Serena named WTA Player of the Year

Serena Williams has been selected as the WTA Player of the Year.

Williams captured the Wimbledon crown and the U.S. Open championship, as well as Olympic gold, in a 2012 campaign that featured seven overall titles. She had a dominant final seven months of the season, posting a 48-2 match record from April through October.

The American star claimed the season-ending Player of the Year award for the fourth time. She previously won it in 2002, 2008 and 2009. Only eight-time winner Steffi Graf and seven-time winner Martina Navratilova have been honored more in the 36-year history of the award.

Williams had a somewhat slow start to the year, losing in the fourth round of the Australian Open and going without a title until the clay season started in April. She won in Charleston and Madrid before an injury forced her out of the Rome semifinals. A first-round flameout followed at the French Open.

The setback to French veteran Virginie Razzano was the first time Williams had ever lost in the opening round of a Grand Slam event. She would lose just once more the remainder of the year.

Williams earned her fifth Wimbledon title in July and cruised through her next event in Stanford before running over the competition at the London Olympics. She did not lose a set in her gold-medal run and dropped a combined eight games over her final four matches, including a 6-0, 6-1 rout of Maria Sharapova in the final.

After a quarterfinal loss in Cincinnati, Williams again dominated en route to her fourth U.S. Open championship. She did not drop a set until the final at Flushing Meadows, when she needed to go three sets to top Victoria Azarenka.

It was more of the same at the season-ending WTA Championships. when she again didn't drop a set in her five matches at Istanbul.

The Player of the Year award was voted for by the international tennis media.