Djokovic Slapped with Record Fine for Wimbledon Racket Smash


| LAST UPDATE 07/21/2023

By Bernadette Forster
Novak Djokovic Wimbledon final
Tim Clayton - Corbis / Contributor via Getty Images

In a scene reminiscent of the thrilling drama that often punctuates major league tennis, Novak Djokovic, the Serbian tennis titan, found himself in the spotlight for a different reason during the Wimbledon final. The well-known Centre Court at the All England Club became the stage for a spectacle of frustration when Djokovic, after losing a game, vented his irritation by smashing his racket against one of the wooden poles supporting the net, an act caught in high definition by television cameras.

The aftermath was evident - two conspicuous notches etched into the wood, a physical testament to the intensity of the moment. The All England Club, the venerable institution that hosts the prestigious tournament, has now officially handed down a fine for Djokovic's display of anger, which they categorize as "racket abuse". The cost of this outburst? A cool $8,000 or approximately 7,110 euros, a record fine that underscores the severity of the transgression. The incident occurred following a critical point in the match when Djokovic lost his serve to Carlos Alcaraz, allowing the latter to pull ahead 2-1 in the fifth set. The chair umpire had already issued a warning to Djokovic who, on his way to the chair, threw his racket in frustration.

Novak Djokovic racket smash
Tim Clayton - Corbis / Contributor via Getty Images
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That particular break in play proved to be pivotal. It gave Alcaraz the momentum he needed to clinch the set and ultimately the match, culminating in a decisive 6-4 victory in the fifth set. Adding a touch of poetic justice, the net that bore the brunt of Djokovic's outburst was presented to Alcaraz after the match. According to Angel Garcia from 'El Partidazo' of COPE, it may find a new home at the Club de Campo de Murcia, the very place where Alcaraz first honed his tennis skills.

Meanwhile, the equipment Alcaraz used during the final will remain at Wimbledon, preserved as part of the museum's history. It will join the ranks of other iconic pieces like the racket wielded by Rafael Nadal in his 2008 final victory over Roger Federer. This juxtaposition of items tells a story of passion, triumph, and the occasional controversy that makes the world of tennis so compelling.

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