A London council has rejected a proposal to honor Emma Raducanu. The US Open champion hails from Bromley in the southeast part of the capital, and there was a possibility that she would gain the freedom of the borough after her success in New York.
This is the highest civic honor a local authority can bestow and it is no surprise that Raducanu was considered for it after his incredible feat.
But after a special meeting, it was concluded that Bromley’s council had decided not to bestow the honor on the teenager, as they didn’t want to “embarrass” her.
As an alternative, Tory councilors voted in favor of following up “to the ongoing dialogue between city councilors, Emma and her family and will agree on an appropriate celebration of her victory.”
Tony Owen, Deputy Mayor of Bromley, said The standard: “We wrote to the family and got a response from their representative who said the family doesn’t really like stories.
“It is clear that she has a great career ahead of her and we are very proud of her success. But we didn’t want to embarrass Emma. And we don’t want to embarrass ourselves what would be if she refused [the award.]”
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Mr Owen hasn’t ruled out the possibility that Raducanu will receive the award in the future, but for now they are looking for other ways to mark his success, such as erecting a mural.
On the other hand, Bromley’s Labor leader Angela Wilkins offered a different perspective on the issue.
She revealed that advisers told her they were not supporting the 18-year-old receiving the award because she is “only” ranked 24th in the world.
“I imagine it’s very unlikely that Emma will refuse to accept – even if she did, we would at least have shown our support and appreciation for her,” Wilkins said.
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“Andy Murray received the Freedom of the Borough award from Stirling in 2012, but didn’t actually receive it until 2014, possibly due to his busy schedule. Our motion did not presume any price reduction.
“There was simply no good reason not to accept the award and thereby show our support and appreciation for Emma’s accomplishments.
“If Emma wishes to attend an event to celebrate the award, it could be arranged at her convenience.”
Born in Toronto, Canada, Raducanu moved to England at the age of two and attended Bickley Primary School before going to Newstead Wood School in Orpington.
She made her tennis breakthrough after reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon this summer, before shocking the world at Flushing Meadows.
The British number one went through the qualifying rounds before making his way into the draw losing a set.
She became the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam and the first British woman to win a major title since Virginia Wade in 1977.
The tennis star is next due to take part in the Transylvanian Open, starting October 25.