History was nearly made in the world of tennis in 2015, as Serena Williams won the first three Grand Slam events of the year. She barely missed out on the full Grand Slam, but her accomplishments throughout the season were so impressive that Sports Illustrated saw fit to name her their Sportsperson of the Year.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) December 14, 2015
Williams did hold all four titles at the same time though, completing what is now referred to as the “Serena Slam” for the second time in her career. Only a loss to Roberta Vinci in the semi-finals of the U.S. Open in August prevented her from completing the rarest of feats in the world of tennis.
The loss to Vinci, ranked No. 43 in the world, was perhaps the most shocking event in the world of sports this calendar year as well.
However, Serena was so dominant all year that it is impossible not to recognize how special 2015 was for her. Not only did she start and end the year ranked No. 1 in the WTA poll, but she finished the year with just three losses (53-3) in all matches during 2015.
She also earned a cool $10 million in prize money thanks to her three Grand Slam victories and reaching the semi-finals of the U.S. Open. Oh, and there was this little factoid:
For six weeks this summer—and for the first time in the 40-year history of the WTA rankings—Williams amassed twice as many ranking points as the world No. 2.
Even a Triple Crown winning horse (American Pharoah), a game-changing UFC fighter (Conor McGregor), and a heart-warming World Series winner (Kansas City Royals) couldn’t stop Serena from running away with this award.
Off the court, Williams could do no wrong, really. She garnered the attention of some of the biggest names in pop culture and across diverse segments of society. As SI.com points out:
She danced with Donald Trump on New Year’s Eve. She spent a night telling bedtime stories to the children of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Growing up, Williams had devoured every Harry Potter book, marveled at the business empires of Oprah Winfrey and Martha Stewart. Now J.K. Rowling was tweeting against a critic of Williams’s body, now Oprah was hustling to watch her at the U.S. Open, now Stewart was calling Williams “the most powerful woman I know.” President Barack Obama, the most scrutinized man alive, told her how great it was to watch her.
There was even a cell phone snatcher turned scared little man as Serena chased him down and handed over the cell phone.
I mean, who had a better year overall than Williams? Good luck topping it on and off the court.