Australian tennis star and current women’s world number one Ashleigh Barty won Australia’s most outstanding performer of 2019 award – the Newcombe Medal and became just the second person to clinch the honour in three successive years.
Barty, who also bagged the Junior Athlete of the Year Award thrice before turning professional, enjoyed another stellar year, in which her major wins include a first major singles title at the French Open, victory at the WTA Finals and Tour titles in both Miami and Birmingham.
The 23-year-old said it was the love of her family and close supporters who helped her reach the very top of the game.
“It takes a village. We’re a tennis family and I’m very humbled to be here tonight again,” Barty was quoted as saying on WTA’s official website.
“I’m extremely fortunate to have such an amazing network around me. It’s very special to have mum, dad and my very first coach, Jim (Joyce), here. They gave me the unconditional love and support time and time again in all bad times,” she added.
Later, Barty also took to Twitter to share her happiness saying: “Humbled and grateful to win my third Newcombe Medal. Amazing night celebrating with our Tennis Family.”
Humbled and grateful to win my third Newcombe Medal. Amazing night celebrating with our Tennis Family 🇦🇺 pic.twitter.com/cti83CUTnv
— Ash Barty (@ashbarty) December 2, 2019
Barty capped a stellar 2019 by winning the WTA Finals in Shenzen China last month, claiming the biggest cheque in tennis history — a hefty $ 4.42 million.
The annual Newcombe Awards are named after Australian tennis great John Newcombe, with the eponymous medal awarded to the country’s most outstanding player that year.