Home   News   Tennis Canada Fan Gala 2018: The winners are…

Tennis Canada Fan Gala 2018: The winners are…

Dec 22, 2018
written by: Tennis Canada
written by: Tennis Canada

Over the past few days, Tennis Canada asked you to vote for your favourite moments of the year and now it’s time to reveal YOUR choices!

1. Match of the Year: Denis Shapovalov vs. Kevin Anderson — US Open R3

It was close to call between this match and the Eugenie Bouchard vs. Lesia Tsurenko Fed Cup encounter, but this five-set thriller took the honours in the Match of the Year category.

The first meeting between the 19-year-old Canadian and the South African certainly did not disappoint with Anderson coming away with a thrilling five-set victory after 3 hours, 42 minutes of play in front of a packed Louis Armstrong stadium. Despite the loss, Shapovalov still managed to wow the crowd on multiple occasions!

The respect that these two have for each other became apparent after the match. “I want to take the time to say that one thing that I really appreciated from him. In the first set when he had a little bit of a slip, he wanted to call the trainer. Instead of doing it before I was serving at 5-4 to take the medical, he waited until the set break,” said Shapovalov after the match.

“Not a lot of players would do that. It’s really great to see that from fellow athletes.”

Anderson responded in kind later on Twitter:

One thing is for sure — we wouldn’t mind a few more Anderson-Shapovalov clashes in 2019!

2. Rivalry of the Year: Milos Raonic & Denis Shapovalov

The year 2018 featured the first career meetings between Canada’s top two ATP Tour stars. #ClashofCanadians

In Madrid, at the end of a highly anticipated third-round contest that definitely lived up to its billing, Denis claimed a straight-sets win over Raonic on clay, which would ultimately be the elder Canadian’s final match on the surface before returning for the grass season following an injury break.

The 6-4, 6-4 encounter was played tighter and at a higher quality than the scoreline might suggest, with Shapovalov firing on all cylinders as Raonic fought hard to keep up with the 19-year-old’s explosive style.

But Milos wasn’t about to let Denis have the last laugh of the season. In Cincinnati, he went all out and overpowered Shapovalov in the third round, claiming the match by a tight 7-6(6), 6-4 decision.

Still, our Canadian heroes have also managed to develop a formidable alliance. They battled together as Team Canada teammates at Davis Cup in September and paired up for doubles in Brisbane at the start of the season.

Denis and Milos or Denis versus Milos? Either way, we’re here for it and hope to see much more of these two sharing a court in the future.

3. Most Touching Moment of the Year: The incredible camaraderie between Félix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov at the U.S. Open

Who can forget that very special moment at Flushing Meadows in September?

Playing in his first Grand Slam main draw, Félix’s first opponent was none other than his good friend and compatriot Denis Shapovalov in a much-anticipated encounter.

After splitting the first two sets, Félix trailed 0-2 in the third set when suddenly something didn’t feel right physically. In the scorching New York humidity, his heart rate was rising too fast, which was big cause for concern.

Denis encouraged Félix to continue, but after consulting with his team and family, he decided to retire from the match. Seeing his friend visibly upset, Denis consoled Félix, an incredibly touching moment that had the entire tennis world talking.

Here it is again in case you missed it :

“When we were at the net, I told him that we’ll be back here and we’ll be playing each other in the final,” a classy Denis said after the match.

A moment we won’t soon forget! And we sure hope that Denis’ prediction comes true.

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🐺🦁 #GetWellSoonBro❤

A post shared by Denis Shapovalov (@denis.shapovalov) on

4. Funniest Moment of the Year: Denis “Shapovalov” mispronounced in Brisbane

It’s no secret that people have been mispronouncing Denis’ last name for a long time, but this in-house announcer’s attempt in Brisbane this year definitely takes the cake…

At least Denis himself found it pretty funny!

And in case you’re still unsure of the correct pronunciation, let Denis help you :

5. Most Inspiring Moment of the Year: The return of Rebecca Marino

Following a five year hiatus, Rebecca Marino made an impressive and inspirational return to tennis in 2018. She started the year without a ranking after achieving a career-high of No. 38 in 2011. But that certainly didn’t phase her.
In fact, she won the first three tournaments she played in her comeback!

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🏆3 in a row! #dejavu

A post shared by Rebecca Marino (@beccamarino) on

She also took home top honours in Winnipeg and again in Lubbock.
Her five titles were the most for any Canadian player in 2018. Quite an accomplishment!

Rebecca also posted the first WTA victory in her return during qualifying at Rogers Cup in Montreal, defeating the no. 66 player in the world.

A few weeks later in Quebec City, she won two main draw matches to reach the first WTA quarter-final of her comeback.
In addition to her performances on the court, Rebecca also took the time to educate young girls about depression and cyberbullying.

Congrats, Rebecca!

So, did your picks win? We hope you’ll be with us in 2019 for more memorable moments like these ones. And don’t worry… the new season is only a few weeks away!