Bromley Council opted not to grant US Open Champion Emma Raducanu the freedom of the borough because it did not want to “embarrass her”, according to a report.

Labour councillors tabled a motion at Monday's full council meeting calling for the 18-year-old tennis star, who grew up in Orpington, to be awarded the borough’s highest honour in recognition of her achievements.

The Evening Standard reports that Conservative councillors instead voted to “monitor the ongoing dialogue between council officers, Emma and her family and agree a suitable celebration of her victory”.

Angela Wilkins, leader of Bromley Labour, claimed Conservative councillors told her Raducanu did not deserve the award as she was “only” ranked 24th in the world.

News Shopper: Emma Raducanu at the US Open (PA)Emma Raducanu at the US Open (PA)

She told The Standard: “I imagine Emma refusing to accept is highly unlikely to happen – even if she were to decline, at least we would have shown our support and recognition of her.

“Andy Murray was awarded the Freedom of the Borough by Stirling in 2012 but didn’t actually receive it until 2014, presumably because of his busy diary. Our motion did not assume any award ceremony.

“There simply was no good reason not to agree the award and thereby show our support and recognition of Emma’s achievements."

Raducanu, who attended Bickley Primary School and Newstead Wood, became the first ever qualifier to win a Grand Slam final in September, and the first British woman to win a major singles title since 1977.

Council Leader Colin Smith dismissed claims that the possibility of awarding Raducanu the honour had been ruled out.

He said: “The council is in contact with Emma’s team to discover precisely what she would personally prefer to see happen as a fitting celebration of her fairy-tale success story in New York.

“We remain very clear, as does her team, that whatever we do for Emma, is for her alone to decide upon and must be something which makes her happy.”

Cllr Smith continued: “As I said on the night, nothing has been ruled out, but we really do want to make sure that whatever we do meets with the approval of this remarkable young woman and, unlike others, we will continue to follow her team’s instructions to adopt a low-key approach until they tell us otherwise.

“It is clear that both Emma and her team have multiple priorities to juggle at present, which the council doesn’t wish to interfere with or distract from in any way, so it may take some time yet to make sure we get this right.”

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