St. Petersburg, FL (SportsNetwork.com) – For the sixth time in her brilliant
career, world No. 1 Serena Williams has been voted the WTA Player of the Year.
The 33-year-old Williams closed out her up-and-down year by winning 26 of her
last 29 matches. She cleared seven titles, including her 18th Grand Slam
championship at the U.S. Open, which moved her into a three-way tie with Chris
Evert and Martina Navratilova for second place on that Open Era list.
Williams also titled in Brisbane, Miami, Rome, Stanford, Cincinnati and at the
WTA Finals in Singapore and held the No. 1 ranking for the entire year.
She went 52-8 for the year, including an outstanding 12-1 record against
top-10 opposition, and was voted Player of the Year for a third straight time.
Williams is one of only three players to ever garner Player of the Year honors
more than twice. Steffi Graf won it eight times and Navratilova was s seven-
time winner. Serena also won the award in 2002, 2008, 2009, 2012, and 2013.
Williams captured the media voting with 36-of-58 votes, but came in second to
world No. 3 Simona Halep in fan voting. Halep won 48 percent of the vote, with
Williams coming in second at 21 percent.
The WTA Newcomer of the Year was 17-year-old Swiss Belinda Bencic; the Most
Improved Player of the Year was Wimbledon runner-up Eugenie Bouchard; the
Comeback Player of the Year was 32-year-old Croat Mirjana Lucic-Baroni; and
the Doubles Team of the Year was Italy’s Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci.