There were some great contenders for the title of Rivalry of the Year, including Shapovalov and Auger-Aliassime and Auger-Aliassime and Tsitsipas, but Canadian tennis fans chose Bianca Andreescu and Angelique Kerber.
We totally understand why, since the nascent antagonism between them has already made plenty of sparks fly!
Bianca first faced down the World No.8 in the final in Indian Wells.
Exhausted and injured, the Canadian started lagging behind but was able to claw her way back and claim her very first WTA crown in three sets (6-4, 3-6, 6-4).
A week later, the main draw in Miami pitted Bianca against Angelique in round 2.
When our superstar got the upper hand once again, Kerber had nothing nice to say about it.
❄️ "Biggest drama queen ever" ❄️
— DAZN Canada (@DAZN_CA) March 24, 2019
And just like that, a new WTA rivalry was born!
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— Tennis Canada (@TennisCanada) December 10, 2019
As far as this year’s inspiring stories, it was a landslide vote for Vasek Pospisil!
Sidelined by back surgery from November 2018 through July 2019, Vasek made a solid return, to say the least!
Just a month after coming back to the courts, he reached the second round of the US Open with a win over World No.9 Karen Khachanov and then emerged from the qualifying rounds of the Shanghai Masters 1000 to dash all the way to the round of 16.
The following week, he hoisted the winner’s trophy at the Las Vegas Tennis Open Challenger—his first title since February 2018—and repeated at his next event in Charlottesville.
Wrapping up the year in style, Vasek was brilliant at the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid with his wins in singles over three members of the Top 50 including Fabio Fognini (12) and two triumphs in doubles that helped send Canada to the final showdown.
— Vasek Pospisil (@VasekPospisil) November 23, 2019
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— Tennis Canada (@TennisCanada) December 12, 2019
Bianca calling out Drake came this close to winning the Funniest Moment of the Year category, but, in the end, she was edged out by Denis Shapovalov and his surprising post-match rap!
When asked how he felt about his musical performance, which was actually something his coach had challenged him to do, Shapovalov said: “I think I was more nervous about the rap than the match, man!”
We were totally unaware of Denis’ inner hip-hop artist. We want more in 2020!
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— Tennis Canada (@TennisCanada) December 14, 2019
It’s not every day that fans get to see a winner console the runner-up.
At Rogers Cup in Toronto, it was the historic clash we were all looking forward to. Fan-favourite Bianca Andreescu was set to collide with the mighty Serena Williams.
You’ve probably already heard the story but it still bears repeating. Down 1-3 in the opening set, the tennis icon was forced to retire due to injury.
Before celebrating her new WTA title, Bianca walked over to console her rival in tears and express all her admiration.
“I watched you your whole career. You’re a f–king beast.”
Serena Williams had to retire from the Rogers Cup with an injury, and her opponent Bianca Andreescu came over to comfort her. Respect 🙏
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 11, 2019
We love Bianca’s big heart!
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— Tennis Canada (@TennisCanada) December 16, 2019
And a big honourable mention goes out to Shapo’s tribute to former coach and mentor Bruno Agostinelli, who lost his life in a motorcycle accident years prior to that day in March. Pointing his finger to the sky after securing victory in the second round at the BNP Paribas Open, Denis’ touching moment spoke for all Canadian players who were lucky enough to have crossed paths with Bruno.
The competition for the title of Match of the Year was fierce but Bianca vs Serena and Canada’s first Grand Slam were tough to top.
In her very first main draw at the US Open, Canada’s tennis darling was FIRE.
Bianca kicked off a winning streak, crushing Wozniacki (19), Mertens (25) and Bencic (13), and played her way to her first Grand Slam final. There, she collided with none other than Serena Williams for the second time in a month.
The match had us on the edge of our seats hoping the competition wouldn’t fizzle out like it had in Toronto.
Relying on her powerful forehand and capitalizing on Serena’s shaky game, Bianca quickly claimed the first set and got up 5-1 in the second.
Serena thrilled fans as she fought her way to 5-5, but our hero seized her chance on her third championship point to become Canada’s first Grand Slam titleholder.
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— Tennis Canada (@TennisCanada) December 18, 2019
Did your favourites find their way to the winners’ circle? We know 2020 has some fantastic tennis in store, so be patient and stay tuned. The new season kicks off in just a few short weeks!