It comes after a hard time for Williams, who returned to work after she "almost died" following the birth of her daughter Olympia in 2017, and then struggled with postnatal depression.
Additionally, each cover star is accompanied with a cover story that details their eventful 2018, while flaunting their signature and dapper looks.
The internationally-acclaimed men's publication, understandably trying its best to appease a wider range of readers, picked the 37-year-old tennis champ as its Woman of the Year for 2018.
For more details, head on over to GQ.
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Australian cartoonist Mark Knight published a caricature of Williams having a tantrum while jumping on her racket in the Herald Sun newspaper, which went viral, causing further anger.
He pointed out the quotation marks were handwritten on the cover by Off-White fashion designer Virgil Abloh, who famously uses quotation marks in his creations.
Per GQ: "No matter how you cut it, Serena Williams had a remarkable year".
The reason why some are unhappy that she's been referred to as a "woman" (in quotation marks) boils down to the hate she routinely cops about her gender. Ridiculous conspiracies litter the internet.
However the word woman is written with quotes around it, and that hasn't sat well with fans. The star has previously had to deal with being called a man due her muscular body and even addressed the hurtful comments on Reddit, writing "I've been called man because I appeared outwardly strong ..."