After an incredible season with Bianca Andreescu, her coach Sylvain Bruneau earned the Jack Donohue Coach of the Year Award, honored at the 2019 Petro-Canada Sports Leadership Awards Gala. Bruneau began his coaching career already as a student at the age of 18, having a chance to travel with Tennis Canada five years later and carving his way towards the National Head Coach for the women's program.
Over the years, Sylvain had the opportunity to work with the most prominent Canadian youngsters, passing his knowledge and experience onto them and getting a chance to guide Bianca Andreescu towards the very top of the WTA world.
Bianca and Sylvain started to work together in March 2018 and Bruneau knew how to draw the most from a super talented youngster, kicking off the 2019 season from just outside the top-150 and making stellar progress that made Andreescu one of the players to beat at such a young age.
As we all know, Bianca claimed the title at Indian Wells to present her abilities to the entire tennis world, suffering a shoulder injury in Miami that sidelined her for four months, returning at home in Toronto where she won the crown at home to send a clear message ahead of the US Open.
In New York, Bianca was at her best again, standing strong against more experienced rivals to lift the trophy and write history as the first teenager with a Major crown since 2006. By the end of the season, Andreescu competed at only a few events, securing the place at the WTA Finals where she had to retire against Karolina Pliskova due to a left knee injury, working hard on a comeback and hoping to be ready for the beginning of 2020.
"I am honored to receive this award," said Bruneau. "I think that it is part of a coach's job to get their athletes to channel their drive and their emotions to achieve higher performance levels. I consider myself privileged to have been able to help them push their limits and eventually reach levels they perhaps thought unreachable.
Although tennis is an individual sport, it takes a team to form a champion. I would especially like to thank my fellow coaches and Tennis Canada for their continued support." "I am so proud of him," said Bianca Andreescu.
"I must admit that I am not at all surprised that he has won this award and it is certainly the first of many. I am very grateful to be able to count on him and have him as part of my team."