Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic has won the WTA Comeback Player of the Year award, which is given to the player whose ranking dropped due to injury or personal circumstances.
She took 80% of the vote, which was decided by the media.
Read more: 2019 WTA Player Award Winners Announced
Back in 2016, the Swiss had posted a career-high ranking of WTA World No.7 but had fallen on tougher times subsequently, with wrist surgery pushing her out of the Top 300 the following year.
She struggled to regain her best form in 2018, though she did break the Top 50 once again, but over the past 12 months she has rediscovered her 'A' game and has matched her career-best ranking.
Now WTA World No.8, Bencic can reflect on a year that saw her secure a first Grand Slam semifinal, enjoy success in both Dubai and Moscow, thereby ending a run of nearly four years without a title, debut at the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen and score 49 wins on the WTA Tour, a total surpassed by only three players.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the 22-year-old’s form in 2019 has been her ability to raise her game against the top players. No-one scored more than her six Top 5 victories, which came at the expense of only two losses, while only WTA World No.1 Ashleigh Barty can lay claim to having more Top 10 wins in the last year than Bencic, who claimed 11 such victories.
She also earned a reputation for getting things done the hard way, playing more three-set matches than anyone else on Tour (31) with the exception of Karolina Pliskova (32), though she did win more of these encounters than any other player (20).
Her record in tiebreaks, meanwhile, was exceptional, posting 11 wins in sets that went all the way against just three losses.
Svetlana Kuznetsova and Bethanie Mattek-Sands were the other players in contention for the award.