Tennis: Serena Williams honored as 2009 top player
KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. — World No. 1 Serena Williams won the 2009 WTA Tour Player of the Year award and also took the Doubles Team of the year honors with sister Venus at a ceremony held at the Sony Ericsson Open on Wednesday.
Serena Williams, wearing high heels despite a knee injury, was all smiles when picking up her award. She won the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2009, was a semifinalist at the U.S. Open and a quarterfinalist at the French Open.
The Williams sisters won the 2009 Australian Open, Wimbledon, and U.S. Open doubles titles as well as the doubles crown at Stanford.
"It's exciting because I don't think we've won the Doubles Team of the Year award before," Serena Williams told The Associated Press. "I won the daily double today and that was cool."
U.S. Open champion Kim Clijsters captured the Comeback Player of the Year and Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award. This marked the seventh time in Clijsters career she won the sportsmanship award.
American teen Melanie Oudin, who had a breakthrough 2009 season in reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon and quarterfinals at the U.S. Open, was honored as the Newcomer of the Year. Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium, who broke into the top 20 last year, won the Most Improved Player award.
Naturalized American Liezel Huber won The Player Service Award for the fourth time in her career. Among the causes Huber's raised money for are Hurricane Katrina victims and "Locks of Love," a nonprofit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children suffering from medical hair loss.
Russian Elena Dementieva was voted as the Fan Favorite Singles Player of the Year by fans online.