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Serena Williams Named Laureus World Sports Awards Sportswoman Of The Year For Record Fifth Time

By Karen Price | Feb. 27, 2018, 3 p.m. (ET)

Serena Williams poses with the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup after winning the 2017 Australian Open on Jan. 28, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. 


Four-time Olympic gold medalist Serena Williams now has another honor to further distinguish her from her peers.

Williams was named the Laureus World Sports Awards Sportswoman of the Year on Tuesday night at a ceremony in Monaco, giving her a record fifth win. Her 11 nominations for the international honor is also a record.

The 36-year-old from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, won her 23rd Grand Slam title and her seventh Australian Open in 2017 before going on maternity leave and giving birth to her first child.

Only Margaret Court has more Grand Slam wins with 24, but Williams’ holds the record for the open era.

Williams returned to competition for an exhibition match in December but skipped January’s Australian Open.

In addition to her dominant play in the Grand Slams, Williams has competed in four Olympics since 2000, missing only the 2004 Games. She has one gold medal in singles, won in 2012 in London, and three gold medals in doubles (2000, 2008, 2012). Entering the 2016 Olympics, she and sister Venus were undefeated in Olympic doubles at 15-0 and were the winningest doubles team in Olympic history. 

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Also honored on Tuesday night was track and field legend Edwin Moses, who was given a lifetime achievement award. While still just a junior in college, Moses won the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in the 400-meter hurdles in 1976 before claiming his first gold medal at the Olympics a month later in his first international meet, setting a world record in the process.

Beginning in 1977, Moses went on a streak in which he won 122 straight races, including a second Olympic gold medal in 1984, during a span that stretched nine years, nine months and nine days. The 62-year-old from Dayton, Ohio, also won the Olympic bronze medal in 1988 and set three additional world records after his first in 1976.

The Laureus World Sports Awards were founded in 2000 to honor athletic achievement from around the world and the ability of sports to bring about positive social change.

Several other U.S. Olympians were nominated for awards.

Williams beat out sprinter Allyson Felix, swimmer Katie Ledecky and skier Mikaela Shiffrin for Sportswoman of the Year, in addition to Caster Semenya of South Africa and Garbine Muguruza of Spain.

Swimmer Caeleb Dressel was nominated for Breakthrough of the Year, sprinter Justin Gatlin was up for Comeback of the Year, and Oksana Masters — who will be competing in Nordic skiing at next month’s Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 — was nominated for Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability.

Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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