Milos Raonic Named 2011 Tennis Canada Most Outstanding Male Player

Tennis Canada
Tennis Canada
Nestor receives honours for Male Doubles Player of the Year

Tennis Canada announced Thursday that Milos Raonic (Thornhill, Ontario) has been named 2011 Most Outstanding Male Player. The 20-year-old enjoyed a breakthrough season on the ATP World Tour, capturing his first title at the SAP Open in San Jose in February and reaching a career-high of No. 25 on the rankings on May 2. He became Canada’s highest-ever ranked male singles player in February after reaching No. 37, besting Greg Rusedski’s former record of No. 41. 

“Milos had the greatest year on record for a Canadian male singles player,” said Michael S. Downey, president and chief executive officer, Tennis Canada. “He captured the attention of both Canadian and international fans with his dominant play, competitive spirit and humble demeanour. There is no limit to what he can achieve and we look forward to seeing what he has in store for us in 2012. We could not have picked a more deserving recipient of this year’s top award.” 

In addition, Raonic was also named Male Singles Player of the Year and Most Improved Male Player for the second consecutive year. After rising more than 200 spots in the rankings in 2010, he continued to climb in 2011, starting the year at No. 156 and finishing at No. 31. Before this season, Raonic had only played in three ATP World Tour main draws. 

“I’m honoured to receive this recognition from Tennis Canada,” said Raonic. “I worked hard to achieve the things I did this year but I know there is much more I can accomplish as my career progresses. My goal is to continue to grow and get better and hopefully be a role model to those back home following me. I’m hoping that some of my success will inspire young kids in Canada to pick up a racquet and get involved in the sport.” 

Raonic began his season by surprising the tennis world with an impressive fourth-round performance at the Australian Open. Ranked No. 152 in the world, the qualifier eliminated two Top 25 players, Michael Llodra and Mikhail Youzhny, en route the round of 16. He then became the first Canadian since 1995 to win an ATP World Tour singles title, as he defeated world No. 9 Fernando Verdasco in the SAP Open final in San Jose. The very next week, Raonic also advanced to the final at Memphis. 

He reached two other semifinals, at Estoril and Stockholm, as well as the quarter-finals of Halle. He capped off his incredible year by receiving the ATP World Tour Newcomer of the Year award, as voted by his fellow players, in an on-court ceremony at the year-end championships in London, England. 

Rounding out the male high-performance Excellence Awards, Daniel Nestor (Toronto) has been named Doubles Player of the Year for the eleventh consecutive year. A stalwart at the top of the ATP World Tour doubles rankings, Nestor began 2011 with a new partner, Max Mirnyi of Belarus. He captured his seventh Grand Slam at the French Open, winning his 800th match en route, and also lifted a second consecutive and fourth overall Barclays ATP World Tour Finals championship – his 75th career title. The duo also won titles at the Shanghai Masters and Memphis. Nestor currently sits at world No. 3, the seventh consecutive season in which he has ended the year ranked in the Top 5. 

Both Raonic and Nestor were also important members of the 2011 Miele Canadian Davis Cup squad that advanced to the World Group for the first time since 2004. In the country’s Americas Zone Group I first-round tie against Mexico in March, Raonic won all three of his matches to lead Canada to victory. Nestor also captured both of the doubles rubbers in which he played, winning with Vasek Pospisil in Ecuador to keep Canada alive in the tie and again with Pospisil in Israel to give his team a 2-1 lead. 

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 remaining awards for junior, wheelchair and senior players will be 
announced in the New Year. 

TENNIS CANADA EXCELLENCE AWARD PLAYER OF THE YEAR HONOURS

Year  Male Player of the Year       Female Player of the Year 
1982 Rejean Genois (Laval, QC) Marjorie Blackwood (Whistler, BC) 
1983 Glenn Michibata (Toronto, ON) Carling Bassett (Toronto, ON) 
1984 Martin Wostenholme (Toronto, ON) Carling Bassett (Toronto, ON) 
1985 Glenn Michibata (Toronto, ON) Carling Bassett (Toronto, ON) 
1986 Andrew Sznajder (Toronto, ON) Helen Kelesi (Toronto, ON) 
1987 Grant Connell (Vancouver, BC) Helen Kelesi (Toronto, ON) 
1988 Andrew Sznajder (Toronto, ON) Jill Hetherington (Brampton, ON) 
1989 Andrew Sznajder (Toronto, ON) Helen Kelesi (Toronto, ON) 
1990 Grant Connell (Vancouver, BC) Helen Kelesi (Toronto, ON) 
1991 Grant Connell (Vancouver, BC) Patricia Hy (Montreal, QC) 
1992 Grant Connell (Vancouver, BC) Patricia Hy (Montreal, QC) 
1993 Greg Rusedski (Montreal, QC) Patricia Hy (Montreal, QC) 
1994 Sebastien Lareau (Montreal, QC) Jana Nejedly (Vancouver, BC) 
1995 Grant Connell (Vancouver, BC) Patricia Hy-Boulais (Montreal, QC) 
1996 Sebastien Lareau (Montreal, QC) Patricia Hy-Boulais (Montreal, QC) 
1997 Daniel Nestor (Toronto, ON) Patricia Hy- Boulais (Montreal, QC) 
1998 No record of award 
1999 No record of award 
2000 Daniel Nestor & Sebastien Lareau Sonya Jeyaseelan (New Westminster, BC) 
2001 Daniel Nestor (Toronto) Jana Nejedly (Vancouver, BC) 
2002 Frederic Niemeyer (Sherbrooke, QC) Maureen Drake (Toronto, ON) 
2003 Daniel Nestor (Toronto, ON) Maureen Drake (Toronto, ON) 
2004 Daniel Nestor (Toronto, ON) Aleksandra Wozniak (Blainville, QC) 
2005 Daniel Nestor (Toronto, ON) Stephanie Dubois (Laval, QC) 
2006 Frank Dancevic (Niagara Falls, ON) Aleksandra Wozniak (Blainville, QC) 
2007 Daniel Nestor (Toronto, ON) Stephanie Dubois (Laval, QC) 
2008 Daniel Nestor (Toronto, ON) Aleksandra Wozniak (Blainville, QC) 
2009 Daniel Nestor (Toronto, ON) Aleksandra Wozniak (Blainville, QC) 
2010 
2011 Daniel Nestor (Toronto, ON) 
Milos Raonic (Thornhill, ON) Rebecca Marino (Vancouver, BC) 
Rebecca Marino (Vancouver, BC)

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