Queen of the court! Serena Williams Sports Illustrated’s 2015 Sportsperson of the Year

Serena Williams may have suffered a crushing defeat when she failed to earn a calendar Grand Slam after losing in the US Open finals this year, but that didn’t stop Sports Illustrated from naming her the 2015 Sportsperson of the Year.

The 34-year-old tennis star graces the cover of the magazine’s highly-anticipated annual issue, wearing a black lace leotard and patent leather pumps as she sits on a gold throne.

She posted the image to her Instagram page this morning, writing: ‘This year was spectacular for me. For Sports Illustrated to recognize my hard work, my dedication, and my sheer determination gives me hope to continue on and do better.

The best of the best: Serena Williams, 34, has been crowned Sports Illustrated's 2015 Sportsperson of the Year. She graces the magazine's cover in a black lace leotard and patent leather pumps 

‘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?’

Her Instagram post has earned nearly 33,000 likes in just one hour, with followers lauding her for her achievements and inspiring tenacity.

In the feature, Sports Illustrated praises Serena not just for being considered by many to be the best female tennis player of all time, but for making headlines all year long in entertainment, pop culture, fashion, and even politics.

She appeared in the animated movie Pixels with Martha Stewart and Peter Dinklage, was praised by President Obama for her athleticism, and chased down a cell phone thief and actually got him to give back her phone.

Just days after her Grand Slam dream was crushed by Italian Roberta Vinci in the US Open, Serena debuted her fashion collection at New York Fashion Week as Anna Wintour, Drake, and Kendall Jenner cheered her on.

Star of the show: The athlete celebrates a point during the French Open in June. She tells Sports Illustrated she wants 'to be known as the greatest ever'

Serena also maintained a close friendship with Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg this year, and even helped the executive cope with her husband Dave Goldberg’s shocking death in May.

Sheryl tells Sports Illustrated her pal constantly checked up on her, sending her positive text messages as she grieved her husband, who died at age 47 during an accident while he was on vacation.

‘I just kept getting these messages from Serena, literally every couple of days – for months. ‘Texts, messages, voicemails. She would write: “You have all my strength” or “You are the strongest woman I know. You will get through this,”‘ she shared.

The Lean In author continued: ‘For Serena Williams to say: “You have all my strength”? God, when you’re like where I was after Dave died, that feels like a lot of strength. I would get that text and look at it, and would feel pretty emotional – like I am now. I would feel like she was carrying me.’

Serena even tucked Sheryl’s children, ages eight and 10, into bed at night, telling them stories about her life and how she overcame obstacles in her career and tragedies in her personal life, such as the murder of her elder half-sister Yetunde Price in 2003.

Source: The DailyMail

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