Friday, November 30, 2012

Serena Williams--WTA Player of the Year

Serena Williams has been awarded the WTA's Player of the Year designation, which should come as no surprise to anyone. Among her other 2012 accomplishments, Williams won Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, the WTA Championships, and an Olympic gold  medal. The Doubles Team of the Year award went to Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, who went on a 25-match win streak, won the French Open and the U.S. Open, as well as several other titles.

Newcomer of the Year is Laura Robson, who took both Kim Clijsters and Li Na out of the U.S. Open. Yaroslava Shvedova was named Comeback Player of the Year, and Clijsters won the Karen Krantzche Sports(wo)manship Award. The Player Service Award was given to Venus Williams, and the Most Improved Player designation went to Sara Errani.

Fans chose Agnieszka Radwanska as the Fan Favorite for the second year in a row. Other fan choices can be seen here.

Victoria Azarenka received the Diamond Aces Award last month.

I don't think I'm ever in total agreement with these results, but I generally don't have much to quibble about, either. Comeback Player of the Year is generally my sticking point, though. I think Shvedova is deserving, for sure, but she probably wouldn't have been my choice. And a comment made earlier on this blog about giving Clijsters the Krantzche Award when she didn't play much in 2012 is a position with which I'm sympathetic, though I'm okay with Clijsters getting it.

On to the Backspin Awards, which are more interesting. If you missed any of them, scroll back and check them out. And once you've done that, settle in and read the 2012 WTA Yearbook. It's filled with fabulous photos (especially of Victoria Azarenka), the best quotes of the year ("Why Chinese still use chopsticks?"), videos, a faculty listing, all the titles in the 2012 class guest lecture series (except, of course, for the one canceled by JJ), and awards you definitely won't see on the WTA website.

And that brings me to the subject of quotations, which I should have included in my end-of-season summary (I also should have mentioned that Shvedova served a Golden Set--oops--always hard to recall everything). There are always so many great quotations that come out of the tour that I have trouble picking a favorite. It wasn't that hard this year, however, because "People complain about the noise I make, but I can get louder...." is hard to top.

Azarenka, Li, Schiavone, Sharapova, Williams, Jankovic, Kvitova, Robson. So much wit--intentional and otherwise. The tennis is pretty good, too.


Sunny nine said...

I did skim the WTA Yearbook on WTA Backspin blog. What caught my eye was the manner in which Zvonareva's year was described. It was not made clear for those who didn't follow closely that Zvonareva was injured most of the year: shoulder, hip, virus illness. I have read too many times from pundits that Zvonareva doesn't "have it" anymore, when all we know at this point was that her year was so injury-ladened. I also was disgusted by A. Radwanska's quote, and that it was put under Zvonareva's photo. It looks like it was meant to apply to Zvonareva, although the author of the blog may not have meant to indicate that. I don't understand the quote being put there given the unfortunate year Vera had. Unfortunately that kind of quote is the same type of thing that has made me dislike A. Radwanska more and more as a person (I still like her tennis style of play). Her turning on Vika early in the year and saying other critical-judgemental remarks about other players or alluding to other players. And basically seeming to tow the WTA management line in all respects.

I enjoyed your post Diane. It was a great year for Serena Williams but it was good for tennis that she was taken to 3 sets at Wimby and USO. Hope you enjoyed your time off.

Diane said...

Radwanska's comments are unfortunate, to say the least. Some of it is probably theatre, but also, I always consider what happens to someone who is raised by a controlling and abusive parent (which appears to have been the case).

It takes a lot longer for kids with Radwanska/Dokic-type parents to grow up. Some never do.

Todd.Spiker said...


Glad I saw your comment over here. Of course, I didn't even realize that that A-Rad quote was right under the Zvonareva photo, and it wasn't meant to refer to her, though I can see how it might seem that way. So I changed the order of the listings to avoid that connection (and added a few words to the VZ comment to at least allude to what you talked about, too).

And, Diane... onward to 2013. And as a certain Belarusian would say, but with loads more sincerity than she laced her words with when she first spoke them, "Good luck with that." ;)

Sunny nine said...

Thanks Todd-I appreciate your remarks and often enjoy some of your unique stats that I can't find anywhere else. Hope I didn't take out on you what I feel about some pundits who don't care to research items.

2013 is feeling closer although a month away. I am trying to put some stats in excel so I can have better access to them. Don't know if the project will come to fruition since I work with the WTA and ATP.

Diane, your site is one of the ones I can depend on because our brower(s) have become messed up and we can't always get to certain sites.
I appreciated your remarks about Radwanska and can sympathize. I guess to me the further she has been away from her parent and moved up the rankings, the more she is saying these things. So don't know what to make of that. Tennis is such a personality sport. I enjoy baseball and non-American football but one tends to root for teams more than individuals which makes for a different type of experience. I just love the actual game of tennis.

Overhead Spin said...

Sunny, I agree with you about Aga. I really do like her game, but I get the feeling that as she has moved up the rankings she has become somewhat bitter and cynical in her remarks about her fellow players. She has always come across to me as someone with a Type A personality, and I think because she is a fan favourite, she is of the view that whatever she says is usually what fans would want to say themselves. It is also a bit unfortunate that a lot of what she says usually comes across as sour grapes. Hopefully 2013 will change that but I doubt it.