Are we even surprised?
Tennis legend Serena Williams has been the personification of Black girl magic and over the last decade has changed the world of sports and beyond. And on Saturday, Williams was chosen by the Associated Press for the coveted “Female Athlete of the Decade.”
Over the last decade, Williams has had countless accolades over the last decade that have included reaching at least one Final Slam, winning gold medals in at the 2012 Olympics, became the oldest woman to win a Grand Slam singles trophy, leading the tour with 37 singles titles, 11 more than anyone else in the decade and much more.
“She’s been my idol growing up,” AP 2019 Female Athlete of the Year Simone Biles said of Williams. “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.”
In addition to winning “Female Athlete of the Decade,” Williams has snagged five “Female Athlete of the Year” awards with two awarded in 2002 and 2009, and three in the last 10 years.
“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. Irrespective of the adversity and the odds that are facing her, she always believes in herself,” former WTA CEO Stacey Allaster said.
Something else the history books should note is that Williams is not only a great winner but a great loser as well.
“Whenever I lose, I get more determined, and it gives me something more to work toward,” Williams said in a 2013 interview with the AP. “I don’t get complacent, and I realize I need to work harder and I need to do better and I want to do better — or I wouldn’t be playing the game.”