Aussie tennis legend and world number 1 Ash Barty has made history today after being honoured at the Sport Australia Hall Of Fame annual awards.
THE BARTY PARTY CONTINUES 🎉 🎉 🎉
— Sport Australia Hall of Fame (@sportaushof) October 10, 2019
Ash picked up The Don, which is the award presented to the most inspirational sportsperson in Australia each year, which is a HUGE achievement. She’s the first female tennis player to ever win the prestigious award.
“I can’t quite believe it to be honest,” Barty said at the ceremony. “When I look at my fellow nominees this year and people who have won the award before, I feel honoured to be a part of such an inspiring and talented group of Australians.”
But Ash wasn’t the only winner at the event, with Paralympian Louise Sauvage also picking up “legend” status at the Hall Of Fame, being the first Paralympian in history to do so.
“It should be that Para-sport athletes can be seen and considered in the same light and be recognised in the same manner, so to be elevated is just huge,” she said. “It’s tremendous and to be thought of alongside some of Australia’s great athletes, it’s just amazing company to be alongside them.”
The award comes just days after Barty made the Australian Financial Review’s Most Influential list.
It’s been a huge year for the tennis star, being the first Aussie to win a grand slam singles title in a whopping eight years. She’s even about to finish the year in the number-one spot, which is no small feat. The last player to cap off the year in the top spot was Lleyton Hewitt back in 2002, and no female has had that honour since 1973 when Margaret Court finished the year at number one.
Other nominees for the prestigious award included fellow legend Dylan Alcott, NRL player Cooper Cronk and surfing world champ Stephanie Gilmore among others.