At the end of last year, we previewed six storylines for Canadian tennis in 2016 – things we thought would be exciting to follow and cheer for throughout the season. And with the 2016 tennis calendar now officially complete, it’s the right time to look back on those storylines and see just what really happened!
After a disappointing 2015 campaign, we looked for Genie to make a comeback in 2016. And while she didn’t get back to the same level as she was while making Slam finals two years ago, there were some positives, including making two finals at the start of the season. Overall, she finished two spots higher than at the start of the season at world No. 46.
We thought it might be hard for Canada’s best juniors to top their incredible 2015 years, but knew they would be working hard to do just that. And boy, did they ever! The list of accomplishments this season is long indeed, and includes:
Canada’s top under-18 players certainly took the next step this year, and announced their presence to the tennis world in a big way. We can’t wait till 2017!
After ending last year at world No. 14, we knew that Raonic belonged in the Top 10 and wanted to see how he would get back there in 2016. Well, not only is he Top 10 again but he is now the No. 3 player in the world! First, he hit world No. 10 again back in May and just climbed from there to his new career-high pinnacle. And after his best season yet, which included making his first Slam final at Wimbledon, he certainly earned it.
Canada was oh so close to winning its second ever Olympic tennis medal! Represented by Vasek Pospisil in men’s singles, Eugenie Bouchard in women’s singles, Daniel Nestor and Pospisil in men’s doubles, and Gabriela Dabrowski and Bouchard in women’s doubles, the team did us proud. Nestor (in his sixth Olympic Games!) and Pospisil went the deepest, losing a heartbreaker of a semifinal to Spaniards Rafael Nadal and Marc Lopez before finishing in fourth place. At the Paralympics, Philippe Bedard proudly represented Canada as he accomplished his goal of making his second Games.
Daniel Nestor continued to deliver in 2016. Winning three titles throughout the year, the ageless (he’s actually 44!) Nestor has now won 91 ATP World Tour titles in his career, and at least one per year for 23 straight years. And he doesn’t done yet, so stay tuned in 2017.
Canada played four Davis and Fed Cup ties in 2016, with mixed results. In Davis Cup, an undermanned Canadian squad lost to France in the first round, at a tie played on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. Bouncing back though, Vasek Pospisil led the team to a 5-0 sweep against Chile in the World Group play-offs to maintain their spot in the upper echelon of the competition. And though there were some highlights during Canada’s two Fed Cup ties, the team unfortunately lost both and dropped down a level to Americas Zone Group I for 2017.