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Serena Williams tops list of WTA Award winners

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© 2013">Daily
Tennis News Wire

The Women’s Tennis Association
(WTA) announced this week on the winners
of the 2013 annual Player Awards as voted by the
international tennis media. Five players were recognized
for their accomplishments during the historic ’40 Love’
season in 2013.

Serena Williams was voted the
WTA’s 2013 Player of the Year for the
fifth time in her career. The 32-year-old American held
the top-ranking for all but the first seven weeks of the
season and finished as year-end No.1 for the third time
in her career. Williams amassed an incredible
career-best 11 titles in 2013 including her second
Roland Garros title, the US Open and TEB BNP Paribas WTA
Championships, and owned an impressive 78-4 match record
throughout the season. Williams set a single season
prize money mark of $12,385,572, which stands as the
third highest single-season prize money total amongst
all male and female players.

Previous recipients of the award
include Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova, Justine Henin,
Maria Sharapova, Venus Williams, Lindsay Davenport,
Martina Hingis, Kim Clijsters and Petra Kvitova.

Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci,
the year-end World No.1 doubles team, won their second
consecutive WTA award for Doubles Team of the Year.
The Italian pair followed up their breakthrough year in
2012 with a strong start to the season with their first
Australian Open crown as well as titles in Doha and at
the Paris [Indoors]. The duo also reached finals at
Roland Garros, Sydney and Rome and lead Italy to the Fed
Cup title for the first time since 2010.

Romanian 22-year-old Simona Halep
took the prize for Most Improved Player of the
after winning six singles titles in 2013 –
second only to Serena Williams while winning 53 matches
throughout the season. She improved her ranking by 36
spots to finish the year as No.11.

Eugenie Bouchard won the
Newcomer of the Year
award after a breakthrough
season that saw the 19-year-old rise to No.32 after
starting 2013 at No.144. Bouchard, the highest ranked
teenager, reached the quarterfinals or better five times
throughout the season, including a run to her first WTA
final at Osaka. The Canadian made her Grand Slam main
draw debut at Roland Garros where she reached the second
round, and followed this up with a third round
appearance at Wimbledon where she defeated world No.12
Ana Ivanovic. She is the second Canadian to receive the
award, joining Carling Basset (1983).

Comeback Player of the Year

honors went to Alisa Kleybanova. After making her Top 20
debut in February 2011, Kleybanova was diagnosed with
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and only played one event between May
2011 and May 2013. The popular Russian won the title at
her comeback Tournament, an ITF event in Landisville,
Pennsylvania in May and made her first Grand Slam
appearance since January 2011 at the US Open where she
reached the second round. The 24-year-old also
represented Russia in the Fed Cup Final against Italy
and finished 2013 ranked No.185 after starting the year
at No.549.

The winners of the annual player
awards for 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 are determined by global
tennis media.

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