Iga Swiatek securing the 2023 WTA Player of the Year award has elicited mixed reactions from tennis fans online. While some lavished praise on the Pole, others felt players like Coco Gauff and Aryna Sabalenka deserved it more.
Swiatek became the first player to win consecutive Player of the Year awards on the women’s tour since Serena Williams won four between 2012 to 2015. The Pole won six titles this year, including the French Open and the WTA Finals. She finished the season at the top of the rankings with a win percentage of 86%.
Meanwhile, Sabalenka and Gauff secured the second and third spots respectively in the year-end rankings. The duo put up a tough competition against the World No.1 in 2023.
With the top 3 having their share of ups and downs this season, fans have registered different opinions regarding the Player of the Year award winner. A fan said the decision to award Swiatek instead of Gauff and Sabalenka was “difficult to understand.”
“Difficult to understand how she can be the player of the year, Coco and Aryna deserve it more than she deserves it,” they wrote on Instagram.
One fan claimed Sabalenka deserved to win for her dominance across Grand Slam tournaments.
“Aryna Sabalenka should’ve been player of the year. 2 Grand Slam finals. 1 Grand Slam title. Making all Grand Slam semi-finals and being ranked #1! Just because Iga is #1 doesn’t mean she deserves it,” their comment read.
Meanwhile, another section of the fans felt Swiatek was the right choice for the award.
“So [well] deserved. 1GA is the Queen,” a fan’s comment read.
Another fan wrote:
“Congratulations I LOVE YOU SO MUCH IGA SWIATEK”
Here are a few other fan reactions on Swiatek being awarded the WTA Player of the Year trophy:
Swiatek holds a considerable advantage over Sabalenka and Gauff in terms of statistics, enjoying a better win rate and having won more titles than the pair. However, Sabalenka has a healthier record than the Pole across Grand Slams.
Iga Swiatek’s coach wins 2023 WTA Coach of the Year award
Iga Swiatek’s coach Tomasz Wiktorowski bagged the 2023 WTA Coach of the Year award. The Polish coach surpassed the favorites Pere Riba (Coco Gauff’s former coach), Anton Dubrov (Aryna Sabalenka’s coach), and Stefano Vukov (Elena Rybakina’s coach) to claim the prize.
Wiktorowski has been coaching Swiatek since 2021. The duo has maintained a healthy and successful partnership on the tour. A former captain of the Polish Fed Cup team, Wiktorowski also coached former World No. 2 Agnieszka Radwanska before joining hands with the four-time Grand Slam champion.
At the WTA awards, Storm Hunter and Elise Mertens were named the Doubles Team of the Year. Zheng Qinwen won the award for the Most Improved Player, Mirra Andreeva won the award for the Newcomer of the Year and Elina Svitolina was honored with the Comeback Player of the Year award.