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American tennis star Sofia Kenin named WTA Player of the Year

Sofia Kenin posted a 16-2 record in three Grand Slam appearances in 2020 en route to WTA Player of the Year honors. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Sofia Kenin posted a 16-2 record in three Grand Slam appearances in 2020 en route to WTA Player of the Year honors. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 9 (UPI) -- American Sofia Kenin -- the 22-year-old champion of the 2020 Australian Open -- has been named Women's Tennis Association Player of the Year.

The WTA announced the honor on Tuesday. Kenin -- a Pembroke Pines, Fla., native -- posted a 16-2 record this year in three Grand Slam appearances.

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She beat Spain's Garbine Muguruza in three sets to win the Australian Open on Feb. 1 in Melbourne. She also beat world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty en route to her first career Grand Slam title.

Kenin also advanced to the 2020 French Open final on Oct. 10, but lost in straight sets to champion Iga Swiatek.

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She lost to Elise Mertens in round of 16 in the 2020 U.S. Open. Wimbledon was the lone Grand Slam tournament to be canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Kenin finished the season ranked a career-best No. 4 in the world.

France's Kristina Mladenovic and Hugary's Timea Babos were named WTA Doubles Team of the Year. The duo claimed victories at the 2020 Australian Open and the 2020 French Open.

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Swiatek, 19, was named Most Improved Player of the Year. She became the first Polish player in history to win a Grand Slam singles title with her win over Kenin at Roland Garros.

Swiatek's coach, Piotr Sierzputowski, was named WTA Coach of the Year.

Belarusian Victoria Azarenka was named the WTA Comeback Player of the Year. Azarenka reached her fifth career Grand Slam final at the 2020 U.S. Open before a three-set loss to Naomi Osaka. She also won the 2020 Western & Southern Open for his first title in more than four years.

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Argentina's Nadia Podoroska was named WTA Newcomer of the Year. Podoroska, 23, advanced to the 2020 French Open semifinals before she lost to Swiatek.

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