Poland's Iga Swiatek celebrates a point during her 2022 US Open quarter-final match against USA's Jessica Pegula. Image Credit: AFP

Polish tennis star Iga Swiatek wins maiden WTA Player of Year award

Florida: Tennis star Iga Swiatek was chosen for the player of the year award by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) for the first time after her incredible run in 2022 that also saw her get to the summit of women's singles ranking.

Swiatek, who was named Newcomer of the Year in 2020, had an exceptional season in 2022, leading the way in terms of finals appearances, awards won and matches won.

She was crowned winner at eight tournaments, including six in a row and a 37-match winning streak.

Among the eight championships were two Grand Slams, at Roland Garros and the US Open, as well as WTA 1000 titles at the Qatar TotalEnergies Open (Doha), the BNP Paribas Open (Indian Wells), the Miami Open presented by Ita, Internazionali BNL d'Italia (Rome), and the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix (Stuttgart). Swiatek won 67 matches this season in total as per the WTA Tour website.

David Witt was awarded the WTA coach of the year.

Jessica Pegula's current coach has been acknowledged for his players' success on the court this season, as well as for being a fantastic ambassador for the sport and bringing coaching to the forefront of the game.

Pegula, who began the year at No 18, had her greatest season under his direction in 2022, ending in the top three.

Pegula reached the Mutua Madrid Open finals for the first time in her career and won the Guadalajara Open Akron, in addition to reaching the quarterfinals of three of the four Grand Slams.

Barbora Krejcikova and doubles World No 1 Katerina Siniakova were named Doubles Team of the Year for the second consecutive season and the third time overall.

The Czech duo won three major titles in 2022, including the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open. They also advanced to the WTA Finals title match. Their victory in New York gave them the career Grand Slam, a feat only six other doubles teams have accomplished.

Zheng Qinwen was named WTA newcomer of the year after she climbed almost 100 positions in the WTA Rankings this season, thanks to a consistent streak of results, and is expected to break into the Top 25 by the end of 2022.

She reached her maiden WTA final at the WTA 500 Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, the semifinals of the WTA 250 Melbourne Summer Set 1 in Melbourne, the last eight at the WTA 1000 level National Bank Open presented by Rogers in Toronto, and the Round of 16 at Roland-Garros. Zheng Qinwen is the second Chinese woman to receive a WTA Player Award, following Zheng Jie, who won Comeback Player of the Year in 2008.