WTA awards for Petra Kvitova and Naomi Osaka’s coach Sascha Bajin

Petra Kvitova celebrates

It’s that time of the year again where the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) hands out awards to those who have achieved great things the past year.

This year they have handed out gongs to the best tournaments on the Tour, the Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award, the Peachy Kellmeyer Player Service Award and the newly introduced WTA Coach of the Year Award.

The BNP Paribas Open, otherwise known as the Indian Wells Open, walked away with the WTA Premier Mandatory award while the Internazionali BNL d’Italia (Italian Open) claimed the WTA Premier 5 trophy.

The St Petersburg Ladies Trophy was named WTA Premier of the Year tournament and the Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open was recognised as the WTA International event of 2018.

As for the sportsmanship award, which is “granted to a player who conducts herself in a manner fitting of a professional sports figure and observes the rules of fair play, shows respect for others and is gracious on and off the court”, two-time Grand Slam winner Petra Kvitova claimed the gong for the sixth consecutive year and seventh time overall.

“It is a great honour to receive this award for my seventh time,” the Czech star said. “This award means so much to me, especially as it’s voted upon by my colleagues, and every year it makes me really proud. I always try to treat my opponents and the sport of tennis with great respect and that’s one thing I would love to pass on to future generations.”

Bethanie Mattek-Sands from the United States was honoured with the player service award, saying: “I’m very honoured and thrilled to receive this award from my friends and peers on tour.

“I love giving back to the sport that has given me so much in my life and look forward to continuing to make a positive impact, both for these ladies playing now and the future WTA girls coming up.”

Sascha Bajin scooped the inaugural WTA Coach of the Year prize after he mentored Naomi Osaka to her first Grand Slam title, the US Open, and helped her to a career-high No 4 in the world rankings.

Bajin was also at the helm when Osaka won her maiden WTA Tour title at the BNP Paribas Open in March this year.

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