Belgian Kim Clijsters sealed a glittering comeback with the Women’s Tennis Association award for player of the year and swiftly paid tribute to her fellow competitors, the WTA announced on Wednesday.
“This year I met a lot of new girls and it was very nice that so many of them had positive reactions to my daughter Jada as well,” the 27-year-old, who took two years off to start a family, said after scooping the prize for the second time.
“I want to thank my fellow players and the media who voted for me and I look forward to seeing everyone again in Australia,” the U.S. Open champion added.
In 2010 Clijsters won her third title at Flushing Meadows in New York and another four tournaments, including the season-ending championships in Doha.
Compatriot Justine Henin, who followed Clijsters by returning to competitive tennis in January after a similar length break, won comeback player of the year after reaching the Australian Open final.
Russians Elena Dementieva and Maria Sharapova were also rewarded, the former for her conduct, attitude and fair play after she announced her retirement from the sport at the WTA Championships in late October, and Sharapova for her role as a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador.