Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic Nominated For Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson Of The Year, But A Horse Will Win!
by Tom Gainey | November 13th, 2015, 10:39 am
  • 27 Comments

American magazine Sports Illustrated released its nominees for their 2015 Sportsperson of the Year award. Tennis is represented by world No. 1s Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams who have both put together very deserving seasons.

But the magazine hasn’t given the honor to a tennis player since 1992 when Arthur Ashe was chosen for his humanitarian efforts. Chris Evert (1976) and Billie Jean King (1972) also won the award, but legends like Serena, Novak, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have never won. And the criteria has always been somewhat murky – is it about what you did this season or is it about your career?

With Serena missing on the Grand Slam, Triple Crown winner American Pharaoh is thought to be the favorite this year. The award will be announced on December 14.

The 2015 Nominees:
-Simone Biles
-Usain Bolt
-Steph Curry
-Thomas Davis
-Novak Djokovic
-Carli Lloyd
-Lionel Messi
-American Pharaoh
-Ronda Rousey
-Kansas City Royals
-Jordan Spieth
-Serena Williams


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27 Comments for Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic Nominated For Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson Of The Year, But A Horse Will Win!

RZ Says:

I had the same thought – that American Pharaoh would probably be chosen. But both Serena and Nole are deserving candidates.


george Says:

Tennis should and must win, Serena dominated the news headlines this year more than she’s done in the past 2o years. The CYGS hype was absolutely exciting and insane!


SG1 Says:

Novak was a couple of sets away from unquestionably winning this award but still I agree with RZ that he’s a deserving candidate. Not sold on Serena as she’s played a lot of bad matches this year and managed to get away with it.

American Pharoah is a worthy winner though. A truly great horse!


Ben Pronin Says:

I wouldn’t be surprised if Steph Curry won it.


RZ Says:

@Ben – I agree. If the horse doesn’t get it, Steph Curry probably would. Deserving tennis players have often lost out to a player on a team sport (Dwayne Wade over Roger Federer, anyone?).

@SG1 – Although Novak has had the better year, Serena went into the US Open riding the possibility of a true calendar grand slam – something tennis hadn’t seen since Steffi Graf in 1988.


Margot Says:

Had to google to see if you guys were joshing about a horse being nominated! Isn’t it just….ahem…a wee bit strange?


Okiegal Says:

This horse is an athlete……. :)


Gypsy Gal Says:

Whatever next?….


Okiegal Says:

Rhonda Rousey is my husband’s kith and kin! Cousins, 8 times removed??? Lol. They share 3rd great great grandfathers…I don’t know what degree cousins would be. I’m voting for her…..would be scared not to!! She can kick major butt!! :)


RZ Says:

@Okiegal – I could see Rhonda Rousey getting it too. (She’d be the 3rd on my list of likely winners behind American Pharoah and Steph Curry)


Ben Pronin Says:

I don’t like that the Kansas City Royals are nominated as a single sportsperson. If you want to give the award to teams then make a different category. Otherwise pick their best player or don’t nominate them at all. Why not nominate the Warriors instead of just Curry, then?

I won’t rag too much on SI because, compared to ESPN, they’re actually very good… although not the strongest comparison.

However tennis being skipped over so much isn’t that surprising. Wade over Federer? Yeah I can see that. Wade’s a freaking hero in the states. Federer is just that Swiss dude who’s good at tennis, but no body cares about tennis. What’s surprising to me is that guys like McEnroe, Borg, Sampras, and Agassi never won it.

McEnroe had the best w/l record ever in 1984 and 2 Olympic gold medalists won the award. Why not just add a third winner then? Again, it makes no sense. Tiger Woods won it twice and he plays golf. In 2003 you had 2 basketball players win it.

SI hates tennis.


Okiegal Says:

..The majority of the people on this planet hate tennis. I have a lot of friends and only 3 of them like it…….just not a very popular sport…….football seems to be the most popular in the US…..


