Women’s tennis champion Serena Williams has come under fire for reportedly jumping into a taxi to complete the final leg of her own 5km charity race.
The Sports Illustrated magazine Sportsperson of the Year was unfazed by her decision to grab a cab to the finish line with 2km to go, posting a video on Facebook at the annual Serena Williams Live Ultimate Run.
“I didn’t run the whole way this year, but next year I will,” Williams said in the Facebook video.
Williams’ tennis-champ sister Venus completed the run without assistance from a vehicle, according to Stuff.co.nz.
It was believed a tennis injury could have been the reason for her to hitch the ride.
Williams quit the circuit in October to recover from tennis-related injuries.
About 3000 participants ran along Miami Beach during the charity race.
This comes as Williams became the second woman since 1983 to win the prestigious Sports Illustrated magazine Sportsperson of the Year award on Monday.
The 34-year-old accomplished her second ‘Serena Slam’ while battling a string of injuries, producing one of the greatest late-career runs in the history of any sport, the magazine said, hailing her a “global icon”.
“Serena has made a very strong case as not only the greatest tennis player of her generation but of all time, and after the string of performances she put together in 2015, she is one of the most dominant athletes playing today,” Sports Illustrated group editor, Paul Fichtenbaum, said.
Williams was ranked number one every week for the second consecutive year, and her three successive grand slam wins to start 2015 lifted her within one of Steffi Graf’s record 22 singles titles in the professional era.
“This year was spectacular,” Williams said in a statement.
“For Sports Illustrated to recognise my hard work, dedication and sheer determination with this award gives me hope to continue on and do better.”
Williams was the first woman to be recognised since Mary Decker in 1983, when the magazine took the opportunity to rename its award from Sportsman of the Year to Sportsperson of the Year.
The magazine also cited Williams as a force off the court, using her broad platform to advocate for racial justice, gender equality and equal access to education around the world.
Williams joins an elite group to have won the award, including Muhammad Ali (1974), Arthur Ashe (1992), LeBron James (2012), Michael Jordan (1991), Billie Jean King (1972), Joe Montana (1990) and Jack Nicklaus (1978).
— Daily Mail Celebrity (@DailyMailCeleb) December 13, 2015
– with AAP