Laureus World Sports ‘Breakthrough of the Year’ award after Emma Raducanu has more than Li Na.
The 19-year-old Brit sent shockwaves through a tennis fraternity scripting an unexpected triumph at the US Open last year, launching her campaign as a qualifier. Following her dream run at Flushing Meadows, the then-150th-ranked Raducanu broke into the Top 20, ending the year with a career-best World No. 19.
On Sunday, Laureus Academy member Li Na hosted a special video message from Brit of the Year award winner.
“Hey Emma, Li Na congrats to say here,” she said. “I’m happy to be a member of the Academy.
Laureus World Sport Weibo account on The Two-Time Grand Slam Champion
“Li Na, you are my favorite tennis star. I would like to say thank you. I want to meet you too. See you soon.” (English translation)
Currently ranked 11th in the world, Raducanu also expressed her gratitude for receiving the award and also for her fellow nominees. She said:
“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 but I’ve still got a lot of work to do.”
Other nominees for the year include 2021 US Open winner Daniil Medvedev, Barcelona and Spain star Pedri, Tokyo Olympics men’s javelin throw gold medalist Neeraj Chopra, track and field star Yulimar Rojas and swimmer Ariarne Titmus.
Emma Raducanu’s 2022 campaign thus far
On her next stop at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Raducanu lost to World No. 1 and eventual winner Iga Swiatek in straight sets in the quarterfinals. Nevertheless, her two wins at the WTA 500 Tournament helped Raducanu ascend to a career-best ranking of 11 in the world.