Rafael Nadal, Emma Raducanu nominated for 2022 ESPY Awards for Tennis
Tennis superstars Rafael Nadal and Emma Raducanu are some of the big names that feature in the list of nominees for Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award (ESPY) for the Best Athlete in the Men's and Women's Tennis categories for 2022.
Nadal, who won the first two Grand Slams of the year, has been a standout performer on the ATP tour despite grappling with pain and injuries. Other contenders for the award in the men's tennis category include Carlos Alcaraz, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Dylan Alcott.
While Nadal won the French Open and Australian Open, Iga Swiatek dominated the women's tour this season to find a rightful place among the nominees for the ESPY Awards alongside Ashleigh Barty, Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez.
World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty began the year on a high by clinching the Australian Open title following which she announced her retirement, much to the surprise of the tennis fraternity.
Barty, who remained No. 1 for a record 121 weeks overall, was replaced by Iga Swiatek at the top of the WTA rankings, where she has stayed since. In fact, the Pole has since dominated the women's tour like no one else in recent times. She has won six titles on the trot this season and bagged the French Open at the end of a record-equaling 35-match winning streak.
Swiatek now holds the record for the highest number of successive wins in the 21st century after notching up her 36th straight victory in her first-round match at Wimbledon.
Emma Raducanu became the first player from her country to win a Grand Slam title since Virginia Wade, who was Wimbledon champion in 1977. The Brit won the US Open title last year after entering the main draw as a qualifier and did not drop a set throughout the tournament.
The all-teenage US Open final in 2021 also featured Leylah Fernandez of Canada, who has been nominated alongside Raducanu. Fernandez reached her maiden French Open quarterfinal last month and lost in three sets against Martina Trevisan. The Canadian fractured her foot during her match against Trevisan and will likely return at the Citi Open in late July.