While she was playing against the Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the second round of the US Open, Caroline Wozniacki lost a point stupidly (but without consequences) by getting her hair caught in her racquet! A misfortune that recalls others: Casting out 10 examples showing that tennis players sometimes have a complicated love story with their work tool.
- Racquet 1, Serena 0
Australian Open 2013, second round of the ladies' tournament: Serena Williams wins her match against Garbine Muguruza, but not without leaving a small part of herself behind. Attempting to correct the trajectory of a ball during a rally, her racquet pounded violently against her mouth, leaving her somewhat stunned for a moment. Reaction? "If it swells, I will have super sexy lips!"
- Face against racquet
In the sadomasochistic category, Mikhail Youzhny claims the world number one spot. Legendary racquet breaker, he broke new ground in Miami in 2008, hitting heavy blows on his forehead as a self-punishment for a lost point against Nicolas Almagro. He lost a little bit of blood and a lot of lucidity, losing logically in the aftermath. This didn't prevent him from reoffending at Roland Garros in 2013 against Tommy Haas...
- Radwanska and the manufacturing defect
Equipment manufacturer are getting more and more ingenious to offer players increasingly efficient racquets. But occasionally, there are reliability issues, like what happened to Agnieszka Radwanska. In Melbourne in 2011, the handle of her precious racquet snapped at the middle of a rally, leaving her stunned.
- Fognini, the repeat offender
Amongst racquet breakers, Fabio Fognini is the undisputed king of the tour. A regular with a very successful and complete style, able to use both his hands and feet to torment his poor tools. The latest example was in Hamburg last July, with a beautiful technical gesture performed while returning to his chair between two points. He wasn't far from getting hurt in the process...
- Coria, beware of flying racquets
6th of June 2003, Guillermo Coria is playing against Martin Verkerk in Paris. The tension is tangible on the court, up to the challenge: a place in the final of the French Open. The Argentine is the first to break and threw his racquet in a fury, almost injuring a ball girl. A jersey removed as an excuse and a warning from the umpire later, the match resumed, to the advantage of the Dutch. No point getting upset.
- Spaghetti racquets, the running joke
During the 1977 season, some smarty-pants had the idea to take advantage of a loophole in the tournament rules to try and introduce a new kind of racquets called "spaghetti racquets". Those double strung racquets allowed players to give some very strange effects of ball, making it almost uncontrollable. The invention of the German architect Edwin Fisher was soon banned, but it still remained in history for having ended Guillermo Vilas’ series of 53 victories on clay courts, dominated by Nastase and his funny racquet.
- Bartoli desperately seeking racquets
The mysterious Marion Bartoli had an emotional year 2013 where she most notably won her first and only Grand Slam title at Wimbledon. The beginning of a reign? Nay, she decided to retire to the general surprise a few weeks later. Warning sign: at her penultimate tournament in Toronto, the French lost to Magdalena Rybarikova, struck down by abdominal problems and abandoned by a defective racquet. Her opponent even gave her one of her own to keep playing, before the inevitable withdrawal.
- Federer’s misfortune
The 2013 mid-season has been difficult for master Federer, defeated three times by players beyond the 50th place in the course of a few games. The culprit? His racquet, a new one that he wanted to test and that his equipment manufacturer Wilson had prepared at his request. A failure which would eventually led him to ask for new models to prepare for the current season. His good results in 2014 seem to show that he has found a performing tool.
- Ivanisevic’s massacre
The devil in Goran Ivanisevic! Capable of unlikely strokes of genius, the Croat also had some memorable fits of rage occasionally. And the victims have often been his racquets. Three of them were successively broken during one match at the Brighton tournament. With an empty bag, he was even forced to withdraw. A late match unusual to say the least.
- Roddick’s provocation
"You gave me a warning? No, not yet? Then this should convince you!" That's essentially what Andy Roddick said to the chair umpire before attacking a second time his poor racquet, that he had already made unusable a few seconds earlier. An act of provocation and irritation, while the American was seeing victory escaping him against Cipolla at the Madrid tournament in 2011. Of course, the Italian won the game. We told you that it was useless to attack a racquet!