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Bouchard named top Canadian female tennis player

The Canadian Press

11/26/2013 4:49:08 PM

TORONTO -- Montreal's Eugenie Bouchard has been named Tennis Canada's female player of the year after an impressive debut professional season.

The 19-year-old climbed over 100 spots on the WTA rankings to end the year at No. 32. She reached her first WTA final at Osaka in October, defeated four top-15 players throughout the course of the season, and was named WTA Newcomer of the Year.

"It's great to be recognized with these awards for the first time," Bouchard said. "2013 was a great season for me with so many firsts and so many highlights that I will always remember. I learned a lot in my first full year on the Tour. I'm working really hard in my off-season and can't wait for next year."

Bouchard, who became the first Canadian to win a junior Grand Slam singles title at Wimbledon last year, started off her season having to play qualifying at WTA events.

She made her first big push at the Premier tournament in Charleston in April, where as a qualifier she reached the quarter-finals while defeating rising star Laura Robson and world No. 9 Samantha Stosur.

She then made the semifinals at Strasbourg before playing in her first career Grand Slam main draw at the French Open, where she fell to Maria Sharapova in the second round. At Wimbledon, she upset No. 12 Ana Ivanovic on Centre Court to reach the third round.

She added another semifinal at Quebec City in September before eliminating No. 13 Sloane Stephens and No. 10 Jelena Jankovic at Tokyo on the way to a quarter-final finish. In her second-last tournament of the year, Bouchard made her first WTA final, where she lost to Stosur in three sets.

Bouchard also went 6-1 while representing Canada in Fed Cup play.

"Eugenie's career is just starting but what she has already accomplished in one short year on the WTA tour is very impressive," said Michael S. Downey, president and CEO, Tennis Canada. "Her ceiling is so high, and Eugenie is so focused and determined to create even more success for herself and her country. She is well on her way to becoming a star not only in Canadian tennis but all over the world. Congratulations to Eugenie, and best of luck in what I'm sure will be an exciting 2014."

Ottawa's Gabriela Dabrowski was named Canada's female doubles player of the year, reaching two finals on the WTA circuit this season.