The year 2015 has come to an end. Every sport has had it’s share of superstars who have captured the eye of the world, and made it their year. They have been unbelievably good, breaking quite a few records on their way to unprecedented success. Domination has been almost complete and probably no one has come close to being so good. Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, Jamie Vardy, AB de Villiers, Carolina Marin, Lionel Messi, Stephen Curry and Steve Smith are a few names that belong to this category.
But as always in sport, 2015 has had it’s share of unsung performers. Their contribution to their sports and teams has been immense. Though unsung, they have played vital parts in their team’s success, in the success of a tournament, in pushing their rivals to their limits. These are the athletes that have had an equally important role in making 2015 the wonderful sporting year it has been. These are the athletes that EssentiallySports thinks deserve equal applause. These are the Unsung Performers of 2015.
After her career went tumbling down in 2011 due to persisting injuries and serious health issues, the former world number 1, Venus Williams came back in the picture in 2014, reinvigorated her A-game to revive her career in 2015. She earned the WTA Comeback of the year award and became the oldest player, at 35, to be ranked inside the top 10 for two consecutive years. Her achievements may not top those of her younger sister this year, but her resurgence to the top form is highly respectable. According to the WTA’s website, Williams was the 10th most popular player of 2015.
Venus started off the season by winning her 46th career singles title at the 2015 ASB Classic in Auckland by defeating Caroline Wozniacki in three sets. She next made it to the last eight at the Australian Open, marking the first time she got to a quarterfinal stage at a Grand Slam event after the 2010 US Open. She also made it to the quarterfinals of Miami Open.
After a brief stint at Wimbledon, Williams started off well at the Wuhan Open, defeating Agnieszka Radwańska in the first round and Julia Görges in the second round to bring about her 700th career win and becoming only the ninth woman in the Open Era to do so. She finally beat the world no. 8 Garbiñe Muguruza to seal her most important victory of the year.
She wrapped up the year by capturing the WTA Elite Trophy by beating Karolina Pliskova 7-5 7-6, taking the toll to 48 singles career titles and her year end ranking to 7.