‘Knight­hood is nice but I don’t feel like Sir Andy,’ says Mur­ray

The Sunday Telegraph - Sport - - SPORT - By Eleanor Crooks

Andy Mur­ray is happy to have a sir in front of his name – even if it will take some get­ting used to. The world No1 was given a knight­hood in the New Year’s Hon­ours af­ter a spec­tac­u­lar sea­son that brought him a sec­ond Wim­ble­don ti­tle and an Olympic gold medal.

Mur­ray had pre­vi­ously said that at 29 he felt too young to re­ceive the hon­our, but the clam­our had been grow­ing and he was among a num­ber of high-pro­file sport­ing stars to be recog­nised. Mo Farah and Lee Pear­son were also knighted while Jes­sica En­nis-Hill and Kather­ine Grainger were made dames.

Mur­ray gave his first re­ac­tion to the news af­ter beat­ing Mi­los Raonic 6-3, 7-6 at an ex­hi­bi­tion tour­na­ment in Abu Dhabi.

The Scot said in com­ments re­ported by the BBC: “I still feel like Andy Mur­ray – that feels more nor­mal – but I am happy with the knight­hood and it is a nice way to start the new year.”

As well as his Wim­ble­don and Rio suc­cesses, Mur­ray also reached grand­slam fi­nals in Aus­tralia and France and over­hauled No­vak Djokovic at the top of the rank­ings with a stun­ning run to fin­ish the sea­son.

The Scot won 24 matches in a row, claim­ing ti­tles in Bei­jing, Shang­hai, Vi­enna and Paris be­fore beat­ing Djokovic in the fi­nal of the ATP World Tour Fi­nals in Lon­don to clinch the year-end No 1 po­si­tion.

He lost for the first time since Septem­ber in his open­ing match in Abu Dhabi against David Gof­fin on Fri­day, al­though the ex­hi­bi­tion sta­tus of the event means it does not count in of­fi­cial records.

It was not the way Mur­ray would have wanted to start the new sea­son, though, so it was a boost to fin­ish the tour­na­ment with vic­tory over world No 3 Raonic. “It was good to fin­ish the year with a win,” said Mur­ray. “It was a good match to work on re­turns as Mi­los has a strong serve.”

The 29-year-old will hope to pick up where he left off when he be­gins the new ATP Tour sea­son at the Qatar Open in Doha next week, be­fore aim­ing to de­fend his rank­ing at the Aus­tralian Open start­ing on Jan 16. Mur­ray has been the run­ner-up in the men’s sin­gles com­pe­ti­tion in Aus­tralia five times but has yet to win it.

Rafael Nadal ended an in­jury­plagued year on a high by lift­ing the Mubadala World Ten­nis Cham­pi­onship ti­tle for a fourth time. The 30-year-old Spa­niard de­feated 11th-ranked Bel­gian Gof­fin 6-4, 7-6. “I’m very happy to re­turn to com­pe­ti­tion again. These three days, play­ing at this level, are go­ing to stand me in good stead for the rest of the sea­son,” said Nadal.

On a high: Andy Mur­ray cel­e­brated his hon­our with a win in Abu Dhabi yes­ter­day

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