Emma Raducanu ‘extremely grateful’ after receiving MBE from King Charles III for services to tennis

Emma Raducanu with the US Open trophy

Emma Raducanu has been recognised for her services to tennis as she has officially been made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).

The 20-year-old was named as a recipient of the award in the 2022 New Year Honours List, which was announced on 31 December 2021, and she received her MBE from King Charles III during a ceremony at Windsor Castle on Tuesday.

The recognition came on the back of her fairytale run at the US Open last when she became the first qualifier – man or woman – to win a Grand Slam, winning 10 matches en route to lifting the trophy in New York.

“It’s been great to receive my honour today from his Majesty the King – I feel extremely grateful,” she said in a statement via her agent.

Labour MP Dame Nia Griffith, who collected her honour at the same ceremony, said of Raducanu: “I think it is fantastic seeing a young person (achieve) the success that she had and I think obviously now she faces that incredibly challenging situation of coping with that success and coping also with disappointment.

“And I certainly think it is wonderful to see young people being praised and being rewarded and let’s make sure we give every young person the opportunities so that they can develop their talents to the full.”

Raducanu received a personal message the late Queen Elizabeth II short after her win at Flushing Meadow and it read: “I send my congratulations to you on your success in winning the United States Open Tennis Championships.

“It is a remarkable achievement at such a young age, and is testament to your hard work and dedication.

“I have no doubt your outstanding performance, and that of your opponent Leylah Fernandez, will inspire the next generation of tennis players.

“I send my warmest good wishes to you and your many supporters.”

Raducanu described the message as “absolutely insane” and “incredible, stating: “It meant everything to me and I will probably frame that letter.”

Although Raducanu has struggled with form this season as she has gone from No 10 in the WTA Rankings to outside the top 70, her victory last summer has resulted in a big jump in the number of Brits playing tennis.

Statistics showed that an estimated 100,000 people took up tennis in the two months after her US Open success while there was a 15% rise in under-18 female grassroots tennis players in mid-2021.

Her success also led to a £21.9 million investment from the UK government to improve tennis facilities, alongside an existing commitment of £8.5 million from the LTA.

READ MORE: Emma Raducanu turns to England captain Harry Kane for advice