Serena Williams named 2018 AP Female Athlete of the Year for on-court comeback

Serena Williams was named the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year for 2018, winning the honor for the fifth time in her career. She didn't win the honor so much for her on-the-court performance as she did for the conditions in which she performed. 

Williams made two Grand Slam finals after missing a year due to her pregnancy and a health scare after she gave birth. Williams lost the final at Wimbledon to Angelique Kerber and the US Open title to Naomi Osaka in 2018.

Williams had seven appearances this year, debuting at Indian Wells where she made it to the third round before losing to her sister Venus Williams. Her first major appearance was the French Open, where she retired prior to a match against Maria Sharapova in the Round of 16. At the US Open, she defeated the likes of Venus, Karolina Pliskova and Anastasija Sevastova before losing to Osaka.

Williams is also responsible for a rule change that will allow players who missed time due to pregnancy to be seeded at majors.

Gymnast Simone Biles finished second in the AP voting, while basketball player Arike Ogunbowale, snowboarder Chloe Kim and swimmer Katie Ledecky rounded out the top five.

During all of this, Williams was being recognized for her inspiration to mothers everywhere. The 37-year-old star was playing for a record-tying 24th Grand Slam while talking about the challenges of motherhood in a very candid way. Williams will continue her quest for No. 24 next year, as she chases Margaret Court.

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