Serena Wiliams named WTA’s player of the year

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Serena Williams has been named the WTA Tour player of the year after a remarkable run of form.

The American was not at her best in the first three months of 2012 with her exit at the fourth-round stage of the Australian Open symptomatic of her struggle to find top form.

But back-to-back tournament wins in Charleston, South Carolina, and Madrid in April and May marked a change in fortune for the world No 3.

She went on to win 48 out of 50 matches and landed grand slam titles at Wimbledon and the US Open as well as Olympic gold at London 2012.

The 31-year-old ended her year in style by winning the WTA Tour Championships in Istanbul, beating Maria Sharapova 6-4, 6-3 in the final.

However, despite winning seven titles in 2012, she finished the season third in the world rankings behind both Victoria 
Azarenka and Sharapova.

It is the fourth time Williams has won the WTA award, which has been running for 36 years, after successes in 2002, 2008 and 2009.

Only Steffi Graf (eight times) and Martina Navratilova (seven times) have won the award more than she has. It is voted for by international tennis media.