The 34-year-old tennis player is the first female athlete to get a solo honor from the magazine in more than 30 years!
“She was the most deserving person for the award. She had an amazing year. The way she won her events; the fact that she’s done this for so many years at such a high level,” Sports Illustrated Group editor Paul Fichtenbaum said. “She was a terrific candidate in a year of terrific candidates.”
This is the first time that the award is being titled Sportsperson of the Year, rather than Sportsman or Sportswoman.
“We just felt this was a natural evolution. … We’re not making a huge deal out of it,” Fichtenbaum said. “It just feels like the right time to make the change.”
It was Serena‘s idea to pose on the cover in high heels and on a throne, according to the mag’s managing editor Christian Stone. The idea was intended “to express her own ideal of femininity, strength, power.”
Check out Serena‘s full piece on SI.com!
FYI: Serena is wearing Michael Costello on the cover.