Novak Djokovic Talks Viral Video of Handing Young Fan Racket After French Open Win

Blake SchusterContributor IJune 13, 2021

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 13: Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates victory after winning his Men's Singles Final match against Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece during Day Fifteen of the 2021 French Open at Roland Garros on June 13, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Novak Djokovic winning the French Open may have been the tennis star's second-best highlight at Roland Garros on Sunday. 

The first would have to be the image of the newly minted singles champion handing his racket to a young fan in the stands shortly after defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-7 (6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 for The Musketeers' Trophy.

Tennis Channel @TennisChannel

A fan celebrates after @DjokerNole gave him his racquet. 🙌#RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/hpxUjwV6f6

In his post-match press conference, Djokovic explained what led to the gesture.

Roland-Garros @rolandgarros

A gift to a great supporter 😄#RolandGarros | @DjokerNole pic.twitter.com/F04a5UDNQr

"I don't know the boy, but he was in my ear the entire match, basically," Djokovic said. "Especially when I was two sets to love down, he was encouraging me and actually giving me tactics as well."

Yahoo Sports' Jeff Eisenberg noted "Sports memorabilia experts told Yahoo Sports the boy had good reason to be excited about the gift. Djokovic's racket would be worth tens of thousands of dollars if the boy put it up for auction."

Eisenberg added:

The racket could fetch between $25,000 and $35,000 today, estimated Ken Goldin, founder and executive chairman of Goldin Auctions. Ezra Levine, CEO of the sports memorabilia investment platform Collectible, went even higher, calling more than $50,000 a "conservative estimate."
Both Goldin and Levine told Yahoo Sports the racket could appreciate quickly with Djokovic within one major title of tying Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for most all-time by a male player. Goldin valued the racket at $50,000 if Djokovic secures 20 or more major titles and $75,000-$100,000 if he wins this year's Wimbledon and U.S. Open to complete a 2021 grand slam.

The Serbian star said the young man was literally coaching him from the stands, providing advice on how to approach his serves and when to dictate the match as Djokovic worked to rally back from down two sets. 

Djokovic was loving all of it, calling the comments "cute". He wanted to reward the young coach with a thoughtful gesture for sticking with him throughout the whole match and settled on giving up his racket. 

Roland-Garros @rolandgarros

A moment they will NEVER forget ❤#RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/wa9CUzta0N

The smile on the boy's face showed how much the appreciation went both ways. 

If Djokovic ever needs more tips the next time he's in France, he knows who to call up now.  


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.