Australian tennis player Ash Barty has received the sport’s highest honour, the Newcombe Medal, for the third year in a row.
The 23-year-old World No. 1 ranking player accepted the award at the 2019 Australian Tennis Awards in Melbourne, saying she was “incredibly grateful and very humbled” and thanked her family for their support.
“I’m extremely fortunate to have such an amazing support network around me,” she said.
“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.”
The Indigenous tennis player, who became the first Australian to top the WTA rankings at the end of the year since they were introduced in 1975, also shared a photo of herself with the medal on Tuesday morning.
“Humbled and grateful to win my third Newcombe Medal,” she wrote on Instagram. “Amazing night celebrating with our Tennis Family.”