Serena Williams, winner of  23 Grand Slams now wins the Female Athlete of the Decade award on Saturday while Simone Biles lifted the 2019 Female Athlete of the Year, honoured by The Associated Press. “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 mind-set. Irrespective of the adversity and the odds that are facing her, she always believes in herself,” said Stacey Allaster, CEO of the WTA from 2009-15 and now chief executive for professional tennis at the U.S. Tennis Association, which runs the U.S. Open, The Associated Press reported.

“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 mind-set,” Stacey Allaster

Key Takeaways:

  • Serena Williams outshone Simone Biles to take AP Female Athlete of the Decade Honour
  • Biles was named the 2019 AP Female Athlete of the Year
  • “She’s been my idol growing up,” Biles said

Gymnast Simone Biles, however, finished second to Williams in voting for the decade honour, followed by swimmer Katie Ledecky. Two ski racers were next, with Lindsey Vonn finishing fourth and Mikaela Shiffrin fifth.

Simone Biles kidney stone
Simone Biles performing her best land (Pic By cosmopolitan.com)

Simone Biles: most decorated gymnast at world championships

22-year-old Biles won her 25th medal in the gymnastics world championship this year, bringing her total career medal haul to 19 gold overall and three silver and three bronze medals. In doing so, this Olympic champ has secured her place among the best of the best in gymnastics, men and women.

Serena Williams, Milestones:

  • An exceptional decade aside, Williams earned a dozen Grand Slam single titles – interestingly no other woman had more than three over the past 10 seasons
  • She was No. 1 in the WTA rankings for three and a half years in a row
  • She became the oldest No. 1 in WTA history and equalled Steffi Graf’s record for most consecutive weeks atop the rankings
  • She became the oldest woman to win a Grand Slam singles trophy in the professional era
  • Williams is itching to tie Margaret Court’s record 24 Grand Slam titles

“Whether it was health issues; coming back; having a child; almost dying from that – she has endured it all and she is still in championship form,” Allaster said. “Her records speak for themselves.”

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“She’s been my idol growing up,” Biles said about Williams who won AP Female Athlete of the Year awards in 2002, 2009, 2013, 2015 and 2018. Three of the five awards came during the last decade. “She’s remained humble. She’s stayed true to herself and her character and I think that’s really neat about an athlete,” Biles said. “Once you start winning, some get cocky, but she’s stayed true to herself, win or lose.”

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“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 realise 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.”

“Whether it was health issues; coming back; having a child; almost dying from that – she has endured it all and she is still in championship form,” Allaster said. “Her records speak for themselves.”

“I definitely feel like when I lose, I don’t feel as good about myself,” she said. “But then I have to, like, remind myself that: ‘You are Serena Williams!’ You know? Like, ‘Are you kidding me?’” Williams continued with a laugh. “And it’s those moments that I have to just, like, come off and be like, ‘Serena, do you know what you’ve done? Who you are? What you continue to do, not only in tennis (but also) off the court? Like, you’re awesome.’”

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Feature Image Credit: Vibe

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