Despite having bid farewell to her competitive sporting career, tennis legend Ash Barty is still bringing home the hardware, having now made history after being awarded tennis’ highest honour.
Barty beat the likes of Nick Kyrgios, Alex de Minaur, Matt Ebden, Storm Hunte, Max Purcell and Ajla Tomljanovic to take home the coveted Newcombe Medal for a record fifth year in a row during this year’s Australian Tennis Awards on Monday, December 12.
The highly sought after award recognises those who have acted as a positive ambassador for the sport while celebrating their stellar achievements on the court.
For Barty, it was her impressive performance at the Australian Open earlier this year where she became the first Australian in 44 years to win an Australian Open women’s singles title in addition to her many singles and doubles titles that secured her the honour.
Our 2022 Newcombe Medallist????
Undefeated in both singles and doubles throughout the Australian summer, Ash Barty became the first local Australian Open women’s singles champion in 44 years. This is her fifth Newcombe Medal.
— TennisAustralia (@TennisAustralia) December 12, 2022
Upon receiving the award, Barty reflected on her “very big year” both on and off the court.
“We’ve had exceptional change, we’ve had an amazing year of celebrating a journey of not only myself, but my team, and there is so much to be proud of,” she said.
“I stand here very proudly knowing that I absolutely fulfilled every ounce that I could to this beautiful sport that brought me so much more than I could have ever dreamt.
“There are so many people behind the scenes that help me and allowed me to live out my dream and to discover what it felt like to work hard and really chase after something you love.”
After thanking her “coaching gurus” the 26 year old expressed her gratitude to her husband and her family.
“They’ve been the most important support network for me,” Barty said.
Fans were quick to congratulate Barty on her latest win while praising her impressive performance on the court.
“Congratulations @ashbarty, you’ve made us all proud of winning the Aus Open this year,” one fan wrote.
“Congratulations @ashbarty & your #TeamBarty ???????? You were looking so determined, so focused through the Summer of Tennis & To do something that no Aussie Female had done for many many years, this award is Very Well Deserved.”
“It’s pretty amazing that Ash had a more successful year playing for one month, than the players who played all year did, isn’t it! What an achievement!”
“Ash was the first Australian to win the AO singles title in more than 40 years – it’s an enormous achievement.”
Barty’s latest honour add to an already impressive list of achievements for the 26 year old since she announced her retirement in March this year.
Since stepping off the court, Barty claimed victory in a golf tournament at the Brookwater Golf and Country Club earlier in the year and in July married long-time beau Garry Kissick, shocking fans with a photo of the secret ceremony.
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After what has already been a jam-packed retirement, Barty recently revealed to Sunrise that based on the last few months, her post-tennis life is “going to be a really fun journey”.
“Life’s been great,” Barty said.
“It’s everything I’ve ever wanted. I feel very fortunate I’ve been able to live out my childhood dream and have a career for 20 years.
“It was something I loved and now what excites me is our next chapter and what that is I’m not quite sure yet but the last six months, if it’s anything to go by, it’s going to be a really fun journey.”