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Serena Williams' Smashed Racket from US Open Meltdown Sells for $20,910 at Auction in New Jersey

Claudine Varela
Dec 17, 2019
06:00 A.M.
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The ball boy Serena Williams gave her smashed racket to expressed his regrets after learning it sold for over $20k at a recent auction. He reveals how much he only sold it for. 

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Never mind that Serena Williams smashed her racket as a result of her meltdown at the 2018 US Open. That racket sold for tens of thousands at a recent auction.

Serena Williams bends down to pick up her broken racket after throwing it to the ground in frustration during her 2018 US Open Finals match against Naomi Osaka in September 8, 2018. | Photo: Getty Images

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HOW THE RACKET BROKE

Williams famously slammed her racket to the ground expressing her frustration over an on-court violation she received from an official at the US Open. She was competing against Naomi Osaka for the finals when she got into a verbal match with chair umpire Carlos Ramos. She lost to Osaka and she also lost a good racket that day. 

...after her racket broke, Serena gave it to ball boy Justin Harrington- Holmes. Holmes, in turn, sold it to a Manhattan dealer of collectibles...He wished someone had advised him about selling it...

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THE RACKET'S VALUE TODAY

However, an auction at a New Jersey recently cashed in on the Wilson Blade racket. According to a tweet by Goldin Auctions, it sold for a whopping $20,910. 

The racket is featured in Goldin Auctions’ website as Lot # 91. The description indicates that its inside bar has Williams’ name and facsimile signature printed in gold.

A close-up of Serena Williams' Wilson Blade racket that broke during her meltdown at the US Open on September 8, 2018. | Photo: Getty Images

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A SERIES OF REGRETS

Per CNN, after her racket broke, Serena gave it to ball boy Justin Harrington- Holmes. Holmes, in turn, sold it to a Manhattan dealer of collectibles for a mere $500, according to the New York Times. An anonymous party gave it up for auction at Goldin.

Speaking to the Times, Holmes is regretful that he didn’t know how to put a value on the racket when he sold it.  He wished someone had advised him about selling it since he wasn’t familiar with how these things are done.

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Meanwhile, Williams’ regret following her meltdown was the fact that the episode tainted Osaka’s historic win. 

“Not only was a game taken from me but a defining, triumphant moment was taken from another player, something she should remember as one of the happiest memories in her long and successful career,” she wrote in an essay for Harper’s Bazaar a year later. “My heart broke,” she added.

Serena Williams in tears next to a downcast Naomi Osaka who beat her in the 2018 US Open Finals. | Photo: Getty Images

Williams’ racket was one of several sports memorabilia that was sold by Golden Auctions. Among them were Jesse Owens’ gold medal from the 1936 Olympics which sold for $615,000 and a signed LeBron James rookie card that was purchased for $198,030.

In total, Goldin Auctions generated $4.3 million for 1,500 lots. Five of these lots valued at $100,000 each.

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