The summer Ashleigh Barty spent realising her modest cricket limitations keeps paying hefty dividends for the world No.1 tennis star.
Her outstanding year continued on Thursday night when she won The Don award at the Sport Australia Hall Of Fame annual dinner in Melbourne.
The French Open champion wants to end 2019 on a high, with the WTA finals in Shenzhen, China at the end of this month.
She is well on track to become the first Australian since Lleyton Hewitt in 2002 to end the year with the No.1 tennis ranking.
No Australian woman has achieved the feat since Margaret Court in 1973.
After Shenzhen, Barty will close out her competition for the year in Perth, spearheading Australia's Fed Cup final against France.
All this was unthinkable in the summer of 2015-16, when Barty was struggling with tennis and famously had switched to cricket.
She played for Brisbane Heat in the first WBBL season.
Accepting her award on Thursday night, Barty said the lessons she learned in cricket far outweighed any on-field performances.
Barty made lifelong friends and realised the importance of surrounding herself with a strong team.
"It was a time to find myself as a person and as a pretty ordinary cricketer," she said.
'Tennis is definitely my calling.
"I made friends for a lifetime, an incredible group of friends outside of tennis, which is really nice, who couldn't have cared whether I could hit a tennis ball or not.
"It was just really nice to be around quality people and I promised myself when I came back into the sport that I'd surround myself with only the best. That's what I've been able to do."
So at Thursday's function, Barty filled two tables with family, friends and support staff.
Chief among her tennis crew is coach Craig Tyzzer.
She publicly thanked Tyzzer's wife Sue for letting Barty take away her husband and, as she put it, borrowing him.
"He stuck with me from day dot when I came back (to tennis)," Barty said. "I had no ranking, I barely had a full bag of racquets and a full bag of gear.
"I'm eternally grateful to Tyzs for giving me that opportunity and that chance again."
Barty said her achievements in the last 12 months had come as a surprise.
"It's been incredibly bizarre ... it's been very unexpected," she said.
"The beauty about it, the best part about it, is I don't have one regret."
Australian Associated Press