Photo by: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
This year, Serena Williams returned to playing professional tennis less than a year after experiencing life-threatening medical problems after giving birth to her daughter Olympia in September of 2017. For her incredible resilience, the Associated Press has named the 23-time Grand Slam champion its Female Athlete of the Year for the fifth time.
"Her rapid return to tennis after a health scare following childbirth was a victory in itself, and for that, Williams was voted The Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year for the fifth time,” said AP Sports Writer Brian Mahoney."
Williams previously received the honor in 2002, 2009, 2013 and 2015 for dominating on the court. However, after enduring four surgeries to treat a life-threatening pulmonary embolism (which happened days after she had an emergency C-section), this year AP decided to recognize her for her determination and perseverance.
In spite of health issues, Williams made it to Grand Slam finals at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open and still has her sights set on earning a record-tying 24th Grand Slam title. If we know anything about Serena Williams, we know that it's a only matter of time until she adds another record to the history books.