Serena Williams nearly owned women's tennis in 2013, and the Associated Press took notice by selecting her the female athlete of the year for the third time in her storied career.
Williams has won the award three times, tying golfer Annika Sorenstam and tennis player Maureen Connolly. Only track and golf star Babe Didrikson (6) and tennis star Chris Evert (4) have more selections since the award was first given in 1931.
Williams was a runaway winner in voting by the media, garnering 55 of 96 votes. Women's basketball player Brittney Griner was second with 14 votes while swimmer Missy Franklin was third at 10.
The Compton native, who also was awarded the top female honor in 2002 and 2009, won the French Open and U.S. Open in a season in which she had a record of 78-4 and won 34 matches in a row at one point.
Williams now has won 17 Grand Slam events. The only other women to win more majors are Margaret Court (24), Steffi Graf (22), Helen Wills Moody (19), Martina Navratilova (18) and Evert (18).
At 32, Williams became the oldest woman to be ranked No. 1 in the world. She set a record with $12 million in prize money. Her .951 wining percentage was the highest since Steffi Graf had .977 mark in 1989 and her 11 tournament victories were the most since Martina Hingis captured 12 in 1997. Her sister Venus was the last woman to have a longer winning streak with 35 in 2000.
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