Rusedski was runner-up at the US Open and a Wimbledon quarter-finalist who rose as high as No 4 in the world rankings. Tim Henman, his British compatriot who also reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon, finished second in the viewers' voting, while four times Olympic rowing gold medallist Steven Redgrave, diagnosed this year as suffering from diabetes, came third.
Martina Hingis was honoured as the BBC's Overseas Personality of the Year. The 17-year-old Swiss captured three Grand Slam events in a season which catapulted her to the world No 1 ranking. In the one major tournament she did not win, the French Open, Hingis was runner-up to Iva Majoli.
Manager Fran Cotton and his British Lions were named Team of the Year after their thrilling series victory against the Springboks on their tour of South Africa last summer.
Seve Ballesteros was honoured for leading Europe in their successful defence of the Ryder Cup when they beat the Americans at Valderrama. Ballesteros, captain of the team and a three-time winner of the British Open and two- time winner of the US Masters, was given a special award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to European golf over the last 20 years.
Lennox Lewis, Britain's World Boxing Council heavyweight champion, did not win an award but was hailed after his famous first-round knockout of Pole Andrew Golota in the United States.Reuse content