China's Zheng Qinwen named WTA Newcomer of the Year

Zheng Qinwen in the second round match against Paula Bardosa at the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, Japan, September 21, 2022. (Photo: CFP)

BEIJING, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- China's Zheng Qinwen was named the 2022 Newcomer of the Year after rising over 100 places in the rankings this season, the WTA announced on Monday.

Zheng started her season ranked No.143 before breaking into the top 27 by the end of the year, as the 20-year-old advanced to the last eight at the National Bank Open and reached her first WTA 500 final at the Pan Pacific Open, after an impressive run at Roland Garros, where she stunned two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep of Romania and French veteran Alize Cornet en route to the last 16.

"As a first-year student on the WTA tour, I'm delighted to receive this award, it's a great reward for my efforts and the best way to end the year. 2023: keep up the good work," Zheng commented on her social media.

World No.1 Iga Swiatek of Poland was named Player of the Year. At the same time, Katerina Siniakova and Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic won Doubles Team of the Year, while Brazil's Beatriz Haddad Maia earned Most Improved Player of the Year.