CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (August, 18, 2020) — Wilson Advisory Staff Member and global tennis icon Serena Williams and Wilson Sporting Goods Co., revealed the new Blade SW102 Autograph racket. Initially seen on court at the 2020 Australian Open as a blacked-out prototype, the new SW102 was co-developed with the 23-time Grand Slam Champion.
The hallmark characteristic of the SW102 tennis racket is its smaller head size – 102 square inches versus the 104 square inches of her previous Blade SW104 Autograph racket. Wilson LABS, the innovation hub at Wilson, spent nearly a year working with Williams playtesting prototypes to create a racket that better supported her signature power while enhancing control.
“I love my previous Blade tennis racket, and it’s been a huge part of my game, but I knew I needed to make adjustments,” said Williams. “A tennis racket is such a sensitive thing. I talked with Wilson about wanting more control and what that could look like, and importantly, feel like. So, we got to work.
“I am really into technology and trying new things out. And while the process was long, we ultimately designed exactly what I need for my game. I’ve had this new racket in my hands for most of this year, and it just feels right.”
“Serena is undeniably the best women’s tennis player in the world,” said Ron Rocchi, Advanced Innovation and Player Insight Manager for Wilson Racquet Sports. “She has always had aggressive goals for her career, and therefore, ever-willing to try new technologies that can complement her on court and give her an edge.”
“The extensive prototyping and playtesting process we underwent allowed us to build a new racket that would support both Serena’s style and high-level of play,” added Rocchi.
Ron Rocchi has designed Serena Williams’ Wilson performance tennis rackets since she turned professional in 1995.
ABOUT THE NEW BLADE SW102 AUTOGRAPH
Serena Williams and Wilson LABS co-developed and play-tested nine different 102-inch prototypes before ultimately landing on the final design.
The new Blade SW102 Autograph racket is two inches smaller in its head size than her previous frame. Although a seemingly minor change, the decreased head size allowed Wilson LABS engineers to modify the racket’s flex points along its string bed and frame to add the level of control Serena Williams was looking for without impacting the power of her play.
“We took the same stiffness and feel she loved in her previous racket and re-engineered it into a smaller geometry. With a smaller frame, you naturally add control,” said Rocchi.
The all-new aesthetic of the Blade SW102 Autograph reflects Williams’ legacy in the sport with bold accents in her favorite color – gold.
In continuing the minimalistic design DNA of Wilson high-performance rackets, the Blade SW102 Autograph racket features a stealthy black finish accented with Williams-inspired gold at the racket’s hoop. Beautifully detailed, the racket highlights Williams’ signature and communicates words of encouragement along the inside throat of the racket. The outside throat of the racket features the classic Wilson script logo.
Fans can sign-up for early access to the Blade SW102 Autograph racket by visiting wilson.com/sw102. The racket will be available for purchase on wilson.com on September 8 and via tennis specialty retailers (in-store and online) September 15. The racket retails for $249 (MRP).
Note: Pros often customize the racket they use. Racket specifications on endorsed consumer models may vary from the models used by pros for match-play.