Maria Sakkari recognised as the best tennis ambassador for 2022

Maria Sakkari

Maria Sakkari finished No. 6 in 2022 and had a great year in tennis. She may not have reached Grand Slam semifinals like in 2021 but she showed enviable consistency and came close to winning titles.

The Greek tennis player, who reached the WTA Finals this year, was also good off the court.


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This earned her the WTA's ACES Award, named after former WTA Director Jerry Diamond. The award was first presented in 1995 and honours female players who have done the most to promote the sport to the public.

This particular award has been won in the past by Sabatini, Halep, Hingis, Ivanovic, Azarenka and other great tennis players.

Meanwhile, Iga Swiatek was honoured as WTA Player of the Year for the first time on Monday after rising to No. 1 in the rankings in April and remaining there for the rest of the season thanks in part to two Grand Slam titles.

Swiatek, who was the WTA Newcomer of the Year in 2020, led the tour with 67 match wins and eight titles. That included a run of six trophies in a row during a 37-match winning streak that lasted from February to July and was the longest undefeated stretch in women's tennis in a quarter of a century.

"I felt like everything clicked this season," Swiatek said in a video interview with The Associated Press during her unbeaten streak. "And I wasn't expecting to be that consistent."

The WTA Coach of the Year award went to David Witt in recognition of his work with American Jessica Pegula, who rose to a career-best No. 3 in the rankings during 2022 and was a quarter-finalist at three Grand Slam tournaments - losing to Barty or Swiatek each time.

Pegula also won the Guadalajara Open, made it to her first WTA 1000 final at the Madrid Open and qualified for the WTA Finals in singles and doubles (with Coco Gauff).

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