01
Dec
10

The winners of the 2010 WTA Player Awards.

Kim Clijsters was voted Player of the Year for the second time in her career, having first earned the accolade in 2005. The Belgian, 27, had a terrific 2010 season, highlighted by winning her third US Open. “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,” Clijsters commented. “To be honored by your fellow players with the Player Service award means so much to me because I believe 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.”

Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta earned Doubles Team of the Year. While the competition in doubles was fierce in 2010, Dulko and Pennetta, who were the No.1-ranked team in the world at year-end, won seven titles, including the WTA Championships – Doha 2010. Earlier in the season, they compiled a 17-match win streak – the longest on the WTA in over three years – which garnered three consecutive Premier-level titles. Petra Kvitova won Newcomer of the Year after a season that included a run to her first Grand Slam semifinal at Wimbledon (beating Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki along the way). She had never won a match on grass before. After her success at Wimbledon, Kvitova broke into the world’s Top 30.

Comeback Player of the Year went to Justine Henin, who made a stellar return to the WTA in January. At her first tournament back in Brisbane she reached the final, falling to Clijsters in the third set tie-break after holding match points. She also reached the final of the Australian Open, her first major since 2008, and won titles at Stuttgart (on clay) and ‘s-Hertogenbosch (on grass).

Elena Dementieva, who retired from the WTA in October, was honored with the Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award, which acknowledges a player’s conduct, attitude and sense of fair play. It was her second time receiving it.

The Humanitarian of the Year award went to Maria Sharapova for her role as a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador. In 2010, Maria visited Chernobyl and spent time with kids affected by the disaster while pledging $250,000 to the United Nations Development Program. Additionally, Sharapova won several fan awards including Favorite Singles Player and the Most Fashionable Player.

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