Kenin, Swiatek, Azarenka among 2020 WTA Player Awards winners

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Members of the international media voted for Sofia Kenin, Kristina Mladenovic, Timea Babos, Iga Swiatek and Victoria Azarenka as the 2020 WTA Player Awards winners in five categories. Marie Bouzkova won the Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award, which is voted on by her fellow players.

WTA Player of the Year: Sofia Kenin

Sofia Kenin clinched her maiden Grand Slam title at the Australian Open and closed the season with a runner-up finish at the French Open. The American is the only player besides Petra Kvitova to advance to the second week at all three majors this year.

In addition to her Grand Slam success, the 22-year-old Kenin also won the Open 6ème Sens (Lyon) title in March and ended the season at a career-high ranking of No.4.

WTA Doubles Team of the Year: Kristina Mladenovic & Timea Babos

Kristina Mladenovic and Timea Babos won two titles this season and both at the highest level — the Australian Open and Roland Garros. They are finishing the season ranked No.3 and No.4, while at some point in 2020 Mladenovic was ranked No.1 and Babos was No.2.

Most Improved Player: Iga Swiatek

Iga Swiatek’s award is based on her impressive run to the French Open title. As an unseeded player, the Pole dominated all her opponents, including 2019 finalist Marketa Vondrousova, 2018 champion Simona Halep and reigning Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin. The 19-year-old played Roland Garros ranked No.54, while the title ascended her to a career-high of No.17, where she’s standing now.

Moreover, Swiatek’s coach Piotr Sierzputowski has been named the WTA Coach of the Year.

WTA Newcomer of the Year: Nadia Podoroska

Argentina’s Nadia Podoroska climbed over 200 ranking spots in a year, mostly owing to her French Open semifinal appearance. As a qualifier in Paris, the 23-year-old won a main-draw Grand Slam match for the first time, recorded her first Top 50 victories (including a Top 5 win over Elina Svitolina) and reached her first Tour-level semifinal which helped her crack the Top 50.

Comeback of the Year: Victoria Azarenka

After her maternity leave and absence due to personal problems, Victoria Azarenka needed a lot of time to consistently achieve good results. The Belarusian finally put together a series of victories later in the 2020 season and became one of five players to reach three or more finals this year. The former world No.1 won the Western & Southern Open, then followed it up with a runner-up finish at the US Open and later also reached the final of the J&T Banka Ostrava Open.

Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award: Marie Bouzkova

Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award is voted on by the WTA players to one of their colleagues who excels in fair play and good conduct towards her opponents on and off the court. This year the winner is Marie Bouzkova, after her fellow Czech Petra Kvitova was granted this award for the last seven successive years.


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2 COMMENTS

  1. Perhaps Pironkova should be a co-winner of comeback player of the year. Or all the mothers who have come back and played after having a child could be included.

  2. JohnnyB, Pironkova impressed with her run to the US Open quarterfinals after a three-year break, but I think that Azarenka edged her in this category because Azarenka won a title and reached a Grand Slam final.

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