Nominees for the prestigious Newcombe Medal have been announced. For the 2021 season, Dylan Alcott, Ash Barty, John Peers, and Samantha Stosur have made the final cut. The winner will be announced on the 17th of December. Three of the nominees are prior winners.
The Newcombe Medal is an award that recognizes and celebrates the performances, achievements, and contributions made by members of the Australian tennis fraternity every year. It is the highest individual honour in Australian tennis. The awards are named after Australian tennis legend John Newcombe and are presented annually at an event that takes place towards the end of the year. The inaugural edition took place in 2010, with Samantha Stosur emerging as the very first winner.
John Newcombe is an Australian former professional tennis player. He is one of the few male players to have attained the world no. 1 ranking in both singles and doubles categories. He has 26 grand slam titles to his name, which include 7 singles, 17 doubles, and 2 mixed doubles titles. In singles, he has won the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open at least two times each. His 17 doubles grand slam wins were a record at the time.
He also played a crucial role in five Davis Cup wins for Australia, during an age when the Davis Cup was deemed as significant as the slams. He was rated as the 10th best male player of the period 1965–2005 by Tennis Magazine. To honour his legacy and lasting impact on the Australian tennis scene, the Newcombe Medal was instituted.
The nominees for the Newcombe Medal 2021 are:
Dylan Alcott: Dylan Alcott is a wheelchair legend and 23 time-grand slam champion. His incredible achievements include Olympic medals in tennis as well as basketball. In 2021, he became the only man in any form of tennis to complete the Golden Slam. He won the Newcombe Medal in 2016.
Ash Barty: The reigning world no. 1 Ash Barty is a tennis player, as well as a former cricketer. Her grand slam titles include the 2019 Roland Garros, 2021 Wimbledon, and the 2018 US Open doubles. She has also been a top 10 player in doubles, having achieved a career-high ranking of No. 5 in the world. Ash Barty has won 3 consecutive Newcombe Medals, in 2017, 2018, and 2019. She also won Junior’s version of the award multiple times.
John Peers: John Peers is an Australian doubles player. He won the Australian Open in 2017, and the Tour Finals in 2016 and 2017. He also clinched the mixed doubles bronzer in the Tokyo Olympics.
Sam Stosur: Samantha ‘Sam’ Stosur is a former world no. 4 in singles and world no. 1 in doubles. She has won a collective 8 grand slam titles; 1 single, 4 doubles, and 3 mixed doubles. She also won the Tour Finals in the doubles category in 2005 and 2006. Stosur was the very first recipient of the Newcombe Medal, back in 2010, and won it twice more in the subsequent years i.e 2011 and 2012.