Aced it: AP names Serena female athlete of decade
Serena Williams dominated the decade, on the court and in conversation.
There were, to begin with, the dozen Grand Slam single titles — no other woman had more than three over the last 10 seasons — and the 31⁄2 years in a row at No. 1.
And then there was the celebrity status that transcended tennis, making everything she did and said newsworthy, whether it was the triumphs and trophies and fashion statements or the disputes with tournament officials, the magazine covers or the Super Bowl ad with a message about women’s power, the birth of her daughter or the health scare that followed.
Still winning matches and reaching Grand Slam finals into her late 30s, still mattering as much as ever, Williams was selected by The Associated Press as the Female Athlete of the Decade on Saturday after a vote by AP member sports editors and AP beat writers.
Three of Williams’ five AP Female Athlete of the Year awards came during the last decade, in 2013, 2015 and 2018. She also won in 2002 and 2009.
More than half of Williams’ 23 career Grand Slam titles came from 2010-19: four at Wimbledon, three apiece at the U.S. Open and Australian Open, two at the French Open. That includes a run of four in a row from the U.S. Open in 2014 through Wimbledon in 2015, her second self-styled “Serena Slam.”
College football: Boise State LB Curtis Weaver, who had 131⁄2 sacks this season, will forgo his senior season and enter the NFL draft. Weaver is considered by some experts as late first-round prospect.
NFL: Jim Woodcock, a spokesman for Jaguars owner Shad Khan, denied an ESPN report that coach Doug Marrone will be dismissed after Sunday’s finale against the Colts. Woodcock said Khan “will meet with his football staff ...” before making any potential changes . ... The Ravens and CB Marcus Peters agreed to a three-year, $42 million contract extension with $32 million guaranteed, ESPN reported. Peters, 26, a three-time Pro Bowler who was due to be a free agent after the season, has five INTs, including three returned for a TD, in 15 games this season . ... The Texans signed LB Whitney Mercilus to a four-year, $54 million contract extension with $28.5 million guaranteed, ESPN reported. Mercilus, 29, who was due to be a free agent after the season, has 71⁄2 sacks, four forced fumbles and two INTs in 15 games.
Skiing: Mikaela Shiffrin moved into second place outright on the women’s World Cup all-time wins list, finishing first in a giant slalom race in Lienz, Austria. Shiffrin, 24, who now has 63 career victories and trails record-holder Lindsey Vonn by 19, finished 1.36 seconds ahead of runner-up Marta Bassino of Italy.
Soccer: Premier League club West Ham fired manager Manuel Pellegrini after 18 months. West Ham stands just one point and one place above the relegation zone.