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Who is hosting the ESPYs in 2024? Why Serena Williams is returning to the spotlight after tennis retirement | Sporting News



Who is hosting the ESPYs in 2024? Why Serena Williams is returning to the spotlight after tennis retirement | Sporting News

The ESPY Awards show has largely turned to athletes to host the ceremony over the last decade, from Peyton Manning to Stephen Curry. That trend will continue in 2024.

The return of a host is a welcome sight after last year’s ESPYs went without a host for the first time. The writer’s strike in Hollywood led ESPN to piece together the show with a few different personalities, including Pat McAfee, who delivered the opening monologue.

As with past hosts Manning and Curry, this year’s host is a champion. She knows exactly what it takes to win at the highest level, with all of the pressure on her shoulders. On Thursday, she’ll be joined by award winners who similarly gave it their best on the biggest stages in sports over the past year.

Here’s a look at this year’s ESPYs host and why it’s a perfect time for her to take the stage. 

MORE: How Coco Gauff paid homage to Serena Williams at Wimbledon

Who is hosting the ESPYs in 2024?

Tennis legend Serena Williams was chosen to host the 2024 ESPYs. In a statement announcing the news in May, Williams said she “couldn’t be more excited” for the opportunity.

“This is a dream come true for me, and something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember,” Williams said. “It has been a sensational year for sports and an unprecedented one for female athletes. I can’t wait to celebrate everyone on-stage in July.”

Williams isn’t the first female athlete to host the ESPYs  Sue Bird, Megan Rapinoe and Danica Patrick have all held the role — but her selection as host does come at an appropriate time in women’s sports.

With the popularity of women’s basketball surging and more women set to take center stage at the Olympics in the month ahead, Williams appears prepared to shine a light on some of the incredible athletes from a banner year in women’s sports.

Williams herself is one of the most dominant athletes in sports history. Here’s a look at her record in grand slams during her illustrious tennis career.

MORE: Complete list of 2024 ESPY Award nominees

Serena Williams grand slam wins

Event Wins Years
Australian Open 7 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2017
French Open 3 2002, 2013, 2015
Wimbledon 7 2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016
US Open 6 1999, 2002, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014

Williams had 23 major singles victories in her career, second in women’s tennis history to only Margaret Court (24). She retired second all-time in major singles wins for men and women, though Novak Djokovic has since surpassed her with 24.

Williams’ record of excellence didn’t just take place over a handful of years. Her first and last Grand Slam victories were 18 years apart.

Williams, 42, retired after the 2022 US Open, but it’s apropos that she is hosting the ESPYs before some of tennis’ biggest stars chase championships at Wimbledon over the weekend.

MORE: Updated men’s, women’s Wimbledon bracket and results

Athletes to host the ESPYs

Year Host(s)
2024 Serena Williams
2022 Stephen Curry
2020 Sue Bird, Megan Rapinoe, Russell Wilson
2018 Danica Patrick
2017 Peyton Manning
2016 John Cena
2007 LeBron James
2006 Lance Armstrong

The ESPYs first turned to an athlete as its host in 2006, when cyclist Lance Armstrong took over the event. NBA star LeBron James hosted the show the following year, but it wasn’t until 2016 that it became more common for athletes to host the ESPYs.

John Cena took the reins in 2016, and hosts in the years that followed included Peyton Manning and Stephen Curry. Like Manning and Curry, Williams knows what it’s like to be at the pinnacle of her sport and has the personality to entertain at the ESPYs.

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