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Laura Robson wins player award

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Tennis player Laura Robson has become the first Brit for more than 30 years to win a WTA award.

British tennis player Laura Robson was named newcomer of the year by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Player Awards last week.

The award, decided by votes from international media, follows a breakout season for the 18 year-old Londoner.

She won silver at the Olympics in June, partnering Andy Murray in the mixed doubles, and gave her best ever Grand Slam showing at the US Open in September, beating Kim Clijsters and Li Na to reach the fourth round.

Former newcomers of the year include Maria Sharapova, the Williams sisters, and Martina Hingis.

The WTA accolade caps off a modest, but nonetheless emotionally significant, resurgence in the fortunes of British women’s tennis during the 2012 season.

Robson is the first British tennis player to win a WTA award since Virgina Wade in 1977, and her Guangzhou run made her the first British woman in 22 years to reach a main tour final.

Just three weeks later, fellow Brit Heather Watson made her own headlines by taking her first WTA title in Osaka, Japan. Her win ended a 24-year title drought for British women.

Robson, who started the year outside the top 100, is now ranked 53rd in the world. Watson lies just a few places ahead, at 49th.

With the momentum of their late-season wins behind them, the two are well-placed to make further improvements in 2013.

Other WTA Player Award winners included Serena Williams, player of the year, and Sara Errani, most improved player.

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