Iga Swiatek beats Max Verstappen to major sporting award

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Tennis star Iga Swiatek has been named European Sportsperson of the Year rewarding her remarkable season. The 21-year-old both the French and US Opens and reached the semi-final of the WTA Tour Finals resulting in her ending the season as the women’s world No 1.

The Polish tennis star beat pole vault world champion Armand Duplantis into second while F1 star Max Verstappen finished third. Former tennis players who have been named the European Sportsperson of the Year include Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, who won the award last year.

Awarded by the Polish Press Agency (PAP) since 1985 the European Sportsperson of the Year award honours the sportsperson who has performed the best over the previous year. The award is based on the voting by 20 international news agencies.

The awards survey included 58 athletes from 19 disciplines with Swiatek obtaining 118 votes compared to the 82 of two-time world F1 champion Max Verstappen. During a remarkable campaign Swiatek won eight titles, including two Grand Slam honours and went on an unbeaten streak of 37 matches.

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“I felt like everything clicked this season,” Swiatek said in a video interview with The Associated Press during her unbeaten streak. “And I wasn’t expecting to be that consistent.” Swiatek was also named the WTA player of the season.

“Last few days I had more time to realise fully and embrace what happened this year… It’s challenging to describe it with one word or even a sentence,” she said after taking a holiday in the Caribbean.”


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Swiatek also won the French Open in 2020 but topped that by winning her maiden US Open crown at Flushing Meadows this season beating Ons Jabeur 6-2, 7-6 in the final. “Coming back from winning a Grand Slam is tricky, even if Roland Garros was the second [major title], I needed to stay composed and focus on the goals,” the Polish athlete said after winning her second Grand Slam title of the season.

“It’s challenging. New York is loud, it’s so crazy. There are so many temptations in the city, so many people I’ve met who are inspiring, I’m so proud of how I’ve handled it mentally.” Swiatek started her preparation for the Australian Open by playing at last week’s the World Tennis League exhibition event in Dubai.

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