The number one pair of Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber earned the official stamp of approval for runaway success in 2016 as they were named world champions by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for the first time in their careers on Tuesday.
Murray, who claimed a second Wimbledon title, retained the Olympic gold medal and took over the top ATP ranking from Novak Djokovic as he won the year-end championships in London last month, was joined by his German WTA counterpart, who claimed Australian and US Open titles to displace Serena Williams from the top of the ranking pile.
Murray’s brother Jamie was named top doubles player for the season as he and Brazilian partner Bruno Soares took honours in that speciality; Frenchwomen Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic were winners in the women’s doubles.
“It means a lot to me to be named ITF World Champion,” Murray, currently training in Miami, said in a statement, “I’ve 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.”
Added Kerber: “I’m truly honoured to be named ITF World Champion and to line up with all these past champions. 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.”
Gordon Reid became the third British player win a 2016 award as he took wheelchair world champion honours. Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia and Anastasia Potapova of Russia lifted junior gongs.
Honourees will receive their awards in June in Paris during an awards dinner at the French Open.
Selection is made under criteria which takes into account the Olympics, grand slam tournaments plus Davis and Fed Cups, all sanctioned by the ITF.