Ash Barty Becomes First Australian To Win The Fed Cup Heart Award
The accolades keep coming the way of Australian tennis player Ash Barty, who has won the prestigious Fed Cup Heart Award.
It's been a big month for Barty -- winning her maiden Grand Slam title at the French Open, moving up to world number two and now, being recognised for her role in Australia's Fed Cup team.
Since 2009, the Fed Cup Heart Award has gone to the player "who has represented their country with distinction, shown exceptional courage on court and demonstrated outstanding commitment to their team during Fed Cup".
The 23-year-old is the first Australian to be awarded the International Tennis Federation's (ITF) award, voted for in a public ballot.
“Playing for my country is always a privilege and Fed Cup weeks are my favourite time of the year,” Barty told the ITF.
“I’m honoured to have won the Fed Cup Heart Award for my role in our semi-final win."
She earned the award for her vital part in Australia's 3-2 semi-final win over Belarus, earning the Australians their first Fed Cup finals appearance since 1993.
Barty beat Victoria Azarenka and Aryna Sabalenka, before teaming up with Sam Stosur to grab a win in the doubles.
Those three wins have kept a 14-game Fed Cup winning streak intact for Barty, who hasn't lost a match in the competition since 2017.
"Having the chance to play in a Fed Cup Final is something I have always dreamed of and I’m so happy we’ll be playing the final at home in Australia," she said.
"It will be another great opportunity to pull on the green and gold and work together with Alicia [Molik] and our whole team to hopefully get the ultimate win for Australia.”
The accolade comes with $10,000 prize money, which Barty will donate to the RSPCA.
"Animal welfare is close to my heart and I’m happy to help provide some extra support for the wonderful work the RSPCA do," Barty said.
Barty is just two wins away from becoming world number one, after beating Venus Williams in the quarter-finals of the Birmingham Classic. She plays Wimbledon next month.
Australia will host France in the Fed Cup final in Perth on November 9 and 10.