Sydney, Dec 3: Australian tennis star and current women's world number one, Ash Barty has credited her family's "unconditional love" for her rocket-like ascension, upon being named Australia's most outstanding performer of 2019.
At a ceremony in the city of Melbourne on Monday night, Barty received the prestigious Newcombe Medal for the third straight year, to the surprise of very few.
The 23-year-old, who earlier in the year took out the French Open and rose to the rank of world number one, said it was the love of her family and close supporters who helped her reach the very top of the game. "It takes a village. We're a tennis family and I'm very humbled to be here tonight again," Barty said.
"I'm extremely fortunate to have such an amazing network around me. It's very special to have mum, dad and my very first coach, Jim (Joyce), here." "They gave me the unconditional love and support time and time again in all bad times."
Barty capped a stellar 2019 by winning the WTA Finals in Shenzen China last month, claiming the biggest cheque in tennis history -- a hefty 4.42 million US dollars.
The annual Newcombe Awards are named after Australian tennis great John Newcombe, with the eponymous medal awarded to the country's most outstanding player that year. Barty is the first player to claim the award for three straight since fellow grand slam champion Samantha Stosur in 2010-2012. (XINHUA)