In a break-out year for Naomi, she advanced to the third round of three Grand Slam tournaments, and exhibited remarkable skills against Top 10 players. On the WTA tour, she became the first Japanese player to reach the finals at the Toray Pan Pacific Open since 1995. She also reached the quarterfinals at the Abierto Mexicano TELCEL, Brasil Tennis Cup and Tianjin Open. Thanks to these results she has experienced an amazing rise through the rankings, standing tall at World No. 40 after ending 2015 at No. 203.
This makes her the third Yonex player in a row to be bestowed with this great honor, with Belinda Bencic (EZONE DR 100, POLYTOUR PRO 125) winning in 2014 and Daria Gavrilova (EZONE DR 100, POLYTOUR PRO 125) winning in 2015.
The WTA Newcomer of the Year award is decided through votes submitted by members of the media and fans, with initial nominees chosen by the WTA based on players’ achievements throughout the year.
Angie Prevails in First WTA Finals Match
World No. 1 Angelique Kerber (VCORE Si 100, POLYTOUR FIRE 120) won her first match at the WTA Finals in Singapore against Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 7-6(5), 2-6, 6-3.
The German, who has cemented her place as the WTA Year-End World No. 1, was resolute at the baseline with commanding footwork in the first-set tiebreaker, with a long forehand on the part of Cibulkova putting Angie a set ahead. The second set would see the two draw even, but Angelique made a remarkable comeback in the deciding set with more great court navigation and tough defense to win the match.
“I knew that I had to play my best tennis, and I really enjoyed the match today,” said Angie during her on-court interview.
WTA Finals Tournament Results
Women’s Singles (Round Robin)
 Angelique Kerber (VCORE Si 100, POLYTOUR FIRE 120)(GER) def. Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 7-6(5), 2-6, 6-3