Raonic named Tennis Canada Player of the Year
December 12, 2012 · Print This Article
Toronto, December 12, 2012 – Tennis Canada announced Wednesday that Milos Raonic (Thornhill, Ont.) has been named 2012 Tennis Canada Player of the Year for the second consecutive year. Following a breakthrough season in 2011, the 21-year-old’s success continued this year as he captured two more ATP World Tour titles at the Aircel Chennai Open in India and the SAP Open in San Jose, California. He ended the season as world No. 13, the highest-ranked player in North America.
“Milos continued to show us this year that he is a player not only with immense potential and talent, but also a player with the drive and dedication to fulfill that potential,” said Michael S. Downey, president and chief executive officer, Tennis Canada. “It has been wonderful to watch Milos improve all season-long. His strong results against the very best players in the world combined with his positive, down-to-earth personality are helping raise the profile of tennis in Canada to new heights. Congratulations to Milos, and we very much look forward to seeing what he can do in 2013.”
Raonic didn’t take long to show his impressive 2011 season wasn’t a fluke, as he won the title at Chennai in the very first week of the season without dropping his serve once, defeating world No. 10 Nicolas Almagro in the semifinals and world No. 9 Janko Tipsarevic in the championship match. He went on to defend his crown at San Jose in February for his third ATP trophy. Raonic also reached two other finals at Memphis and Tokyo, where en route he eliminated world No. 3 Andy Murray in the semifinals.
In addition, he reached the round of four at Barcelona (where he also beat Murray), advanced into his first two Masters 1000 quarter-finals at Rogers Cup presented by National Bank in Toronto and Cincinnati, and matched his career-best Slam performance by making the fourth round at the US Open.
“It is a great honour to receive this recognition from Tennis Canada again this year,” said Raonic, who also was named 2012 Singles Player of the Year. “It was a great season but I’m working to continue to grow and develop as a player. All the support I’ve received this year from the Canadian fans has been incredible and I’m excited to see the growth of our sport continue in Canada.”
Daniel Nestor (Toronto) has been named Doubles Player of the Year for the twelfth consecutive year. In 2012, Nestor added to his growing legacy as one of the best doubles players in history, as the 40-year-old captured five more trophies to make him just the fourth person to hit 80 career ATP World Tour titles. In May, Nestor and partner Max Mirnyi of Belarus together rose to No. 1 on the rankings, making the Canadian the oldest player in singles or doubles to sit in the top position. They followed up their promotion by defending their 2011 French Open title, which gave Nestor his eighth career Slam and third straight on the red clay at Roland Garros. Nestor also won trophies at Brisbane, Memphis, Queen’s Club, and Basel. Nestor currently sits at world No. 5, the eighth consecutive season in which he has ended the year ranked in the Top 5.
Rounding out the male high-performance Excellence Awards, Filip Peliwo (Vancouver) is being honoured as Most Outstanding Junior Male Player and Most Improved Male Player. Peliwo absolutely dominated the international junior tennis scene in his last year as an under-18 player, putting together one of the most successful seasons in the history of junior tennis. Reaching all four junior Slam finals – becoming the first player to accomplish the feat in 28 years – Peliwo clinched the trophies at Wimbledon and the US Open. He first rose to No. 1 on the ITF junior world rankings on July 9, becoming the first Canadian to ever hit the highest pinnacle, and he will end 2012 in the top spot.
Last season, Peliwo posted only a couple strong results in big international tournaments and ended the year ranked No. 34. His 2012 success shows incredible improvement and a strong dedication on Peliwo’s part to working on his game. He also improved on the professional circuit, as his ranking rose over 300 spots from No. 864 at the end of 2011 to a high of No. 521. His best results include reaching his first ITF Pro Circuit final at a $10K Futures tournament in Mexico and advancing into the semifinals at the $35K Rimouski Challenger and $15K Winnipeg Futures.
The Tennis Canada Excellence Awards are selected by a committee comprised of high-ranking Tennis Canada personnel and the country’s top national coaches. The recipients of the female high-performance athletes will be announced on Thursday, December 13.