Eugenie Bouchard named Canadian Player of the Year for the fifth time

Tennis - Gabriela Dabrowski, Rebecca Marino and Leylah Annie Fernandez claimed others 2018 Excellence Awards

by Jovica Ilic
Eugenie Bouchard named Canadian Player of the Year for the fifth time

The 24-year-old Eugenie Bouchard had been one of the players to watch in the years to come when she stunned the tennis world in 2014, becoming world number 5 after reaching the semi-final at the Australian Open and Roland Garros and playing in the title match at Wimbledon at the age of 20 after thrilling wins over Angelique Kerber and Simona Halep. Bouchard had a chance to compete at the WTA Finals and we all expected more good results from her in 2015, which never happened despite a good start of the year.

Following another deep run in Melbourne, Eugenie lost the ground and she lost early at Roland Garros and Wimbledon to lose her ranking position and struggling to return to the top ever since. With no WTA finals or too many big wins in the last two years, Bouchard had to drop out from the top-100 in January for the first time since April 2013 and she returned into the elite group only after the last tournament of the year in Luxembourg where she played in the semis, just the second of the season.

Eugenie is the highest-ranked Canadian player in the year-end rankings despite barely staying in the top-200 in June and that secured Tennis Canada Female Player of the Year and Singles Player of the Year awards. Thus, she has been named Female Player of the Year for the fifth time in the last six years, leaving the remaining two players in the top-200 of the WTA list (Bianca Andreescu and Rebecca Marino) behind her. The other winners of the 2018 Excellence Awards are Gabriela Dabrowski who is a Doubles Player of the Year and Rebecca Marino who is the Most Improved Player.

In addition, Leylah Annie Fernandez is the Junior Player of the Year. Dabrowski is currently ranked 10th on the WTA doubles list after winning titles in Sydney and Eastbourne, together with a mixed doubles title in Melbourne with Mate Pavic and the final at Roland Garros.

After being absent for five years, Rebecca Marino made a stellar comeback, competing for the first time since February 2013 and winning five ITF crowns to crack the top-200 for the first time since May 2012! The 16-year-old Leylah Annie Fernandez is currently ranked 14th on the ITF junior list, winning one title in 2018 and reaching the semi-final at Roland Garros and quarters at the US Open.

“We extend our congratulations to Eugenie, Gabriela, Rebecca and Leylah Annie for their achievements throughout this season,” stated Michael Downey, President and CEO of Tennis Canada. “Eugenie deserves the honor of Player of the Year after working hard to regain her spot in the Top 100.

Her end of the season gives us much optimism for 2019. Gabriela affirmed herself as one of the best doubles players in the world; Rebecca’s courage, perseverance and determination allowed her to experience a successful comeback; while Leylah Annie has captured the attention of Canadians thanks to her results, not only at the junior level but also on the professional circuit.

This has been a crucial year for our athletes and we look forward to following their future successes.”

Eugenie Bouchard Gabriela Dabrowski Rebecca Marino