March 7, 2013
When Serena Williams returned to professional tennis in 2011 following a life-threatening blood clot on her lung, no-one was certain whether she would recapture her past form.
But by the end of 2012, following an unbelievable season that took in two Grand Slam victories and two Olympic gold medals, there was no longer any doubt.
The queen was back and she was stronger than ever.
Just 18 months after an illness she admits had almost put her ‘on her death bed’, Williams had won Wimbledon for the fifth time, the US Open for the fourth time and both the Olympic women’s single gold medal and doubles gold medal alongside her sister Venus.
And her Olympic success was done in incredible style as well. She lost only 17 games in six matches in her singles gold medal campaign and went on to breeze past Maria Sharapova 6-0, 6-1 in the final in London.
Her achievement at London 2012 made her only the second player after Steffi Graf to win what is known as the Career Golden Grand Slam of all four Grand Slam titles and the Olympic singles gold medal. She is also the only player to do this in both singles and doubles categories.
This incredible year of success now sees her Nominated for the prestigious Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award, an honour she has won before in both 2003 and 2010.
But can the tennis star, who is also holder of a third Laureus Award for Comeback of the Year in 2007, take a fourth over fellow Nominees Jessica Ennis, Lindsey Vonn, Allyson Felix, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Missy Franklin?
Tennis legend and Laureus Academy member Martina Navratilova certainly believes she has a claim for the big prize on March 11.
Navratilova said: “Illness of any kind, let alone life threatening illnesses, can do real damage to a professional athlete’s form even after full recovery. That Serena has come back from a blood clot in 2011 to have what many of us would call one of her strongest years in 2012 is simply remarkable. It doesn’t just show her incredible talent, but also her courage and determination to keep achieving in this sport. Serena now has 15 grand slam titles in her illustrious career and something tells me she is not yet done.”
What do you think?
Be sure to comment below and say who has your support as the stand-out sportswoman of 2012.