Shvedova wins comeback award


Yaroslava Shvedova has been named the 2012 WTA comeback player of the year. The 25-year-old returned to top form during the season just ended, reaching the quarter-finals of the French Open and the last 16 at Wimbledon. To a British audience her Wimbledon exploits will probably be best remembered for she produced a remarkable ‘golden set’ in SW19, taking the first set from Sara Errani 6-0 by winning all 24 points played.
Shvedova had cracked the top 30 for the first time in 2010 but knee surgery was required at the start of 2011 after which she did not win back-to-back matches for a year. However, having slipped as low as 259th in the rankings, that all changed in 2012 with the arguable highlight being her run at Roland Garros, where she beat defending champion Li Na before losing the last eight to Petra Kvitova. At Wimbledon, it took eventual champion Serena Williams to stop her – and their match went to 7-5 in the final set.
Shvedova picked out her ‘golden set’ as the top memory of her year. “My biggest highlight was making a golden set,” she said. “That is probably a once-in-a-lifetime thing and something only one other person has done, so it will always be very special. “I am very happy and proud of my comeback this year. I worked very hard with my team to do this and it’s nice to receive the award now. It’s not only for me, it’s a victory me and my team.” Having reached a career-high ranking of 25 during the season and finishing the year at number 29, the Kazakh has now targeted a place in the world’s top 20 ahead of the new campaign which she is scheduled to begin in Auckland. The award was voted for by members of the media.