Emma Raducanu named Sportswoman of the Year after breakout season with US Open triumph

Emma Raducanu has been named The Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year following her breakthrough season in the world of tennis.

Raducanu shot to fame in September, after breaking nearly every record in the book on the way to becoming US Open champion, following an historic few weeks in New York.

The 19-year-old became the very first qualifier to ever win a Grand Slam event, after taking the lucrative prize at Flushing Meadows without dropping a set all tournament.

The Brit secured what will no doubt be the first of many Grand Slam titles, thanks to a 6-4,6-3 victory over fellow teen sensation Leylah Fernandez in the final in New York.

Following her record-breaking triumph, the 18-year-old has now been recognised with The Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year prize, joining past winners such as Dina Asher-Smith, Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill and Kelly Holmes in an illustrious group.

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The award – presented in association with Sky Sports – is in its 34th year of recognising the nation’s best female sports stars, and Sky Sports Managing Director Jonathan Licht recognised Raducanu’s win as one of many sporting successes for female sport in 2021.

Licht said: “It is more important than ever post-pandemic to celebrate the progress and phenomenal achievements in women’s sport. 

“We have seen some astonishing moments throughout the year, not just in women’s sport but the contribution of these nominees to sport in general, from the success of The Hundred to the extraordinary story of Emma Raducanu that moved the nation.”

Raducanu’s breakthrough campaign came to an end earlier this month, after she was defeated by Chinese youngster Xinyu Wang 1-6, 7-6, 5-7 in Austria.

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Following what has no doubt been a rollercoaster year for the teenager, she took to her Instagram to thank her fans for the support she has received throughout 2021.

She wrote: “I want to say thank you & that I am extremely grateful for your generous support.

“I’ve learnt many things at a fast pace on this incredible journey but all I can say is that I am very excited and motivated for my next steps.

“I feel I can put in great work together with my team, with patience I believe we’ll get there.

“Huge thanks and big appreciation to my team & people who have supported me! This wouldn’t have been possible without you.”

Despite ending her season in defeat on the court, the 19-year-old will rightly finish it with success off it as she claims her Sportswoman of the Year prize.

As well as Raducanu, some of the country’s biggest sporting names were also awarded, including cyclist Bethany Shriever who collected Young Sportswoman of the Year, and jockey Rachel Blackmore who picked up the Editor’s Choice award.

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