Auction Results

$100k + for Djokovic racquet spectator caught


Abby Doherty holds the Head tennis racquet thrown into the crowd by a victorious Novak Djokovic at the 2016 French Open tennis final.
Abby Doherty with the racquet as Djokovic celebrates his win.

The tennis racquet used by Novak Djokovic to seal his career Grand Slam at the 2016 French Open has sold at auction for $107,500. The sale highlights the Serbian superstar’s enduring popularity with collectors.

Djokovic defeated Andy Murray in the 2016 Roland Garros final to finally claim the one major title missing from his glittering resume. In trademark style, he flung the Head racquet he won championship point with into the Paris crowd afterwards.

The lucky recipient was spectator Abby Doherty, who immediately recognized the importance of her catch. “I had an ‘oh my God’ moment because it was coming right toward us,” she recalled. “I held onto it real tight.”

Doherty has now auctioned off the historic racquet.

The Head racquet with broken strings and red clay-stained handle has clearly been well used.

Bidding quickly surpassed initial estimates of $50,000 and the final $107,500 sale makes the racquet one of the most valuable tennis mementos ever sold at auction.

It trails only the $125,000 paid in 2019 for the wooden racquet used by Billie Jean King during her famous 1973 ‘Battle of the Sexes’ match against Bobby Riggs.

The racquet is a Head Speed Graphene Touch PT113B.

Doherty was photographed with the racquet at the stadium. In addition, Djokovic signed and dated it before the final. There is even evidence of the distinctive red-clay surface on which the match was played.

Doherty watched the final with her family, tennis fans who were in Paris to celebrate Abby’s father’s birthday.

She said: “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.”

It’s a decision she has reason to be grateful for now.

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