Sunday, November 24, 2013

Serena -- who else? -- picked as WTA Player of Year

Serena Williams had one of the greatest years in
women's tennis history. 2012 photo by Paul Bauman
   There hasn't been this little suspense since the Harlem Globetrotters last played the Washington Generals.
   After one of the best seasons in women's tennis history, Serena Williams was named the WTA Player of the Year for the second straight time and fifth overall on Friday.
   Also, Italians Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci were chosen as the WTA Doubles Team of the Year for the second consecutive time.
   Williams collected 78 match wins, the most since Kim Clijsters won 90 in 2003, against four losses. Her 11 WTA titles, including her second French Open and fifth U.S. Open, were the most since Martina Hingis won 12 in 1997. Williams' first French Open crown came in 2002.
   Williams earned $12,385,572 in prize money, shattering the previous record of $7,923,920 set by Victoria Azarenka last year, and became the oldest world No. 1 in February at age 31. The Los Angeles-area product turned 32 on Sept. 26.
   "The French Open was probably the thing that stands out most," Williams -- also the Player of the Year in 2002, 2008 and 2009 -- said on the WTA's web site. "I really wanted to win that for a number of years now, so that was definitely something exciting. Being undefeated on clay was pretty exciting, too. So my results on clay this year definitely stand out.
   "Overall, I'll remember the wins, but I also want to learn from my mistakes so I don't repeat them."
   Only two other women have been named the Player of the Year at least five times: Steffi Graf (eight) and Martina Navratilova (seven).
   Williams skipped the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford this year after winning the title in 2011 and 2012.
   The Doubles Team of the Year was less clear-cut than the singles award, as four different teams won Grand Slam titles. But Errani and Vinci, in addition to capturing the Australian Open, ended the year as the top-ranked pair.
   Neither has played in the Bank of the West Classic.
   Friday's announcements complete this year's WTA awards. Eugenie Bouchard of Canada was selected as the Newcomer of the Year on Wednesday. Alisa Kleybanova of Russia and Simona Halep of Romania were honored as the Comeback Player of the Year and Most Improved Player of the Year, respectively, on Thursday.
WTA PLAYER OF THE YEAR
(Since 1995)
1995--Steffi Graf, Germany
1996--Steffi Graf, Germany
1997--Martina Hingis, Switzerland
1998--Lindsay Davenport, United States
1999--Lindsay Davenport, United States
2000--Venus Williams, United States
2001--Jennifer Capriati, United States
2002--Serena Williams, United States
2003--Justine Henin-Hardenne, Belgium
2004--Maria Sharapova, Russia
2005--Kim Clijsters, Belgium
2006--Amelie Mauresmo, France
2007--Justine Henin, Belgium
2008--Serena Williams, United States
2009--Serena Williams, United States
2010--Kim Clijsters, Belgium
2011--Petra Kvitova, Czech Republic
2012--Serena Williams, United States
2013--Serena Williams, United States
WTA DOUBLES TEAM OF THE YEAR
(Since 1995)
1995--Gigi Fernandez, United States, and Natasha Zvereva, Belarus
1996--Jana Novotna, Czech Republic, and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, Spain
1997--Gigi Fernandez, United States, and Natasha Zvereva, Belarus
1998--Martina Hingis, Switzerland, and Jana Novotna, Czech Republic
1999--Martina Hingis, Switzerland, and Anna Kournikova, Russia
2000--Serena Williams and Venus Williams, United States
2001--Lisa Raymond, United States, and Rennae Stubbs, Australia
2002--Virginia Ruano Pascual, Spain, and Paola Suarez, Argentina
2003--Virginia Ruano Pascual, Spain, and Paola Suarez, Argentina
2004--Virginia Ruano Pascual, Spain, and Paola Suarez, Argentina
2005--Lisa Raymond, United States, and Samantha Stosur, Australia
2006--Lisa Raymond, United States, and Samantha Stosur, Australia
2007--Cara Black, Zimbabwe, and Liezel Huber, United States
2008--Cara Black, Zimbabwe, and Liezel Huber, United States
2009--Serena Williams and Venus Williams, United States
2010--Gisela Dulko, Argentina, and Flavia Pennetta, Italy
2011--Kveta Peschke, Czech Republic, and Katarina Srebotnik, Slovenia
2012--Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, Italy
2013--Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, Italy

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