Baseline: Top racquet smashes of 2020: No. 1, PH Herbert


A top-knotted Pierre-Hugues Herbert got knotted up internally in Bercy, and then externalized that.

Playing alongside compatriot Nicolas Mahut in defense of their 2019 Paris Masters title, Herbert lodged a forehand just behind the baseline against Marcelo Arevalo and Matwe Middelkoop.

The French pair was up a set, but Herbert’s unforced error handed their foes a 6-5 second-set lead. Compelled to destroy his racquet on the court surface itself, like so many in this and every year, he did so five times, which research for this series shows is the chosen cadence of many touring pros.

In the end, this makes for the the lone entry in our Top 5 racquet smashes of 2020 in which the equipment vanquisher also vanquished their opponent. Herbert and Mahut would be triumphant, 6-3, 7-6 (4) but fall in their final match of the year in the following round. 


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