Tennis Canada announced Thursday that Milos Raonic has been named the country’s Male Player of the Year as well as Singles Player of the Year. The other 2018 Excellence Awards were given out to Denis Shapovalov as the Most Improved Player, Daniel Nestor as the Doubles Player of the Year and Félix Auger-Aliassime as the Junior Player of the Year.
After battling a series of injuries and ultimately ending his season early in 2017, Raonic had a successful comeback year in 2018. Among his achievements are reaching the final at a tournament in Stuttgart as well as the semi-finals at Indian Wells. For a third consecutive year, Raonic also reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon. Thanks to these performances throughout the year, he was able to break back into the ATP Top 20, regaining his status as the highest ranked Canadian player in singles. He finishes the season ranked no. 18. At the Davis Cup Play-Off tie against the Netherlands in September, Raonic played a key role in securing the important victory for Canada, putting on a dominant performance in both of his singles matches.
“Milos, Denis, Félix and Daniel have all had productive seasons and are very deserving candidates of these awards,” said Michael Downey, President and CEO of Tennis Canada. “Milos notched important victories and made some deep runs this year to help propel himself back into the Top 20. For his part, Denis, unlike many other players who have had stellar breakthrough years, did not fall into a sophomore slump, but rather continued his impressive progression, improving his ranking from 51 to 27. As for Félix, he continued to make a name for himself on the international scene, setting a few records of his own. Although we are sad to see Daniel retire from professional tennis, we are glad that he was able to go out on a high note at the Davis Cup in Toronto.”
Shapovalov, Nestor and Auger-Aliassime are also honoured
The young Shapovalov continued his ascent in 2018. He earns the honour of Most Improved Player after breaking into the Top 30 for the first time of his career. He finishes the year as the no. 2 Canadian, sitting 27th in the rankings. The Ontario native reached his second career ATP Masters 1000 semi-final in Madrid, become the youngest semi-finalist in tournament history. At the US Open, Shapovalov reached the third round, falling in a five set thriller against Kevin Anderson. The 19-year-old was also instrumental in Canada’s win over the Netherlands at the Davis Cup tie in September. For the first time in his young career, he came back from two sets down to defeat Robin Haase.
2018 was an important year for Nestor, as it marked his final season on the ATP World Tour. The country’s most decorated tennis player takes home the honours of Male Doubles Player of the Year for a 16th straight year. His season highlights include reaching the semi-finals in Istanbul playing alongside Jamie Cerretani and being inducted into the Canadian Tennis Hall of Fame. Nestor also competed in his 53rd and final Davis Cup tie against the Netherlands, which was won by Canada in front of Nestor’s home crowd in Toronto.
It was a fruitful season for Auger-Aliassime, who climbed over 50 spots in the rankings, finishing the year just outside the Top 100. At just 18 years old, he is the second youngest player in the Top 200. The 2018 Junior Player of the Year made his debut in the main draw of an ATP tournament in Rotterdam, qualified for his first Masters 1000 main draw in Indian Wells and qualified for his first Grand Slam main draw at the US Open. On the Challenger tour, he became the youngest player to defend his title when he won the title in Lyon for a second time. He also became only the third player in history to win at least three Challenger titles aged 18 and under.
The Tennis Canada Excellence Awards are selected by a committee comprised of high-ranked Tennis Canada personnel and the country’s top national coaches.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
|Year||Male Player of the Year||Female Player of the Year|
|1982||Réjean Genois||Marjorie Blackwood|
|1983||Glenn Michibata||Carling Bassett|
|1984||Martin Wostenholme||Carling Bassett|
|1985||Glenn Michibata||Carling Bassett|
|1986||Andrew Sznajder||Helen Kelesi|
|1987||Grant Connell||Helen Kelesi|
|1988||Andrew Sznajder||Jill Hetherington|
|1989||Andrew Sznajder||Helen Kelesi|
|1990||Grant Connell||Helen Kelesi|
|1991||Grant Connell||Patricia Hy|
|1992||Grant Connell||Patricia Hy|
|1993||Greg Rusedski||Patricia Hy|
|1994||Sebastien Lareau||Jana Nejedly|
|1995||Grant Connell||Patricia Hy-Boulais|
|1996||Sebastien Lareau||Patricia Hy-Boulais|
|1997||Daniel Nestor||Patricia Hy-Boulais|
|1998||No record of award||No record of award|
|1999||No record of award||No record of award|
|2000||Daniel Nestor & Sebastien Lareau||Sonya Jeyaseelan|
|2001||Daniel Nestor||Jana Nejedly|
|2002||Frederic Niemeyer||Maureen Drake|
|2003||Daniel Nestor||Maureen Drake|
|2004||Daniel Nestor||Aleksandra Wozniak|
|2005||Daniel Nestor||Stephanie Dubois|
|2006||Frank Dancevic||Aleksandra Wozniak|
|2007||Daniel Nestor||Stephanie Dubois|
|2008||Daniel Nestor||Aleksandra Wozniak|
|2009||Daniel Nestor||Aleksandra Wozniak|
|2010||Daniel Nestor||Rebecca Marino|
|2011||Milos Raonic||Rebecca Marino|
|2012||Milos Raonic||Aleksandra Wozniak|
|2013||Milos Raonic||Eugenie Bouchard|
|2014||Milos Raonic||Eugenie Bouchard|
|2015||Milos Raonic||Eugenie Bouchard|
|2016||Milos Raonic||Eugenie Bouchard|
|2017||Denis Shapovalov||Bianca Andreescu|
|2018||Milos Raonic||Eugenie Bouchard|
About Tennis Canada
Founded in 1890, Tennis Canada is a non-profit, national sport association with a mission to lead the growth of tennis in Canada and a vision to become a world-leading tennis nation. We value teamwork, passion, integrity, innovation and excellence. Tennis Canada owns and operates the premier Rogers Cup presented by National Bank WTA and ATP World Tour events, 9 professional ITF sanctioned events and financially supports 13 other professional tournaments in Canada. Tennis Canada operates junior national training centres/programs in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary. Tennis Canada is a proud member of the International Tennis Federation, the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Canadian Paralympic Committee and the International Wheelchair Tennis Association, and serves to administer, sponsor and select the teams for Davis Cup, Fed Cup, the Olympic and Paralympic Games and all wheelchair, junior and senior national teams. Tennis Canada invests its surplus into tennis development. For more information on Tennis Canada please visit our Web site at: www.tenniscanada.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
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