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Clijsters named WTA Player of the Year

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Originally published on: 02/12/10 16:39

Kim Clijsters has picked up the 2010 WTA Player of the Year award for the second time in her career – or perhaps that should be careers – after defending her US Open crown and winning the year-end WTA Championships.

The 27-year-old, who returned to the sport in 2009 after a two-year absence to start a family, also picked up the WTA’s Player Service award in recognition of her efforts to support her fellow players off-court.

Clijsters also won the Player of the Year award, voted for by fellow players and members of the media, shortly after her first US Open triumph in 2005.

“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,” said Clijsters.

“To be honoured by your fellow players with the player service award means so much to me because I believe that 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.”

Flavia Pennetta and Gisela Dulko, who finished the year as the world’s No.1 doubles team picked up the Doubles Team of the Year award. The Italian-Argentine duo picked up seven titles in 2010 and at one point compiled a 17-match winning streak, capping a dream season with victory at the WTA Championships in Doha.

20-year-old Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic, who reached the semi-finals of Wimbledon, won the newcomer of the year award, while Maria Sharapova won the Humanitarian of the Year award.

Justine Henin was awarded the Comeback Player of the Year award after returning to the sport in January following a break that lasted nearly two years.

Henin reached the final of the Brisbane International – her first tournament back – falling to Clijsters in the third set tie-break after holding match points, before putting together a sensational run at the Australian Open, her first Grand Slam since 2008, where she lost to Serena Williams in the final.

Elena Dementieva, who recently retired from the sport at the WTA Championships in November, won a second Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship award, which acknowledges a player’s conduct, attitude and sense of fair play.

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