From Stefanos Tsitsipas Almost Hitting his Father, to Novak Djokovic Losing his Temper, Check Out the Racket Smashes of 2020

Published 12/25/2020, 7:00 AM EST
Serbia’s Novak Djokovic during his group stage match against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev REUTERS/Toby Melville

The 2020 tennis season comes to an end on an exciting note. There are a number of peculiar and intriguing events that took place in the year. One of them was the racket smashing that expressed the frustration of some big players like Novak Djokovic.


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A season trapped in the jaws of the coronavirus pandemic didn’t disappoint fans due to some brilliant work by organizers of all the events. The season had all the emotions including happiness, frustration, disappointment, and hunger. Now, it’s time to revisit some of the racket smashes that caught the attention of fans.

Novak Djokovic loses his calm at the ATP Cup 2020


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World No. 1 Novak Djokovic was up against Daniil Medvedev in the semi-final of the ATP Cup 2020. He won the first set but was trailing in the second set 1-2 when something unusual took place. Medvedev won a break-point and Djokovic was serving to stay in the game. However, he made an unforced error and then smashed his racket on the court three times.

But what followed was a great gesture from Novak Djokovic. He realised his mistake and cleaned the court himself. He was certainly not happy, but he didn’t want to leave a bad impression, especially on the youngsters that follow him.

Djoker lost that set but won the match 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 and then defeated Rafael Nadal in the finals to win the ATP Cup 2020.

Stefanos Tsitsipas almost hit his father

Every single point matters in a game. This became quite evident when Stefanos Tsitsipas almost hit his father while expressing his disappointment. Facing Nick Kyrgios in the group stage of the ATP Cup 2020, Tsitsipas was one point away from losing the first set in the tiebreaker. He could not return a superb winner from Kyrgios and eventually lost the first set.

What followed was that he smashed his racket into the chair, just next to his father. One could even see that his father was quite scared when he saw Tsitsipas charging towards him. Luckily, he didn’t hurt anyone, but Tsitsipas lost the match.

An angry Alexander Zverev

Alexander Zverev was up against Alex De Minaur in the group stage of the ATP Cup 2020. He won the first set but lost the second on the tie breaker. The German got so angry that he hit his racket on the ground continuously until it shattered completely.

Although Zverev went on to win the match by dominating the third set, he received a code violation of racket abuse.

Daniil Medvedev loses his temper at the Open 13

Russia’s Daniil Medvedev reacts during his second round match against Reilly Opelka of the U.S. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

World No. 4 Daniil Medvedev was up against Gilles Simon in the quarters of the Open 13 in France. The Russian lost the first set 4-6 and then was losing 0-2 in the second. He could not find a way to win, which proved to be costly for him.

Medvedev smashed his racket on the court with such force that it got broken at once. He was never able to recover from there as Simon nailed him 6-0 in the second set.

When Benoit Paire moulded his racket in a unique shape

French player Benoit Paire was playing against Marin Cilic at the Dubai Tennis Championships 2020. Paire lost the first set and was trailing 5-2 in the second. Frustration was inevitable, and then Paire started playing with his racket like a basketball. He bounced it and later smashed it.

Interestingly, the racket transformed into a unique shape which became a sight to watch for the fans. The change of racket worked for Paire as he made a comeback and won the match.

Nick Kyrgios could not take it against Rafael Nadal

Playing on home ground at the Australian Open 2020, Kyrgios was up against World No. 2 Rafael Nadal in the fourth round. He lost the first set but managed to win the second one. The third set saw a tie-breaker which Nadal won, and then fans witnessed the ‘angry young man’ look of Kyrgios.

He smashed his racket on the court, and it was gone at once. Kyrgios lost the subsequent game as well and thus lost the match.

Denis Shapovalov throws his racket away

Former World No. 10 Denis Shapovalov was playing against Vasek Pospisil at the Open Sue De France 2020. The Canadian lost the first set and was trailing in the second as well.

Firstly, when he made an unforced error, Shapovalov hit his racket twice on his shows. When he repeated his mistake in the very next point, he just threw his racket away, which landed some distance apart after a couple of bounces.

Petra Martic smashes her tennis kit bag

Facing Elena Rybakina in the semi-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships 2020, Petra Martic lost the first set in the tie-breaker. She later went on and hit her racket with a lot of aggression on her own tennis kit bag.

Martic received a code violation for her act. What was even worse was that she lost the subsequent set too in the tie-breaker and thus lost the match.

Coco Vandeweghe breaks her racket into two pieces

The American player Coco Vandeweghe was facing Heather Watson at the Mexican Open 2020. She won the first set, but Watson made a comeback to defeat the American.

Vandeweghe could not accept her defeat that easily and by placing the racket on her thighs, she exerted force on both the sides which broke her racket into two pieces.

Lorenzo Sonego smashes his racket and starts abusing

The Italian star Lorenzo Sonego was playing against Borna Coric in the quarters of the Rio Open 2020. He had already lost a close first set and was trailing in the second as well. The Italian made an unforced error, which increased the margin of Coric’s lead to 4-2 in the second set.

Sonego could not bear this and smashed his racket. What was even more surprising was that he started abusing on the court and kept on doing so for another 10 seconds.

Thus, the 2020 season had all the thrill, drama, and excitement. If fans remember it for some cheerful incidents, they will also remember it for such acts of frustration.


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Anshul Singh

806 articles

Anshul Singh is a tennis author at EssentiallySports, currently pursuing Journalism Honors from Delhi University. Having significant experience with content, Anshul has authored over 500 tennis articles. He has previously worked as a writer and an editor for DU Express, penning riveting articles on sports, politics, and culture.