Petra Kvitova wins WTA sportsmanship award for eighth time
Indian Wells, Dubai, Stuttgart, St Petersburg, Acapulco, Auckland are favourite events
Petra Kvitova, one of the tour’s most popular women both with fans and media, has proved yet again to be the favourite among her fellow players, too. She has been voted the winner of the Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award for the seventh successive year and eighth time overall.
This award is presented to the player who conducts herself in a manner fitting of a professional sports figure, observes the rules of fair play, shows respect for others, and is gracious on and off the court. And the Czech’s status on the tour can be measured by the company she keeps among previous recipients of this award: Kim Clijsters, Elena Dementieva, Ana Ivanovic, Lindsay Davenport, Chris Evert and Evonne Goolagong-Cawley.
Currently ranked No7, Kvitova this year matched her career-high ranking of No2, and she made her first Major final in almost five years at the Australian Open, two years after what could have been a career-ending assault in her home that left her with devastating damage to her left playing hand.
She said of the honour:
“Receiving this award for the eighth time makes me very proud and means so much to me. Being recognized by my colleagues for sportsmanship and fair play is an honour, as I always pride myself on treating my opponents with respect. I hope to inspire the future generations to love the sport of tennis as much as I do.”
Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski earned the Peachy Kellmeyer Player Service Award for the first time in her career, an award that recognizes the work she has done to support her fellow players as well as wider initiatives on behalf of the WTA. Previous recipients included Evert, Francesca Schiavone, Pam Shriver and Venus Williams.
Dabrowski is ranked No8 in doubles, and this year won the Nurnberg title and was runner up at the Premier Mandatory in Madrid and at Wimbledon with China’s Yifan Xu.
The Canadian said:
“I am honoured to receive this award from my friends and colleagues. Being part of the WTA Players’ Council has been an incredibly eye-opening experience. It has enabled me to give the player group I represent a voice, encompassing everyone’s input. I look forward to working on further initiatives offering equal opportunity to all players, such as doubles promotion and fan engagement.”
Craig Tyzzer, coach of Ashleigh Barty, becomes the second recipient of the annual WTA Coach of the Year Award, which recognized success on the court, but also being an ambassador of the sport and bringing coaching to the forefront of the game.
Having worked with Barty for four years, Tyzzer helped bring the Australian’s game to new heights in 2019, as she won her first Premier Mandatory in Miami, her maiden Major singles title at Roland Garros, and ended 2019 by lifting the Billie Jean King Trophy at the WTA Finals in Shenzhen to guarantee the WTA year-end No1.
The WTA has also announced the tournaments of the year as selected by the players.
· Premier Mandatory: Indian Wells. This marks the sixth consecutive year that Indian Wells has been voted winner in this category, and 11th overall.
· Premier 5: Dubai—Dubai’s second win in this category.
· Premier: Tie between Stuttgart and St Petersburg—the former for the 10th time, the latter for the second straight year.
· International: Tie between Acapulco and Auckland, the former for the 12th time, the latter for the fourth.
The WTA Player Awards, which highlight the top performers of the season as selected by members of the international media, will be announced on Wednesday. The categories and nominees are:
Player of the Year, singles
Player of the Year, doubles
Elise Mertens/Aryna Sabalenka
Kristina Mladenovic/Timea Babos
Zhang Shuai/Samantha Stosur
Barbora Strycova/Hsieh Su-Wei
Most Improved Player of the Year
Comeback Player of the Year
WTA Newcomer of the Year