Ash Barty makes incredible Aussie history with first Don Award

World No.1 Ashleigh Barty and Paralympic great Louise Sauvage have made history with their honours at the Sport Australia Hall Of Fame annual awards.

Barty is the first women's tennis player to win The Don, presented annually to the sportsperson whose deeds most inspired the nation.

Sauvage is the first Paralympian to be elevated to legend status in the Sport Australia Hall Of Fame (SAHOF).

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Sauvage's honour comes a year after Kurt Fearnley was the first athlete with a disability to win The Don.

Barty has enjoyed a breakthrough year, winning the French Open and reaching the top ranking for the first time.

She is on track to hold the No.1 ranking to the end of the year - no Australian has achieved the feat since Lleyton Hewitt in 2002.

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Ashleigh Barty arrives ahead of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Gala Dinner. (Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images)

Margaret Court was the last woman to end the year at No.1 in 1973.

"I can't quite believe it to be honest," Barty said of winning The Don.

"When I look at my fellow nominees this year and people who have won the award before, I feel honoured to be a part of such an inspiring and talented group of Australians."

Barty is the first Australian to win a grand slam singles title in eight years.

She wants to have a big finish to the year, with the WTA finals at the end of this month in Shenzhen, China.

Her performance at the finals will confirm Barty's final ranking for 2019.

She will then return to Australia for the November 9-10 Fed Cup final against France in Perth.

Ashleigh Barty and partner Garry Kissick. (Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images)

Her fellow finalists were Tour de France stage winner Caleb Ewan, tennis star Dylan Alcott, NRL great Cooper Cronk, reigning world surfing champion Stephanie Gilmore, Bathurst winner Craig Lowndes, Ashes winners Ellyse Perry and Tim Paine and swimming world champion Ariarne Titmus.

Pat Rafter is the only other tennis player to win the The Don in 2001.

Louise Sauvage elevated to legend status

Sauvage became the 41st member of the SAHOF to achieve legend status.

The nine-time gold medallist from 1992-2004 was also the first Paralympian inducted into the SAHOF in 2007.

"It should be that Para-sport athletes can be seen and considered in the same light and be recognised in the same manner, so to be elevated is just huge," she said.

"It's tremendous and to be thought of alongside some of Australia's great athletes, it's just amazing company to be alongside them."

Louise Sauvage arrives ahead of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Gala Dinner. (Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images)

Sauvage's many achievements also include several world records on the track and 11 world titles, plus four Boston Marathon wins.

Winx and her connections won the Spirit Of Sport award.

There were seven inductions this year into the hall of fame - commentator Dennis Cometti, swimmer Matt Cowdrey, shooter Russell Mark, cyclist Robbie McEwen, swimmer Stephanie Rice, Cheryl Salisbury (soccer) and Emma Snowsill (triathlon).