Serena Williams NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 11: Serena Williams of the United States returns a shot to Roberta Vinci of Italy during their Women’s Singles Semifinals match on Day Twelve of the 2015 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 11, 2015 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

On Monday, Serena Williams was named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year, a historic selection for several reasons.

As pointed out by the Washington Post, Serena is the…

– Fourth ever solo female athlete to earn the award (which began in 1954)

– First female athlete to win outright since Mary Decker in 1983

– First individual black woman to be honored

– Fourth tennis player of either gender to be named Sportsperson of the Year

– First tennis player to win since Arthur Ashe in 1992.

Sportsperson of the Year has gone to a woman (or group of women) nine times, but in five of those cases the award has been shared with one or more men.

Here’s the complete list of women Sportsperson of the Year winners:

1972 – Billie Jean King (shared with John Wooden)

1976 – Chris Evert

1983 – Mary Decker

1984 – Mary Lou Retton (shared with Edwin Moses)

1987 – Judi Brown King, Patty Sheehan (shared with six male “athletes who care”)

1994 – Bonnie Blair (shared with Johann Olav Koss)

1999 – U.S. Women’s Soccer Team

2011 – Pat Summit (shared with Mike Krzyzewski)

2015 – Serena Williams

If you’re scoring at home, that’s 62 years the Sportsperson of the Year award has been given out. In nine years, it has been given to women. In four years, it has been given to women without men next to them. And in just one year, it has been given to a black woman.

[Washington Post]

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports,, and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.