Melbourne, Australia, 3 December 2012 | Tennis Australia

Samantha Stosur has been awarded the Newcombe Medal for a third consecutive year at the gala Newcombe Medal Australian Tennis Awards at Crown Palladium in Melbourne tonight.

The Queenslander, 28, received the accolade for being Australia’s most outstanding elite player in 2012. Australian tennis legend John Newcombe presented Stosur, the current world No.9, with the medal.

Stosur is the first Australian woman since Wendy Turnbull to finish in the world top 10 three years running.

The Newcombe Medal is the premier award on a night that recognises service to tennis at all levels – clubs, coaches, players, volunteers, community and officials.

“Receiving the Newcombe Medal for a third year in a row is an amazing honour,” said Stosur, who captured the hearts of Australians last year when she defeated Serena Williams to win the 2011 US Open, her first Grand Slam singles title.

“The Newcombe Medal is a great occasion for the Australian tennis community to come together and celebrate our sport, recognise people’s achievements and contributions to Australian tennis.

“I think it’s great that the Australian tennis community continues to recognise the hard work of its members, who make the growth of our sport possible for the longevity of tennis in our country.”

The other finalists for this prestigious Award category were Australia’s new No.1 male player Marinko Matosevic, along with former world No.1 Lleyton Hewitt and 2011 French Open mixed doubles champion Casey Dellacqua.

Stosur’s 2012 season made her a worth winner of Australian tennis’s highest accolade.

The Queenslander went deep in the majority of tournaments she played throughout the past year, including runs to the finals in Doha and Moscow, and reaching the semifinals at another four events.

One of those was at the French Open, marking the third time in four years that Stosur had progressed to the last four at Roland Garros.

Her Grand Slam resume was further bolstered by a trip to the quarterfinals at the US Open, where she played stellar tennis before eventually falling to world No.1 Victoria Azarenka in what is widely regarded as one of the finest women’s matches of the season.

In addition, Stosur reached four other WTA quarterfinals and went undefeated in Fed Cup play, leading Australia to a stunning upset victory over Germany in Stuttgart which returned the team to the World Group for the first time in two years.

“I had a dream when I was a little kid to be doing what I am doing today,” Stosur reflected in her Newcombe Medal acceptance speech.

“When I was 11 years old, I wrote it down on a piece of paper for a school project for the time capsule that the school was putting into the ground … On the piece of paper, it said I wanted to be a professional tennis player, go the Olympics Games by 2008, win a Grand Slam and hopefully one day be World No.1.

“I’m very lucky to have almost achieved all those dreams as a young kid. It may sound corny but I know there’s a lot of juniors and young players here tonight and I just want to say that a dream and a bit of hard work along the way can take you a long way.

“So I hope that what I have dreamt of and been able to achieve, I hope all you guys here tonight have a dream you want to achieve one day as well.”