CHICAGO – Wilson Sporting Goods Co., announced today that it will honor WTA ranked #1 player and nearly 20-year veteran Advisory Staff Member Serena Williams with an Autograph racket. The Blade Serena Williams (SW) 104 Autograph racket marks only the 16th time in the brand’s 102-year history, and only second time in the last 38 years, that it has celebrated an athlete with an Autograph racket. Serena Williams will debut her new Autograph racket at the start of the 2017 season in Australia.
“We are excited to celebrate Serena Williams as an athlete, a tennis icon, a partner, and a friend,” said Hans-Martin Reh, General Manager of Wilson Racquet Sports. “She is a game-changer in the truest sense. And her ability to rewrite tennis history and inspire a new generation of tennis players is invaluable to a sport we all are incredibly passionate about. The Wilson Autograph racket is the highest honor we as a brand can give an athlete and we are tremendously proud to recognize Serena in this way.”
“I’ve played with Wilson rackets since I was a young girl, and to now hold an Autograph racket of my own is a great moment,” said Serena Williams. “I am just thrilled that players of all ages around the world will be able to play with a Wilson racket that bears my signature. This racket feels like me – it reflects my passion, perseverance and drive – and I hope it energizes and encourages those that play with it to always chase their dreams.”
ABOUT THE 2017 BLADE SERENA WILLIAMS (SW) 104 AUTOGRAPH RACKET
The 2017Blade SW 104 Autograph racket features the new design DNA for Wilson performance tennis rackets. This design includes a simple, bold, and clean aesthetic that features a specially engineered, high performance paint never used in the tennis industry before called Black Velvet. This matte paint provides a smooth, soft, light-absorbing finish Wilson created to significantly improve the “feel,” or tactile experience, a player has when the racket is in his/her hands. This new dimension of “feel” is a unique innovation in the performance tennis rackets space.
The racket also features strong electric green accents, a signature look from the Blade franchise, at the three and nine o’clock positions on the racket’s frame.
To customize her Autograph racket, Serena William chose to add special gold accents to the design, including her signature, initials and the Blade name in gold chrome letters. The racket features a red Wilson-branded butt cap.
The Blade SW 104 Autograph racket is constructed with the latest racket technology from Wilson LABS, the innovation hub at Wilson, including a revolutionary material called Countervail®. With Countervail in a tennis racket, players feel less fatigue, recover quicker and experience better control – without sacrificing stiffness, feedback, or feel.
Countervail, developed by Materials Sciences Corporation for NASA, utilizes a patented, state-of-the-art carbon fiber architecture. By integrating Countervail directly into a racket’s construction, players are provided the same performance and feel of a traditional racket, yet with less vibration energy from a shot absorbed into a player’s arm. Countervail is only available in tennis rackets manufactured by Wilson.
Additionally, the Blade SW 104 Autograph includes the brand’s Parallel Drilling technology, which ensures the racket’s grommet holes are parallel with the string bed. This expands the racket’s sweet spot size by up to 26 percent, resulting in more power and a forgiving feel.
Further, the racket features the patent-pending X2 Ergo Handle, which offers players a more optimal, personalized feel on the modern two-handed backhand. Wilson LABS developed this player-directed handle insert system to allow every athlete to customize an ergonomic handle shape to optimize their grip. The X2 Ergo Handle provides the ideal form for the top hand to dominate the two-handed backhand. This gives players more power, versatility, leverage, and feel.
The 2017 Blade SW 104 Autograph racket will be available for pre-sale via tennis specialty retailers (in-store and online) and on www.wilson.com on January 1, 2017. The racket will be available for purchase in-store and online worldwide on January 15, 2017. The MRP for the Blade SW 104 Autograph racket is $249.00 (US).