Reigning Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin is among six nominations for the WTA Player of the Year, with Victoria Azarenka, Simona Halep, Naomi Osaka, Aryna Sabalenka, and Iga Swiatek completing the shortlist for the award.
Kenin began the year with a bang, roaring to her maiden major title in Melbourne with back-to-back wins over World No.1 Ashleigh Barty and two-time Grand Slam champion Garbiñe Muguruza. Making the second week of the US Open upon the tour's resumption from a COVID-19 lockdown, the American reached a second major final at Roland Garros, finishing runner-up to fellow nominee Iga Swiatek.
She indeed faces competition from the likes of Swiatek, who dropped a remarkable 23 games to win her first major title in Paris and crack the Top 20 in the WTA rankings for the first time in her career. The 19-year-old is also nominated for WTA Most Improved Player of the Year award, having started the 2020 season ranked No.59.
Naomi Osaka, the WTA World No.3, picked up the third major title of her career as she took the honors at the US Open, and also reached the Western & Southern Open final against fellow former World No.1 Victoria Azarenka.
Azarenka, who is also nominated for the WTA Comeback Player of the Year award, won her biggest title since giving birth to son Leo at the Western & Southern Open, and continued to impress in Flushing Meadows, where she reached her first major final since 2013 with a win over 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams in the semifinals.
Former World No.1 Simona Halep captured three titles in 2020, starting with her 20th career title at the Dubai Duty Free Championships back in February. She won two more following the COVID-19 lockdown in Prague and later at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, where she outlasted Muguruza in a thrilling three-set semifinal.
Rounding out the WTA Player of the Year nominees is Aryna Sabalenka, who ties Halep for most titles won in 2020. Ending the season on a nine-match winning streak, Sabalenka won back-to-back titles at the J&T Banka Ostrava Open and the Upper Austria Ladies Linz. She also won her third career Premier 5 title at the Qatar Total Open.
The nominations for the WTA Doubles Team of the Year were also announced, with Australian and French Open champions Kristina Mladenovic and Timea Babos leading a shortlist that also includes Roland Garros runners-up Alexa Guarachi and Desirae Krawczyk, US Open finalists Nicole Melichar and Xu Yi-Fan, and Australian Open finalists Barbora Strycova and Hsieh Su-Wei.
Five players are up for the WTA Most Improved Player of the Year award, including Swiatek, US Open semifinalist Jennifer Brady, Palermo Open champion Fiona Ferro, Ons Jabeur, and Elena Rybakina.
Azarenka leads the nominees for the WTA Comeback Player of the Year, in which US Open quarterfinalist Tsvetana Pironkova, US Open women's doubles champion Laura Siegemund, and Istanbul Cup winner Patricia-Maria Tig are the other challengers.
Finally, the WTA Newcomer of the Year sees French Open standouts Nadia Podoroska and Marting Trevisan - who reached the semifinals and quarterfinals, respectively - nominated, with Canadian teenager Leylah Fernandez and American Ann Li rounding out the list.
The awards are voted for by the media and the results will be announced next week.