On Wednesday, the WTA announced its annual player awards, with top-ranked Ashleigh Barty chosen as the WTA Player of the Year.
The 23-year-old Aussie had an incredible 2019 season, winning four titles including her maiden Grand Slam at Roland Garros, her first career Premier Mandatory in Miami and the WTA Finals—which helped her secure the year-end No. 1.
WTA 2019 awards— Christopher Clarey (@christophclarey) December 11, 2019
Ashleigh Barty, year-end No. 1 & French Open champ, is player of the year
Sofia Kenin of USA is most improved player
Bianca Andreescu, US Open champ, is newcomer of the year
Belinda Bencic is comeback player of the year
Mladenovic & Babos doubles team of year
The WTA Newcomer of the Year was awarded to Canadian teen Bianca Andreescu. This season, she claimed titles in Indian Wells and Toronto, and took out 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams in straight sets in the US Open final to become the first Canadian to win a singles Grand Slam. On Monday, she was named Canada’s Athlete of the Year, the first tennis player to claim the honor.
The Most Improved Player of the Year award went to Sofia Kenin. The 21-year-old American reached a career-high No. 12 in October, captured three titles in Hobart, Mallorca and Guangzhou, and upset Williams to reach the fourth round at Roland Garros.
Belinda Bencic—who won Dubai and Moscow this season—picked up the WTA Comeback Player of the Year Award after returning to the Top 10 for the first time in more than three years. The Swiss contested her first major semifinal in New York and later punched her first ticket to the WTA Finals.
French Open doubles champions Kristina Mladenovic and Timea Babos were selected as the WTA Doubles Team of the Year. The duo successfully retained the WTA Finals crown to close out their season and also finished runner-up at the Australian Open.