Melbourne, 27 November 2010 |

Jarmila Groth, Lleyton Hewitt, Anastasia Rodionova and Samantha Stosur were today announced as finalists for the inaugural Newcombe Medal to be presented at the Australian Tennis Awards gala in Melbourne on Friday 3 December.

“We are delighted to announce such an outstanding and committed group of athletes as our finalists for the inaugural Newcombe Medal,” Tennis Australia’s Director of Tennis Craig Tiley said.

“They have all enjoyed significant achievements and success with their tennis during 2010.

“Lleyton showed his now trademark grit and determination, coming back from surgery to defeat Federer and win in Halle, and break more records with his outstanding Davis Cup service; Jarka rose to the occasion in the big events, reaching the round of 16 at both Roland Garros and Wimbledon and winning her first WTA event to break into the top 50. And Anastasia, or Rodi, as we now know her, made an emotional Fed Cup debut and went on to win two gold medals at the Commonwealth Games.

“And of course Sam won two WTA titles, reached her first Grand Slam final and finished the year at No. 6 in the world.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to honour our most outstanding elite athlete by awarding the Newcombe Medal, and we also look forward to recognising the contributions of many of our tennis family – coaches, officials, administrators and volunteers – at our first ever Australian Tennis Awards night,” Tiley continued.

Legendary 26-time Grand Slam title winner John Newcombe is also looking forward to a night dedicated to the celebration of tennis.

“It was a great honour when Tennis Australia asked me if I would be willing to be involved … and to have a medal named after myself,” Newcombe said.

“Of course I agreed. I feel quite humbled by it really, because you think about actually becoming a part of history. In 50 and 60 years time you will be getting the Newcombe Medal presented at the annual dinner. My grandchildren and my great-grandchildren will be there, and they will be able to see that happening, and it really is a great honour. They might even call it the ‘beauty Newk!’ I can’t wait. It’s going to be a big night.”

The inaugural Newcombe Medal and Australian Tennis Awards gala will take place at Melbourne Park on Friday 3 December.