Tennis

History! Joint winners for top tennis award

In a fitting finale to an Australian tennis season peppered with breakout performances, Ash Barty and Alex de Minaur have shared the first tie in Newcombe Medal history.

The medal selection panel could not separate the pair, leaving Barty to collect her second medal and de Minaur his first.

Barty, 22, and de Minaur, 19, shaded Dylan Alcott and John Millman for Australian tennis’s peak individual award.

Acclaimed by his peers as the ATP Tour’s newcomer of the year, de Minaur cut his ranking by 170 places to finish the season at No.31.

The Spain-based right-hander was also runner-up in the Next Gen Finals.

Barty achieved career-high rankings in both singles and doubles.

The Queenslander is 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 China.

The tie is the first in the nine-year history of the medal.

Appropriately, Barty’s former doubles partner Casey Dellacqua was given the Spirit of Tennis Award.

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 No.26 in singles, reaching seven major doubles finals and enjoying a mixed doubles win at Roland Garros in 2011.

Darren Cahill edged Pat Cash and Craig Tyzzer for the coaching excellence performance award.

Destanee Aiava collected female junior athlete of the year for the second year running while Rinky Hijikata (NSW) was named the male equivalent.

Archie Graham (Qld) won the most outstanding athlete with a disability.

The full list of award winners:

Newcombe Medal: Ashleigh Barty, Qld; Alex de Minaur, NSW

Spirit of Tennis: Casey Dellacqua, WA

Coaching Excellence (Performance): Darren Cahill, SA

Junior Athlete of the Year (Male & Female): Destanee Aiava, Vic; Rinky Hijikata, NSW

Most Outstanding Athlete with a Disability: Archie Graham, Qld

Coaching Excellence Club: Adon Kronk, Mooloolaba Tennis Club, Qld

Most Outstanding School: Casuarina Street Primary School, Katherine East, NT

Coaching Excellence Development: Stephen Thompson, NSW

Excellence in Officiating: Simon Cannavan, Qld

Volunteer Achievement Award: John Pick, SA

Most Outstanding Professional Tournament: 2017 Apis Canberra International, Canberra, ACT

Most Outstanding Australian Ranking Tournament: AGL Loy Yang Traralgon International, Vic

Most Outstanding 35+ Tennis Senior: Peter Froelich, Qld

Most Outstanding Tennis Club: Henley South Tennis Club, SA

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