Becoming the first Canadian to crack the top-10 on the ATP World Tour and appearing in the Rogers Cup final cinched a third straight Tennis Canada male player of the year award for Milos Raonic.
The Thornhill, Ont., native finished the season ranked 11th, had a 5-1 record in Davis Cup play and won championships in San Jose and Bangkok.
“In his young career, Milos has already hit so many pinnacles in Canadian tennis, and his commitment to continue developing as a player shows his potential is nowhere near being fully realized yet,” Tennis Canada president and CEO Michael Downey said in a statement.
At the Grand Slams, Raonic’s strong 2013 season also included an appearance in the round of 16 at the Australian and U.S. Open tournaments, matching a career best, and being a semifinalist in Barcelona.
In Davis Cup action, the 22-year-old Raonic won clinching matches for Canada in its first-round tie against Spain and quarter-final versus Italy. His lone loss came at the hands of then-world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the semifinals in Serbia.
“It was definitely a good season for me, and it’s been incredible to receive so much support from Canadian fans,” Raonic said in statement released by Tennis Canada. “Being able to play at home at Davis Cup and Rogers Cup, it was amazing to see how passionate Canadians can be about tennis.
“It feels great to be honoured with this award from Tennis Canada for another year.”
Raonic captured his third consecutive San Jose crown in February and defeated top-10 players Richard Gasquet and Tomas Berdych on his way to claiming the Bangkok title in September.
Pospisil, Nestor honoured
Tennis Canada also recognized Vancouver’s Vasek Pospisil and Toronto’s Daniel Nestor, who were named most improved male player of the year and male doubles player of the year, respectively.
Pospisil was honoured for rising nearly 100 points in the rankings, ending up a career-high 32nd after completing the 2012 campaign at world No. 125.
He was the only player on the ATP World Tour to make both his top-100 and top-50 year-end debuts in the same year.
A surge in the season's second half highlighted Pospisil's season. At the end of July, he captured the Odlum Brown Vancouver Open, a $100,000 Challenger event.
From there, he clinched a top-10 victory over Berdych at the Rogers Cup in Montreal in the third round but lost to Raonic in the semifinals.
At the Shanghai Masters, the 23-year-old Pospisil ousted 10th-ranked Gasquet and nearly upended No. 4 David Ferrer in Beijing.
In his third ATP semifinal of the season, Pospisl fell to Roger Federer in a thrilling match in Basel, Switzerland.
Meanwhile, Nestor is Canada's top male doubles player for the 13th straight season.
He added to his storied career, becoming the first player to reach 900 doubles victories. And by capturing the Winston-Salem championship in August, it marked the 20th consecutive year in which Nestor has clinched at least one ATP World title.
Nestor, 41, also played an important role in Canada's Davis Cup success, partnering with Pospisil for a pair of marathon doubles victories: in the quarter-finals against Italy and semifinals versus Serbia.
Nestor also shone in mixed doubles with Kristina Mladenovic, winning the Wimbledon crown and reaching the French Open final.
Female athletes will be recognized by Tennis Canada on Tuesday.