Laura Robson has been rewarded for her brilliant 2012 season by being named the WTA Tour’s newcomer of the year.
The 18-year-old, who pipped fellow British player Heather Watson to the award, defeated former grand slam champions Kim Clijsters and Li Na to reach the fourth round of the US Open in September. She then became the first British woman to make the singles final at a WTA Tour event in 22 years, in Guangzhou, China, while she also won Olympic silver in the mixed doubles with Andy Murray.
Robson began the year ranked 131 and will finish it at 53, four places below 20-year-old Watson, who bettered her compatriot by winning the WTA Tour title in Osaka last month.
“It’s a huge honour to have won the 2012 WTA Newcomer Of The Year award,” said Robson, who is the first British player to win one of the awards since Virginia Wade was named player of the year in 1977. “I looked at the list of past winners and it’s certainly a very impressive line-up that includes many of my idols growing up. I hope that I can go on to achieve close to what many of the past winners have achieved in their careers.”
Former winners of the award include Clijsters, Maria Sharapova, Venus and Serena Williams, Martina Hingis and Jennifer Capriati.