Ashleigh Barty And Alex De Minaur Joint Winners Of 2018 Newcombe Medal

The highest individual honour in Australian tennis is awarded to Ashleigh Barty and Alex de Minaur (photo: Tennis Australia)

TA Press Release, November 26, 2018

Ashleigh Barty (Qld) and Alex de Minaur (NSW) have been announced as joint winners of the prestigious Newcombe Medal for 2018 at the Australian Tennis Awards at Crown Palladium tonight.

In what has been a stellar year for Australian tennis, Barty took out her second consecutive Newcombe Medal while de Minaur made the leap from Junior Athlete of the Year in 2016 and 2017 to win his first Newcombe Medal in front of the who’s who of Australian tennis.

Barty and De Minaur were awarded Australian tennis’ highest honour by legend John Newcombe at the annual awards ceremony.

For Barty, another outstanding year on the international circuit saw her achieve career high rankings in both singles and doubles. The 22-year-old is currently one of only two women ranked inside the world’s top 20 in both disciplines. Barty won her first Grand Slam at the US Open in doubles and finished the year on a high, winning the WTA Elite Trophy Final in singles in Zhuhai.

“It’s been another phenomenal year, in particular led by Tyz (Craig Tyzzer), my coach,” Barty said.

“He’s the most phenomenal person. And he’s not only improved my game on the court but he’s helped me become a better person. And I really wouldn’t be able be do that without his support.

“We’ve had some amazing additions to my team this year, and every single person sitting at my table has influenced me in different ways throughout my life and career.

“It truly is amazing to be standing up here again. I’m very grateful and very thankful to be in the position to be able to play the sport that I love, to do this as a job and to enjoy every single moment.

“Alex has had one of the most incredible years I’ve ever seen. He thoroughly deserves the award as well. What he’s been able to achieve this year has put tennis in a very good place on the men’s side.

“Maybe we will play doubles one day.”

Nineteen-year-old De Minaur enjoyed a breakout season, pushing his ranking from outside the top 200 to world number 31 and reaching the third round of both Wimbledon and the US Open. He capped off his year as finalist at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan and was named ATP Newcomer of the Year.

This is something I definitely did not expect,” he said.

“It’s been a whirlwind of a year – I’ve enjoyed every second of it. I’ve just tried to keep improving each day, keep battling it out, keep fighting every single point. I’m super proud of my efforts.

“I could not have done it without the great team of guys I’ve got around me. Starting with my coach Adolfo Gutierrez, who’s not here right now. My manager David Drysdale, Phil Bonney, and also got to thank Lleyton Hewitt, who’s been a great mentor of mine and has helped me out a lot, helped me really believe in myself and that I do belong here on the tour.

“I want to congratulate Ash again on another amazing year – what she has done is just truly remarkable, not only on court but off the court as well. Really would not want to let you down in mixed doubles (laughter).”

Barty and De Minaur edged out fellow nominees Dylan Alcott (Vic) and John Millman (Qld).

The Newcombe Medal is the premier award presented on a night that recognises players, coaches, clubs, communities, volunteers and officials for their service to the sport. The awards ceremony has been held annually since 2010.

A highlight of the evening’s celebrations was the presentation of the Spirit of Tennis Award to Casey Dellacqua.

After announcing her retirement earlier this year, Dellacqua was honoured with the award for her outstanding achievements both on and off the court.

Dellacqua was celebrated for her 16-year professional career, where she peaked at world number 26 in singles, reaching seven Grand Slam doubles finals and a mixed doubles win at Roland Garros in 2011.

Dellacqua was overwhelmed with emotion when she accepted her award.

“I’ve had such an amazing career – the highlight for me is obviously always representing my country. I will miss that tremendously,” she said.

“I want to thank all my Fed Cup teammates and the other Australian girls who have made my time on tour so much fun.

“There’s always another half that paves the way for you to be able to do what you love. And I’ve been very grateful to have Amanda along the way to support me and our children.

“I actually have said for a number of years, if there’s any award that I could win, it would be the Spirit of Tennis Award, because it’s something that has always I guess stood true to me.

“I’ve always felt that you can be a great tennis player but it’s being gracious that goes along with that that I really value.

“I’m really thankful and grateful for this award.”

Destanee Aiava (Vic) collected Female Junior Athlete of the Year for the second year running while Rinky Hijikata (NSW) was named Male Junior Athlete of the Year.

It was back-to-back wins also for Archie Graham (Qld) who was awarded the Most Outstanding Athlete with a Disability.

The full list of award winners is as follows:

Coaching Excellence Club

Adon Kronk, Mooloolaba Tennis Club, Qld

Most Outstanding School

Casuarina Street Primary School, Katherine East, NT

Coaching Excellence Development

Stephen Thompson, NSW

Excellence in Officiating

Simon Cannavan, Qld

Most Outstanding Athlete with a Disability

Archie Graham, Qld

Volunteer Achievement Award

John Pick, SA

Junior Athlete of the Year – Male & Female

Destanee Aiava, Vic

Rinky Hijikata, NSW

Most Outstanding Professional Tournament

2017 Apis Canberra International, Canberra, ACT

Most Outstanding Australian Ranking Tournament

AGL Loy Yang Traralgon International, Vic

Most Outstanding 35+ Tennis Senior

Peter Froelich, Qld

Most Outstanding Tennis Club

Henley South Tennis Club, SA

Coaching Excellence –Performance

Darren Cahill, SA

Spirit of Tennis

Casey Dellacqua, WA

Newcombe Medal

Ashleigh Barty, Qld

Alex de Minaur, NSW