LONDON (Reuters) - Australia’s Ash Barty has been named WTA Player of the Year after capturing her maiden Grand Slam singles title and reaching the top of the world rankings.
The 23-year-old, who quit tennis to play cricket in 2014 before returning to the game in 2016, became the first Australian to win the French Open since Margaret Court in 1973 when she beat Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova in June.
She also won the prestigious Miami title and became the first Australian woman to reach the WTA World number one ranking since Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1976.
Barty’s 57 match wins this year was the most by any player.
Bianca Andreescu took the newcomer award after winning the U.S. Open to become the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam singles title, while Swiss Belinda Bencic was named “comeback player of the year” after regaining her place in the top 10.
Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by David Clarke