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

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In arguably the greatest year of her career, Serena Williams can finish 2015 with the distinction of being named Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the Year.

In a press release from Sports Illustrated, the publication lauded Williams' dominance on the court – holding all four Grand Slam titles at the same time (and narrowly missing out on holding all four in a calendar year) – to her legacy and hard charge at Steffi Graf's record for majors.

SEE MORE: The 10 biggest television events of 2015



The tennis superstar dominated the sport by winning three major titles and completing her second "Serena Slam" – she won four consecutive Grand Slam titles dating back to the 2014 U.S. Open. Williams won 53 of her 56 matches, was ranked No. 1 every week for the second consecutive year, and is now one short of Steffi Graf's record of 22 Grand Slam singles titles in the Open Era.

Likewise, Sports Illustrated has used Serena as a jumping off point to rename what was the "Sportsman of the Year," "Sportsperson of the Year."

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Serena Williams US Open 2015
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Serena Williams is Sports Illustrated's 2015 Sportsperson of the Year
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 08: Serena Williams of the United States returns a shot to Venus Williams of the United States during their Women's Singles Quarterfinals match on Day Nine of the 2015 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 8, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 08: Serena Williams of the United States celebrates after defeating Venus Williams of the United States in their Women's Singles Quarterfinals match on Day Nine of the 2015 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 8, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Serena Williams reacts after winning a point against Venus Williams during a quarterfinal match at the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Serena Williams waves to the crowd after beating Venus Williams during a quarterfinal match at the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 08: Serena Williams (L) of the United States hugs Venus Williams of the United States after defeating her during their Women's Singles Quarterfinals match on Day Nine of the 2015 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 8, 2015 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Serena Williams returns a shot to Venus Williams during a quarterfinal match at the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
Serena Williams chases down shot from Bethanie Mattek-Sands during the third round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Friday, Sept. 4, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Serena Williams reacts after a shot against Bethanie Mattek-Sands during the third round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Friday, Sept. 4, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Serena Williams, of the United States, serves to Madison Keys, of the United States, during the fourth round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 6, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Serena Williams, of the United States, waves to fans after winning her match with Madison Keys, of the United States, during the fourth round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 6, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Serena Williams plays Madison Keys during the fourth round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 6, 2015, in New York.(Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
Serena Williams, left, and Venus Williams pose for a photo before playing each other in a quarterfinal match at the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Serena Williams challenges a call during a quarterfinal match against Venus Williams at the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Serena Williams reacts after losing a point to Venus Williams during a quarterfinal match at the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Serena Williams returns a shot to Venus Williams during a quarterfinal match at the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Serena Williams falls to the court as she follows through on a shot to Venus Williams during a quarterfinal match at the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 08: Serena Williams of the United States celebrates after defeating Venus Williams of the United States in their Women's Singles Quarterfinals match on Day Nine of the 2015 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 8, 2015 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 08: Serena Williams of the United States celebrates after defeating Venus Williams of the United States in their Women's Singles Quarterfinals match on Day Nine of the 2015 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 8, 2015 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Serena Williams of the US reacts to winning a point against her sister Venus Williams during their 2015 US Open Women's singles quarterfinals match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on September 8, 2015. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 05: Serena Williams in action against Madison Keys of the United States (not seen) of the United States during their Women's Singles Fourth Round match on Day Seven of the 2015 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City, on September 6, 2015. (Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 06: Serena Williams of the United States serves to Madison Keys of the United States during their Women's Singles Fourth Round match on Day Seven of the 2015 U.S. Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 6, 2015 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images for the USTA)
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"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," said Sports Illustrated Group Editor Paul Fichtenbaum. "Her extraordinary accomplishments on and off the court this year made the most deserving candidate for this award and also brought about the perfect opportunity to officially designate it as the Sportsperson of the Year moving forward."

Other candidates considered for the award included the Kansas City Royals, Stephen Curry and Triple Crown-winner American Pharoah.
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