The Most Expensive Tennis Racquet
Worth More Than 5 Ferraris
If your jaw just hit the floor, it’s okay. Mine did too when I first heard about this seemingly elusive tennis racquet.
It’s true. Tennis is often perceived as a sport that only belongs in expensive country clubs when really anyone can pick up a racquet and head down to their local public court and have some fun.
But this, a tennis racquet so expensive it’s worth more than five Ferraris? Well, that’s just shocking. Let’s take a look at how this all came about.
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The Birth of The World’s Most Expensive Tennis Racquet
It all began in February 2002, when the first Proximus Diamond Games was held in Antwerp, Belgium, the largest city in a country, which lies roughly east of Germany and North of France.
Belgium, home to two of the WTA’s most prominent players at that time, Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters, both of which are now retired, was the perfect location for a WTA World Tour stop.
However, the tournament wasn’t necessarily anything out of the ordinary – that is with one exception.
The Diamond Games had one trick up its sleeve and became an officially world-famous tournament due to a distinctive trophy that would be awarded to any female player who could win the singles title three times in five years.
The trophy is shaped like a tennis racquet and weighs over eight pounds. However, instead of being made from your typical racquet material, such as graphite, this racquet is made of gold. Yes, you read that right.
As if that wasn’t enough, the racquet features more than 1,700 diamonds, including an enlarged tennis ball studded with diamonds and attached to the strings.
All in all, this racquet is worth a jaw-dropping dropping $1.3 million or more than the combined price of 5 Ferrari 450 Italia exotic cars (pictured below), which would only total to a mere $1.14 million.
Not too shabby for a tennis trophy.
So, who was the lucky player to claim the $1.3 million prize?
In February 2007, Amélie Mauresmo, from the neighboring country France, took home the trophy with a tight win over local favorite Kim Clijsters at 6-4, 7-6 (7-4).
This match marked not only her third win in 5 years but her third consecutive win at the Diamond Games, well deserved if you ask me.
Almost A Winner
Venus Williams won the tournament the first two years, and in 2005 she went for her third win in five years but was held off by Mauresmo in a three-set battle that ended 4–6, 7–5, 6–4.
In 2006, Venus would have been a favorite to win the trophy. However, she withdrew, citing a wrist injury that needed her attention.
It’s All Over… Or Is It?
Unfortunately, in 2009 after the retirement of the two Belgium players, Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters, the tournament fell victim to the restructuring of the WTA tournament schedule.
As a result, the last official tournament was held in February of 2008, where Justine Henin managed to squeak out a victory dominating Karin Knapp, an Italian player in straight sets, 6-3,6-3.
However, rather than halt the tournament entirely, the organizers of the Diamond Games decided to hold the tournament as an exhibition match for three years, from 2009-2011.
In 2013, the tournament was held as the Kim Clijsters Invitational.
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