Sir Andy Murray tells of pride after collecting knighthood
The tennis ace said he wished his daughters could have seen him receive the honour at Buckingham Palace, but they were too young to attend.
Tennis ace Sir Andy Murray said he wished his two young daughters had been old enough to see him receive his knighthood from the Prince of Wales.
Sir Andy was dubbed a knight by Charles during a Buckingham Palace investiture ceremony for a glittering tennis career that has seen him win three Grand Slams and several other titles.
He issued a brief statement about the knighthood after the ceremony, saying: “I’m very proud to receive it. It’s a nice day to spend with my family – my wife and parents are here.
“I’d have liked to (have brought) my kids but I think they’re a bit young. I’ll show them the medal when I get home.”
Sir Andy and wife Kim are the proud parents of three-year-old Sophia Olivia and 18-month-old Edie.
The player’s career-defining moment came in the summer of 2013 when he ended Britain’s 77-year wait for a male singles champion at Wimbledon.
The knighthood was announced in the 2016 New Year Honours, capping a momentous 12 months which saw him win a second Wimbledon title, retain his Olympic crown, named BBC Sports Personality of the Year for the third time, and finish the season as world number one.
Recipients are allowed to choose when to collect their honour and it is thought the delay was due to Sir Andy having a busy overseas playing schedule, but in the intervening two years he has suffered a career-threatening hip problem.
Sir Andy announced during a tearful press conference at the Australian Open in January that he plans to retire after Wimbledon this year due to the pain in the joint.
But after a monumental five-set tussle with Roberto Bautista Agut, where Sir Andy showed he still has the ability and desire to compete at the top level, he said he would do everything he could to keep playing.
Sir Andy, who celebrated his 32nd birthday on Wednesday, has since had a hip resurfacing operation and begun his rehabilitation.
He sounded upbeat about his tennis prospects when he spoke about his hip rehabilitation in April during the London Marathon, where he fired the starting pistol for the elite men’s race.
He said: “I’ve been hitting a few balls from a stationary position. I’m still quite a long way from testing it properly, running around a court.
“I just have to see what happens. I don’t feel any pressure that I need to come back but if my body feels good and I’m pain-free then I’ll give it a go.”
Sir Andy, who is a Unicef UK ambassador, received the knighthood for services to tennis and charity.
He came to the attention of tennis fans as an awkward, gangly young man who won the US Open junior title at the age of 17.
Shy, unkempt and with no desire to be a celebrity, the tennis ace stood out on court for the variety in his game, his tennis brain, his speed and, most of all, his tenacity.
The player connected with the wider British public when he took gold at the London 2012 Olympics, beating Roger Federer in straight sets.
A few weeks later he became the first British man to win a grand slam final in 76 years, defeating Novak Djokovic in the US Open.
His efforts earned him the OBE for services to tennis but more glory on the court was to follow.
The lack of a homegrown winner of the Wimbledon men’s title had hung over British tennis for decades, but Sir Andy beat all comers and triumphed in the final – against Djokovic again – to become the first British man in almost 80 years to win the singles title.
It was under the direction of coach Ivan Lendl – a former tennis great – Sir Andy won his three Grand Slam titles and fulfilled his early promise.
But he was also supported by his family, with older brother Jamie Murray a successful doubles and mixed doubles player, who has won six Grand Slam titles, and their tennis coach mother Judy Murray and father William Murray, who joined his ex-wife Judy at the palace for the investiture.
Blane Dodds, the chief executive of Tennis Scotland, said: “Everyone involved in tennis in Scotland joins in congratulating Sir Andy and thanking him sincerely for the incredible service to tennis and to charity which led to his deserved title.
“It goes without saying that we all have our fingers crossed that a fully fit and healthy Sir Andy Murray will compete on the court once again. However, today is a reminder of the wider impact of his efforts and achievements and of the fantastic role model he is for young people, not only in Scotland and the UK, but across the world.”