Ashleigh Barty has capped a memorable 2019 by being named the winner of ‘The Don’ Award.
After a meteoric rise to the summit of the game, the 23-year-old has been recognized as Australia’s outstanding sportsperson of the year.
From Ipswich in Queensland, Australia, Barty has propelled herself to the summit of the WTA Rankings on two occasions and still holds the WTA World No.1 ranking, while she has also claimed her maiden Grand Slam success, having picked up the French Open trophy, one of five titles she won during the year.
As such, she was named as the winner of the Don Award, beating off eight other athletes to become the first female tennis player to lift the gong, which is regarded as the most prestigious in the country.
The Award, which was commissioned by the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1998 and is named after cricket legend Sir Donald Bradman, is designed to “honor a current Australian athlete or team who, by their achievements and example over the last 12 months, are considered to have had the capacity to most inspire the nation.”
Barty, therefore, joins an elite list of legends to have picked up the award, including athlete Cathy Freeman, swimmer Ian Thorpe and two-time men's US Open champion Pat Rafter.
She will attempt to finish the year on a high at the Shiseido WTA Finals, which take place in Shenzhen from October 27 through until November 3.