Bromley Council has rejected a proposal to award US Open champion Emma Raducanu the Freedom of Borough, because it does not want to “embarrass her”.
Raducanu has lived in Bromley since her family moved from Canada to England when she was two years old, but Conservative councillors voted against awarding the teenager the borough’s highest honour.
According to the Evening Standard, Bromley’s deputy mayor Tony Owen had been told Raducanu didn’t “really like a fuss”.
“We have written to the family and received a reply from her representative who said the family don’t really like a fuss,” Owen said.
“Clearly 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, which it would be if she refused [the award.]”
Instead, the Council will “monitor the ongoing dialogue between council officers, Emma and her family and agree a suitable celebration of her victory”.
Angela Wilkins, leader of the borough’s Labour group who put forward the proposal to recognise Raducanu, was critical of the decision to deny her the Freedom of Borough.
“I imagine Emma refusing to accept is highly unlikely to happen – even if she were to decline, at least we would have shown our support and recognition of her,” she said.
“Andy Murray was awarded the Freedom of the Borough by Stirling in 2012 but didn’t actually receive it until 2014, presumably because of his busy diary. Our motion did not assume any award ceremony.
“There simply was no good reason not to agree to the award and thereby show our support and recognition of Emma’s achievements.
“If Emma wishes to attend an event to celebrate the award, this could be arranged at her convenience.”
The 18-year-old Raducanu made history last month after triumphing at the US Open.
After defeating Canada’s Leylah Fernandez 6-4, 6-3 in the final, she became the first ever qualifier to win a Grand Slam, and the first British woman to triumph at a Grand Slam in 44 years.
Raducanu is set to compete at the Transylvania Open in Romania next week. She is still hoping to play at the WTA Finals in November, but if she fails to qualify, has signed up to feature at the Upper Austria Ladies tournament in Linz.
The teenage star is currently without a coach, having parted ways with Andrew Richardson after she gained Grand Slam glory last month.
She has now teamed up with Johanna Konta’s former mentor, Esteban Carril, on a trial basis.