BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – After a breakthrough 2010 season that saw her go as high as No.29 in singles and win two Grand Slam titles in doubles, she underwent knee surgery at the start of 2011 and struggled to find her winning form again, falling as low as No.259 – but Yaroslava Shvedova caught fire again in 2012, making deep runs at two Grand Slams and setting a new career-high of No.25. And for that, she is the WTA’s Comeback Player Of The Year.
Having already been the first Kazakh to reach the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam – doing it at the 2010 French Open – Shvedova did it all over again at the 2012French Open, stunning the defending champion along the way, winning the last 10 games in a row to beat Li Na in the fourth round. “This is the most incredible win I’ve had,” she said – she almost made her first Grand Slam semifinal too, leading 4-2 in the third before falling to Petra Kvitova in the quarters, 36 62 64
“I am very happy to get this award and honored that the media voted for me,” she said. “I was surprised when I heard the news. 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.”
And in a season that had so many highs, Shvedova pointed to a specific one as her favorite: “My biggest highlight was making a golden set,” Shvedova declared. “That is probably a once-in-a-lifetime thing and something only one other person has done, so it will always be very special. Also it was super exciting to qualify for the Olympics by reaching the quarterfinals at Roland Garros.”