With the 2017 season nearing its end, the ATP has released the winners for their year-end awards. 18-year-old and world no. 51 Denis Shapovalov has been voted the Most Improved Player of the Year.
— ATP World Tour (@ATPWorldTour) November 9, 2017
Shapovalov beat a handful of tough opponents for this award honour: World no. 3 and two-time Masters 1000 champion Alexander Zverev, Next Gen star Andrey Rublev and US Open semifinalist Pablo Carreno Busta.
There were many positives in the Canadian’s season that led to him receiving the award, most notably defeating Juan Martin del Potro and Rafael Nadal in Montreal en route to reaching his first Masters 1000 semifinal. Shapovalov also came out of qualifying to reach the US Open fourth round, where he upset no. 8 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets in the second round.
2017 has been a season to remember for the rising star out of Richmond Hill: A Grand Slam debut at Wimbledon, a Laver Cup nomination, leading Canada’s Davis Cup team back to World Group in 2018, and an appearance at the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan. Shapovalov has made a huge leap in the rankings, as well – from 250 in January to 51. He is the youngest man inside the Top 100.
Shapovalov is the only Canadian man to win Most Improved Player of the Year. In 2014 Eugenie Bouchard won the same award on the WTA circuit. In 2011 Milos Raonic was also named Newcomer of the Year by the ATP.