A lucky fan who caught Novak Djokovic's racket from the 2016 French Open final is now selling it on auction and set for a big payday. After many years of falling just short of winning the French Open, Djokovic finally made his big breakthrough in 2016, when he beat Andy Murray in the final.
Just moments after winning his first French Open title and completing a Career Grand Slam, Djokovic threw his racket into the crowd. Abby Doherty, the lucky fan who caught the racket, is selling it after seven years through California-based SCP Auctions.
Doherty currently has an offer of nearly $20k but experts believe she could sell it for more than $100k.
Doherty on catching Djokovic's 2016 French Open final racket
"It was all in slow motion. He just flung it into the crowd.
I had an 'Oh my God' moment because it was coming right toward us. 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. After the match I ran down to the place where he exited the court.
I wanted to get him to sign it, but I was unable to get his attention," Doherty said. For Doherty, selling the racket wasn't an easy decision. "It was a really tough decision. You've got this really cool piece of sports memorabilia but it's been sitting in my closet for like, six years," Doherty said.
The 2016 French Open was certainly one of the most important of Djokovic's career. By 2011, Djokovic had won every Grand Slam at least once except the French Open. When Djokovic came to Paris for the 2016 French Open, he was 0-3 in his finals at Roland Garros and there were also four campaigns that ended with a semifinal defeat. But in 2016, Djokovic finally won the French Open. Since then, Djokovic has won two more French Open titles.