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Novak Djokovic's selfless gift to a young supporter in the stands in Paris may be priceless to the adoring fan, but the estimated value of the souvenir is eye-opening.
Djokovic was seen handing over his racquet to an eager fan following his remarkable comeback victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas in the French Open.
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Many reporters were eager to find out just who the kid was and why Djokovic singled him out to hand over the souvenir.
“He was in my ear the entire match basically, especially when I was two-sets-to-love down,” Djokovic said in the press conference.
“He was encouraging me. He was actually giving me tactics, as well. He was like, ‘Hold your serve, get an easy first ball, then dictate, go to his backhand.’ He was coaching me, literally.
“I found that very cute, very nice. So I felt like to give the racquet to the best person was him after the match.
“That was kind of my gratitude for him sticking with me and supporting me."
Djokovic souvenir could fetch huge sum
But while the kid will cherish the Grand Slam winning racquet, sports memorabilia experts told Yahoo Sports US the boy had good reason to be excited about the gift.
Djokovic's racquet would be worth tens of thousands of dollars if the boy put it up for auction.
The racquet 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."
But the racquet could appreciate in value.
The 2021 French Open marked Djokovic's second title in Paris, but also his 19th Grand Slam overall.
This takes him only one behind both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in the all-time leaders for the men's game.
Goldin valued the racquet at $50,000 if Djokovic secures 20 or more major titles and $75,000-$100,000 (AUD $130,000) if he wins this year's Wimbledon and US Open to complete a 2021 grand slam.
Despite the estimated value, judging by the child's reaction, it doesn't appear the fan will be looking to sell the racquet anytime soon.
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with Jeff Eisenberg - Yahoo Sport US