This year was a huge year for tennis star Serena Williams. It was her first year back playing tennis after giving birth to her daughter, and there was some controversy to go with it. She made it to the finals of Wimbledon and the US Open, impressing the world with how quickly she was able to come back and play high-level tennis. With all of her accomplishments in mind, it's no surprise that Williams was voted as AP's female athlete of the year and for the fifth time no less.

According to ESPN, Williams won the vote by a fairly wide margin. She had 93 votes coming from U.S editors and news directors while gymnast Simone Biles finished second in the voting with 68 votes. 

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Of all of the athletes who finished top five in the vote, Williams was the only one who did not win a title in her respective sport. Although considering all she's been through, it makes sense. Making it to two grand slam finals after giving birth is no small task.

Williams spoke about her struggles to get back into form in an interview before the US Open final saying:

"I'm still waiting to get to be the Serena that I was, and I don't know if I'll ever be that, physically, emotionally, mentally. But I'm on my way. I feel like I still have a ways to go. Once I get there, I'll be able to play even, hopefully, better."