Serena Williams was honored Wednesday as The Associated Press’ 2013 Female Athlete of the Year for an incredible year in women’s tennis. The 32-year-old Compton, California native took home the AP honor for the third time.
Williams’ 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 doesn’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 — 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 women’s tennis. WTA Chairman Stacey Allaster has faith that Williams will continue to break more records before she’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.’”