Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Serena Is AP Athlete Of The Year

RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - Serena Williams of the U.S. holds her trophy after defeating Venus Williams of the U.S. in their Ladies' Singles finals match at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, July 4, 2009.
Reuters

RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - Serena Williams of the U.S. holds her trophy after defeating Venus Williams of the U.S. in their Ladies' Singles finals match at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, July 4, 2009.

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Which is exactly as it should be:

(CBS/AP) - Playing her best at the most important events, Serena Williams re-established herself as the top player in women's tennis in 2009 and was a landslide choice as Female Athlete of the Year by members of The Associated Press.

Williams received 66 of 158 votes cast by editors at U.S. newspapers that are members of the AP. No other candidate got more than 18 votes in the tally, which was announced Tuesday.

Clearly, Williams' most infamous on-court episode - a tirade directed at a line judge after a foot-fault call near the end of her U.S. Open semifinal loss in September - didn't hurt her standing in the eyes of the voters.

"People realize that I'm a great player, and one moment doesn't define a person's career," Williams told the AP. "And I was right, for the most part: It wasn't right the way I reacted - I never said it was - but I was right about the call."

She also noted that the outburst, which resulted in a record fine and two-year probationary period at Grand Slam tournaments, "got a lot more people excited about tennis."

The 28-year-old American tends to do that, thanks to her powerful, athletic play and her outgoing personality.

"We can attribute the strength and the growth of women's tennis a great deal to her," WTA chairman and CEO Stacey Allaster said in a telephone interview. "She is a superstar."

Williams, who is based in Florida, also won the AP award in 2002, a seven-year gap that is the longest between AP Female Athlete of the Year honors since golf's Patty Berg won in 1943 and 1955.

"I'm just happy and blessed to even be playing seven years later. All this is a bonus, really," Williams said. "In 2002, I just was really dominant, and I think in 2009, I just brought that back. I kind of became that player again."

Runner-up in the AP voting was Zenyatta, who capped a 14-0 career by becoming the first female horse to win the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Tennis' Kim Clijsters finished third with 16 votes.

Read the rest...

(Thanks, b & Moose)

8 comments:

rabbit said...

Allez, Serena! Finally somebody deserving for these athletes of the year award.

Pamela said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pamela said...

And ITF Player of the Year in singles and doubles. The first player since Hingis in 1999 to do so.

As well as:
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/magazine/specials/2000s/12/19/top.female.athletes/index.html

Craig said...

Damn.

Karen said...

I was wondering whether you had seen it. I was going to post it, but you clearly did a much better job than I did. Makes you wonder whether these things were taken into consideration when the ITF was making its decision. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall during those negotiations, because no matter what the PR machine says, Serena Williams = tennis. She is not bigger than the sport, but when she is not around on final Sunday the sport is so much weaker for it. Go on with your bad self.

Karen said...

For my fellow Roger fans and Mirka fans (because I know the Nadal fans like her). Pictures of the Federinkas
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=2937163&id=64760994940

Karen said...

Today has been a really special day for tennis announcements. Saw this over at onthebaseline, the fact that Indian Wells has been sold to a new owner. I wonder if the new owners will make overtures to the WS. Here is the link to the article
http://www.onthebaselinetennisnews.com/

Dapxin said...

Karen,

If there is anyone in the US - from what I have read, that can get the WS to play again @ that ground, Larry Page will.

He's got the right quantities of humour to make those boos dissolve...

I hope.