TA Press Release, November 13, 2018
Following on from their successful seasons on the court and impressive sportsmanship off it, the talented quartet of Dylan Alcott, Ashleigh Barty, Alex de Minaur and John Millman have been nominated for the 2018 Newcombe Medal.
Australian tennis’ highest individual accolade will be awarded on Monday 26 November at the annual awards ceremony at Crown Palladium in Melbourne.
While all four nominees have achieved strong results and consistent success across their respective seasons, it was at the US Open that proved their potential and put the world on notice.
Wheelchair tennis champion, Alcott, picked up his sixth Grand Slam title and second at the US Open, Barty won the US Open women’s doubles and finished a career-best fourth-round in the singles, de Minaur who also earnt his Davis Cup debut this year, impressed reaching the third round of the US Open after also reaching the third round of Wimbledon, while Millman became known as the ‘giant-killer’ with his win over then world No.2 Roger Federer also at the USOpen.
The Newcombe Medal will be presented alongside 14 other award categories as part of the 2018 Newcombe Medal, Australian Tennis Awards that recognise the outstanding contribution of the wider tennis community.
Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley said the event is a great opportunity to reflect on and celebrate another positive year in the sport of tennis.
“The Newcombe Medal, Australian Tennis Awards is a fantastic occasion for us to get together and honour the contribution of our tennis stars, both on and off the court,” Tiley said.
“It is a time for us to recognise the excellent achievements of our elite athletes, but also to celebrate the hard work and dedication that occurs behind the scenes from our coaches, clubs, schools, volunteers and communities over the past 12 months.”
“I’m excited to be able to share the stories of our local heroes, and to call out the effort and professionalism of everyone who has helped to ignite the country’s passion for tennis.”
The nominees are also looking forward to coming together to celebrate tennis’ night of nights.
“I have really enjoyed my tennis in 2019 and it has been a huge season being able to defend my Australian Open and US Open titles,” Alcott said.
“For me personally and for my sport, however, taking to the courts at the All England Club at Wimbledon was something that I will cherish forever.
“Australian Tennis has seen some great results and consistent performances over the past 12 months and that’s exciting, especially as we approach the Australian Open in 2019. “
“Winning last year’s Newcombe Medal was an incredible moment for me and to be nominated again is a real honour,” Barty said.
“The goal for me this year was to build on 2017 results and consolidate my ranking. I am proud of what my team and I achieved, the US Open doubles title with CoCo Vandeweghe and finishing the year with the WTA Elite Trophy win were definite highlights. I can’t wait to start the 2019 season at home in front of Aussie fans.”
“Last year I was fortunate enough to be named Junior Athlete of the Year and to move up the ranks this year and be nominated for the Newcombe Medal is really exciting for me,” de Minaur said.
“I feel honored to be nominated alongside such a talented group of players and it will be great to come together and celebrate our achievements with the rest of the tennis community,” Millman said.
Newcombe Medal nominees
One of the most recognisable faces of Australian tennis, Dylan Alcott had another season to remember. He won his sixth Grand Slam title, and second at the US Open, with victory over long-time rival David Wagner in the quad wheelchair singles final at Flushing Meadows. Alcott also teamed with Heath Davidson to win the BNP Paribas World Team Cup in June, the second time Australia has won in the event in the past three years. The 27-year-old from Melbourne, who is a four-time Australian Open quad singles champion, won the Newcombe Medal in 2016.
Queensland’s Ashleigh Barty enjoyed a stellar 2018, achieving career-high rankings of No.15 in singles and No.5 in doubles. The 22-year-old is currently one of only two women ranked inside the world’s top 20 in both disciplines. The 2017 Newcombe Medallist won the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai, a singles title in Nottingham, as well as four doubles titles – including her first Grand Slam alongside American CoCo Vandeweghe. Their US Open victory qualified the duo for the WTA Finals, where they were semifinalists. Posting 46 singles wins for the season, highlights included a Sydney final, semifinals in Strasbourg, Montreal and Wuhan as well as a career-best fourth-round run at the US Open.
ALEX DE MINAUR
Starting 2018 ranked No.208, Alex de Minaur improved to a career-high No.31 to become Australia’s top-ranked man. His breakthrough season began with upsets over six top 50-ranked opponents in Brisbane semifinals and Sydney final runs. Earning a Davis Cup debut, where he pushed then world No.4 Alexander Zverev to five sets, and saving match points to reach the Washington final were other highlights. De Minaur impressed at Grand Slams, reaching Wimbledon and US Opens third rounds. The 19-year-old was a finalist in the season-ending Next Gen ATP Finals and won the ATP’s Newcomer of the Year award.
Queensland’s John Millman became the man of the moment this season after upsetting the then world No.2 Roger Federer at the US Open for the biggest win of his career. The 29-year-old’s first Grand Slam quarterfinal pushed his ranking to a career high, peaking at No.33 in October. After being sidelined for four months last year following groin surgery, Millman started 2018 ranked No.128. He won two ATP Challenger titles and made his first ATP final in Budapest in April. In achieving a career-first top 50 year-end finish, Millman was nominated for the ATP’s Comeback Player of the Year award.
Please see below for a full list of finalists for the 2018 Newcombe Medal,Australian Tennis Awards:
Coaching Excellence Club
Finalists: Tony Blom (West Hobart, Tas), Adon Kronk (Mooloolaba, Qld), Domenic Marafiote (Kensington Gardens, SA),
Coaching Excellence Development
Finalists: Stephen Thompson (Hornsby, NSW), John Thorpe (Perth, WA), Sam Wall (Coromandel Valley, SA).
Coaching Excellence Performance
Finalists: Darren Cahill (SA), Pat Cash (Vic), Craig Tyzzer (Vic), Francois Vogelsberger (Vic)
Excellence in Officiating
Finalists: Simon Cannavan (Qld), Ricardo Macedo (NSW), Robyn Tucker (SA)
Female Junior Athlete of the Year
Finalists: Destanee Aiava (Berwick, Vic), Anastasia Berezov (Sydney, NSW), Annerly Poulos (Canberra, ACT)
Male Junior Athlete of the Year
Finalists: Chen Dong (Brisbane, Qld), Rinky Hijikata (Sydney, NSW), Tristan Schoolkate (Perth, WA)
Most Outstanding Athlete with a Disability
Finalists: Archie Graham (Ipswich, Qld), Carla Lenarduzzi (Melbourne, Vic), Kelly Wren (Sydney, NSW)
Most Outstanding Australian Ranking Tournament
Finalists: 2018 Priceline NSW Country Closed Championships (Forster, NSW), AGL Loy Yang Traralgon International (Traralgon, Vic), Gordon Davies Real Estate 2018 Nedlands AMT & Junior Classic (Nedlands, WA)
Most Outstanding Club
Finalists: Henley South Tennis Club (SA), Mooloolaba Tennis Club (Qld), West Lalor Tennis Club (Vic)
Most Outstanding Professional Tournament
Finalists: Apis Canberra International (Canberra, ACT), Hutchinson Builders Toowoomba International (Toowoomba, Qld), Latrobe City Traralgon Challenger (Traralgon, Vic)
Most Outstanding School
Finalists: Cobdogla Primary School (Cobdogla, SA), Casuarina Street Primary School (Katherine, NT), Devonport Primary School (Devonport, Tas)
Most Outstanding 35+ Tennis Senior
Finalists: Peter Froelich (Qld), Dennis Haupt (SA), Alan Walsh (NSW)
Volunteer Achievement Award
Finalists: Andrew MacNeill (Lalor, Vic), Donald Smith (Oakleigh, Vic), John Pick (Renmark, SA)