Serena Williams was honored Wednesday as The Associated Press’ 2013 Female Athlete of the Year for an incredible year in womenâ€™s tennis. The 32-year-old Compton, California native took home the AP honor for the third time.
Williamsâ€™ drive and determination ensured her place among other women athletes this year such as Brittney Griner, the Number 1 pick in April’s WNBA draft and swimmer Missy Franklin. Yet even being AP athlete two times in 2002 and 2009 doesnâ€™t stop her from reaching for higher heights.
“Whenever I lose, I get more determined, and it gives me something more to work toward. I don’t get complacent, and I realize I need to work harder and I need to do better and I want to do better â€” or I wouldn’t keep playing this game,” Serena told the Associated Press.
During 2013, Williams held down a 34-match winning streak, the longest winning streak since sister Venus Williams‘ 35-match record in 2005. Serena snagged 11 titles including the French Open and U.S. Open. She earned $12 million in prize money, a record for womenâ€™s tennis. WTA Chairman Stacey Allaster has faith that Williams will continue to break more records before sheâ€™s finished.
Serena exhibits the kind of friendly competition but sheer will to win even in matches against her sister.
Allaster said. “There’s a little girl, perhaps out there in Compton, who is dreaming of playing on the WTA, and Serena said, ‘We’re waiting for you, and we can’t wait to meet you.'”