Emma Raducanu is the bookies’ favourite to be crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year. After shining at Wimbledon, and then winning the US Open, she certainly has the credentials. However, the 18-year-old may have to miss the prestigious event due to scheduling.
Raducanu has enjoyed a terrific rise over the past year.
The teenager sparkled at Wimbledon, charging to the round of 16 before being forced to withdraw.
But she then went on to win the US Open without dropping a single set, rocking Leylah Fernandez in the final in the process.
Raducanu is, consequently, the favourite to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award later in the year.
However, the Brit may have to miss the ceremony on December 19 due to her schedule.
Earlier this week, Raducanu confirmed she’d play in an exhibition event, the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, in Abu Dhabi.
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That tournament runs from December 16 to December 18 and, from there, she’s then expected to jet out to Australia for the start of the 2022 season.
So, if that’s the case, Raducanu will be absent from the awards night.
But she can still collect the trophy by repeating Murray’s trick of accepting it virtually, rather than in person.
Murray has won the BBC SPOTY award three times throughout his career and, in 2013 and 2016, he accepted it by a pool in Miami.
And Lewis Hamilton has also done the same in the past, notably last year, when he accepted it at home due to coronavirus rules.
Raducanu faces some stiff competition if she’s to win the prize, however.
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Tyson Fury is a strong contender, especially after his sensational victory over Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas on Sunday morning.
Hamilton is another candidate, having become the first driver to claim 100 race wins.
Players from the England football team could make the shortlist, too, after reaching the European Championships final back in July.
And Tom Daley and Adam Peaty, as well as Jason Kenny, Mark Cavendish and Sarah Storey, may also win the award.
Meanwhile, Raducanu recently lost at Indian Wells to Aliaksandra Sasnovich.
She was outplayed by her Belarusian opponent, who triumphed 6-2, 6-4.
But she was calm after the defeat, congratulating her victor and insisting she’d ‘cut herself some slack’.
“I mean, there’s going to be disappointment after any loss,” the 18-year-old admitted.
“I didn’t go in there putting any pressure on myself because in my mind I’m so inexperienced that all these, I’m just taking it all in.
“I mean, you’re going to have highs and you’re always going to have some lows where you’re disappointed with how you performed.
“Aliaksandra played an extremely great match.
“She has played; you could tell she’s more experienced than me. She went out there and executed her game plan better than I did.
“She, of course, deserved to win that.
“I think it’s going to take me time to adjust really to what’s going on. I mean, I’m still so new to everything.
“Like the experiences that I’m going through right now, even though I might not feel 100 per cent amazing right now, I know they’re for the greater good.
“For the bigger picture, I’ll be thanking this moment.
“So, yeah, that’s the lesson I think, that you can easily get sucked into being so focused on the result and getting disappointed.
“I mean, I’m 18 years old. I need to cut myself some slack, so yeah.”