July - September Players of the Month Selected
July – September Players of the Month Selected
October 17, 2003
St. Petersburg, Florida – The WTA Tour announced Player of the Month Awards for July, August, and September. Three different winners were proclaimed for each of these months, including Serena Williams, Kim Clijsters, and Justine Henin-Hardenne.
Serena Williams earned the honor for the month of July. The then-world No. 1 clinched her second Grand Slam of the 2003 season at Wimbledon. Williams defended her Wimbledon title and notched her sixth career Grand Slam title, winning the last five of six Grand Slams. She defeated her sister Venus in the final, 46 64 62, and increased her win-loss record to 38-3 for the season.
Belgian Kim Clijsters was selected as August’s Player of the Month. After winning the title at the JP Morgan Chase Open in Los Angeles, Clijsters won top honors for becoming the No.1 ranked player in the world. She became the 12th woman and first Belgian in the Open Era to hold the top spot, overtaking Serena Williams' 57-week run as the world No. 1. Clijsters’ win in Los Angeles was her Tour-leading sixth title of the year, and her eleventh final appearance for the season. Clijsters also continued her amazing run of reaching the semifinals or better in all 14 tournaments that she had competed in, up to this point.
Justine Henin-Hardenne earned the Player of the Month honor for September. She won her second Grand Slam at the US Open, becoming the first Belgian to have her name listed as a champion at Flushing Meadows. Henin-Hardenne was forced to take intravenous fluids less than 24 hours before her final match, for she would not allow herself to succumb to leg cramps in her semifinal epic battle against Jennifer Capriati. Henin-Hardenne was down 5-3 in both the second and third sets but rallied to defeat Capriati before toppling Clijsters in the championship match, 75, 61. Following the win, Henin-Hardenne climbed to career high world No. 2. Henin-Hardenne tops the chart with the most singles titles won this season, at seven. She now holds 13 WTA Tour singles titles, more than half of the titles she claimed in 2003.
Following is a list of the 2003 Player of the Month Award recipients:
January – Serena Williams
February – Lindsay Davenport
March – Serena Williams
April – Justine Henin-Hardenne
May – Kim Clijsters
June – Justine Henin-Hardenne
July – Serena Williams
August – Kim Clijsters
September – Justine Henin-Hardenne
Members of the International Tennis Writers’ Association select the Player of the Month. ITWA is a worldwide body dedicated to improving communication between journalists, players and the sport’s governing bodies to the general benefit of the sport. Strict qualifications are required for membership. ITWA members must cover at least 14 tournaments including three Grand Slams over a two-year period and must derive the majority of their income through reporting or broadcasting about tennis. It is estimated that the 90 ITWA members reach 73 million people on either a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
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