- First, I do not have much of a take. I am happy for Serena Williams, for tennis, and for the recognition of a female athlete. However after Dwayne Wade won the 2006 Sports Illustrated honor over Roger Federer, I more or less quit caring about this distinction.
- Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic have all had years worthy of serious consideration for this award since Serena won 3 majors in 2002.
- Some argue Novak had a better year in 2015 than Serena did. This is possibly true, but in terms of nearly winning the Grand Slam this is not true. Novak did go 27-1 in majors as compared to Serena’s 26-1 record at 2015 major events. However, Novak’s quest for a calendar year slam ended in his 14th major match of 2015 while Serena’s quest did not end until her 27th major match of the year. Novak only had the pressure of defending his Wimbledon title and seeking a second US Open title to contend with as any hoopla over a calendar slam ended in Paris. Serena dealt with more calendar slam pressure in 2015. Since the ATP and WTA do not exactly run the same way it is not an exact science, but I’d say Novak’s World Tour Finals title, domination of Masters 1000 events, and win in Beijing did give him a better non-major year than Serena.
- Even if Novak or Serena win a Golden Slam next year, the odds are 0% for a tennis player to win the Sports Illustrated honor in 2016 (just ask Steffi). The olympic games will almost certainly produce the next winner.