Dylan Alcott, Daria Gavrilova, John Millman, John Peers, Sam Stosur and Jordan Thompson have been nominated for Newcombe Medal 2016.
The highest individual honour in Australian tennis will be awarded to the most outstanding elite tennis player and ambassador for the sport at a special awards ceremony to be held in Melbourne next Monday.
Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley said the Newcombe Medal, Australian Tennis Awards celebrated all levels of achievement within the tennis community.
“Along with honouring our most outstanding professional players, these awards celebrate and recognise the exceptional accomplishments of tennis communities, coaches, clubs and schools around the country,” he said.
The 2016 finalists were honoured to learn of their nomination for the sport’s top gong.
Alcott said: “It’s a massive honour to be nominate for the Newk for a second year running. Tennis Australia has always been a huge supporter of me and everything that I do, so to have their backing and to be nominated for their highest honour means a lot to me.”
Gavrilova said: “This year has been just incredible for me. Winning the Hopman Cup with Nick, getting to represent Australia in Fed Cup and at the Olympics and now this, a nomination for the Newcombe Medal. I’m so proud and grateful. It’s a real privilege and I’m looking forward to being there on the night.”
Millman said: “It’s a great honour to be nominated alongside some of Australia’s best players. I’m grateful to the team around me as they are a big reason for my success this year.”
Peers said: “Finding out that I have been nominated for the Newcombe is a massive honour. I feel like I’ve had a really solid year. Olympics and Davis Cup were big highlights and to win a few big events in the last month has been great. I’m looking forward to attending the Newks for the first time. All the other players tell me what a great night it is and I can’t wait to experience it.”
Stosur said: “It’s always an honour to be nominated for the Newk. I have really good memories of winning the award in the first three years, and to be recognised as the most outstanding player of the year. I’ve had a pretty good year – making the final four at Roland Garros was a highlight, and I was really proud to go to Rio and represent Australia in my fourth Olympics.”
Thompson said: “John Newcombe is not only a legend of Australian tennis but of Australian sport. It is a huge honour to be nominated for such a prestigious award. I understand Australian tennis is on the move and a lot of players are making big advances in the rankings. I’m up against some stiff competition for this award and I wish everyone the best of luck.”
The seventh edition of the Newcombe Medal, Australian Tennis Awards will take place at Crown Palladium in Melbourne on Monday 28 November 2016.
The full list of finalists is as follows:
Dylan Alcott (Vic) began 2016 with wins in Brisbane and Sydney before successfully defending his Australian Open crown in Melbourne. The world No.1 joined Heath Davidson to win the World Team Cup in Tokyo before winning two gold medals, in singles and doubles, in Rio. Other titles include South Africa Open, Japan Open, Open de France and British Open.
Daria Gavrilova (Vic) reached a career high ranking of No.24, posting wins over world No.1 Angelique Kerber, Petra Kvitova and Simona Halep. Highlights include her first WTA singles final and second doubles final in Moscow, fourth round at the Australian Open, representing Australia for the first time in Fed Cup and the Olympics and winning the Hopman Cup.
John Millman (Qld) reached a career high ranking of No.60 and made third round appearances at the Australian Open and Wimbledon. He defeated world No.15 Richard Gasquet, the biggest win of his career, to reach his first ATP semifinal at Winston-Salem. He made his Olympic debut in Rio, becoming the first man to win 6-0 6-0 in men’s singles at an Olympic Games.
John Peers (Vic) finished the year as ATP World Tour Finals champion, won the prestigious Paris Masters and titles in Hamburg, Munich and his second Brisbane International, all with new partner Henri Kontinen. Other highlights for 2016 include representing Australia in his Davis Cup debut and playing both mixed and men’s doubles at the Olympic Games in Rio.
Sam Stosur (Qld) reached the semifinals of Roland Garros for the fourth time, claimed the record for most number of years representing Australia in Fed Cup and played her fourth Olympic games. Sam reached the final in Prague and semifinal in Madrid, qualifying for the WTA Elite Trophy event in Zhuhai.
Jordan Thompson (NSW) broke into the world top 100 for the first time in May and achieved a career high ranking of No.81 in November. He captured his first ATP Challenger Tour title at Cherbourg, followed by wins at Anning, Ho Chi Minh and Traralgon. Also won four doubles titles, Launceston, Shenzhen, Lexington and Canberra.
President’s Spirit of Tennis Award
Recipient selected by a panel appointed by Tennis Australia
Coaching Excellence – High Performance
Finalists: Mark Draper (Qld), Des Tyson (NSW), Francois Vogelsberger (Vic)
Coaching Excellence – Club
Finalists: Matthew Holmes (Floreat, WA), Helen Magill (Parkes, NSW), Adrian Muscillo (Kew, Vic)
Coaching Excellence – Talent Development
Finalists: Graeme Brimblecombe (Graceville East, Qld), Ben Milner (Glenelg East, SA), Stephen Thompson (Cherrybrook, NSW)
Junior Athlete of the Year – Female
Finalists: Kimberly Birrell (Hope Island, Qld), Jaimee Fourlis (Preston, Vic), Priscilla Hon (Rochedale, Qld), Maddison Inglis (Maida Vale, WA)
Junior Athlete of the Year – Male
Finalists: Blake Ellis (Bellbowrie, Qld), Alex De Minaur (Rhodes, NSW), Alexei Popyrin (Pymble, NSW)
Most Outstanding Athlete with a Disability
Finalists: Dylan Alcott (St Kilda East, Vic), Heath Davidson (Rosebud, Vic), Mitchell James (Burpengary, Qld), Damian Phillips (Coffs Harbour, NSW)
Volunteer Achievement Award
Finalists: Laurie Apps (Fremantle, WA), Vic Bayer (Townsville, Qld) Kathy Brummitt (Katherine, NT)
Most Outstanding 35+ Tennis Senior
Finalists: Ian Delbridge (Melrose Park, SA), Mike Ford (Gold Coast, Qld), Leanne Swaysland (Illawarra, NSW)
Excellence in Officiating
Finalists: Troy Deighton (Engadine, NSW), Robert Leak (Surfers Paradise, Qld), Emma Walter (Swinger Hill, ACT)
Most Outstanding Club presented by Medibank
Finalists: East Malvern Tennis Club (Vic), Rostrevor Tennis Club (SA), Tennis Townsville (Qld)
Most Outstanding Australian Ranking Tournament
Finalists: Ferntree Gully Kia MUSTA Silver AMT (Vic), Sun City Plumbing Geraldton Easter Open (WA), 2016 Shepparton Festival of Tennis (Vic)
Most Outstanding Professional Tournament
Finalists: 2015 Canberra International (ACT), 2015 Hutchinson Builders Toowoomba International (Qld), 2016 Mildura Grand International (Vic)
Most Outstanding School
Finalists: Brookfield State School (Brookfield, Qld), Nightcliff Primary School (Nightcliff, NT), Wembley Primary School (Wembley, WA)