Murray recognised for Wimbledon triumph
Originally published on: 16/12/13 00:00
Just over five months after his historic victory at Wimbledon, where he became the first British men’s singles champion in 77 years, the British public acknowledged his achievements with 56 per cent of the vote going in the Scot’s favour.
Murray, who is continuing his rehabilitation from back surgery at his training base in Miami, opted not to return to Britain to collect the award at the ceremony in Leeds, instead receiving the trophy from Martina Navratilova via live video link to Florida.
“Winning something like Wimbledon is something I’ve dedicated a lot of years towards and winning something like this is an acknowledgement of your achievement from the British public,” said Murray, who is the first tennis player to win the award since US Open finalist Greg Rusedski in 1997.
“The easy decision would have been to have come over and I would have loved it and had a great time,” Murray said. “I would have rather been there than running around a tennis court for three hours. But it was the right decision for my career and my back and my preparations for Australia and that’s why the decision was made.”
Murray saw off competition from the likes of Tour de France winner Chris Froome, US Open golf champion Justin Rose and Ashes cricket hero Ian Bell. Wales and British & Irish Lions rugby union player Leigh Halfpenny was runner-up, while jockey AP McCoy, who won the award in 2010, finished third.
Murray, who has not played since undergoing back surgery in late September, started the year with victory in Brisbane before reaching the Australian Open final, where he lost to Novak Djokovic.
The Scot missed the French Open with a back problem, but he returned in emphatic fashion, winning a third title at Queen’s before beating Djokovic in straight sets to win Wimbledon, a year after breaking down in tears following defeat by Roger Federer in 2012.
Murray, who reached the US Open quarter-finals in New York before helping Great Britain secure a return to the Davis Cup World Group, is targeting a return action in time for the new season.
The world No.4 is scheduled to make his comeback at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi on December 26 ahead of the Australian Open, which begins on January 13.
Murray is the fourth tennis player to win the BBC accolade in its 60-year history. Ann Jones won the prize in 1969, Virginia Wade in 1977 and Rusedski in 1997.
Breakdown of voting for 2013 BBC Sports Personality of the Year
Andy Murray: 401,470
Leigh Halfpenny: 65,913
AP McCoy: 57,854
Mo Farah: 51,945
Ben Ainslie: 48,140
Chris Froome: 37,343
Hannah Cockcroft: 26,151
Christine Ohuruogu: 13,179
Justin Rose: 9,833
Ian Bell: 5,626