WTA Player Awards: Newcomer Of The Year
Published November 27, 2012 12:00
LONDON, England - Since winning the Wimbledon junior title as a 14-year-old in 2008, she had been touted as one of the next big things in the pros - and in the second half of 2012 she came through on that promise in a big way with a string of big results, most notably a run to the second week of the US Open. And with that, Laura Robson is the WTA's Newcomer Of The Year.
Though she had played some close matches with top players for years, Robson left Wimbledon this year without having converted on any of those, and having never won back-to-back matches at the WTA level - but something clicked on the clay of Palermo the week after Wimbledon, as Robson made her first WTA semifinal, scoring her first Top 30 win along the way against Roberta Vinci.
Two more huge results followed at the end of the summer, as Robson made it all the way to the fourth round of the US Open, the first Brit in 14 years to make the second week of a Grand Slam, then the final of Guangzhou, the first Brit in 22 years to reach a WTA final. Her US Open run was of particular note as she beat Kim Clijsters in the former No.1's last pro match in the second round, as well as beating Li Na in the third round, the first Top 10 win of her career.
Robson finished the year with another WTA quarterfinal over in Osaka.
Having gone into Palermo in July ranked No.113, Robson went as high as No.52 in October, then finished at No.53 on the November 5 year-end rankings.
Robson commented on being the WTA's Newcomer Of The Year.
"It's a huge honor to have won the 2012 WTA Newcomer Of The Year award," Robson commented. "I looked at the list of past winners and it's certainly a very impressive line-up that includes many of my idols growing up - I hope that I can go on to achieve close to what many of the past winners have achieved in their careers. 2012 has been a very enjoyable year for me and I look forward to building on the progress that I have made in 2012 and the season ahead."
And what were Robson's personal highlights from her breakthrough season?
"There have been a few great moments this past year; making the Olympic team and coming away with a silver medal in the mixed doubles, partnering Andy Murray, was a very special moment for me and gave me the extra bit of confidence that helped me play some of my best tennis at the US Open. I reached my first WTA semifinal in Palermo earlier in the year along with my first WTA final in Guangzhou and finished the year with a career-high ranking.
"I am working hard and it's nice that the hard work is paying off!"
Newcomer Of The Year was voted for by international tennis media. Check out a list of former winners of all WTA Player Awards by clicking here.