Melbourne, 6 December 2012 | Storm Sanders

The Newcombe Medal, Australian Tennis Awards were fantastic! It was my first time being there and the atmosphere was amazing. There were just so many stars of the game in the room – John Newcombe was there at a table next to us!

> View photos from the 2012 Newcombe Medal, Australian Tennis Awards

It’s nice to kinda be there together with all the players – we’re all really good friends. The girls had so much fun getting ready before the event, getting our make-up and hair done together.

The stylists were amazing – they helped you out and all the girls looked so pretty with their dresses and their heels. You don’t really get to see them dress up ever because you’re always on court in training clothes. Ash (Barty) was very excited about the night, “It’s great to get all glammed up!”, she said.

Storm Sanders, Newcombe Medal 2012. MAE DUMRIGUEI wore this dark brown full length dress by a designer called Langhem and jewellery, a nice necklace and pearl earrings by Gray Reid Gallery. It was my first time wearing a long dress so I thought it was really comfortable and really pretty. I asked the stylists for their recommendation and they were spot on, selecting the perfect pieces for me to wear.

> All the Newcombe Medal coverage

Ash and I were one of the first to walk the blue carpet, which was really cool. There were cameras everywhere and it was so much fun. Everyone started to turn up then. The guys looked nice as well, all in their suits and ties. Dinner was nice but I had to leave by 9.30 pm for my first match in the morning.

I did stay long enough to see Ash take the Female Junior Athlete of the Year award home. I think it was really nice for her. She’s had a really good year. She’s like No.170  in the world. She’s doing amazing and I think she deserved to win. I was really happy for her.  Fellow nominee Lizette (Cabrera) told me, it means a lot to just get nominated: “It shows that I’m working hard and I’ve had a really good year,” she said.

> Photo gallery: Editor’s choice

I saw a few tennis legends while I was there but I didn’t get to talk to any of them but you could just see them walk past and socialise. It’s just like everybody being in the same place at once. Nicole Pratt said to me that the Newcombe Medal represents a “celebration of Australian tennis both past, present and future” especially that of up-and-coming players like Destanee [Aiava] who was on our table. It’s good to get the whole community there and everybody supporting tennis.

Seeing Sam Stosur win the Newcombe Medal made me proud to be an Australian. I think it’s amazing just being in the room with Sam, she’s obviously had a good year to win again – third year in a row. It’s amazing and it kind of gives you a bit of motivation to want to be up on the stage and win the Newcombe Medal yourself one day. It’s a really inspiring night and kind of good timing as well before the Optus 18s Australian Championships this week and the Australian Open Play-off next week. It really gives you the extra motivation when you’re out on the court.

Storm’s Top Three Faves on the night:

1.      Best Dressed Female?

All the girls looked amazing but I thought Ash looked really really nice, she had her hair down and a nice pair of shoes on.

2.      Best Dressed Male?

Matt Preston.

3.      Favourite award?

I think the Volunteer Award is pretty important.  I don’t think they get enough credit. Anne Baldwin who won the award was my Asia-Pacific Tennis League (ATL) manager and I think that award was really nice for her to win, she deserved it.