Player Of The Year: Serena
Published November 22, 2013 12:05
PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL, USA - Was there really any doubt? She didn't just put together the best season of anyone in 2013, she put together one of the very best seasons in the history of women's tennis - and so, for the fifth time, Serena Williams is the WTA's Player Of The Year.
Williams' numbers on the year were incredible: 11 WTA titles, the most since Martina Hingis won 12 in 1997; 78 match wins, the most since Kim Clijsters won 90 in 2003; $12,385,572 in prize money, smashing the previous record of $7,923,920, set by Victoria Azarenka in 2012; and, most amazingly, her reclaiming of World No.1 on February 18 made her the oldest World No.1 in WTA history.
Of all of her accomplishments in 2013, Williams pointed to one in particular as a stand-out memory.
"Well, obviously the French Open was probably the thing that stands out most," she said. "I really wanted to win that for a number of years now, so that was definitely something exciting. And also being undefeated on clay was pretty exciting too. So my results on clay this year definitely stand out.
"Overall I'll remember the wins, but I also want to learn from my mistakes so I don't repeat them."
Not only do Williams' numbers tell the story of an historic season, but they put her in a position to make even more history in 2014 - by winning the French and US Opens this year she pushed her career haul of Grand Slams to 17, one away from Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova, who both won 18, which ties them for second place in the Open Era. Steffi Graf is the Open Era leader with 22 Grand Slam titles.
But for Williams it's always one at a time, and her sights are currently set on the Australian Open.
"It's never too far away," Williams said about the Happy Slam. "There will be 127 other players there who have the same thoughts as I have. I hope to be the one standing up at the end, and it's for sure my next goal, but seeing as I didn't do as well as I wanted to there the past couple of years, my goal this time is just to go a year in Australia without twisting an ankle. That's all I'm going to start with."
And even though she only lost four matches in 2013 - and she pushed all of them to three sets, mind you - Williams still believes there's even more to add to her game. "I have some areas where I can do a lot better for next year and I look forward to it," she said. "There are a lot of things. I don't really want to discuss them, but there's definitely a lot of things I can add to my game, a multitude of things."
This is the fifth time Williams has won the WTA's Player Of The Year Award, having also received the honor in 2002, 2008, 2009 and 2012. Only two other players have been named the WTA's Player Of The Year five or more times, namely Graf (who won it eight times) and Navratilova (seven times).