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Sports Illustrated's 2015 Sportsperson of the Year is Serena Williams

Sports Illustrated has named its 2015 Sportsperson of the Year, and that person is ... Serena Williams!

"Serena has made a very strong case as not only the greatest tennis player of her generation but of all time, and after the string of performances she put together in 2015, she is one of the most dominant athletes playing today," noted the magazine in a statement.

Sports Illustrated
Serena Williams, ruling the cover of Sports Illustrated.

The choice of Williams makes sense on many levels: She's won 21 Grand Slam titles as well as 53 of her 56 matches this season, and she was ranked No. 1 in women's tennis every week for the second consecutive year. And she's just one Grand Slam short of matching Steffi Graf's record of 22 singles titles.

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But it's also the first time a single woman has been so honored on the magazine's cover since track and field athlete Mary Decker named in 1983. Williams is also the first active tennis player to be named since Chris Evert earned the title in 1976.

The honor was first given in 1954.

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Williams is now the second woman to grace the cover of a major national magazine's annual honor issue in December: Time magazine named German chancellor Angela Merkel its Person of the Year last week.

Congratulations to Serena!

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