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Denis Shapovalov named 2017 Tennis Canada Male Player of the Year

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Tennis Canada announced Monday that Denis Shapovalov has been named the country’s male player of the year following a superb breakout season that saw him finish as the youngest player in the Top 100 world rankings at No. 51. The 18-year-old has also been named most improved male player of the year and male singles player of the year, while Daniel Nestor is male doubles player of the year and Felix Auger-Aliassime is male junior player of the year.

A two-time former junior player of the year, Shapovalov started 2017 ranked world No. 250 and progressed through the season from the ITF Pro Circuit level to ATP Challengers to the ATP World Tour, peaking as high as world No. 49 and finishing at No. 51. He is one of the sport’s brightest young stars, becoming a household name with his incredible run to the semifinals on home soil at Rogers Cup presented by National Bank in Montreal.

“In a year full of surprises it’s somewhat fitting that my 2017 season concludes with another,” said Shapovalov. “I’m truly humbled to be recognized as Tennis Canada’s Male Player of the Year and to be given the opportunity to represent my country on the ATP Tour and as a member of our Davis Cup team. While much of the focus has been on my individual results, none of this would have been possible without the love and support of my family, coaches, management, and Canadian tennis fans.”

Nestor and Auger-Aliassime claim honours as well

For the 15th time in his storied career, Canadian tennis legend Nestor has been named male doubles player of the year. Nestor, who has said he will retire in 2018, is currently ranked world No. 56. This season the 45-year-old made his 151st career ATP World Tour final, falling in the Montpellier championship match alongside Fabrice Martin. He also reached four other semifinals at Brisbane, Miami, Umag, and Tokyo. In Davis Cup, Nestor competed in his 50th and 51st ties, securing a key victory in Canada’s World Group play-off versus India with Vasek Pospisil.

Seventeen-year-old Auger-Aliassime is the male junior player of the year for the second consecutive season after sharing the honours with Shapovalov in 2016. Auger-Aliassime made his way on the pro circuit this year. He claimed his second career ITF Pro Circuit crown in Sherbrooke in March before winning the Lyon Challenger in France in June. With that victory at the age of 16 years and 10 months, he became the seventh-youngest player to win an ATP Challenger. He would add a second Challenger title in Seville, Spain in September, a triumph which made him the youngest player to debut in the Top 200 world rankings since Nadal in 2002. He is currently ranked world No. 162.

“Denis truly captured the hearts of Canadian sports fans this year, and it has been a joy to watch him grow into a budding star,” said Michael Downey, president and CEO, Tennis Canada. “He has the spirit, desire, and work ethic to be among the elite athletes in our sport and we look forward to seeing what’s next for him. It is also an honour to recognize Daniel and Felix for their great efforts and results; our winners this year represent both the longstanding pillar of Canadian tennis in Daniel and a bright future with Denis and Felix. Congratulations to all on your well-deserved success and best of luck next season.”