Ashleigh Barty, Casey Dellacqua and coach Darren Cahill were some of the honorees at the Australian Tennis Awards.
Stephanie Livaudais
November 26, 2018

MELBOURNE, Australia - Ashleigh Barty capped off an already stellar 2018 season with a big accolade, taking home the prestigious Newcombe Medal for the second consecutive year at the Australian Tennis Awards.

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

For Barty, another outstanding WTA season 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.

Read more: Barty holds off Wang to win biggest title in Zhuhai

“It truly is amazing to be standing up here again,” Barty enthused. “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.”

Ashleigh Barty (Getty Images)
Ashleigh Barty accepts the Newcombe Medal. (Getty Images)

“It truly is amazing to be standing up here again,” Barty enthused. “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.”

She added, “It’s been another phenomenal year, in particular led by Tyz [Craig Tyzzer], my coach. 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.”

Alex De Minaur, Ashleigh Barty (Getty Images)
Barty with joint winner Alex De Minaur. (Getty Images)

Barty also gave a shoutout to her fellow Newcombe Medal co-winner, hinting at a possible partnership in the future:

“[Alex] 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.”

Read more: Cahill announces split with Halep following stellar 2018 season

Darren Cahill was also honored at the Australian Tennis Awards, receiving the Coaching Excellence Award for his work with World No.1 Simona Halep - which culminated in the Romanian claiming her first Grand Slam title at the French Open this year.

Another 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.

Casey Dellacqua, Ashleigh Barty (Getty Images)
Barty (right) with Spirit of Tennis Award winner Casey Dellacqua. (Getty Images)

“I’ve had such an amazing career – the highlight for me is obviously always representing my country. I will miss that tremendously,” an emotional Dellacqua 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 [partner] Amanda [Judd] 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.”

All of the night's winners. (Getty Images)

Meanwhile, 18-year-old Destanee Aiava collected Female Junior Athlete of the Year for the second year in a row.

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