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Leylah Annie Fernandez named 2021 Tennis Canada female player of the year

Dec 21, 2021
written by: Tennis Canada
written by: Tennis Canada

Fernandez also named Singles Player of the Year and Most Improved Player; Gabriela Dabrowski is the Doubles Player of the Year and Victoria Mboko is named Junior Player of the Year.

Tennis Canada announced on Tuesday that Leylah Annie Fernandez is the winner of the 2021 Excellence Awards in the categories of Female Player of the Year, Singles Player of the Year and Most Improved Player. Gabriela Dabrowski has again been named as the Doubles Player of the Year while Victoria Mboko is the Junior Player of the Year.

“Our congratulations go to Leylah, Gaby and Victoria on their exceptional 2021 seasons,” commented Michael Downey, President and CEO of Tennis Canada. “Despite all the challenges faced due to COVID-19, Canadian players were able to produce spectacular performances that we can all be proud of. Tennis fans around the world will never forget Leylah’s incredible run to the US Open final and her speech after the match showed such maturity beyond her years. Gaby continues to prove herself to be one of the best doubles players in the world and it was a joy to watch her lift the National Bank Open presented by Rogers trophy in Montreal. Victoria, meanwhile, undoubtedly has a very bright future and is already showing what she can do on the court. Now, we are looking forward to seeing what the 2022 season will bring.”

It is the second year in a row that Fernandez has won the Female Player of the Year award. The 19-year-old enjoyed a breakout season on the WTA Tour in 2021, which included her first-career title at the WTA 250 Abierto GNP Seguros in Monterrey, Mexico in March. She also played a leading role in Team Canada presented by Sobeys’ 4-0 win over Serbia in the Billie Jean King Cup Play-Offs in April, winning both of her singles rubbers. However, the teenager’s 2021 season will forever be remembered for her exhilarating run to the final of the year’s last Grand Slam at the US Open. In Flushing Meadows, Fernandez shocked the world as she swept aside four seeded players, including three ranked in the Top 5 (Naomi Osaka, Elina Svitolina and Aryna Sabalenka), to reach the championship match, which she lost to Emma Raducanu. She finishes the year at a career-high ranking of No. 24.

Photo: Pascal Ratthe / Tennis canada

Dabrowski and Mboko also honoured

Having reached a career-high ranking of No. 5 in doubles in October, Dabrowski once again thrilled on the WTA Tour in 2021. The 29-year-old reached four WTA finals and the semi-finals of the US Open. Alongside partner Luisa Stefani, the Canadian claimed the National Bank Open doubles title in Montreal, beating No. 6 seeds Andreja Klepač and Darija Jurak Schreiber in the final. Dabrowski was also part of a contingent of five Canadian players that represented the Maple Leaf at the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo this year and represented Canada at the Billie Jean King Cup Finals in November. Dabrowski and Stefani would have competed at the year-end WTA Finals were it not for an injury to the Brazilian.

Despite being just 15, Mboko is making waves on the junior circuit. The Burlington, Ontario native is No. 32 in the ITF Junior Rankings, won three titles in 2021 – in Tashkent, Santo Domingo and Las Vegas respectively – and competed in three other finals. She was part of Canada’s Junior Billie Jean King Cup Finals team, which reached the quarter-finals in Antalya, Turkey and is one of six athletes currently training at the National Tennis Centre presented by Rogers (NTC) in Montreal.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR
 

YearMale Player of the YearFemale Player of the Year
1982Réjean GenoisMarjorie Blackwood
1983Glenn MichibataCarling Bassett
1984Martin WostenholmeCarling Bassett
1985Glenn MichibataCarling Bassett
1986Andrew SznajderHelen Kelesi
1987Grant ConnellHelen Kelesi
1988Andrew SznajderJill Hetherington
1989Andrew SznajderHelen Kelesi
1990Grant ConnellHelen Kelesi
1991Grant ConnellPatricia Hy
1992Grant ConnellPatricia Hy
1993Greg RusedskiPatricia Hy
1994Sébastien LareauJana Nejedly
1995Grant ConnellPatricia Hy-Boulais
1996Sébastien LareauPatricia Hy-Boulais
1997Daniel NestorPatricia Hy-Boulais
1998No record of awardNo record of award
1999No record of awardNo record of award
2000Daniel Nestor and Sébastien LareauSonya Jeyaseelan
2001Daniel NestorJana Nejedly
2002Frédéric NiemeyerMaureen Drake
2003Daniel NestorMaureen Drake
2004Daniel NestorAleksandra Wozniak
2005Daniel NestorStéphanie Dubois
2006Frank DancevicAleksandra Wozniak
2007Daniel NestorStéphanie Dubois
2008Daniel NestorAleksandra Wozniak
2009Daniel NestorAleksandra Wozniak
2010Daniel NestorRebecca Marino
2011Milos RaonicRebecca Marino
2012Milos RaonicAleksandra Wozniak
2013Milos RaonicEugenie Bouchard
2014Milos RaonicEugenie Bouchard
2015Milos RaonicEugenie Bouchard
2016Milos RaonicEugenie Bouchard
2017Denis ShapovalovBianca Andreescu
2018Milos RaonicEugenie Bouchard
2019Denis ShapovalovBianca Andreescu
2020Milos RaonicLeylah Annie Fernandez
2021Will be announced on December 22, 2021Leylah Annie Fernandez