Once you start winning, some get cocky, but she’s stayed true to herself, win or lose.”

Williams was selected as the Female Athlete of the Decade after a vote by AP member sports editors and AP beat writers. The AP Male Athlete of the Decade will be announced on Sunday, Jan. 5.

Among her many accomplishments, Serena has also reached at least one Slam final every year since 2007, becoming the oldest woman to win a Grand Slam singles trophy and the oldest No. 1 in WTA history, and matched Steffi Graf’s record for most consecutive weeks at No. 1. Serena’s long list of accomplishments makes it easy to see why she’s received this remarkable title, and we can’t wait to see what else the tennis star achieves as she takes on new competitors in the coming decade.