Sports Illustrated (SI) named Williams 2015 Sportsperson of the Year, Dec. 14, 2015. Considered by many to be the best female tennis player of all time, she beat out stiff competition for the title including Team USA, who achieved the first U.S. hat trick in Women’s World Cup history, and the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years, American Pharoah.
Williams was honored in 2015 for holding the most major singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles of all active players. With a total of 21 Grand Slam titles, she ranked third on the all-time list behind Margaret Court (24) and Steffi Graff (22). SI honored her for achievements both on and off the court calling her a “difference-maker” when it came to issues such as race and body shaming, transcending sports to be a powerful symbol.
Her attempt to achieve tennis history with a calendar Grand Slam -- which would have made her one of only six singles players in tennis history to do so -- captured the attention of the sports world in 2015.
In 2016, she tied Steffi Graff for second place for most Grand Slam titles with 22.
Sports Illustrated December 21, 2015 cover.