Emma Raducanu wins BBC Sports Personality of the Year after US Open triumph

Emma Raducanu capped off a superb year by winning the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

The tennis star won the prestigious gong ahead of Tom Daley in second place, and Adam Peaty in third. The other nominees were boxer Tyson Fury, footballer Raheem Sterling and Para-cyclist Dame Sarah Storey.

Raducanu becomes the first first female tennis player to win the award since Virginia Wade in 1977.

The Brit wasn’t in attendance but appeared via video link to thank everyone for their support.

Raducanu shocked the world en route to winning the US Open in September.

She made history by becoming the first player to win a grand slam in the open era after coming through the qualifying stages.

The teen she holds the record for the fewest majors played before winning a title and became the first British woman to win a grand slam since Wade won Wimbledon in 1977.

Due to her phenomenal exploits on the court, Raducanu became the British number one and is now inside the world’s top 20.

She first burst onto the scene at Wimbledon this summer, when she reached the fourth round.

Is Raducanu a deserved recipient of the SPOTY award? Let us know in the comments section.

Away from the court, Raducanu has been presented with some exciting opportunities, such as attending the Met Gala, gracing Vogue magazine and signed a deal with Evian.

On winning the award, Raducanu said: "Thank you, it's such an honour just to be amongst these nominees. Congrats to you and all your achievements.

"I'm really happy with this, I've watched Sports Personality of the Year growing up and it's an honour to be amongst those past winners.

"I'm happy for British tennis as well, and that we've managed to get this award… again.

"Thanks to all the fans and voters, this year has been insane.

"The energy this year playing at Wimbledon in front of my home crowd – that was something I've never felt before.

"I want to say thanks to my team, as well.

"Congrats to the other nominees' teams as well, it's a team effort."

Earlier in the night, England manager Gareth Southgate won the Coach of the Year award, and the team itself won the Team of the Year award following its run to the Euro 2020.

Southgate said: "I know a lot of the coaches there [other nominees] are outstanding, we've got some brilliant talent in this country.

"Managing in football now is a very complex business. I'm very fortunate, I work with some very good people and they make it much easier for me."

The American gymnast Simone Biles won the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Biles, a four-time gold medallist in Rio five years ago, took home a bronze and a silver from Tokyo in the summer, but gained plaudits for prioritising her mental health over competing in certain events.

"2021 wasn't the year I was expecting. This summer, I had to take a step back from competition to recover from an invisible injury," Biles said.

"That was the hardest decision of my life, but I chose to speak out to show mental health struggles are nothing to be ashamed of.

"I was expecting some criticism at first, but what happened was the complete opposite. The support and encouragement I received was overwhelming, and it fills my heart to think of those positive words.

"I want to take this moment to thank my team-mates, my friends, and my family, who gave me – and continue to give me – so much love and strength.

"I'm so grateful to everyone in the UK who sent such supportive and loving messages to me at that time. What I will always treasure, more than any medal, is hearing how I may have helped someone feel a little better.

"I will carry on fighting for what I believe in, for sport to be a safer place for young people to grow and flourish, and I will continue to speak up about mental health."

SPOTY 2021 Winners – full list

Emma Raducanu – Sports Personality of the Year

Gareth Southgate – Coach of the Year

England men's football team – Team of the Year

Rachael Blackmore – World Sport Star of the Year

Sky Brown – Young Sports Personality of the Year

Jennifer Beattie – Helen Rollason Award

Sam Barlow – SPOTY Unsung Hero award

Simone Biles – Lifetime Achievement Award

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