Clijsters named WTA player of the year

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 11:20 AM ET

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Belgian Kim Clijsters has been named the WTA's 2010 Player of the Year, it was announced Wednesday.

Clijsters' season was highlighted by her second consecutive U.S. Open title and her victory at the year-end WTA Championships in Doha. The 27-year-old also won events in Brisbane, Miami and Cincinnati in 2010, the second season of her comeback.

Clijsters retired from tennis in 2007, but returned in 2009 and won the U.S. Open as a wild card. She also won player of the year honors in 2005, when she claimed her first U.S. Open crown.

"It's really nice to win the Player of the Year award just one year after making a comeback, and while I didn't think it would come so quickly, I am thrilled with the news," said Clijsters.

Clijsters was also honored with the player service award, given to the person who has done the most to support her fellow players.

Additionally, the world No. 1 doubles team of Flavia Pennetta and Gisela Dulko was named the doubles team of the year, while Petra Kvitova won the newcomer of the year award after reaching the semifinals at Wimbledon.

Former world No. 1 Justine Henin, who returned to tennis this year after nearly two years in retirement, took comeback player of the year honors. Henin was a finalist at the Australian Open, her first major since 2008.

Elena Dementieva, who announced her retirement earlier this month, won the Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award for a second time, while Maria Sharapova was named humanitarian of the year for her work in the Chernobyl region.


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