Serena Williams

World number one Serena Williams (Pic. left, Reuters) has been named the women's tour's 2002 Player of the Year.

In what was a mere formality, Serena was presented with the award during an on-court ceremony at the NASDAQ-100 Open in Miami.

Slovak Daniela Hantuchova scooped the Most Improved Player award. Serena — younger sister of 2000 winner and current world No. 2 Venus — won the Player of the Year award after a dazzling 2002 in which she won a tour-high eight titles, including three straight Grand Slam crowns (French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open), and rose to number one in the world rankings. Her record for the season was 56-5 — 17-2 against top-10 opponents.

Hantuchova won the Most Improved Player award after starting the year ranked 38th and rocketing to eighth in the world. She won the prestigious Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, reached the Wimbledon and U.S. Open quarter-finals and led her country to its first-ever Fed Cup title. The WTA Tour's annual awards are voted on by players and the media.