Tennis Canada Awards Top Players For Excellence

Written by: on 7th April 2011
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Tennis Canada Awards Top Players For Excellence  |

Tennis Canada announced Wednesday the recipients of the 2010 Excellence Awards for high performance professional athletes. These awards, which were introduced in 1982, are presented annually to the country’s top tennis players, coaches, officials, communities and administrators in recognition of outstanding contributions made to Canadian tennis.

Daniel Nestor and Rebecca Marino received their 2010 Excellence Awards for Male and Female Player of the Year respectively in December 2010.

Marino received two additional Excellence Awards as she was the recipient of the Singles Player of the Year and Most Improved Female awards. Marino had the best singles season of her young career as she captured three consecutive ITF $50,000 tournaments and reached the second round at the US Open as a qualifier before falling to Venus Williams. Marino was a quarter-finalist at the Bell Challenge, a WTA event in Quebec City, and a finalist at the $50,000 Torhout Challenger. She also advanced to the semifinal round at two additional $50,000 Challengers at Lexington and the Tevlin Challenger in Toronto.

The Singles Player of the Year and Most Improved Male awards went to Thornhill, Ontario native, Milos Raonic. He had a breakthrough 2010 season as he moved his ranking from No. 371 at the beginning of 2010 to No. 156 at year-end. He qualified and reached the second round at the Tokyo 500 level ATP World Tour event falling to world No. 1 Rafael Nadal and reached his first Tour quarter-finals at Kuala Lumpur. His biggest results of the year included qualifying for his first Grand Slam at the US Open and defeating Nadal and Novak Djokovic in doubles at Rogers Cup presented by National Bank in Toronto with fellow Canadian Vasek Pospisil. He was a finalist at the Granby Challenger in Canada and a quarter-finalist at the Winnetka Challenger in the United States. The young Canadian also captured the Korea F2 and F4 Futures events. Raonic competed in his second Davis Cup tie for Canada against the Dominican Republic, winning his first five-set singles match.

The Male Doubles Player of the Year went to Nestor for his continued success in doubles play. Nestor captured the Barclays ATP World Tour Doubles Finals in London with partner Nenad Zimonjic as well as the French Open doubles title. Nestor and Zimonjic had a booming clay court season as they were champions at the Monte Carlo Masters 1000 event and finalists at another Masters 1000 tournament in Madrid. The tandem was in the finals at Indian Wells and the Australian Open. Nestor and Zimonjic captured four more doubles titles at Sydney, Rotterdam, Barcelona and Vienna. In Davis Cup action, Nestor went 2-0 which gave him a total of 27 Davis Cup doubles wins, a Canadian record.

On the women’s side, Canada’s top-ranked doubles player Marie-Eve Pelletier netted the 2010 Doubles Player of the Year award. Pelletier reached the semifinals at three WTA tournaments; Bogota with Mariya Koryttseva, Monterrey with Julie Coin and Charleston with Ekaterina Makarova. She captured the $25,000 Bayamon Challenger doubles title with Maria Alves in Puerto Rico and then advanced to the semifinals at the $50,000 Tevlin Challenger in Toronto with Andreja Klepac and the $75,000 Toyota Challenger with Kathrin Woerle. She achieved a career-high doubles ranking of No. 54.

The recipient of the Outstanding Junior Male award is Filip Peliwo of Vancouver for his continued success both nationally and internationally. Peliwo captured the Pan American Closed ITF Championships and was a member of the Canadian Junior Davis Cup team which finished as runners-up in the finals. He won the Canadian U18 ITF Junior World Ranking Event and was a quarter-finalist at the Plantation ITF tournament. In doubles action, Peliwo reached the semifinals at the 33rd International Casablanca Junior Cup with Marco Aurei Nunez and the U18 Canadian World Ranking Event with Robert Livi. He captured the Canadian U18 ITF Junior World Ranking doubles title with Roman Trkulja and the Plantation ITF tournament with David Vieyra. He was also the singles champion at the U16 Rogers Junior Indoor Nationals and the doubles champion with Edward Nguyen at the U18 indoor nationals.

Westmount, Quebec’s Eugenie Bouchard is the recipient of the Outstanding Junior Female award for her ongoing success during the 2010 season. Bouchard reached the semifinals at the $25,000 Waterloo Challenger and was a quarter-finalist at the $25,000 Osprey Challenger. She reached the semifinals at the 33rd International Casablanca Junior Cup and the quarter-finals at the XXIV Yucatan World Cup. Bouchard advanced to the round of 16 at the US Open Junior Championships and the Canadian Open Junior Championships. She also captured the Uruguay Bowl singles title. In doubles action, Bouchard was a semifinalist at the Eddie Herr International Junior Tennis Championship with Ellen Allgurin and a finalist at the Canadian Open Junior Championships with Gabriela Dabrowski. She advanced to the semifinals at the $75,000 Vancouver Challenger with Elisabeth Abanda and was a finalist at the 33rd International Casablanca Junior Cup with Miyu Kato. Bouchard captured the Uruguay Bowl doubles title with Ulrikke Eikeri and the Loy Yang Traralgon International doubles title with Luksika Kumkhum. She was also a semifinalist at the Australian Open Junior doubles tournament with Kumkhum.

White Rock, British Columbia native Sarah Hunter was awarded Wheelchair Tennis Athlete of the Year for her numerous achievements in 2010. Hunter claimed her ninth national singles title and her fifth consecutive national doubles title. She won the ITF Swiss Open defeating World No.1 David Wagner in the final. Hunter was a finalist at three tournaments, including the Super Series Japan Open, ITF 1 Cajun Classic and ITF 1 Korean Open. She was a semifinalist at the Super Series British Open, Super Series French Open, ITF 1 Pensacola Open and ITF 1 Atlanta Open. In doubles action, Hunter captured the ITF Swiss Open and the ITF 1 Korean Open. She was a finalist at four events; Super Series Japan Open, Super Series British Open, Super Series French Open and ITF Pensacola Open. Hunter’s quad team placed 5th at the World Team Cup and Hunter had a win over world No. 3 Johan Andersson.

Philippe Bedard of Montreal is the recipient of the Most Improved Wheelchair Tennis Athlete as he competed in 10 ITF sanctioned tournaments in 2010. He won three ITF Futures singles events at the OAC Capital Classic, Puerto Rico Open and the Les Internationaux Savaria. Bedard was the finalist at the Sacramento Capitals ITF Futures in singles. In doubles, he was a finalist at the Stanley Park Open and the Texas Open Championships with fellow Canadian Joel Dembe. He reached the semifinals at the Pocomo Wheelchair Tennis Classic in singles play and was a doubles semifinalist at the Internationaux Savaria with Maxime Beliveau. Bedard also finished in the No. 4 spot at the 2010 Birmingham Nationals. “The high performance department took a big step forward in 2010 with several athletes breaking through at the highest level of the sport,” said Hatem McDadi, vice-president, tennis development, Tennis Canada. “Tennis Canada is thrilled to recognize the 2010 professionals, juniors and wheelchair athletes on their Excellence Awards and congratulates them on their accomplishments. The future of high performance tennis in Canada looks extremely bright and exciting with emerging talent and stars.”

The Tennis Canada Excellence Awards for high performance athletes are selected by a committee comprised of high-ranking Tennis Canada personnel and the country’s top national coaches.





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