Auction Results

Nadal’s title-winning racquet tops $100k at auction


Rafael Nadal playing at the Australian Open in 2009.
Nadal at the 2009 Australian Open by Steve Collis from Melbourne on Wikimedia Commons.

A racquet with which Rafael Nadal hit the winning shot of the 2007 French Open tennis tournament has sold for $118,000 at auction.

The tennis equipment was sold in a 20-day online auction with a starting bid of $10,000. It took just 25 bids to shoot the item to its huge – but not record breaking – final value.

Racquets are greatly treasured by tennis collectors and, if linked to the right player and match, can make huge sums.

Photomatching that confirms the authenticity of the racquet.

Nadal’s made a lot, but it is dwarfed in value by the $139,700 paid for the one he used at 2022 Australian Open.

Late last year, a racquet tossed into the crowd in Paris by a victorious Novak Djokovic realised $107,000 at auction.

A collector paid $125,000 for one of Billie Jean King’s racquets from the legendary 1973 “Battle of the Sexes” match.

This racquet was held by Nadal during his final match versus Roger Federer. The Spainish player battled to a 4-set win to claim his third Grand Slam title.

The yellow-and-black racquet is authenticated by photomatching. This is a forensic process that uses tiny visual details to confirm that a for-sale item is genuinely match-worn or used. Even mass-produced sports items are usually unique in some way, especially after use. This racquet was with Nadal for several games during the tournament according to photomatchers.

Its provenance is also good: it was owned by Australian player Ken Rosewall and shown in the collection of the Australian Open Tennis Museum. That museum is shutting up shop, giving tennis collectors a great shot at some compelling pieces of tennis history.

Nadal, Djokovic and Federer are a trio of players who have dominated modern tennis. They are, and will remain, the most collectible players of this era – their fame spreads far beyond the game.

The buyer of this racquet may find in time that they have got something of a bargain. They got their piece for less than the (non-photomatched) 2022 racquet, and from a particularly famous win, after Nadal had beaten 5 current or eventual Grand Slam champions, to take the title, using the racquet against Del Potro, Hewitt, Moya, Djokovic and Roger Federer in the Final.

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