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Tennis star Jamie Murray nets OBE from Queen

Tennis star Jamie Murray's most successful year on the court has been matched with an award off it - an OBE for services to his sport and charity.

Murray, 30, may be better known as the older brother of Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, 29, but he has forged a career playing doubles and during the past 12 months has won the US and Australian Open titles and helped the Great Britain team clinch the Davis Cup.

After receiving the OBE from the Queen during a Buckingham Palace investiture ceremony, the doubles star said: "I never expected this, and it's not something you think about.

"It's amazing to be honoured like this for some of the achievements I've been able to do in my tennis career."

A four-year-old Murray, born in the Scottish town of Dunblane, began playing tennis alongside his younger sibling and turned professional at 18.

The brothers were set on the road to tennis stardom by their mother Judy Murray, a tennis coach and former captain of Great Britain's Fed Cup team, who joined him at the palace along with his Colombian-born wife Alejandra Gutierrez and father William Murray.

Jamie Murray came to wider attention when at the age of 21 he won the Wimbledon mixed doubles title in 2007 with Serbian Jelena Jankovic, becoming the first Briton to win a senior title at SW19 for 20 years.

A highlight of his career was being part of the team which won the Davis Cup last year, an historic victory as Great Britain lifted the famous trophy for the first time since 1936.

Murray arrived in London yesterday ahead of the investiture ceremony and was flying to Vienna later today for a tennis tournament, but stressed he wanted to appreciate what was happening.

He said: "It's important to enjoy the moments, because what I've learned from tennis is that because you don't stop, it's so constant through the year, you might win an event and do really well in a tournament, and then you're off to play the next one on a Monday and you kind of miss the moment to really savour it."

The doubles player said topping the rankings earlier this year was a highlight of the past 12 months: "To get to number one in the world - that was a huge achievement.

"I think every sportsman wants to be the best that they can be I guess, so few people get to achieve that and I think it showed the consistency I had to get to that point.

"And obviously to win the Davis Cup as well was an amazing achievement for the whole team. It had been so long since the country had been able to do that, and I had so many memorable experiences playing for the country.

"Last year I had my best year and got to two grand slam finals, then I change partner and it was only our third tournament we played together and we won the Australian Open.

"For me it was an amazing feeling to do it, especially having lost finals and you never know when you're going to get back to one of them because they're the toughest tournaments we play in.

"And to do it again at the US Open was an incredible couple of weeks for us - we were really excited about it."

Outspoken broadcaster Janet Street-Porter said being made a CBE was a "surprise" because of her past criticisms of the Royal Family.

The former Fleet Street editor and senior television executive, who has appeared on or fronted a string of TV programmes over the years, said: "It was a surprise because I've been quite outspoken about the Royal Family over the years - but never about the Queen."

She added: "I don't want to be too negative today but I said there were too many members of the Royal Family, but I think actually they've made loads of economies.

"But I'm here today because of my career in journalism and broadcasting and I accepted the award because I wanted to show women from my background what they can achieve."

Street-Porter is famed as much for her strong accent and protruding teeth as for her forthright views and at the height of her fame was a comic target for the likes of Kenny Everett, Pamela Stephenson and others.

She came from a working-class west London family and thrived in the media industry, working in a variety of roles on national newspapers, commercial radio and television - finding fame in front of the camera presenting a succession of LWT programmes in the mid-1970s.

Later in her career she was head of youth and entertainment features at the BBC before becoming editor of the Independent on Sunday and going on to become a panellist on the popular ITV show Loose Women.

Street-Porter said: "I think my success is down to being very single-minded; it's not about luck, it's about working hard. I still haven't got a degree - I've been given honorary degrees."


From Belfast Telegraph