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Tennis star Andreescu wins Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada's athlete of the year

Bianca Andreescu, of Canada, kisses the championship trophy after defeating Serena Williams, of the United States, during the women's singles final of the U.S. Open tennis championships in New York on Sept. 7, 2019. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Charles Krupa

Tennis star Bianca Andreescu has won the 2019 Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s athlete of the year.

Andreescu is the first tennis player to win the award. The native of Mississauga became the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam singles title when she defeated American star Serena Williams in the final of the U.S. Open.

“Wow, I’m so thankful for this award. I was not expecting it and to be the first tennis player to win is even more surreal,” said Andreescu. “None of my success this year would have been possible without the support from all of Canada.”

The winner of the Toronto Star award is selected annually by a panel of sports journalists from across the country. Andreescu was a unanimous choice for this year’s award.

Her star-making performance at the U.S. Open capped a stellar year for the 19-year-old, who also won the Rogers Cup in Toronto and the prestigious BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, Calif.

She earned over US$6.5 million on the season and is ranked fifth in the world after starting the year ranked No. 152.

Other finalists included golfer Brooke Henderson, sprinter Andre De Grasse, Atlanta Braves pitcher Mike Soroka and St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington.

“Canadian sports crushed it this year so there are definitely many other athletes who deserve a piece of this award as well – we all motivate each other to be better,” said Andreescu. “I can’t wait for what 2020 will bring and am always proud to represent Canada at the highest level.”

The Lou Marsh Trophy has been awarded annually since 1936 with a three-year hiatus during the Second World War.