Let’s face it, everyone loves seeing a newly painted, expensive tennis racquet go head to head with the ground in a battle of strength. In fact chances are the only reason you like a certain player is because you know at any given moment they’re potentially just three bad points away from turning their graphite racquet into a reconstructed fly swatter.
Today we’re going to pay tribute to some of the best racquet smashes the game of tennis has ever seen. We tip our hats to those players who aren’t scared of a point penalty, who carry a bagful of racquets not knowing how many will survive and who don’t mind letting their racquet manufacturer know what they really think of that piece of graphite in their hands.
So let’s begin! Here’s a top 10 countdown of the best tennis racquet smashes of all time:
10. Marat Safin in Monte Carlo 2008
There’s no better player to start off with than Marat. In fact he could be seen as the Russian God Father of smashing his tennis racquet. Whoever can completely smash a racquet after one strike on clay leaves no doubt to their ability to smash racquets at will.
He even finishes it off with great use of the net post and the back of the player’s seat to complete the job.
9. Fernando Gonzalez – Rome Masters
Fernando Gonzalez show’s his credibility when it comes to earning a spot on the top 10 list, by his efforts to leave no stone unturned when breaking his racquet. His use of his knee to finish the job goes where not many players have gone before when it comes to breaking a racquet.
And to show the true gentlemen that he is, he completes the job by placing it in the bin. Our hat goes off to you Fernando!
8. Novak Djokovic – Wimbledon 2011
What better way to break your racquet then to put 3 massive dents into the centre court of Wimbledon. Maybe he was looking to dig himself a hole, who knows? He deserves to feature in this list, just for the pure aggressive outburst, but to do it in front of the world on the main stage, adds lengths to his credibility.
7. Roger Federer – Miami 2009
Who would have thought that sweet old Roger would make the list, but yes in 2009 in one of the few displays of emotion, Roger decided to do exactly what he does always on the tennis court, deliver perfection. And in this case when it came to smashing his racquet, it took just one perfect throw of the racquet to turn it into a piece of cut up fence wire.
6. John McEnroe
This clip needs to be watched in its entirety. In what could only be described as an utter hissyfit, McEnroe demonstrates that he’s the undisputed king when it comes to old school racquet smashing. McEnroe, goes on a two point tirade against the umpire, throwing his racquet on two separate occasions.
5. Marat Safin in Monte Carlo 2009
In what seems his natural habitat for smashing racquets Marat makes another appearance at Monte Carlo this time in 2009. This video is worth the wait, as Marat throws the racquet with such precision and strength that it breaks into two pieces.
Hats off to Marat for the quick use of improvisation in using the bench to his advantage.
4. Vera Zvonareva – Charleston Final 2010
In the only female to make the list, Vera shows the women how it’s done. Complete with multiple bangs to the ground, long-distance throws, and a final kick to the racquet, Vera’s effort is nothing short of brilliant. Vera shows yet again, if you’re going to do something, at least do it well.
3. Fernando Gonzalez
Fernando makes the list yet again, this time taking it to a whole new level. Fernando’s use of the crowd in the racquet smashing affair certainly earns him his spot at number 3 on the list. If a one-throw effort wasn’t enough, he turns the tennis racquet into shattered remains by the time it reaches his bag. Perhaps he should have headed over to Tennis Drills HQ before his match for some drills to fix that second serve of his?
2. Andy Roddick
It wouldn’t be a top 10 list without having Andy Roddick appear somewhere. In this case he’s made it to number 2, not just because of the racquet smashing, but because he asks the umpire if he’s received his warning, and then continues to break his racquet after receiving the green light.
1. Marcos Baghdatis – Australian Open 2012
There was no doubting who the champion would be in this top 10 list. Marcos Baghdatis in the 2010 Australian Open shows even the most championed racquet smashes just how it’s done. If just one tennis racquet wasn’t enough, Marcos goes all out and decides to destroy four of them.
Marcos gained worldwide news headlines and created a new soft spot in the heart of every diehard tennis fan. Well done Marcos!
So there you have it, there’s 10 of the best you’ll ever see. Is there a tennis racquet smashing moment that you believe should be on the list? Please leave a comment and let us know who your favourite is!
Richard Green is a contributing author of Tennis Drills HQ, the web’s largest resource for free tennis drills for both coaches and players. He has over 30 years experience in mastering the art of throwing his racquet.