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By Karen Walker
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World No.6 and French Open finalist Samantha Stosur received the inaugural Newcombe Medal at the Australian Tennis Awards night held in Melbourne on Dec, 3rd, 2010 by none other than the legend, John Newcombe who was present at the occasion.
Stosur, who made it to her first ever Grand Slam final at the French Open this year after recording thrilling wins over players like Serena Williams and Jelena Jankovic, also picked up her first premier level title in Charleston and finished the season at a career high No.6 in the world.
After receiving the award, Stosur said - "I think it is a great honour. It is a really good initiative of Tennis Australia to put a night like this together for everyone to celebrate our sport. So to be the first winner of the Newcombe Medal is very special."
"Tennis is such a huge part of our culture in Australia, we’ve obviously got a great history and we’re trying to continue that now. You can only have that with clubs around the nation," added the Queenslander.
"I think for them to get the recognition for doing their best - putting in new courts, updating facilities, and having members and getting people out there playing is fantastic and getting recognition for that will help them strive and do more and do whatever they can."
Stosur was in competition with former world number one Lleyton Hewitt, Jarmila Groth and Anastasia Rodionova for the top honour.
Another important of the awards night, the Spirit of Tennis award, went to Australian No.2 men's player - Peter Luczak, who was honoured for his sportsmanship, dedication to the sport and tremendous leadership skills that he displayed to the fullest during the Davis Cup play offs this year.
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