Aussie stars Ashleigh Barty and Alex de Minaur were co-recipients of the Newcombe Medal at the Australian Tennis Awards, in Melbourne on Monday, for being the country's most accomplished tennis players of 2018.
Barty, 22, finished the season at a career-high No. 15 in singles—winning two titles, including the WTA Elite Trophy. She cleaned up in doubles by winning championships at the US Open, Miami Open, Italian Open and Rogers Cup.
De Minaur, still 19, had a breakout season with runs to the finals in Sydney and Washington, and also at the Next Gen Finals. He started the year ranked No. 208 in the world, and finished it at No. 31.
Casey Dellacqua, who retired from tennis in April, was given the Spirit of Tennis Award.
Great night at the Newcombe Medal last night with my love ???????? so extremely honoured and grateful to receive the Spirit of Tennis Award ☺️ I have always said if there was an award I want to win it was that one ???? so thank you so much to @tennisaustralia ???? #newks18 #tennis #lovemysport #grateful #25weekspregnant Thank you also to @thevalentinagroup for their styling ???? Dress - Nicolangela @nicolangela Earrings - Dead End Lovers @deadendlovers Clutch - Mimco @_mimco
And Darren Cahill, who coached Simona Halep through her best year yet, won an award for Coaching Excellence.
Destanee Aiava and Rinky Hijikata, meanwhile, were named Junior Athletes of the Year.
De Minaur and Barty were the first-ever joint recipients in the Newcombe Award's nine-year history. Perhaps being simultaneous Slam winners is a worthy future goal.