Serena Williams has been named Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year in a vote by U.S. editors and news directors for the fourth time in her career, the AP announced.
Williams previously won the honor in 2002, 2009 and 2013. Fellow tennis star Chris Evert also won the honor four times in her career. Babe Didrikson holds the record with her six awards for track and field and golf. This year, Williams compiled a 53-3 record with victories at the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon. Williams fell just short of completing the first calendar-year Grand Slam since 1988 with a semi-final loss at the U.S. Open
Serena Williams spent a good portion of 2015 deflecting questions about whether she could complete the Grand Slam. After coming oh-so-close, she can acknowledge how much she cared about the rare feat.
“I wanted it. But … winning one [major title] is not easy. And then, [when] you have a ‘bounty’ on your head, it’s even harder,” she said with a laugh. “If you know anything about me, I hate to lose. I’ve always said I hate losing more than I like winning, so that drives me to be the best that I can be.”
Serena Williams took to Instagram to thank her fans writing:
“Female athlete of the year from AP. Thank you. It’s been an incredible year. I look forward to making more memorable memories next year. I love you all.”