first_imgNo athlete in Canada held the spotlight in 2017 quite like Denis Shapovalov.The 18-year-old’s remarkable run up the ATP rankings has earned the Richmond Hill, Ont., tennis player the Lionel Conacher Award as the Canadian Press male athlete of the year.Shapovalov collected 31 per cent of the votes in a poll of broadcasters and sports editors from across the country.He edged Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby by a single vote. Slugger Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds was third with 17 per cent of the vote.It is the third time in five years the award has gone to a tennis player. Milos Raonic, still Canada’s top-ranked player at 24th despite an injury-shortened season, took it in 2013 and 2014.Shapovalov is hot on Raonic’s heels. He started the year ranked 250th in the world and reached as high as 49th after big performances at the Rogers Cup in Montreal and the U.S. Open in New York. He ended the season ranked 51st.last_img