Vote Now: WTA Comeback Player Of The Year
Published October 12, 2016 12:14
The finalists for the 2016 WTA Comeback Player Of The Year have been released, and we want to hear from you, the fans. The fan vote will count as one of the coveted media votes.
Have a look at the finalists and cast your vote before Sunday, October 16th at 11:59pm ET! The winner will be announced Friday, October 21st.
2016 WTA Comeback Player Of The Year Finalists
Dominika Cibulkova: A former Grand Slam finalist at the 2014 Australian Open, Cibulkova fell outside the Top 50 after taking a break from tennis to undergo Achilles surgery in February 2015. She was sidelined for three months, and started out the 2016 season ranked No.38. Cibulkova now sits at No.10 after reaching a career-high ranking of No.8 on October 3. The Slovak's season is highlighted by two WTA titles - at Katowice and Eastbourne - as well as finals appearances in Acapulco, Madrid and Wuhan. Cibulkova also reached the semifinals at Hobart and Stanford and the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, posting five Top 10 wins so far along the way.
Vania King: Following the 2014 US Open, King spent a year on the sidelines as a result of various back injuries. After returning to the ITF Circuit in August 2015, King finished the year at her lowest year-end ranking of No.466. But the American didn't stay there long. She improved 385 spots to leap back into the Top 100 at No.80 after reaching her third career WTA final this year at Nanchang and making a semifinals appearance at Bucharest. She recorded second round appearances at the Australian Open and US Open as well. King has been a force on the doubles circuit, too, opening the 2016 season by winning a title at Shenzhen with partner Monica Niculescu, and partnering with Alla Kudryavtseva to reach the final at Birmingham, semifinals at Charleston and Madrid, and consecutive quarterfinals at the Australian Open, Indian Wells and Miami.
Shelby Rogers: After ending the 2015 season ranked No.146, Rogers started out the year playing ITF-level events and missing out on direct acceptance into the Australian Open. But the American turned it all around in Rio de Janeiro at her first WTA event of the year, reaching her second career WTA final at the Rio Open. 2016 also saw the American reach her first Grand Slam quarterfinal at Roland Garros, where she triumphed over a spate of Top 50 players, including Karolina Pliskova, Elena Vesnina, Petra Kvitova and Irina-Camelia Begu.As a result, Rogers improved her ranking 97 spots to reach a career-high of No.49 in August and now sits at No.66.
Anastasija Sevastova: Following long battles with illness and injury, Sevastova hung up her racquet and retired from tennis in May 2013. She played her first professional match of her comeback in January 2015 and won four ITF titles before returning to the WTA in the later half of the year. This year, Sevastova announced her return with a bang, reaching her first Grand Slam quarterfinal at the US Open - taking out No.3 Garbiñe Muguruza and No.14 Johanna Konta along the way - and advancing to two WTA finals at Bucharest and Mallorca. As a result, Sevastova improved from No.110 to a career-high ranking of No.30 on September - she currently sits at No.31.
Elena Vesnina: Vesnina ended her 2015 season ranked No.111 and made her way back into the Top 100 after a quarterfinal run at Doha, where she claimed her first Top 10 win since 2013 over No.4 Simona Halep. She's been steadily rising ever since, recording a finals appearance at Charleston and advancing to her first Grand Slam singles semifinal at Wimbledon, along with quarterfinal runs at Strasburg, Eastbourne and New Haven. She's improved her ranking 92 spots to reach a career high ranking of No.19. Vesnina has enjoyed a successful doubles season, as well, qualifying for the WTA Finals with partner Ekaterina Makarova after winning the title in Montréal and reaching finals at Roland Garros and Rome. The pair also clinched the gold medal at the Olympic tennis event in Rio.
WTA Comeback Player Of The Year Winners
2015: Venus Williams
2014: Mirjana Lucic-Baroni
2013: Alisa Kleybanova
2012: Yaroslava Shvedova
2011: Sabine Lisicki
2010: Justine Henin
2009: Kim Clijsters
2008: Zheng Jie
2007: Lindsay Davenport
2006: Martina Hingis
2005: Kim Clijsters
2004: Serena Williams
How it works:
Finalists are selected by wtatennis.com
Comeback Player Of The Year criteria includes a player whose ranking previously dropped due to injury or personal reasons and current season's results helped restore ranking.
Winner is then determined by a media vote with a fan vote counting as one media vote.