The tennis racquet Serena Williams infamously smashed following her US Open defeat to Naomi Osaka has sold for almost £16,000 in auction.
Goldin Auctions – a New Jersey event – included the racquet amongst a number of other famous sporting memorabilia. The final bid was a total of $20,910 (£15,900).
Williams smashed the racquet in 2018 after an adrenaline-filled US Open final. The 23-time grand slam champion lost to Japanese underdog Osaka in a dramatic contest. Williams clashed with umpire Carlos Ramos after he issued a violation against her for apparent breach of rules.
Ramos claimed that the 38-year-old had received an illegal instruction from coach Patrick Mouratoglou from the sidelines.
The then-20-year-old Osaka would go on to clinch the title and a furious Williams was given a ban for her dispute with Ramos.
“I don’t cheat to win, I’d rather lose,” she told the umpire. “You need to make an announcement and tell them [the crowd] that I didn’t get coaching.”
It was an event that would go down in history, as one of the sport’s greats accused the officials of sexism. “There are men out here who do a lot worse, but because I’m a woman you’re going to take this away from me?” said Williams at the time.
After the match, Williams handed her broken racquet to a ballboy, who sold it to a Manhattan dealer for $500 (£380), reported the New York Times.
“Looking back I wish I'd had someone help me with the process," said Justin Arrington-Holmes. “I was not familiar with how any of this works. I just wanted to get rid of it.”
Goldin Auctions recorded an overall $4.3million (£3.2m) from sales on the day, including a Jesse Owens gold medal and a signed LeBron James rookie card from the 2003/04 season.
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