Swiatek wins Player of the Year award | The Express Tribune


World number one Iga Swiatek was named WTA Player of the Year for a second successive season, the governing body of women’s tennis said. Swiatek won the French Open for a third time to take her Grand Slam tally to four, and finished the year by claiming her first WTA Finals crown and regaining top spot in the rankings after briefly losing it to Aryna Sabalenka.

The 22-year-old Pole, who won a tour-leading six titles, became the first player to be named WTA Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons since Serena Williams from 2012 to 2015.

Storm Hunter and Elise Mertens picked up the Doubles Team of the Year award, China’s Zheng Qinwen was named Most Improved Player while Russian Mirra Andreeva won Newcomer of the Year.

Elina Svitolina, who returned to tennis in April following a maternity break, was named Comeback Player of the Year after reaching the Roland Garros quarter-finals and matching her best Grand Slam result by getting to the Wimbledon semis.

WTA boss steps down

Meanwhile, the WTA boss Steve Simon will relinquish his role as CEO but stay on as executive chairman, the governing body of women’s tennis said on Tuesday as it announced an organisational restructure.

Simon has been chairman and chief executive of the WTA for eight years but has come under increasing fire from the players recently, not least over the decision to hold the season-ending WTA Finals outdoors in the Mexican resort of Cancun.

The revised structure will separate the roles of chairman and CEO to allow greater focus on the WTA’s mission and goals, the WTA said in a statement, adding that the new CEO will be tasked with managing and growing its operations.

“Once the position of CEO has been filled, Simon will assume the role of executive chairman,” the WTA said.

“In this role, Simon will focus on governance, strategic interests of the WTA within the sport, integrity issues and the development of new markets and frontiers for the WTA.”

The governing body said Simon would also continue to serve as chair of the board of WTA Ventures – a new commercial entity that was formed earlier this year. The hunt for the new WTA CEO will be supported by global executive search firm Korn Ferry. Micky Lawler, who has served as president since 2015, had decided to leave the organisation at the end of the year to pursue new opportunities.

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