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Serena Williams swipes top female athlete award

FOREARM POWER: Serena Williams in action during the WTA Championship final in Turkey in October (PA)

COURT QUEEN Serena Williams has capped off a marvellous year by claiming a prestigious athlete of the year award.

The big-hitting 31-year-old collected the Associated Press 2013 Female Athlete of the Year award – the third time she has won the news agency’s coveted honour.

During this season, the American star has dominated the Grand Slam events, winning the French and US Opens.

In addition, she has smashed home 11 titles, including the WTA Championships, while earning over a whopping $12m in prize money for her efforts.

In total, the game’s oldest player to be ranked number one in the world has won 17 Slams in her career; she needs six more majors to beat Steffi Graf’s record of 22.

Williams also went on a hot 34-match winning streak this year.

The first AP annual award was handed out in 1931, and Williams is one of the most decorated women in its history.

She received a landslide vote for the gong, getting 55 of the 96 votes available.

Speaking earlier this year to AP before the start of the US Open she won, Williams said: “Whenever I lose, I get more determined, and it gives me something more to work toward.

“I don't get complacent, and I realise I need to work harder and I need to do better and I want to do better – or I wouldn't keep playing this game.”

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