- They represent the very instruments that have shaped the game’s history
- Few have transcended their original purpose to become coveted collectibles
- There are other factors that determine their auction value
In the world of sports memorabilia, the most expensive tennis rackets auctioned hold a special history. They represent the very instruments that have shaped the game’s history for decades now.
While many rackets hold sentimental value for their owners, few have transcended their original purpose to become coveted collectibles, fetching extraordinary sums at auction. This article delves into the intriguing world of high-priced tennis rackets and the stories behind these prized possessions.
WHICH ARE THE MOST EXPENSIVE TENNIS RACKETS AUCTIONED?
A racket is the centerpiece of tennis and without it, there is nothing much to the sport that has built dozens of sporting millionaires. Below are the most expensive tennis rackets auctioned in the history of the sport.
1. Roger Federer’s 2011 French Open Racket: $55,000
In 2013, tennis enthusiasts were captivated when Roger Federer’s racket from the 2011 French Open went up for auction. The racket, used by Federer during his captivating run to the final, where he faced Rafael Nadal, fetched an impressive $55,000. The sale highlighted the enduring popularity of Federer, one of the most revered figures in tennis history.
2. Billie Jean King’s 1973 “Battle of the S3x3s” Racket: $125,000
Billie Jean King’s 1973 racket, wielded during her historic “Battle of the S3x3s” match against Bobby Riggs, holds a unique place in tennis history. The match, a cultural phenomenon that challenged gender norms, cemented King’s status as a pioneer for women’s sports. In 2013, the racket was auctioned for an astounding $125,000, a testament to its symbolic significance.
3. Björn Borg’s 1977 Wimbledon Racket: $160,000
Björn Borg, the legendary Swedish tennis star, remains an iconic figure in the sport. His 1977 Wimbledon racket, used during his victory at the prestigious tournament, was auctioned in 2017 for a staggering $160,000. The sale reflected Borg’s dominance in the 1970s and his lasting impact on the game.
4. Serena Williams’s 2012 U.S. Open Racket: $175,000
Serena Williams, a force to be reckoned with in women’s tennis, has made history both on and off the court. Her 2012 U.S. Open racket, used during her championship victory, was auctioned in 2013 for a remarkable $175,000. The sale solidified her status as a tennis legend and a cultural icon.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC’S 2011 RACKET AUCTION
Besides the four rackets by these big tennis names who are now all retired; there is a new surprise. There is an auction in place for Novak Djokovic’s racket which he played with in 2011. Yet, Djokovic has a tradition of tossing his racket into the crowd following significant victories.
Cordelia McKechnie had the chance to catch his racket after his first Wimbledon triumph in the 2011 Final against Rafael Nadal. Recalling the moment, McKechnie shared, that he was never aware that Djokovic would toss the racket and it caught him in surprise. The fact that he caught it made him dream of owning it one day.
“I was capturing a photo of Djokovic when I heard this tremendous roar. I saw the racket heading towards me, dropped my camera, and successfully caught the tennis racket amidst a crowd of about five other people. I couldn’t believe the unexpected nature of the moment!”
While estimates place the value of the racket at around £20,000, its actual worth will be determined by the sale of his French Open frame. Still, it makes it to the list of the most expensive tennis rackets auctioned.
WHAT MAKES TENNIS RACKETS SO EXPENSIVE?
The value of a tennis racket at auction is influenced by a combination of factors, including:
- Historical Significance: Rackets used in pivotal matches or by legendary players hold greater historical significance, making them more desirable to collectors.
- Condition: The racket’s condition, including its preservation and originality, plays a crucial role in determining its value.
- Provenance: A documented history of ownership, linking the racket to its original user, enhances its authenticity and appeal.
- Demand and Market Trends: The overall demand for tennis memorabilia and market trends in sports collectibles can significantly impact the racket’s value.
The most expensive tennis rackets auctioned have all been used by legendary players in iconic matches. The historical significance of these rackets, along with their pristine condition and documented provenance, makes them highly desirable to collectors. As a result, these rackets command extraordinary prices, highlighting the power of sports memorabilia to transcend their original purpose and become valuable collectibles.