Another great accolade laid on my girl Serena "I Need That Serena Slam Now", Williams & "I Want To Make Some More Herstory History - Serena." What more can one say about this girlie-girl?
"YOU'RE A BADD GIRL FOR LIFE - SERENA"
"CONGRATULATIONS" "GOOD LUCK W/JB IN PERTH & HAPPY NEW YEAR"
Atop tennis world, Serena is year's No. 1 female athlete
Dec. 23, 2002
By Graham Ray
The best Williams sister -- right now -- is unquestionably the best player in the world.
Thanks to winning the final three legs of the Grand Slam, Serena Williams is voted SportsLine.com's Female Athlete of the Year.
Williams, 21, stepped squarely into the spotlight after toiling for years in the shadow of older sister Venus, who seemed to hold a mental edge when the two played. Before 2002, Serena's only Grand Slam title was the 1999 U.S. Open.
But No. 1-ranked Serena blew away that notion in 2002, beating Venus in the finals of the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.
Serena Williams won eight of the 13 WTA tournaments she entered, amassing an incredible 45-4 record.
Almost as riveting as Serena's performance on the court was her penchant for fashion. Her famed "Catwoman" outfit modeled at the U.S. Open garnered her almost as much attention as her tennis. The skintight ensemble was alternated with a number called the "Pink Panther," which exposed her pierced bellybutton.
Serena Williams is hoping to complete the 'Serena Slam' at next month's Australian Open.(Getty Images)
About the "Pink Panther" outfit Serena said, "It makes me run faster...jump high...like a cat. It's really sexy."
But Serena's awesome play undoubtedly netted her the most exposure. An ankle injury sidelined Serena from January's Australian Open, preventing her from completing the first Grand Slam since Steffi Graf in 1988.
But Serena still has a chance to become the fifth woman to hold all four Grand Slam titles at the same time.
"My goal right now is the Australian Open," Serena said. "Both Venus and I want that one as neither of us have won it. Maybe I want it more as I want to do the 'Serena Slam.'"
The "Serena Slam" is a noble goal, and certainly within reach of the phenom who has risen from the violent streets of Compton, Calif., to the top of the tennis world.
The Williams sisters have quickly become the be-all, end-all of women's tennis, squaring off in four of the past five Grand Slam finals.
But as quickly as Venus asserted herself in previous years as the dominant sister, Serena in 2002 staked her claim to the throne.
This was a woman who showed not only the ability to climb to the top of the rankings, but the élan to impress the tennis elite, including her sister, although Venus downplays the significance of their rivalry.
"I do not take it seriously anymore," Venus said at Wimbledon. "I realize this is just a game. And when I walk off the court, that part of my life is over. So I just try to keep it on the court.
Well, Venus, Serena seems to take her tennis and No. 1 ranking seriously.
And she's not done yet. Not by a long shot.
Annika Sorenstam, who won 11 titles on the LPGA Tour this season, was a distant second, while surprise Olympic figure skating gold medalist Sarah Hughes was close behind in third.