ST PETERSBURG, Fla. – The WTA on Tuesday announced the winners of the 2021 WTA Player Awards as voted on by members of the international media, which recognizes the standout performers from this season.
The WTA Player Awards are broken down into five categories: Player of the Year, Doubles Team of the Year, Most Improved Player of the Year, Newcomer of the Year and Comeback Player of the Year.
The 2021 WTA Player Award winners are as follows:
WTA Player of the Year: Ashleigh Barty (AUS)
WTA World No.1 Ashleigh Barty wins the WTA Player of the Year honor for the second time; she also earned the accolade in 2019 after capturing a tour-leading five WTA titles in 2021. The Australian won her second career Grand Slam title at The Championships, Wimbledon and successfully defended her title at the Miami Open presented by Itaú, while also winning the titles at the Yarra Valley Classic (Melbourne), Porsche Tennis Grand Prix (Stuttgart) and the Western & Southern Open (Cincinnati). She also won the Porsche Race to the WTA Finals and secured the year-end World No.1 ranking for the third consecutive year.
WTA Doubles Team of the Year: Barbora Krejcikova (CZE) / Katerina Siniakova (CZE)
Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova receive the WTA Doubles Team of the Year Award for the second time, having also been recognized with this honor in 2018. This season, the Czech duo captured their third Grand Slam trophy as a team at Roland Garros, won additional titles at the Gippsland Trophy (Melbourne) and Mutua Madrid Open, before rounding off the year by lifting the WTA Finals Martina Navratilova Doubles Trophy at the AKRON WTA Finals Guadalajara. While both held the No.1 doubles ranking this season, Siniakova finishes the year as the WTA doubles year-end No.1.
WTA Most Improved Player of the Year: Barbora Krejcikova (CZE)
Player who finished inside the Top 50 and showed significant improvement throughout the 2021 season
Barbora Krejcikova succeeded in both singles and doubles in 2021 and earned the WTA Most Improved Player of the Year award. This season, she won the first three singles titles of her career. The Czech went on a 12-match winning streak to win her first two titles, at the Internationaux de Strasbourg before her run to the Roland Garros crown. She won a third title on home soil at the Livesport Prague Open and earlier in the season reached the final at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. Krejcikova made her Top 50 debut this year and climbed as high as World No.3. To end her breakout singles season, she made her singles debut at the AKRON WTA Finals Guadalajara.
WTA Newcomer of the Year: Emma Raducanu (GBR)
Player who made Top 100 debut and/or notable accomplishments for the first time during the 2021 season
Emma Raducanu was voted the WTA Newcomer of the Year after making history in 2021 with her US Open title, where she became the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam. Raducanu did not drop a set throughout all 10 of her matches. She made her Grand Slam main-draw debut at Wimbledon this year and reached the last 16 to become the youngest British woman to reach this stage at the All-England Club. Her other notable results this season include a finals appearance at the Chicago WTA 125 and the quarterfinals at the Transylvania Open (Cluj-Napoca). The British teenager started the year ranked No.343 and finishes the season at a career best No.19.
WTA Comeback Player of the Year: Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP)
Player who's ranking previously dropped due to injury or personal reasons and made or continued their return to tour during the current season
She planned to end her career in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic halted Carla Suárez Navarro’s farewell season. She was then diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in September of last year. After winning her battle against cancer, the Spaniard decided to end her career on her own terms and returned to the tour in 2021 for her final farewell. She played Roland Garros, where she took Sloane Stephens to three sets in the opening round, and Wimbledon, where she had another three-set battle against eventual champion Ashleigh Barty in the first round. She also represented Spain at the Billie Jean King Cup finals.