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The 20 most searched sports stars of 2013 – and why you looked for them

After a year of sporting drama, we look back at the 20 sports stars most searched on Yahoo! during 2013.

1. Andy Murray

Murray became the first British man to win Wimbledon for 77 years when he overcame Novak Djokovic in the final in July. That, together with his hugely emotional appearance on a BBC documentary in which he discussed surviving the Dunblane massacre, made him the most searched-for star of the year.

2. Gareth Bale

Became the world’s most expensive player in August when he moved from Tottenham to Real Madrid. The on-off nature of the transfer clearly forced fans to tap his name into the search box on an almost daily basis between March and September - and his shaky form and string of injuries have meant that the stats have barely levelled off even now.

3. Cristiano Ronaldo

Arguably the world’s greatest player on current form – and, if reports are to be believed, a shoo-in for the Ballon d’Or. And the fact that he launched his own range of underpants last month probably didn't hurt his stats too badly, either...

4. David Beckham

A true great retired, and was reduced to tears as he appeared in his last game for PSG. Everyone in the world wanted to know all about that - and all about what will happen next.

5. Lewis Hamilton

Jumped ship from McLaren to Mercedes this year and finished fourth in the Formula One standings. But let's face it, you weren't searching to find out about whether or not he was being out-qualified by Nico Rosberg: you were all trying to figure out the latest status of his on-again, off-again relationship with former Pussycat Doll-turned-reality TV judge Nicole Scherzinger.

6. Serena Williams

Had one of the best years of her career at the ripe old age (in tennis terms) of 32, as she claimed the French and US Opens.

7. Lionel Messi

Collected a fourth Ballon d’Or at the start of the year and inspired Barcelona to a fourth La Liga title in five seasons. And when his injury took the edge of his performances on the pitch, he was hauled before a Spanish court accused of tax evasion to get things moving again.

8. Bradley Wiggins

Endured a tough year after scaling unprecedented heights the year before but came back like a true champion to claim victory in the Tour of Britain.

9. Luis Suarez

As controversial as he is talented, the Uruguayan was banned for ten games for biting Branislav Ivanovic but also helped Uruguay secure a spot at the World Cup - and spent most of the summer being linked with moves to Arsenal and Real Madrid.

10. Maria Sharapova

Attempted to change her name to Maria Sugarpova for the US Open as a publicity stunt for her newest sideline: a range of sweets that bear her name. And if you believe for a second that people were more interested in her candy brand than seeking out pictures of her in teeny-tiny tennis skirts, then that's good for you.

11. Marion Bartoli

After 46 failed attempts to win Grand Slams, she finally won one at Wimbledon - then promptly retired. But let's face facts: Bartoli wouldn't be anywhere near this top 20 if one of the BBC's most prominent broadcasters hadn't caused a storm by describing her as "not a looker".

12. Roger Federer

By his own imperious standards, the Swiss had a turbulent year as he fell to a number of shock defeats but he remains as popular as ever.

13. Mo Farah

Followed up his double golds in the 5,000m and 10,000m at London 2012 by repeating the double victory at the World Championships in Moscow.

14. Laura Robson

Became the first British woman to break into the top 30 of the world rankings since Jo Durie almost 30 years ago, thanks in large part to her run to the last-16 at Wimbledon.

15. Rafael Nadal

Returned from a career-threatening knee injury to claim French and the US Open titles, and in doing so recaptured the world number one spot.

16. Tiger Woods

Produced his best golf since his very public travails back in 2009 – despite the damage to his clean cut image, Woods remains one of the most popular and recognisable men in sport.

17. Jessica Ennis-Hill

Having won gold at London 2012 Ennis-Hill was plagued by injury in 2013, and after months of speculation she confirmed she would not compete at the world championships in Moscow in August.

18. Sir Alex Ferguson

Made a shock retirement from football this year after a success-laden career before releasing his “tell all” autobiography.

19. Usain Bolt

As popular for his sporting excellence as his exuberance. With drug cheats dropping like flies around him, he remains a shining light.

20. Danny Cipriani

Once the future of English rugby, this year he was chinned by a team-mate during a team bonding session - but almost certainly earned his place on this list because people were trying to get to the bottom of all those reports claiming he cheated on Kelly Brook.

Source: Yahoo! Sports

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