World No.1 Ash Barty has taken out her third consecutive Newcombe Medal at the Australian Tennis Awards.
The 23-year-old was presented with Australian tennis’ top honour by John Newcombe at the awards ceremony at Crown Palladium in Melbourne.
Barty won her first Newcombe Medal in 2017 and shared the honour with Alex de Minaur last year.
“I’m incredibly grateful and very humbled to be here tonight,” Barty said after receiving the medal from Newcombe.
“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.”
Barty also thanked to coach Craig Tyzzer, manager Nikki Craig and mindset coach Ben Crowe during her speech.
After quarterfinal spot at the Australian Open in January, Barty then won the Miami Open, cracking the world’s top 10 for the first time.
She then won her first major title at Roland Garros, 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 also led Australia into its first Fed Cup final in 26 years.