Serena Williams must have had a nice Christmas. Yesterday she was named the Associated Press’ 2013 Female Athlete of the Year for the third time (she was also named in 2002 and 2009).
Serena deserves this latest win. In 2013, she won 11 titles, including two Grand Slams: the French Open and U.S. Open, putting her Grand Slam Championship total at 17. She’s the oldest woman to hold the No. 1 spot in the WTA and it doesn’t look like she’s giving that up anytime soon. In addition, she had a 34-match winning streak, only one match away from her sister’s 35-match streak in 2000.
Besides her amazing win record and No. 1 status, Serena has long been an inspiration. From humble beginnings, Serena set another record in women’s tennis in 2013 by earning $12 million in prize money. Finally, she’s worked hard to overcome a serious illness, showing millions of young women that hard work and determination can get you exactly where you want to be.
Congratulations Serena! You deserve it.