Florida [USA], December 7 (ANI): The World No.1 Ashleigh Barty won the WTA Player of the Year honor for the second time and US Open champion Emma Raducanu took the Newcomer of the Year, the governing body of the women's game announced on Tuesday.
The WTA Player Awards are broken down into five categories: Player of the Year, Doubles Team of the Year, Most Improved Player of the Year, Newcomer of the Year, and Comeback Player of the Year. The awards recognise the standout performers from the season.
Ashleigh Barty who captured a tour-leading five WTA titles in 2021 has also earned the Player of the Year accolade in 2019.
The Australian won her second career Grand Slam title at The Championships, Wimbledon, and successfully defended her title at the Miami Open, while also winning the titles at the Yarra Valley Classic (Melbourne), Porsche Tennis Grand Prix (Stuttgart), and the Western & Southern Open (Cincinnati). She also secured the year-end World No.1 ranking for the third consecutive year.
WTA Newcomer of the Year was awarded to Emma Raducanu of Great Britain. The teenager made history in 2021 with her US Open title, where she became the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam.
Raducanu did not drop a set throughout all 10 of her matches. She made her Grand Slam main-draw debut at Wimbledon this year and reached the last 16 to become the youngest British woman to reach this stage at the All-England Club. The British player started the year ranked No.343 and finishes the season at a career-best No.19.
Barbora Krejcikova succeeded in both singles and doubles in 2021 and earned the WTA Most Improved Player of the Year award. This season, she won the first three singles titles of her career. The Czech went on a 12-match winning streak to win her first two titles, at the Internationaux de Strasbourg before her run to the Roland Garros crown. She won the third title on home soil at the Livesport Prague Open.
Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova receive the WTA Doubles Team of the Year Award for the second time, having also been recognized with this honor in 2018. This season, the Czech duo captured their third Grand Slam trophy as a team at Roland Garros, won additional titles at the Gippsland Trophy (Melbourne) and Mutua Madrid Open, before rounding off the year by lifting the WTA Finals Martina Navratilova Doubles Trophy at the WTA Finals Guadalajara. While both held the No.1 doubles ranking this season, Siniakova finishes the year as the WTA doubles year-end No.1.
Carla Suarez Navarro was awarded with WTA Comeback Player of the Year. She planned to end her career in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic halted Carla Suarez Navarro's farewell season. She was then diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in September of last year.
After winning her battle against cancer, the Spaniard decided to end her career on her own terms and returned to the tour in 2021 for her final farewell. She played Roland Garros, where she took Sloane Stephens to three sets in the opening round, and Wimbledon, where she had another three-set battle against eventual champion Ashleigh Barty in the first round. She also represented Spain at the Billie Jean King Cup finals. (ANI)