“The numbers lie. Her tennis year was all internal discord and quelled revolts; Williams battled her body like never before. A cough and cold had her vomiting before and, for the first time, during a match: the Australian Open final, in January, which she won anyway. Bone bruises in both knees, the residue of 20 years of pounding, flared during the spring hardcourt swing and never subsided. Her focus frayed, her footwork suffering, she arrived at the French Open nursing a right elbow strain that would plague her unparalleled serve the rest of the year. The whole Serena Williams construct — intimidation, power, will — had gone oddly fragile.” But even in that fragile state, she won and won and won. That’s why Sports Illustrated named Serena Willams the sportsperson of the year.