Emma Raducanu hailed the “insane” support she has received in 2021 after capping an incredible 12 months by being voted the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year.

The 19-year-old, from Orpington, completed a fairytale in New York in September as she secured the US Open title, becoming the first qualifier ever to win a grand slam tennis tournament.

She also became the first British woman since Virginia Wade in 1977 to win a grand slam, and claimed the prize without dropping a set.

Her achievements have made her one of British sport’s biggest stars, and she claimed the prestigious BBC prize ahead of Olympic gold medallists Tom Daley and Adam Peaty.

Raducanu, who is isolating in Abu Dhabi after testing positive for Covid-19 on arrival in the United Arab Emirates last week, told the BBC: “It’s such an honour just to be among these nominees – to win it is pretty amazing.

“I watched Sports Personality of the Year growing up, so I’m really humbled to join the amazing past winners – I’m also really happy for British tennis that we managed to get this award again.

“All the support I’ve received this past year has been absolutely insane, and the energy I felt at Wimbledon this year playing in front of my home crowd is something I’ve never felt before.”

Raducanu entered the New York tournament ranked 150th in the world and now has to contend with additional pressure on her shoulders, but she insists her family have helped to keep her grounded.

Speaking before her victory had been announced, Raducanu said: “The self-belief, I feel like I just had that as a child growing up.

“It’s been instilled into me from a young age and I think sport gave me that inner belief and confidence.

“I feel completely the same and everyone around me is definitely the same and keeping me in my place.

“My parents are never ones to really make a big deal out of anything that I do that’s good, so we’ll see. They have been normal, nothing too big, nothing too low, that’s just the way they have brought me up.”

Raducanu was born in Toronto in 2002 to a Chinese mother and Romanian father and the family moved over to England when she was two, settling in Bromley.

Emma attended Bickley Primary School and Newstead Wood.

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