Britain’s Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber of Germany have been named as the 2016 men’s and women’s world champions by the International Tennis Federation (ITF).
It is the first time either player has received the prize from the sport’s worldwide governing body.
Murray’s brother Jamie and Brazilian partner Bruno Soares have been given the men’s doubles award, while French pair Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic are women’s doubles world champions.
There is strong recognition for British players from the ITF as Paralympic gold medalist Gordon Reid scooped the men’s wheelchair award, with Jiske Griffioen of The Netherlands receiving the women’s award.
Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic and Anastasia Potapova of Russia are the junior world champions.
They will all be given their prizes at the ITF World Champions Dinner in Paris, a candidate city for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, on June 6 during the French Open at Roland Garros.
The award for Andy Murray rounds off a superb year for the 29-year-old, which has seen him win Wimbledon, the men’s singles title at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and the Association of Tennis Professionals World Tour Finals.
His victory over Serbian rival Novak Djokovic at the Tour Finals in London last month also saw him end the year as world number one for the first time in his career.
“It means a lot to me to be named ITF world champion,” said Murray.
“I have had such a memorable year, winning again at Wimbledon, retaining my Olympic title, and clinching the year-end number one ranking in the last match of the season.
“It is particularly special with my brother Jamie also becoming world champion.”
Kerber also enjoyed a successful 2016, clinching her maiden Grand Slam crown at the Australian Open in January.
The 28-year-old German also reigned supreme at the US Open and was second in the season-ending Women’s Tennis Association Finals in Singapore.
She becomes the first from her country to be honored with the ITF award since Steffi Graf in 1996.
“I’m truly honored to be named ITF world champion and to line up with all these past champions,” said Kerber.
“This year was by far the best of my career with so many unforgettable experiences and emotions.
“I am grateful for the recognition and I’m looking forward to the upcoming challenges.”
The ITF chooses the recipients of the awards based on an objective system that considers all results during the year.
It gives special weight to the Olympic tennis event, Grand Slam tournaments and the Davis Cup and Fed Cup competitions.
“Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber have both been rewarded for their hard work and dedication with exceptional years that see them worthy recipients of the ITF world champion awards,” ITF President David Haggerty said.
“Our two doubles world champions, Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares, and Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic, have shown impressive teamwork in their first season together.
“All these players have taken great pride in representing their country, and are fine ambassadors for our sport.”
By Liam Morgan
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.