Melbourne VIC, Australia, 27 November 2017 | Tennis Australia

 Ashleigh Barty (Qld) has taken out her first Newcombe Medal at Monday night’s Australian Tennis Awards.

Australia’s top-ranked tennis player was awarded tennis’ top honour by legend John Newcombe at the annual awards ceremony at Crown Palladium.

The win caps off a breakout 12 months for Barty where she finished the year ranked in the top 20 at No.17.

After an 18-month break from the sport, the 21-year-old returned in 2016 and climbed to the career-high ranking after starting 2017 outside the top 200.

The Queenslander’s highlight of the year came at the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur where she took out her first WTA singles title.

Barty also reached the final at both Wuhan and Birmingham, where she defeated top-10 players Garbine Muguruza, Johanna Konta, Karolina Pliskova and Jelena Ostapenko.

This is the second time Barty has been nominated for the award, after she and doubles partner Casey Dellacqua were nominated as a pair in 2013.

Barty takes out the award after edging out fellow nominees Daria Gavrilova (Vic), Nick Kyrgios (ACT), John Peers (Vic) and Jordan Thompson (NSW).

The Newcombe Medal is the premier award presented on a night that recognises players, coaches, clubs, communities, volunteers and officials for their service to the sport. The awards ceremony has been held annually since 2010.

A highlight of the evening’s celebrations was the presentation of the Spirit of Tennis Award to the former Victorian Premier John Cain who was instrumental in the development of the Melbourne Park precinct.

Alex De Minaur (NSW) was named Male Junior Athlete of the Year for the second year in a row, while Destanee Aiava (Vic) collected Female Junior Athlete of the Year.

Archie Graham (Qld) was awarded the Most Outstanding Athlete with a Disability.

The full list of award winners is as follows:

Spirit of Tennis
John Cain

Coaching Excellence High Performance
Craig Tyzzer (Vic)

Coaching Excellence Club
Helen Rice (Belair, SA)

Coaching Excellence Talent Development
Luke Bourgeois (Homebush, NSW)

Female Junior Athlete of the Year
Destanee Aiava (Berwick, Vic)

Male Junior Athlete of the Year
Alex De Minaur (Sydney, NSW)

Most Outstanding Athlete with a Disability
Archie Graham (Ipswich, Qld)

Volunteer Achievement Award
James Edwards (Perth, WA)

Most Outstanding 35+ Tennis Senior
Ros Balodis (Canberra, ACT)

Excellence in Officiating
Emma Walter (Swinger Hill, ACT)

Most Outstanding Club
Boroondara Tennis Centre (Vic)

Most Outstanding Australian Ranking Tournament
Melbourne Wheelchair Tennis Open 2017 (Vic)

Most Outstanding Professional Tournament
Mildura Grand Tennis International 2017 (Vic)

Most Outstanding School
Riverton Primary School (Riverton, WA)