03 December 2020

French Open champion Iga Swiatek and US Open winner Naomi Osaka among nominees for WTA’s ‘Player of the Year’ award

Tennis stars Iga Swiatek, Naomi Osaka and Simona Halep are among the six world-class nominees for this year’s WTA’s ‘Player of the Year’ award.

Swiatek has impressed on the professional circuit after winning the French Open in straight sets against Sofia Kenin.

The 19 year-old became the first Polish female athlete to be a finalist in the tournament in 81 years. 

As a result, she cracked the top 20 in the WTA rankings for the first time in her career at world No 17, after starting the year at No 59.

Sofia Kenin won her first major at the Australian Open

(Xinhua News Agency/PA Images)

Elsewhere on the shortlist is American Kenin, who won her first major title when she beat Garbine Muguruza in the Australian Open final at the start of the year. 

The 22 year-old also won the Lyon Open earlier this year and reached the fourth round at the US Open. 

Naomi Osaka has continued her form in 2020

(SIPA USA/PA Images)

Osaka has had a stellar year after winning the US Open against former world No 1 Victoria Azarenka.

The three-time grand slam champion also reached the Western & Southern Open, before pulling out due to an injury. 

The 23 year-old from Japan also topped the Forbes rich list above Serena Williams with a new record. Between June 2019 and June 2020 she earned a total of $37.4 million.

Victoria Azarenka has made an impressive comeback on the circuit

(Xinhua News Agency/PA Images)

The star is also up against Azarenka, who took the Western & Southern Open title via walkover, her first WTA win since giving birth to her son Leo in 2016. 

The Belarusian, 31, also reached the US Open final and now sits 13th in the world rankings. 

Simona Halep was unable to defend her Wimbledon title this year after it was cancelled

(Imago/PA Images)

Two-time grand slam champion Halep has also made the shortlist. 

The 29 year-old from Romania has been on fire on this year’s WTA Tour. 

She won her 20th WTA title at the Dubai Tennis Championships in February, before collecting another title at the Prague Open.

Halep, who is currently the world No 2, went on to win the Italian Open after she beat injured Karolina Pliskova, but was knocked out of the fourth round at the French Open by Swiatek.

Aryna Sabalenka took three WTA titles this year

(Imago/PA Images)

The final nominee up for the award is Aryna Sabalenka.

The 22 year-old from Belarus ended the season on a nine-match winning streak. 

She ties Halep for most titles won during the year after winning the J&T Banka Ostrava Open, the Upper Austria Ladies Linz and the Qatar Total Open.

The media will vote for the winner and the results will be announced next week. 

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox