“Li Na, you are my favorite tennis star, I want to meet you”
Emma Raducanu thanked Li Na after winning Laureus World Sports’ “Breakthrough of the Year” award.
The 19-year-old Briton sent shockwaves through the tennis fraternity as she scored an unexpected triumph at the US Open last year after starting her campaign as a qualifier. After his dream run at Flushing Meadows, Raducanu broke into the top 20, finishing the year in a career-best 19th in the world.
On Sunday, Laureus Academy member Li Na introduced the Briton as the Breakthrough of the Year award winner in a special video message.
“Hey Emma, Li Na here to say congratulations,” she mentioned. “I am happy that as a member of the Academy, my colleagues and I have chosen you as the winner.”
The teenager then thanked Li on the Laureus World Sport Weibo account in Mandarin.
“Li Na, you are my favorite tennis star. I would like to say thank you. I also want to meet you. See you soon.” (English translation)
The world number 11 also expressed her gratitude for receiving the award and thanked her fellow nominees.
“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 good year for me, but I still have a lot of work to do.”
Other nominees for the Breakthrough of the Year award were 2021 US Open winner Daniil Medvedev, Barcelona and Spain soccer star Pedri, Olympics men’s javelin throw gold medalist of Tokyo Neeraj Chopra, athletics star Yulimar Rojas and swimmer Ariarne Titmus.
Emma Raducanu’s 2022 campaign so far
Emma Raducanu has had a modest 2022 campaign so far. The teenager started her season with a first-round defeat in Sydney before advancing to the second round of the Australian Open.
Interspersed between first-round exits in Guadalajara and Miami, a knockout round took place in Indian Wells. In the BJK Cup qualifiers, she won one of her two singles matches as Great Britain lost 2-3 to the Czech Republic.
In 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. Nonetheless, his two wins at the WTA 500 tournament helped Raducanu achieve a career-best ranking of 11 in the world.