By Alexandra Willis
1 December 2010
Kim Clijsters has been awarded the WTA Player of the Year for 2010 for the second time in her career. Tennis fans and the media voted the bubbly Belgian as their player of the year in recognition of her achievement in winning the US Open title for the third consecutive time, and climbing to the No.3 ranking during her comeback to the sport. Joining the likes of Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova, Serena Williams, Justine Henin, Martina Hingis, and many more as the year’s best player, Clijsters also picked up the Player Services of the Year award, which recognises a player’s commitment to her fellow players on the tour.
“It’s really nice to win the Player of the Year award just one year after making a comeback and while I didn’t think it would come so quickly, I am thrilled with the news,”said Clijsters. “To be honored by your fellow players with the Player Service award means so much to me because I believe that the social contact with the rest of the players is very important. This year I met a lot of new girls and it was very nice that so many of them had positive reactions to my daughter Jada as well. I want to thank my fellow players and the media who voted for me and I look forward to seeing everyone again in Australia.”
Comeback of the year was awarded to Clijsters’ compatriot Justine Henin, who returned to the tour after a two-year absence in January, reaching the Australian Open final in only her second event back. Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic won the Newcomer of the Year award after a breakthrough season that culminated with a ranking inside the top 30, having reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon, despite having previously never won a match on grass.
Year-end No.1s Flavia Pennetta and Gisela Dulko took home Doubles Team of the Year in recognition of the duo’s seven titles in 2010. While Maria Sharapova picked up a trio of awards, Humanitarian of the Year Award, Favourite Singles PLayer of the Year, and Most Fashionable award, Elena Dementieva’s departure from the sport was fittingly commended. Honored with the Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award for the second time in her career, which acknowledges a player’s conduct, attitude and sense of fair play, the 2008 Olympic champion was commended as an example to all players.
For a complete listing of the 2010 WTA Player Awards, please visit www.wtatour.com.
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