Canada’s Vasek Pospisil celebrates a point against Italy’s Jannik Sinner, during the final match of the 2020 Sofia Open ATP 250 tennis tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-

Canada’s Vasek Pospisil celebrates a point against Italy’s Jannik Sinner, during the final match of the 2020 Sofia Open ATP 250 tennis tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-

Vernon’s Vasek Pospisil named B.C.’s Athlete of the Year

The tennis pro had quite the year on the ATP Tour

Vasek Pospisil’s comeback 2020 season went about as well as he could have hoped.

The Vernon native returned to the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Tour after recovering from a herniated disk for most of 2019. Since coming off the sidelines he’s moved up from a world ranking of 149th to 67th — good enough to be named the ATP comeback player of the year.

Adding to his accolades, 30-year-old Pospisil is the recipient of the Best of BC Award, given to the province’s top senior athlete of the year. His latest honour was announced virtually at Sport BC’s 54th annual award show Thursday evening, March 25.

READ MORE: Vernon’s Vasek Pospisil part of Canadian tennis history

Known throughout his career as a stronger doubles player, he still managed to reach the 2019 Davis Cup finals alongside Denis Shapovalov, marking Canada’s first trip to the finals in the tournament’s 119-year history.

But in 2020 Pospisil proved he was more than a doubles specialist. He went to Montpellier with a protected ranking before upsetting world-ranked Number 10 David Goffin in three sets to advance to his first ATP final since 2014.

He then reached the fourth round of the US Open, upsetting No. 8 seed Roberto Bautista Agut to join Shapovalov and Auger-Aliassime in the most Canadian-filled Round of 16 in singles Grand Slam history.

“We were proud to celebrate the winners. The last year has been challenging for everyone and it confirmed the importance of Sport in our lives; I personally would like to thank our members for everything they have done over the last year,” said Sport BC President and CEO Rob Newman.

READ MORE: Vernon’s Vasek Pospisil named ATP Comeback Player of the Year

Also in the running for a Sport BC Athlete of the Year award was Lumby’s Logan Leach, who was a finalist in the Athlete with a Disability category (the award went to para-athlete Nathan Reich of Victoria). The 18-year-old skier is visually impaired, and in 2019 he won silver at the Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, his first-ever competition, missing a gold medal by just a sixth of a second.

READ MORE: Lumby skier up for provincial honour


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

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