A sensational start and fantastic finish to 2015 propelled Venus Williams into the Top 10 for the first time in years - and to the WTA Comeback Player Of The Year award.
WTA Staff

A sensational start and fantastic finish to 2015 propelled Venus Williams back into the Top 10 for the first time in years. The icing on the cake? You've voted her the WTA Comeback Player Of The Year.

Williams' season was highlighted by two vintage stretches, winning 18 of her first 22 matches of the year - which pushed her as high as No.11 in the world in February, and then winning 18 of her last 21 matches of the year - which pushed her to No.7 in the world on the November 9 year-end rankings.

At 35, she's the oldest Top 10 player since a 38-year-old Martina Navratilova on January 1, 1995.

She won three WTA titles at Auckland, Wuhan and Zhuhai, the last two being her two biggest titles in over five years, and she also made the quarterfinals at both the Australian Open (falling to Madison Keys) and US Open (falling to Serena Williams), her first two Grand Slam quarterfinals since 2010.

And the biggest reason the former World No.1 is the WTA Comeback Player Of The Year?

Because she fell as low as No.137 in the world the week of February 13, 2012, right before she came back from a seven-month lay-off due to the energy-sapping Sjögren's Syndrome disease, something she's had to climb her way back from, step by step, until finally getting back to where she belongs now.

"For me, giving up wasn't an option," Williams said after conquering Zhuhai in November.

"I was put in a position that was out of my control, and that's life, but if I was going to end playing tennis, I wanted to end it how I wanted it to end, not because I was forced out. So maybe this wasn't the easiest road, but it was a road that I had, and it was a challenge that I was up for.

"That's life. I've learned so much. And I'm still grateful for everything."

She's also still hungry for more success. Very hungry.

"It's a great thing to be Top 10 now with the level of the game, but I'm still very hungry. I'm ready for more," Williams said in Zhuhai. "I've had so many experiences in tennis and I still expect a lot from myself. So I'm very happy to be moving forward, but I also want to continue, and not stop here."

In January, Williams will be seeded Top 8 at a major for the first time in five years - she was the No.4 seed at the 2011 Australian Open. Can the seven-time Grand Slam winner win her eighth in 2016?


This award was voted for by media and fans. Williams won the media vote with 81% (Bethanie Mattek-Sands next with 11%); Williams also won the fan vote with 63% (Kateryna Bondarenko next with 24%).