2012 Baseline Award Winners
You voted in record numbers, and the results are in. More than 2,000 votes were cast in the last weeks of 2012 to identify winners in 17 categories—from Player of the Year to Fashion Icon.
2013 Baseline Award Winners
Player of the Year: Serena Williams
From the summer on, Williams was virtually untouchable. After winning the Wimbledon singles and doubles titles, she came back to London and won both events again in the Olympics. Her victory in the Olympic final against Maria Sharapova was a clinical display—6-0 6-1 in less than an hour. Williams won the U.S. Open final against Victoria Azarenka in three sets and ended her season with another win over Sharapova in the WTA Championships final. For the year, she was 58-4 in singles, winning seven titles. She also went 13-1 in doubles with sister Venus, winning two titles. She ended the season ranked No. 3 in the world.
Most Improved Player: Sara Errani
Errani climbed into the top 10 for the first time after winning clay court titles in Mexico, Spain and Hungary and reaching the French Open final—where she lost to Maria Sharapova. She also won eight doubles titles with partner Roberta Vinci, including the French and US Open.
Newcomer: Laura Robson
Robson rose from 131st to 53rd in the WTA rankings on the strength of a quarterfinal appearance at the U.S. Open and strong finishes at Guangzhou (lost in finals) and Palermo (lost in semis). She also earned the silver medal in Olympic mixed doubles with Andy Murray.
Comeback Player: Venus Williams
A year after missing more than half the season with a variety of injuries and illnesses, Williams won her first WTA event in more than two seasons in Luxembourg. She also won the Wimbledon and Olympic doubles titles with sister Serena. Her ranking recovered from a career-low 102 to 24th at the end of the season.
Doubles Team: Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci
Errani and Vinci didn’t have a season with the Williams sisters’ star wattage, but they overcame the Americans by virtue of their overall body of work. The Italians won eight times, including two Grand Slams (French, U.S.), and moved to No. 1 and No. 2 in the world in the WTA doubles rankings.
Fan Favorite: Agnieszka Radwanska
With her cheerful personality and everywoman playing style, Radwanska was the overwhelming winner in both OnTheBaseline.com’s fan popularity contest and the one conducted by the WTA. She interacts daily with her fans on her Facebook page, asking for restaurant and movie recommendations and sharing candid snapshots.
Humanitarian: Maria Sharapova
Sharapova is an international goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Development Program, and has personally donated more than $300,000 to recovery projects connected to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
Twitterer: Serena Williams
Williams has more than 3.5 million followers at her @serenawilliams handle, and she doesn’t disappoint. She shares everything from small everyday details to pictures and videos. One highlight? After accidentally hitting herself in the face with her racket during an Australian Open match, she tweeted: “Lip is better. A bit swollen. But I love this new look. If I had known I would have hit myself in the face a long time ago. People pay for this!”
Facebook Fan Page: Maria Sharapova
Sharapova is the reigning queen of social media, with almost 10 million fans connected to her Facebook page. She regularly shares behind-the-scenes photos from home and tournaments, and gives sneak fashion previews. Sharapova finally joined Twitter just before the Australian Open, and @mariasharapova passed 100,000 followers in a week.
Match: Serena Williams d. Victoria Azarena, U.S. Open Final
Nowhere was the ultimate contrast in styles more apparent than at Arthur Ashe Stadium in the fall. Williams rode 125-mph serves and bushels of winners to an easy 6-2 lead after the first set, but Azarenka counter-punched her way back to win the second 6-2 and lead 5-3 in the third. But Williams held serve there with several rocket aces, then broke Azarenka twice to pull out her fourth U.S. Open title and 15th Grand Slam singles crown.
From its entertaining three-set final—where Serena Williams defeated Agnieszka Radwanska—to the century-plus traditions, to the excitement of hosting the Olympics a month later, Wimbledon kept its traditional hold on fans’ hearts and votes.
Coach: Sam Sumyk
Sumyk helped mold the talented but previously fragile Victoria Azarenka from a potential star to a real one with a confidence-building combination of fitness training and tactical improvement.
Commentator: Lindsay Davenport
Since starting with the Tennis Channel in 2010, Davenport has been a consistent, level-headed presence, offering plenty of insights from her time as a player without overwhelming the action with too much talk.
Tennis Writer: Peter Bodo
Bodo has been covering the game for more than 30 years for Tennis Magazine and now its website, Tennis.com. His TennisWorld column is a must-read for players and fans alike.
Player Website: Ana Ivanovic
Logically-desgined and fan-friendly, Ana Ivanovic’s personal page gives fans front-row access to her life on and off the court. Fans who register for Club Ana have a chance to win autographed and match-used gear each month.
Gear: Nike LunarSpeed 3 shoes
Maria Sharapova’s footwear of choice is popular for its foot-hugging internal support system and light weight.
Fashion Icon: Julia Goerges
The German top-20 player went from an afterthought at Nike to headliner for Fila, and looked great in the Italian marque’s retro-inspired separates.