Newcombe Medal nomination for Ipswich's Barty
IPSWICH tennis ace Ash Barty is getting used to winning major awards.
She recently received the 2013 QT-City of Ipswich Sports Excellence of the Year accolade and rates the 2013 Deadlys Female Sportsperson of the Year honour her favourite award.
"To get recognition for my indigenous heritage is something that I hold very close,'' the Springfield-based player said. "It's very special to me to have won that award and I love it.''
With another huge year of tennis looming, Barty is in line for more prestigious honours.
Barty and Perth-based doubles partner Casey Dellacqua are finalists for the illustrious Newcombe Medal being presented at Monday night's Tennis Australia awards in Melbourne.
"To get a nomination for the Newcombe Medal is fantastic,'' Barty, 17, said.
"To be nominated for the big one is unreal.''
Barty is also a finalist for Female Junior Athlete of the Year, an award she won last year.
Barty and Dellacqua were finalists at this year's Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open, having joined forces just over a year ago.
"I think the biggest thing is that we just enjoy it and we love playing together,'' Barty said. "We just go out there and have fun.
"We played one or two tournaments in 2012, just kind of randomly, and then we had good success. Then we decided to play at the Australian Open this year and from there it kind of flourished.''
Although a first grand slam tournament title seems close, Barty feels no additional expectation for next year.
"We both still put priority on our singles, so when we get doubles success it's a bonus,'' Barty said.
"I just want to continue to keep playing the good tennis that I've been producing and try to win a few more singles matches.
"But I don't put any pressure on myself. I just want to do the best that I can and keep enjoying it.''
In singles, Barty reached the second round of the French and US Opens. The right-handed professional player also made a winning singles debut for Australia in Fed Cup against Switzerland.
She was home for just 27 days the past year as she continued her rise up the world tennis rankings.
"I wasn't home much and I think it was even less this year,'' said Barty, who is ranked 188 in singles and 12 in doubles with Dellacqua.
"But I love it down here in Melbourne. It's a rare occasion when I can get home but I do love it when I can.''
The Ipswich achiever appreciates the backing of Tennis Australia.
"I'm so lucky I get the support that I do from TA and it's amazing how much that helps in my tennis career,'' the dedicated teenager said.
"They help me with my coaching and training and pretty much everything when I'm in Melbourne. I have access to whatever I need.
"To get that recognition (in the TA awards) is the icing on the cake really.''
Barty and Dellacqua are contenders for the Newcombe Medal, up against Australia's top ranked singles players Sam Stosur and Bernard Tomic, tireless performer Lleyton Hewitt and rising talent Nick Kyrgios.
"Growing up I didn't watch a lot of tennis to be honest but Sam's a great girl and everyone who has been nominated does deserve the award,'' Barty said.
Other finalists for Female Junior Athlete of the Year are Priscilla Hon from Rochedale and Seone Mendez (NSW).
A number of Tennis Australia awards will be presented at the Crown Palladium function.