Serena Williams was in her bag the entire decade. The pro tennis phenom has been named the female athlete of the decade by the Associated Press.
The AP cited her dominance both on the court and her cultural impact when it comes to bestowing her with the title.
There were, to begin with, the dozen Grand Slam single titles — no other woman had more than three over the past 10 seasons — and the 3 1/2 years in a row at No. 1 in the WTA rankings.
And then there was the celebrity status that transcended tennis, making everything she did and said newsworthy, whether it was the triumphs and trophies and fashion statements or the disputes with tournament officials, the magazine covers or the Super Bowl ad with a message about women’s power, the birth of her daughter or the health scare that followed.
Still winning matches and reaching Grand Slam finals into her late 30s, still mattering as much as ever, Williams was selected by The Associated Press as the Female Athlete of the Decade on Saturday after a vote by AP member sports editors and AP beat writers.
Her stiffest comp was surely gymnast Simone Biles, the AP’s 2019 Female Athlete of the Year, who came in second while swimmer Katie Ledecky came in third. William’s has been the AP’s top female athlete five years; 2002, 2009, 2013, 2015 and 2018.
Williams took to Instagram to acknowledge the honor.
“ONE of two AP ATHLETES of the DECADE 🤷🏿♀️😁. Thank you #IFeelSpecial ❤️❤️,” was her caption to a post of couple of selfies.
Play on Serena, for the culture.