Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 27th 2015 Contents A33
December 27, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
Serena Williams spent a good por-
tion of 2015 deflecting questions about
whether she could complete the Grand
Slam. After coming oh-so-close, she
can acknowledge how much she cared
about the rare feat.
"I wanted it. But...winning one (major
title) is not easy. And then, (when) you
have a bounty on your head, it s even
harder," she said with a laugh. "If you
know anything about me, I hate to lose.
I ve always said I hate losing more than
I like winning, so that drives me to be
the best that I can be."
Williams will was on display time
and again, along with her best-in-the-
game serve and other skills, fashioning
comeback after comeback to nearly
become the first tennis player in more
than a quarter-century to win all four
Grand Slam tournaments in a season.
In a vote by US editors and news direc-
tors, Williams was chosen as The Asso-
ciated Press Female Athlete of the Year
for the fourth time.
Results were announced Friday night.
Williams collected 50 first-place votes
and 352 points. Carli Lloyd, whose hat
trick in the final lifted the U.S. women s
soccer team to the World Cup title, was
the runner-up, with 14 first-place votes
and 243 points. UFC star Ronda Rousey
finished third, one spot ahead of the
woman she stunningly lost to last
month, Holly Holm. UConn basketball
player Breanna Stewart was fifth.
The AP Male Athlete of the Year was
expected to be announced last night.
Williams, who also won AP awards
in 2002, 2009 and 2013, joined Chris
Evert as a four-time honoree. The only
woman with more AP selections is Babe
Didrikson, with six --- one for athletics
in 1932, and five for golf from 1945-
"It s not even winning the Grand
Slam titles as much as the way she got
herself out of the deep holes that she
dug, just repeatedly. It s not like she
had two or three narrow escapes," Evert
said about Williams. "It really was the
year of the comeback. It was just unbe-
Williams won the Australian Open
OAKLAND---Stephen Curry s
greatness as a basketball player can
be measured by his record-setting
shooting numbers that are chang-
ing the game.
His immense popularity derives
from something less tangible.
While many NBA greats rely on
uncommon height and athletic abil-
ity that average fans can only dream
of having, Curry s game relies on
the traits that every casual player
can work on: shoot, dribble and pass.
The difference is, perhaps nobody
ever has put those three skills togeth-
er the same way Curry has the past
year as he has dominated on the
court and made the once downtrod-
den Golden State Warriors the NBA s
"The way that I play has a lot of
skill but is stuff that if you go to the
YMCA or rec leagues or church
leagues around the country, every-
body wants to shoot, everybody
wants to handle the ball, make cre-
ative passes and stuff like that," he
said. "You can work on that stuff.
Not everybody has the vertical, or
the physical gifts to be able to go
out and do a windmill dunk and
stuff like that. I can t even do it."
That s about all Curry is unable
to do on the basketball court. His
amazing year, in which he won an
MVP, led Golden State to its first
title in 40 years and helped the War-
riors get off to a record-setting start
this season, earned him The Asso-
ciated Press 2015 Male Athlete of
Curry finished first in a vote by
US editors and news directors, with
the results released yesterday. He
joined LeBron James, Michael Jordan
and Larry Bird as the only basketball
players to win the honour in the 85
years of the award. Curry beat out
golfer Jordan Spieth, who won two
majors, and American Pharoah, who
became the first horse since 1978 to
win the Triple Crown.
While American Pharoah got three
more first-place votes than Curry s
24, Curry appeared on 86 percent
of the 82 ballots that ranked the top
five candidates. More than one-third
of the voters left American Pharoah
off their list.
"That s a real honour," Curry said.
"I m appreciative of that acknowl-
edgement because it s across all dif-
ferent sports. ... It s pretty cool."
Curry has become the face of the
NBA this past year. His jersey is the
best-seller in the league, his team s
games get record television ratings
at home and in opposing markets
and even his 3-year-old daughter
Riley became a star by overshad-
owing her dad at playoff news con-
"Steph actually looks different,"
ESPN analyst Jalen Rose said. "Like
the best player in the league usually
is also physically opposing --- 6-6
plus, scowl on his face, menacing.
With the attitude that we appreciated
because like a Michael Jordan or
Shaquille O Neal, or Kobe Bryant,
you know, just a cutthroat nature.
Steph allows us into his living room.
We see him on a national stage be
a son, a dad, a husband, a father, a
brother. And he does all of it while
continuing to improve." (AP)
Serena is top
on hard courts in January, the
French Open on red clay in June,
and Wimbledon on grass in July,
before losing in the US Open semi-
finals in September in one of the
biggest upsets in the sport s his-
Williams went 53-3 with a WTA
tour-leading five titles and was
ranked No. 1 every week. She raised
her Grand Slam singles trophy
count to 21; only two women have
It did not come easily this year
for Williams, who grew up in
Compton, California, and turned
34 in September.
At the French Open, already
dealing with a painful right elbow,
Williams caught the flu. Four times
in Paris, she lost the first set before
rallying to win.
"My elbow was killing me. It s
about fighting and just never giving
up. You hear that and it sounds
cliche," Williams said, "but it s
really just about, OK, I m going
to at least try and see what hap-
At Wimbledon, she was two
points from defeat in the third
round but wound up completing
a self-styled "Serena Slam" of four
major championships in a row, a
run that began in 2014. She also
became the oldest woman to win
a major title in the Open era, which
began in 1968.
"I retired at 34, and I know that
at 32, 33 and 34, I was struggling
mentally to get psyched up for
matches and to feel motivated,"
Evert said. "What impresses me
even more than the physical
prowess of Serena is the fact that
she can still conjure up that hunger
and that passion for these match-
In this June 4 file photo, Serena Williams returns a shot in her semifinal match of the French Open
tournament against Timea Bacsinszky, of Switzerland. For the fourth time, Williams has been named The
Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year. AP PHOTO
Curry shoots way to male title
In this November 11 file photo, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) shoots against Memphis
Grizzlies centre Marc Gasol and guard Tony Allen. Curry has been named The Associated Press 2015 Male
Athlete of the Year. AP PHOTO
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