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By Chris Oddo

Sara Errani French Open (November 7, 2012) -- The WTA has announced its nominees for five player award categories, as voted upon by the media.

Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova have been nominated for player of the year, with Williams being the consensus favorite to win the award for the fourth time since 2002.

Here is a list of the WTA's Player of the Year from 2000 to present:

2000: Venus Williams
2001: Jennifer Capriati
2002: Serena Williams
2003: Justine Henin
2004: Maria Sharapova
2005: Kim Clijsters
2006: Amelie Mauresmo
2007: Justine Henin
2008: Serena Williams
2009: Serena Williams
2010: Kim Clijsters
2011: Petra Kvitova

Other categories to be voted on by a panel of media members are Comeback Player of the Year, Best Newcomer, Team of the Year (doubles), and Most Improved.

The nominees for Comeback Player of the Year are Kirsten Flipkens, Venus Williams, Hsieh Su-Wei, and Yaroslava Shvedova. Sabine Lisicki won the award in 2011.

For Most Improved Player the nominees are Sara Errani, Angelique Kerber, Varvara Lepchenko and the doubles pairing of Abigail Spears and Raquel Kops-Jones. Petra Kvitova took the award in 2011.

The four nominees for Newcomer of the Year are Great Britain’s Laura Robson and Heather Watson, Sloane Stephens of the U.S. and Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands. Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania won the award in 2011.

There are five doubles teams nominated for the best doubles team, including Serena and Venus Williams and the No.1 ranked Italian pairing of Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci.

Stay tuned for more debate on these categories in the upcoming weeks.

(Photo Credit: Andy Kentla)


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