Last week marked the conclusion of the 2023 WTA season in Cancun, where Swiatek emerged as the Finals champion and reclaimed the world No. 1 spot by defeating Jessica Pegula in the final (6-0, 6-1).
The WTA is gearing up for the awards ceremony honoring the best players of the season, and they have unveiled the nominees for Singles Player of the Year. The nominees include the four Grand Slam winners and two other top-5 players. Here are the nominees and their key achievement.
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- Iga Swiatek: The likely favorite to end the year as the world No. 1. The Polish player started and finished the year at the top of the rankings, although she wasn't as dominant as in 2022 and briefly lost the No. 1 spot after the US Open. Nevertheless, Swiatek claimed six titles, including the French Open, WTA Finals, and the WTA 1000 Shanghai Open.
- Aryna Sabalenka: Having the best season of her career, she started the year by winning her first Grand Slam and reached the world No. 1 spot after being a finalist at Flushing Meadows. Additionally, she completed a 56-14 record, securing three titles and three finals.
- Coco Gauff: The American remained in the top-10 throughout the year, but her best form was showcased during the hardcourt swing, winning three consecutive titles, including the US Open. She finished the year as world No. 3 at just 19 years old.
- Elena Rybakina: The 2022 Wimbledon champion confirmed that she is competitive at the highest level. She started the season by reaching the final of the Aussie Open, though she couldn't secure the title. The Kazakh won two WTA 1000 titles in Indian Wells and Rome, having the best results in tournaments of this category (27-5). She finished the year as world No. 4.
- Jessica Pegula: Despite not achieving much success in Grand Slam events for a player of her caliber and usual top-5 status, Pegula reached the quarterfinals at the Australian Open and Wimbledon. She had her best win record of her career (35-13), winning two titles and reaching three finals, including the WTA Finals.
- Marketa Vondrousova: The sixth nominee is the Wimbledon champion and world No. 7 who had a comeback season to win her first Grand Slam, showcasing tremendous gameplay. Despite not adding more titles, the left-handed player had an excellent record of 39-18, the best of her career.