US Open champion Raducanu voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year
US Open champion Emma Raducanu was named the BBC Sports Personality of the Year after a public vote, becoming the third WTA player to win the award in its 67-year history. Raducanu became the first British woman to win a Grand Slam singles title since Virginia Wade at Wimbledon 1977 after defeating Leylah Fernandez in the Flushing Meadows final in September.
As an 18-year-old ranked World No.150 competing in her fourth Tour-level main draw, she did not drop a set en route to becoming the first qualifier in history to lift a major trophy.
Raducanu follows in the footsteps of three-time Grand Slam champions Wade and Ann Jones as BBC Sports Personality of the Year winners. Wade and Jones collected the award after their Wimbledon triumphs in 1977 and 1969 respectively. Additionally on the ATP side, Greg Rusedski (1997) and Andy Murray (2013, 2015-16) have won the award.
Raducanu beat two Olympic gold medallists into second and third place – diver Tom Daley and swimmer Adam Peaty. She is the first woman to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year since equestrian Zara Phillips in 2006.
“I’m really happy with this,” said Raducanu in her acceptance speech. “I’ve watched Sports Personality of the Year growing up and it’s an honour to be among those past winners.
“I’m happy for British tennis as well, and that we’ve managed to get this award… again!
“Thanks to all the fans and voters, this year has been insane. The energy this year playing at Wimbledon in front of my home crowd, that was something I’ve never felt before.”
Raducanu faces a “steep learning curve” forward of her first full season on the WTA Tour, Judy Murray, a tennis coach and mom to three-time Grand Slam winner Andy, mentioned on Sunday.
“The next 10 months will be completely different to anything she has experienced in her fledgling albeit incredibly exciting career,” Murray wrote in a column for the Daily Telegraph.
“It shall be a steep studying curve on the ladies’s circuit as she adjusts from the relative anonymity of an A-Level schoolgirl to the dog-eat-dog world of week in, week out Tour tennis.
“Add to that the expectation and demands of fans, media, sponsors and agents and you can see how her life has changed out of sight since winning the US Open.”
Raducanu has loved blended fortunes since her Grand Slam triumph, shedding early at Indian Wells within the US and going out within the quarter-finals in Romania earlier than being crushed within the first spherical of the Linz Open in Austria.
She was additionally pressured to drag out of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship exhibition occasion in Abu Dhabi after testing Covid-19 constructive.
Murray burdened the significance of giving the 19-year-old some house to develop her recreation.
“I was so pleased to hear her say she wants to prioritise the development of her game and work on her fitness in the build-up to the Australian Open,” Murray added.
“Her tennis is already in such an excellent place, however it’s vital that we do not heap expectation and stress on her.”