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WTA announces 2019 year-end award winners
Published Dec 11, 2019
It was another exciting year of tennis as young stars made their marks on the world's biggest stages and the venues got better than ever. This week, players and tournaments were honored for their success in 2019. On Monday, awards for coach of the year, best tournament, player service and sportsmanship were announced.
The rest were revealed on Wednesday, and were voted on by media.
Player of the Year
Ashleigh Barty finished off the year with the most match wins (56), claimed her first Grand Slam and snatched the WTA Finals crown from reigning champion Elina Svitolina. She also capped the year off as the world No. 1.
Barty became the first Australian world No.1 since Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1976 and also helped the Australia Fed Cup team reach the finals this year. In the category, the Aussie beat out other fellow 2019 Grand Slam champions Bianca Andreescu, Simona Halep, and Naomi Osaka.
Newcomer of the Year
Andreescu came seemingly out of nowhere to win Indian Wells, Toronto and the US Open. She's the first Canadian ever to win a singles major, and was just awarded the Lous Marsh award for being Canada's top athlete.
Most Improved Player
American Sofia Kenin rose to No. 12 in the world with titles in Hobart, Mallorca and Guangzhou. Last year, she finished the year almost ranked outside of the Top 50 at No. 48.
Doubles Team of the Year
Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic wrapped a memorable season with the WTA Finals trophy in Shenzhen.They won the title at Roland Garros and reached the Australian Open final. Mladenovic finished the year ranked No. 2, while Babos is No. 3.
These awards below were given out on Monday, as voted on by the players.
For the sixth consecutive year, the Palm Springs even, also known as "tennis paradise," was named the WTA Premier Mandatory tournament of the year. The two-week long event in Indian Wells has been chosen 11 times overall.
Petra Kvitova has earned the Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award for the seventh consecutive year. In 2019, the Czech claimed two WTA titles and also reached the final of the Australian Open. Her success is duly noted, but it's her demeanor and respect for other players on the court that shines through.
Coach of the Year
Barty always refers to "we" rather than "I" in many of her post-match pressers and interviews. For the world No. 1, it's a team effort and her incredible 2019 was attributed to her team which includes coach Craig Tyzzer.
Tyzzer was honored as the WTA Coach of the Year and became the second recipient of the award. Tyzzer has coached Barty the past four years and has helped lift her up to new heights in 2019. He serves as a Gold Member of the WTA coaching program, and participates in discussion panels, interviews and conferences around the world to promote women's tennis.
Player Service Award
Gabriela Dabrowski was given the Peachy Kellmeyer Player Service Award for the first time. Past winners include Chris Evert, Francesca Schiavone, Pam Shriver and Venus Williams.
That's a wrap on the WTA award season for 2019. The men's awards will be given out at the ATP Cup in January.