TA Press Release, December 2, 2019
World No.1 Ashleigh Barty (Qld) has taken out her third consecutive Newcombe Medal at Monday night’s Australian Tennis Awards, capping off an outstanding year.
The 23-year-old was presented with Australian tennis’ top honour by legend John Newcombe at the annual awards ceremony at Crown Palladium.
Barty won her first Newcombe Medal in 2017 and then shared the top honour with fellow nominee Alex de Minaur in 2018. Her outstanding achievements in 2019 made her a clear winner, and after Samantha Stosur, the only other player to achieve a Newcombe Medal hat-trick, with three wins.
“I’m incredibly grateful and very humbled to be here tonight,” Barty said after receiving the medal on stage.
“This is not about individual athletes — it’s a night of celebration for everyone involved in tennis and everyone that’s a part of our tennis family. Congratulations to everyone else who’s in this room. It takes a village and we are a big tennis family.
“I’m extremely fortunate to have such an amazing support network around me. It’s very special for me tonight to have Mum, Dad and my very first coach in Jim (Joyce) here. They gave me the unconditional love and support time and time again — in all the bad times and all the good times, they’re always there.
“There were a few words they said to me: ‘I love to watch you play’. And when your Mum and Dad say that to you, when your coach says that to you, that makes your heart race a little bit.
“Honestly it’s been incredible. I’m very grateful that they’re here to share it with me as well.”
Following a breakout quarterfinal at the Australian Open in January 2019 – the best result for a local woman in a decade – Barty then progressed to victory in Miami, claiming a spot in the world’s top 10 for the first time.
As her confidence grew, she was unstoppable on the court, winning her first major title at Roland Garros and rising to world No.1 in June. She capped off the year with victory at the WTA Finals and the year-end No.1 ranking, and led Australia into their first Fed Cup final in 26 years.
2019 has been her year – with titles in Miami, Birmingham, the WTA Finals and a maiden Grand Slam singles triumph at Roland-Garros, all culminating in the world No.1 ranking.
— TennisAustralia (@TennisAustralia) December 2, 2019
Off court, the humble champion proved her impressive role model status by continuing her work as Indigenous Tennis Ambassador, partnering with the RSPCA and becoming the face of a campaign to encourage women and girls to stay in sport.
Barty won over a deserving field of nominees – Dylan Alcott (Vic), Alex de Minaur (NSW), John Millman (Qld), and Ajla Tomljanovic (Qld).
The Newcombe Medal is the premier award on a night that recognises players, coaches, clubs, communities, volunteers and officials for their service to the sport, with 2019 the tenth instalment of what has become the tennis night of nights.
Another highlight was the presentation of the Spirit of Tennis Award to Grand Slam champion Samantha Stosur, 10 years after becoming the first recipient of the Newcombe Medal.
Presented by long time former coach David Taylor, alongside Tennis Australia Chair Jayne Hrdlicka, 35-year-old Stosur was honoured for her outstanding leadership, incredible professionalism, and the positive impact she’s had on the sport throughout her career.
“Sam has genuinely remained unchanged and unaffected by all her success,” Taylor said.
“I cannot recall a single training session in the almost eight years we spent together where she did not give 100 per cent.
“It’s a testament to Sam’s character that she has enjoyed longevity at the pinnacle of the game. A multiple Grand Slam champion, Sam joins the ranks of Australian tennis greats and is a terrific role model for any aspiring player.”
Rinky Hijikata (NSW) was named Male Junior Athlete of the Year for the second year in a row, while Talia Gibson (WA) collected Female Junior Athlete of the Year.
Grand Slam champion and inspirational advocate Dylan Alcott (Vic) was awarded the Most Outstanding Athlete with a Disability.
The full list of award winners is as follows:
Winner: Ashleigh Barty
Spirit Of Tennis
Winner: Samantha Stosur
Coaching Excellence Club
Winner: Yvonne Fantin (West Lalor Tennis Club, (Vic)
Coaching Excellence Development
Winner: Tate Roberts (Brixton Tennis, WA)
Coaching Excellence Performance
Winner: Craig Tyzzer (Vic)
Excellence in Officiating
Winner: Brian Grace (Vic)
Female Junior Athlete of the Year
Winner: Talia Gibson (WA)
Male Junior Athlete of the Year
Winner: Rinky Hijikata (NSW)
Most Outstanding Athlete with a Disability
Winner: Dylan Alcott (Vic)
Most Outstanding Australian Ranking Tournament
Winner: 2019 North Beach Junior Classic (WA)
Most Outstanding Club
Finalists: Queanbeyan Park Tennis Club (ACT)
Most Outstanding Professional Tournament
Winner: City of Playford Tennis International (SA)
Most Outstanding School
Winner: Elizabeth North Primary School (SA)
Most Outstanding 35+ Tennis Senior
Winner: Pat Moloney (ACT)
Volunteer Achievement Award
Winner: Darren Wund