Emma Raducanu voted 2021 SPOTY winner after teenager's US Open miracle but tennis sensation can't attend due to Covid

EMMA RADUCANU has been crowned Sports Personality of the Year to top off a stunning 2021.

The teenage tennis superstar saw off the likes of Tyson Fury, Raheem Sterling and Sarah Storey to lift the coveted prize.



Tom Daley came second in the public vote with Adam Peaty in third.

But it was the heavy favourite Raducanu who claimed the gong.

However, the 19-year-old could not be in the Salford studio to collect the trophy.

Already in Abu Dhabi to compete in an exhibition tournament before the new season, she tested positive for Covid this week.

And therefore she dialled in to the live feed from her hotel room in the Middle East where her famous beaming smile made a welcome return.

Raducanu said: "Thank you, it's such an honour just to be amongst these nominees. Congrats to you and all your achievements.

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"I'm really happy with this, I've watched Sports Personality of the Year growing up and it's an honour to be amongst 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 absolutely insane.

"The energy this year playing at Wimbledon in front of my home crowd – that was something I've never felt before.

"I want to say thanks to my team, as well. Congrats to the other nominees' teams as well, it's a team effort."

Raducanu burst on to the scene when she earned a Wimbledon wildcard, weeks after sitting her A-Levels.

And she captured the nation's heart with her amazing run to the fourth round, the then-No338 in the world eventually forced to retire from her match with Ajla Tomljanovic due to breathing difficulties.

All the awards at SPOTY 2021

SKY BROWN Young Sports Personality of the Year

JEN BEATTIE Helen Rollason Award

RACHAEL BLACKMORE World Sport Star of the Year

SAM BARLOW Unsung Hero of the Year

SIMONE BILES Lifetime Achievement Award

ENGLAND MEN'S FOOTBALL TEAM Team of the Year

GARETH SOUTHGATE Coach of the Year

EMMA RADUCANU Sports Personality of the Year

Some doubted her ability to compete at the very top of elite sport.

But the Bromley hero silenced those critics in emphatic style in New York.

Raducanu arrived at Flushing Meadows needing to go through three rounds of qualifying.

She passed those tests with ease, not dropping a set, and then mounted her charge on the main draw with her relentless ball-striking and clinical composure.

And her remarkable form simply did not let up.

Raducanu reached the final in staggering fashion, winning all six matches and all 12 sets, before facing fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez for a maiden Grand Slam title.



There, she overcame a tricky partisan crowd and a dramatic cut knee in the closing stages before firing down that famous ace to wrap up the 6-4 6-3 win.

In doing so, Raducanu became the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam singles crown and broke the record for the quickest Grand Slam triumph: at just her second major tournament – and bagged a cheque for £1.8million.

Since then, she may have struggled to replicate that form on the court with early exits at Indian Wells, Cluj-Napoca and Linz but ends the year as the world No19.

Off the court, though, it has been success after success for Raducanu.

Her 2.1m Instagram followers are testament to her status as a global superstar.

Raducanu was invited to the Met Gala, London Fashion Week and the James Bond premiere as well as penning big-money deals with Tiffany, Dior and Evian.



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