Became a global sensation when she won the US Open at the age of 18, the first-ever qualifier in tennis history to win a Grand Slam.
In a remarkable performance, she came through three rounds of qualifying and seven main draw matches at Flushing Meadows without dropping a set, defeating Leylah Fernandez 6-4,6-3 in the final. It was only her second Grand Slam event. In June, ranked 338 in the world, she had been awarded a wildcard into the main draw at Wimbledon and reached the fourth round. As a result of her US Open win, she reached a world ranking of 23 and rounded off the year at No.19. She was born in Canada but moved to the UK when she was two. Her father is from Romania and her mother is Chinese.

Thank you so much to the Laureus Academy for voting for me. It means so much to receive this Award and I really want to congratulate my other Nominees.

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu Acceptance Speech
What Emma Raducanu said after being presented with the Laureus Statuette and receiving a message by video link from tennis star and Laureus Academy Member Li Na, who is one of her role models: “Thank you so much Li Na. You have been a great inspiration to me all my career. Thank you so much to the Laureus Academy for voting for me. It means so much to receive this Award and I really want to congratulate my other Nominees. I feel like it’s been a really great year for me, but I’ve still got a lot of work to do. Thank you so much.”


Two-time Grand Slam winner Li Na: “Congrats. I am happy as a Member of the Laureus Academy that my colleagues and I have chosen you for the Breakthrough of the Year. Your hard work and your skills have earned you fans all around the world, and many in China, including me. I heard you say that you want to play like me. Wow! Now I have to say I really want to play like you.
“I look forward to enjoying your performances and watching you have success in the year to come. You had better get used to receiving trophies like this because I just know that you are going to be a winner a lot during your career.”
Laureus Academy Member and President of World Athletics Sebastian Coe says: “Giving Emma Raducanu advice is a very bold statement given that at the age of 18 she is the US Open champion and you know also had a very credible and exciting run at Wimbledon. Sometimes sport does really propel you in an unexpected way, or certainly in advance of expectations and that can really throw up some big challenges. So my advice would be just remember all the things that matter to you. Stick closely to the systems that have worked for you, don't allow yourself to get side tracked into believing that you know the rest of it is easy, it won't be, it will be tough and every time you step out on to the court, there will be a level of expectation that you didn't have six months ago, and all those things are really important to remember. And maintain the continuity of coaching and friendships because they are a real comfort and a source to you and trust in those people that have helped you thus far.”



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