Iga Swiatek becomes seventh tennis player to win European Sportsperson award
Iga Swiatek has been named the European Sportsperson of the year for 2022 by the Polish Press Agency, which consists of votes from 20 press agencies across Europe.
Swiatek came out on top with 118 votes, beating pole vault world champion Armand Duplantis (106 votes) and F1 world champion Max Verstappen (82 votes) to win the award.
The world No.1 has had an outstanding year, winning eight titles including both Roland Garros and the US Open. The Pole also won four WTA1000 titles, on top of a record breaking 37-match unbeaten run.
By winning this illustrious award Swiatek becomes the first woman to do so since 2005, and joins a number of sporting legends to have been given this award since 1958.
It is the second consecutive year that tennis has won this award, with Novak Djokovic taking the gong in 2021. Only athletics has more winners than tennis, with Roger Federer winning the award more than anyone else on five occasions. Rafael Nadal, Martina Hingis, Steffi Graf and Stefan Edberg have all also been awarded this honour.
She has been congratulated by many of her peers for this achievement, including the legendary Billie Jean King
Congratulations to @iga_swiatek, who was named the European Sportsperson of the year for 2022. https://t.co/PJXBvK6bnR
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) December 27, 2022
The 21-year-old is also the fourth Polish person to win this prize, after footballer Robert Lewandowski in 2020, long jumper Zdzisław Krzyszkowiak in 1958 and former Olympic sprinter Irena Szewinska, in 1966 and 1974.
Swiatek will look to continue her form into 2023, as she begins her season representing her country at the inaugural United Cup. She faces tough tests in her group matches, against Yulia Putintseva and Belinda Bencic, as Poland play Kazakstan and Switzerland, respectively.
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