After the season-ending Finals where Iga Swiatek reclaimed the world No. 1, the players are already in their off-days or engaged in preseason training. The WTA revealed the year-end award nominees, featuring notable candidates in the Comeback Player of the Year category.
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There are five athletes in contention for the award, which, according to the WTA, is aimed at a player 'whose ranking previously dropped due to injury or personal reasons, and the current season's results helped restore ranking.' Here are the nominees and their key achievements:
Marketa Vondrousova: The 24-year-old Czech finished the year as world No. 7 after winning her second career title at Wimbledon, causing a surprise as the first unseeded player to claim the title at SW19. Vondrousova reached the French Open final in 2019, and since then, injuries disrupted her regularity, dropping her to world No. 124 at the beginning of the year.
Karolina Muchova: Ranked No. 8, she was off the tour between August 2021 and March 2022 due to an abdominal injury. In August 2022, her ranking was at No. 235, and at the start of 2023, it was at No. 151. Muchova reached the French Open final and the US Open semifinals. She also made it to the final of the Cincinnati Open and the quarterfinals in Dubai and Indian Wells.
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Elina Svitolina: The Ukrainian had an impressive campaign after a long absence due to her pregnancy. In a few weeks, she won the title at the WTA 250 Strasbourg Open, followed by reaching the French Open quarterfinals and Wimbledon semifinals, finishing as world No. 25 with just 9 tournaments played.
Hsieh Su-Wei: After 20 seasons in the professional circuit and being away for 18 months, she returned at the Madrid Open. At 37, she won two Grand Slam titles in doubles: the French Open and Wimbledon, ending the year as world No. 6.
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova: The Russian gained recognition after reaching the 2021 French Open final but couldn't replicate her success in 2022 due to a knee injury. Pavlyuchenkova finished the year as world No. 58, with the fourth round of Roland Garros and the semifinals of the WTA 500 Tokyo Open as her main achievements.