Barty wins Newcombe Medal after stellar year

Ashleigh Barty has won the Newcombe Medal as Australia's outstanding tennis player of 2017.

Barty was awarded Australian tennis's highest individual honour at Melbourne's Crown Casino on Monday night.

The 21-year-old joined grand slam champions Lleyton Hewitt and three-time recipient Samantha Stosur on the honour roll after an incredible comeback season featuring three WTA Tour finals and her maiden top-level title in Malaysia.

After starting the year as the No.271 in the world, Barty soared more than 250 spots to 17th in the rankings, the highest of any Australian singles player.

As well as making finals in Kuala Lumpur, Birmingham and Wuhan, Barty was runner-up in the French Open doubles with Casey Dellacqua after the duo became the first all-Australian women's pairing in the open era to reach the title match at all four grand slam events.

The Queenslander recorded five top-10 wins in total and her scalps included Karolina Pliskova, Garbine Muguruza and Angelique Kerber, who all enjoyed stints atop the rankings in 2017, as well as grand slam champions Venus Williams and Jelena Ostapenko.

Barty beat fellow nominees Daria Gavrilova, Nick Kyrgios, John Peers and Jordan Thompson to claim the medal on Monday.

As well as Hewitt and Stosur, others to have won the Newcombe Medal since its inception in 2010 are Kyrgios, Sam Groth and wheelchair ace Dylan Alcott.

Rising stars Destanee Aiava and Alex De Minaur were named as the female and male junior athletes of the year, respectively.