The award, which is voted on by the players, is given to the player who, based on his ranking move in 2011, has made the biggest impact on the ATP World Tour. Raonic began the season ranked no. 156 in the world and reached a career-high ranking of no. 25 in May. The 20-year-old Canadian beat out fellow rising stars Matthew Ebden, Ryan Harrison and Bernard Tomic for the distinguished honor.
Raonic enjoyed a breakthrough year in 2011. He reached the fourth round of the Australian Open in January before capturing his first ATP singles title in San Jose and reaching the final in Memphis the following week during the American indoor hard court season in March. Despite missing significant time this summer because of a hip injury and subsequent surgery, Raonic still reached two more semifinals and one quarter-final in his first full season on Tour. With his no. 25 ranking in singles, he also became the highest ranked Canadian man in tennis history.
Past winners of the ATP’s Newcomer of the Year award include Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Rafael Nadal, Andy Roddick, Patrick Rafter and John McEnroe. Germany’s Tobias Kamke won the award in 2010.