One of Novak Djokovic’s most iconic rackets is up for sale – but will it break Roger Federer’s record?
It is a racket that cemented Novak Djokovic’s place among the all-time greats of tennis and now it is up for grabs – but will it break Roger Federer’s record for the most valuable tennis item sold at an auction?
Djokovic needed to add a French Open title to his collection to cement his legacy among the legends of the sport and his 2016 win against Andy Murray in the Roland Garros Final pushed him into an elite list of greats.
Fred Perry, Don Budge, Roy Emerson, Rod Laver, Andre Agassi, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer were the only players to win a career Grand Slam of all four major titles until Djokovic claimed the missing piece of his jigsaw in 2016.
He celebrated by drawing a heart in the clay at Roland Garros and then throwing the racket that hit the winning shot into the crowd.
Lucky fan lucky fan Abby Doherty caught the racket and now she is set to cash in after deciding to put the prized Head frame up for sale.
The racket has been put up for sale on the SCP auction site, with images confirming some of the strings have broken after so many years of non-use.
Despite that, experts are expecting the racket to sell for up to $100,000, with the current bid already at over $20,000.
“It was all in slow motion. He just flung it into the crowd,” said Doherty. “I had an “Oh my God” moment because it was coming right toward us.
“It hit my hand and it was deflected to the ground. I sprinted to it and put my foot on the racquet and grabbed the handle. I held onto it real tight.
“After the match, I ran down to the place where he exited the court. I wanted to get him to sign it, but I was unable to get his attention.”
On her decision to sell the frame, Doherty added: “It was a really tough decision, You’ve got this really cool piece of sports memorabilia but it’s been sitting in my closet for like, six years.”
Djokovic’s racket is certain to sell for a bug price, but it will have to go for a huge fee to beat some of these ultimate tennis memorabilia items.
Roger Federer collection sold at Christie’s in 2021
Tennis legend Roger Federer confirmed his popularity with a remarkable sale of rackets and clothing he wore for some of his greatest wins in 2021.
With all money from the sale going to the Roger Federer Foundation, estimates on lots that included rackets and clothes the great Swiss icon wore for some of his Grand Slam wins were smashed when they went under the hammer at Christie’s in London
In total, 19 lots were on offer in the first action that included the clothes and racket he wore in his only French Open win and rackets and clothes from his numerous Wimbledon triumphs. Incredibly, those lots were sold for a combined total of £1,329,375 ($1,687,136.60).
An online auction of smaller items worn by Federer that included sweatbands also went under the hammer, with a stunning £2,099,750 ($2,665,182) raised in that sale.
Billie Jean King’s 1973 racket from her match with Bobby Rigs
Bobby Rigs was dismissive of women’s tennis and insisted any male who could play the game to a decent level could beat a top female player.
That view was put on trial in his famous ‘Battle of the Sexes’ clash with tennis legend Billie Jean King in 1973.
King admitted the match was one of the most important of her career and she duly beat Rigs on an event that put tennis on the front and back pages of newspapers around the world.
The Slazenger racket she used in that legendary match sold for a massive $125,000, which was the most lucrative item sold in a tennis auction prior to the sale of Federer items in 2021.
Novak Djokovic’s racket from the 2011 Final
Djokovic has a habit of throwing his racket into the crowd after a big win and Cordelia McKechnie caught his frame after his first Wimbledon title in the 2011 Final against Rafael Nadal.
“I was taking a picture of Djokovic at the time, when I heard this massive roar – I saw the racket coming towards me and dropped my camera and managed to catch the tennis racket out of about five other people,” said McKechnie. “I couldn’t believe the moment had happened – it was such a surprise!”
Estimates have suggested that racket is worth around £20,000, but the sale of his French Open frame will dictate how much it is worth.
Bjorn Borg’s racket from the 1981 Wimbledon Final
Borg’s two Wimbledon finals against his great rival and friend John McEnroe are the stuff of legend and as this was Borg’s last Wimbledon final, there was huge interesting the sale when it went under the hammer at Christie’s in London in 2007. It sold for $18,500.
Fred Perry’s Racket from 1934 Wimbledon Final
Legendary British tennis hero Fred Perry was a multiple Wimbledon champion and his statue at the All England Club confirms he will forever be etched into the history of the sport as an icon.
His wooden racket from the 1934 Wimbledon final against Jack Crawford sold for $32,000 in 2007 and was still in excellent condition when that handsome sum was paid to acquire it.
Bill Tilden’s 1920 Wimbledon trophy
Tilden was a ten-time Grand Slam champion and his trophy from winning the 1920 Men’s Singles title of Wimbledon Grand Slam was auctioned at Christie’s in 1992, selling for $70,000. That sum would be worth around three times that given inflation.
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