23 time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams has been selected by Associated Press as Female Athlete of the Decade after a vote by AP member sports editors and AP beat writers. Williams won 12 Grand Slam singles titles during the decade - the closest second was three Grand Slams at the same time by any other woman - and she was also No.
1 on the WTA rankings for 3 and 1/2 years in a row during this period. Stacey Allaster, CEO of the WTA from 2009-15 and now CEO for professional tennis at USTA commented, “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 mindset. Irrespective of the adversity and the odds that are facing her, she always believes in herself." Williams is still ranked No.
10 in the world and contending for Grand Slam titles - though she has lost the last four Grand Slam finals she has reached. She is still trying to tie the all-time record for most Grand Slam titles won in singles - currently held by Margaret Court, who has won 24 Grand Slam singles titles in her career.
Gymnast Simone Biles, who was named the 2019 AP Female Athlete of the Year, finished second in the poll, followed by swimmer Katie Ledecky, who finished third. Skier Lindsey Vonn finished fourth while another skier Mikaela Shiffrin finished fifth in the poll. Serena has been named AP Female Athlete of the Year on five occasions in the past - 2002, 2009, 2013, 2015 and 2018.