Emma Raducanu continues to reap benefits from her spectacular 2021 US Open triumph, even though she has won back-to-back matches just three times since becoming the first qualifier in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam. The latest achievement in the teenager’s young career is the 2022 ESPY award, Best Athlete Women’s Tennis.
Nominated alongside Ashleigh Barty, Iga Swiatek and Leylah Fernandez, Raducanu won this award that is largely dependant on fan votes. The British WTA player has won just nine matches this year and hasn’t been past the quarterfinals at any tournament, but the award is based on last year’s results.
Even if we have in mind that only 2021 was taken into account, we can argue that it’s strange that Raducanu beat Ashleigh Barty who was ranked No.1 the whole year and won Wimbledon. It’s probably because of the surprise factor. Raducanu’s US Open story was truly spectacular as she came out of nowhere to win the title without dropping a set. The 19-year-old holds the Open Era record for the fewest Grand Slams played before winning a title.
The ESPY award is not the only seemingly undeserved achievement in Raducanu’s career. Despite her subpar performances in 2022, the Brit has recently climbed to a career-high ranking of No.10. Again, it’s not her fault, that’s the system that happens to work in her favor.