Williams takes WTA award

29 November 2012 08:57:18 EST

Serena Williams has been named the WTA Player of the Year for the fourth time after winning two Grand Slams and an Olympic gold medal in 2012.

The 31-year-old didn't start the year well, losing in the third round of the Australian Open, but roared back to form with tournament victories in Charleston and Madrid in the spring. Williams went on to win 48 of her next 50 matches, ending the year as world number three behind Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova.

The American won the singles and doubles titles at Wimbledon and the Olympics, playing alongside her sister Venus, and triumphed in the US Open. She is 2/5 to win Wimbledon again next year, while Azarenka is at 7/1 and Sharapova can be backed at 11/2.

Williams ended 2012 with a win in the WTA Tour Championships in Istanbul in October, defeating Sharapova in straight sets in the final.

She said after that victory: "I've always said if I'm playing well and doing everything right, it's really difficult to beat me."

Williams has previously won the award, which is voted for by the tennis media, in 2002, 2008 and 2009. She is one of only three players to have won it more than twice, the others being Steffi Graf and Martina Navratilova.

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