Aced it: AP names Ser­ena fe­male ath­lete of decade

Chicago Tribune (Sunday) - - SCOREBOARD - — News ser­vices

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.

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