Okiegal Says:

Oops, didn’t mean to send that…

@RZ…….I would love to see her win it….a woman fighter??? Wow, that would be awesome!! I love to watch her fight. She’s one tough customer! Seems like I read where her mother was an olympian in some type of fighting…….judo I think.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Some people have a hard time accepting that not everyone in the world loves tennis,and end up getting in a lather when someone not connected to tennis actually wins one of these awards,for me yes Novak or Serena should probably win the award,but that doesnt mean that the achievements of Messi,Curry,Bolt are any less worthy,or we should all go balistic if god forbid somebody outside tennis wins….


Ben Pronin Says:

I’m not saying tennis players should always win. But in 2003, you had Tim Duncan win because he was the NBA MVP, won the championship, and was the Finals MVP. And, oh yeah, he carried that Spurs team on his back like effing Atlas.

But then David Robinson won it, too. For what? For winning a second chip on Duncan’s back?

And then there’s 2006. Federer’s best year, and still kinda the best single season ever. 3 slams, 4 Masters, 1 MC, and 12 titles overall. Who won the award? DWade for being Finals MVP. Again, thoroughly deserved because he was incredible. But if you can give Robinson a co-award in 2003, why can’t you give Federer a co-award in 2006?

And in 2007 Brett Favre won the award “for his perseverance and his passion”. I’m not mad that SI hates tennis, but wtf??


Gypsy Gal Says:

Fair enough Ben,but you missed the point,if tennis is your favorite sport,and your favorite player happens to be nominated,then they should obviously win,and god forbid when else does….


Ben Pronin Says:

I think we all agree that all of the nominees are more than deserving. It has nothing to do with my favorites since I enjoy other sports, too. I’m just saying, it wouldn’t hurt to show tennis some appreciation.

I’m also gonna raise an eyebrow to the lack of NFL players. No love for MVP Rodgers? (I probably know why, please don’t bring it up). And I’m having myself a good chuckle at the lack of Brady. Winning a 4th SB and third SB MVP… amidst so much controversy!


RZ Says:

There are certainly many non-tennis players who have deservedly won the Sportsman/woman of the year award or should have won it. Michael Phelps winning in 2008 comes to mind (how do you compete with 8 gold medals?). It’s just that in this golden age of tennis, I have a hard time fathoming how Fed or Nadal (and in a few weeks Novak and Serena) have never won.

I have heard that part of the “criteria” is for the winner to show up at some function. That may be a knock against the horse.


Gypsy Gal Says:

RZ What about Mo Farrah,or does these awards not include Brits,as personally i dont know,so just curious,as i believe he also has 8 gold medals??….


RZ Says:

@Gypsy Gal – Phelps won 8 golds in one Olympics. Mo Farrah won 2 I think in 2012. I think Mo Farrah would be a deserving nominee, I can’t see him ever being nominated let alone winning. (Usain Bolt gets nominated probably because he has more global appeal, although I really like Mo Farrah).

The SI award is definitely tilted more toward U.S. athletes than other nations. And even though I’ve griped about non-American tennis players not winning, I get that they are publishing a magazine that is geared for an American audience.


Ben Pronin Says:

“The SI award is definitely tilted more toward U.S. athletes than other nations.”

Which makes it all the more shocking that Serena has never won it. She won 3 of the 4 slams in 2002. And you know who won it in 2002? Lance Armstrong LMAO. You can’t make this stuff up, folks.


Leila Ferreira Says:

If K.Jenner won as woman of the year because a horse can not win as an athlete of the year ??


skeezer Says:

Steph Curry all the way baby!!
It’s a slam dunk!


Purcell Says:

Caligula wished to make his horse a senator so why not ‘horse of the year’ for SI? Top marks for stupidity by both.


jalep Says:

Ha! +1 Purcell


jane Says:

lol, how caligula entered the sports illustrated debate… :D

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