Australia Tennis Star Ashleigh Barty Wins "The Don" Award

Paola Ditto
Ottobre 12, 2019

She is the first female tennis player to win the award, and just the second tennis player to win the award since Pat Rafter in 2001.

Tennis superstar Ashleigh Barty has capped a dream year after winning the Sport Australia Hall of Fame's The Don award on Thursday night.

Wheelchair racer Louise Sauvage becomes the first Australian Paralympian to be elevated to legend status within the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.

"I can't quite believe it to be honest", Barty said at the ceremony.

The 23-year-old won her maiden grand slam title at the 2019 French Open and has collected two other WTA singles titles in a breakout season. She's even about to finish the year in the number-one spot, which is no small feat.

She is set to become the first Australian to end the year with a No. 1 ranking since Lleyton Hewitt in 2002, the first female to do it since Margaret Court in 1973, and the first Indigenous Australian to do it ever.

Her performance at the finals will confirm Barty's final ranking for 2019.

"The ideal way for me to finish 2019 would be with a win representing Australia in the Fed Cup, then I'll be ready to celebrate", Barty said.

Ashleigh Barty during Day fourteen of the 2019 French Open.

Other nominees for the prestigious award included fellow legend Dylan Alcott, NRL player Cooper Cronk and surfing world champ Stephanie Gilmore among others.

The nine-time gold medallist is the 41st legend of Australian sport.

"It's tremendous and to be thought of alongside some of Australia's great athletes, it's just wonderful company to be alongside them".

Winx and her connections won the Spirit Of Sport award.

There were seven inductions this year into the hall of fame - commentator Dennis Cometti, swimmer Matt Cowdrey, shooter Russell Mark, cyclist Robbie McEwen, swimmer Stephanie Rice, Cheryl Salisbury (soccer) and Emma Snowsill (triathlon).

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