As the decade closes, let's reflect on five of the most effective racquet demolitions of 2019.
Mario Vilella Martinez — ATP Challenger, Shymkent, Kazakhstan
Martinez's racquet smash is art and possibly even the greatest smash of all time. The GIF belongs in Newport's International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Former Deadspin writer Giri Nathan summed it up best: “Vilella Martinez came fully undone after double-faulting three times in his final service game, then badly misfiring a forehand on match point. What followed was one of the most technically sound racket destructions ever seen. Note the meaty contact of those six smashes, and the shifting footwork that accompanies each strike. The clean ping of the racket against the fence is just the cherry on top.”
The Spaniard would fall 1-6, 6-2, 7-5 to Bosnia's Tomislav Brkic. Fans and players alike have never before seen such a passionate smash at such a remote locale, and might not again for some time.