Ashleigh Barty was awarded the Newcombe Medal for 2022 at the Australian Tennis Awards at Melbourne’s Crown Casino on Monday night. Despite spending the majority of the year in retirement, she took home the honors for a record fifth consecutive year.
The 27-year-old was recognized for her outstanding 2022 Australian Open campaign, where she did not drop a set en route to the title, which also saw her become the first Australian to win the women’s singles title Down Under in 44 years — since Chris O’Neal in 1977.
It was also the third Grand Slam singles title of her career, following the 2019 French Open and 2021 Wimbledon Championships.
Barty also went undefeated (15 matches) the entire year, up until her retirement. Her 11 straight singles wins saw her clinch titles in Adelaide and Melbourne. She also partnered with Storm Sanders and took home the doubles in Adelaide.
Other players who were nominated for the award this year were Wimbledon finalist Nick Kyrgios, Wimbledon doubles champions Matt Ebden and Max Purcell, Wimbledon and US Open quarterfinalist Ajla Tomljanovic, Australian Davis Cup hero Alex de Minaur, and Storm Sanders, who was part of the side that reached the finals of the Billie Jean Cup.
Ashleigh Barty: “Tennis has given me all of my dreams, plus more”
Ashleigh Barty took pride in her achievement while accepting the award and looked back on her playing career with fond memories. She also stated that she did the best she could to make her mark in the sport.
“This has obviously been a very big year in my career and in my life. 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. 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,” she said, according to The Australian.
The three-time Grand Slam winner, who ended her career ranked World No. 1, took the opportunity to thank her “coaching gurus” Jim Joyce, Jason Stoltenberg and Craig Tyzzer for their role in her successful career.
“I am grateful and appreciative to my team. My coaching gurus that taught me my game to everyone behind the scenes,” she expressed.
Ashleigh Barty also thanked her “support network”, which included her parents and everyone who helped her reach the top of the sport.
“My Mum and dad and everyone have been the biggest support network for me. Looking back on this year, what I am most proud of is the people I was surrounded by. Without them I am nothing,” she said.
“Thank you to everyone that gave this five-year-old the chance to play her dream out on centre court. I’m so grateful to everything that tennis has given me; it’s given me all of my dreams, plus more,” she added.