Congrats to Bianca Andreescu, 2017 Tennis Canada Female Player of the Year
Toronto, December 5, 2017 – Tennis Canada announced Tuesday that Bianca Andreescu has been named the 2017 Tennis Canada Female Player of the Year, in addition to receiving the singles player and junior player of the year honours. Rounding out the female high performance awards is Gabriela Dabrowski with the female doubles player recognition for the fifth straight year and Carol Zhao as most improved player.
Andreescu transitioned from the junior circuit this year to become one of the top up-and-coming players of the women’s tour. She captured two Slam titles at the Junior Australian Open and Junior French Open, winning the girls’ doubles trophies alongside fellow Canadian Carson Branstine. Andreescu also made her maiden Fed Cup appearance for Canada. First, she posted a 6-0 record in Americas Group I zonal action en route to receiving the Fed Cup Heart Award. In April, she earned the clinching win over world No. 51 Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan to send Canada to World Group II for 2018.
The 17-year-old was named WTA Breakthrough of the Month for July following her WTA main draw debut in Washington. There, she became the first player born in the 2000s to oust a Top 20 player, beating then-world No. 13 Kristina Mladenovic en route to the quarter-finals. She also made her Grand Slam debut at Wimbledon in July, won two $25,000 Challenger titles on the ITF Pro Circuit, and reached her first WTA doubles final at Quebec City with Branstine. She debuted in the Top 150 rankings at a high of No. 143 in August and is currently sitting at No. 189.
“I want to thank Tennis Canada for these amazing honours,” said Andreescu. “By its very nature winning all three of these awards this year tells you this was a transitional year for me. Honestly, the learning curve was intense and steep. However, when I look back at my two Grand Slam championships with Carson and qualifying for Wimbledon, my first WTA quarter-final, my first Rogers Cup main draw, an amazing Fed Cup victory on the WTA circuit and several ITF accomplishments, I am very pleased with the year overall. I want to thank my team of coaches and trainers for their support and hard work throughout the year. Without them this would not be possible.”
Dabrowski and Zhao recognized for their seasons as well
At world No. 18, Dabrowski is Canada’s highest-ranked doubles player and one of the premier players on the WTA tour. She made history by becoming the first Canadian woman to win a Grand Slam in June when she captured the Roland Garros mixed doubles championship alongside India’s Rohan Bopanna. She won the biggest WTA title of her career at Miami in March and later added another trophy at New Haven to bring her grand total to five. Her best year on the circuit so far was capped off by qualifying for the season-ending WTA Finals with Xu Yifan as one of the Top 8 pairs of the year.
After starting the 2017 season at world No. 491, Zhao improved over 300 spots this year and currently sits at No. 147. She took home the biggest title of her career last month at the $100,000 Shenzhen Challenger in China. She also won her first pro singles title two months earlier at a $25,000 event in Nanao, Japan. The 22-year-old, a former standout NCAA player at Stanford University, also was a semifinalist at the $100,000 VanOpen in August.
“A big congratulations to Bianca, Gabriela, and Carol on phenomenal seasons,” said Michael Downey, president and CEO, Tennis Canada. “Bianca is a deserving player of the year, as she is proving herself to be one of the top players of her generation and at 17 years old she is just getting started. Gabriela and Carol had years to remember as well; we will never forget Gabriela’s history-making Roland Garros win while Carol’s dedication and persistence is shining through with her results this year. This was a benchmark season for all three athletes with much more to come in the future; we are excited to follow along in 2018.”