The 22-year-old Sofia Kenin from Florida collected the WTA Player of the Year award on Tuesday. She won the first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January and finished as the runner-up at the French Open in October.
Kenin went 16-2 at the three major tournaments this year and finished the season at No. 4 – the best ranking in her career up to now.
Other honors based on voting by international media members were also announced on Tuesday, including Victoria Azarenka selected as Comeback Player of the Year, Nadia Podoroska picked the Newcomer of the Year, Iga Swiatek named Most Improved Player, Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic chosen the Doubles Team of the Year, and Piotr Sierzputowski, Swiatek’s coach, earned the Coach of the Year award.
In terms of the two categories decided by a players’ vote, the honors belong to Marie Bouzkova winning the Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award, and the ten members of the WTA Players’ Council winning the Peachy Kellmeyer Player Service Award.
Kenin came to this season with an 11-11 career mark in Grand Slam competitions. However, she proved her arrival to be an ascending star early in the season by winning No. 1 Ash Barty in the semifinals as well as former top-ranked Garbine Muguruza in the final at Melbourne Park.
That made Kenin become the youngest Australian Open champion since 20-year-old Maria Sharapova did in 2008, and also made Kenin the youngest American to debut so high in the rankings since 2002 when Serena Williams was 20.
Kenin continued to get to the fourth round at the US Open and then the final at the French Open, which was postponed due to Covid-19 pandemic, before losing to Swiatek for the title.
Meanwhile, Azarenka won her first title in over four years and reached her first Grand Slam final in seven years after getting that far at the US Open, where she lost to Naomi Osaka.