Tennis

The custom tennis racquet money can't buy

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The most expensive custom tennis racquet ever created remains, as it has done for six years, without a permanent owner. But even if you have the cash to stump up, it’s unlikely you would even be able to buy it.

Assembled at a cost of $1.5 million, the racquet contains 2008 diamonds and is a quite stunning creation of a weighty 10lbs. However, the criteria for which to qualify to own this one of a kind item has, somewhat sadly, expired.

Made as the trophy for the Proximus Diamond Games, a former tennis tournament held in Antwerp, it was to be awarded to a player able to win the women’s singles a total of three times over a five year duration.

Former world No.1 Amélie Mauresmo, now of course the coach of Andy Murray, was able to do so - clinching the title in three consecutive years from 2005 - and she was compensated with a hand crafted golden racquet.

However, Mauresmo’s success resulted in the unveiling of a newer and more lucrative racquet, which was made available from the 2008 tournament for the next player able to complete a hat-trick of victories.

But it remains unclaimed, with the Proximus Diamond Games now no longer in existence. The restructuring the WTA tour in 2009 ensured the tournament lost its status among the events on the tour.

The respective retirements of Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin, both stars of Belgian tennis and previous winners, also ensured that much of the interest from fans and sponsors on home soil was extinguished.

So, the world’s priciest tennis racquet is sat somewhere gathering dust rather than being offered pride of place on the mantlepiece of one of the sport’s most prominent players. And that, we can all agree, is rather a shame.

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