Sports Illustrated is ushering in a big change with the help of arguably the best-known female athlete in the world.
The magazine has renamed its Sportsman of the Year award to Sportsperson of the Year, and it’s fitting that the 2015 winner will be Serena Williams. The legendary tennis player is the first solo female winner to win the award since Mary Cooper won the honor in 1983. Longtime University of Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt was a co-winner in 2011.
At 34 years old, an age often viewed as a career twilight in tennis, Williams had arguably the best season of her career. She fell just short of the Grand Slam, winning the season’s first three major titles and finished with a 53-3 match record. Williams also positioned herself to make even more history in the near future, as her 21 career Grand Slam titles are second to just Steffi Graf, who Williams trails by one title.
Here’s what the cover featuring Williams will look like.
Thumbnail photo via Susan Mullane/USA TODAY Sports Images