Toronto Star

Bouchard aces second straight Rosenfeld honour in landslide


MONTREAL— If 2013 was the year that put Eugenie Bouchard in the spotlight, 2014 was the one that showed the tennis star is no flash in the pan.

The Westmount, Que., native had a phenomenal year on the WTA tour, rising from 32nd in the rankings to No. 5 at one point before ending at an impressive No. 7.

Along the way, she won her first career title, reached the Wimbledon final — becoming the first Canadian to play in a Grand Slam final — and made it to the semifinals of the Aus- tralian and French Opens.

Bouchard, 20, also helped Canada reach the World Group stage at the Fed Cup for the first time and, in November, was named the most improved player on the women’s tour.

Those exploits earned Bouchard the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award for the second year in a row. The honour — named after the Olympic champion and all-round sportswoma­n voted Canada’s top female athlete for the first half of the 20th century — goes to The Canadian Press female athlete of the year.

Bouchard won — making it the second straight tennis sweep, after Milos Raonic took top male honours on Friday — in a landslide. She finished with 74 votes from sports editors and broadcaste­rs across Canada, outstrippi­ng freestyle skier Justine Dufour-Lapointe, bobsledder Kaillie Humphries and Canadian hockey goaltender Shannon Szabados, who received two votes each.

Bouchard is the first woman to win in consecutiv­e years since speed skater Cindy Klassen in 2005-06.

“We are very, very proud of Genie,” Kelly Murumets, president and CEO of Tennis Canada, told The Canadian Press. “She is a fierce competitor and an amazing Canadian ambassador. . . . I’m sure she feels incredibly honoured. Certainly, on behalf of her, we are very honoured that you have recognized her two years in a row. And the best is yet to come. She is on the trajectory to be a No.1 competitor in the world.”

Medicine Hat News sports editor Sean Rooney said voting for Bouchard was a no-brainer. “No Canadian woman has ever had a year like Bouchard’s, and the scary thing is she hasn’t even peaked yet,” he said. “She’s replaced Christine Sinclair as our country’s most looked up to female athlete.”

Bouchard ended the year by signing with WME-IMG, saying the sports management firm would help “maximize the value of my brand.”

Canada’s team of the year will be revealed Monday.

 ??  ?? At 20, Eugenie Bouchard served up several noteworthy firsts in Canadian tennis history.
At 20, Eugenie Bouchard served up several noteworthy firsts in Canadian tennis history.

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