Emma Raducanu has been named the BBC Sports Personality of the Year for 2021 after a breakout year that saw her win the US Open.
At just 18 years old, Raducanu ended Britain’s 44-year title drought in women’s Grand Slam singles, while also becoming the first qualifier to win at the US Open. The youngest British player to win a Grand Slam, she also was the youngest women’s Grand Slam champion since Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon in 2004.
Raducanu accepted the award from the BBC over video after testing positive for COVID-19 ahead of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship exhibition event. She’s set to compete in the Australian Open next month.
“It’s such an honour just to be among these nominees. Congrats to you and all your achievements,” Raducanu said in her awards speech. “I’m really happy with this, 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.”
In addition to her US Open win, Raducanu made a run to the fourth round at Wimbledon in July in what was her Grand Slam main draw debut.
Last week, three-time winner of the award Andy Murray said that Raducanu deserved to win the award, adding that he didn’t think “anyone would be too surprised if that is the outcome.”
Murray was the last tennis player to win the award in 2016.
Raducanu is the first female to win BBC Sports Personality of the Year since Zara Phillips (now Tindall) won it in 2006.
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Kanepi has now reached a quarterfinal in every Grand Slam.
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