Serena Williams unveils her new Wilson Blade SW102 Autograph racquet as she gets ready for her 24th Grand Slam title chase at the upcoming US Open.
The tennis ace herself was involved in the development process of the new Blade SW102, coming up with adjustments that would allow her to have more control of her shots. What Wilson did was decrease the racquet’s head size by two inches compared to Williams’ previous frame, i.e. from the 104 square inches of her Blade SW104 Autograph racquet to 102 square inches. The change may seem minor, but it allowed Wilson LABS engineers to modify the racquet’s flex points along its string bed and frame to add the level of control Williams was looking for, without impacting the power of her play.
In the process that lasted nearly a year, Wilson and Williams play-tested nine different 102-inch prototypes before landing on the final design. The first time Williams used the SW102 model while competing was at the 2020 Australian Open, when she played with a blacked-out prototype.
When it comes to aesthetics, the new racquet features a stealthy black finish with gold accents at the racquet’s hoop and the classic Wilson script logo on the outside throat. The design is personalized by encouraging words “Be seen, be heard” and Serena’s signature along the inside throat of the racquet.
“I love my previous Blade tennis racquet, and it’s been a huge part of my game, but I knew I needed to make adjustments,” said the 23-time major champion. “A tennis racquet 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 racquet in my hands for most of this year, and it just feels right.”
“We took the same stiffness and feel she loved in her previous racquet and re-engineered it into a smaller geometry. With a smaller frame, you naturally add control,” said Ron Rocchi, Advanced Innovation and Player Insight Manager for Wilson Racquet Sports, who has designed Williams’ Wilson performance tennis racquets since she turned professional in 1995.
The Wilson Blade SW102 Autograph will be available for purchase on wilson.com on September 8th, and via tennis specialty retailers on September 15th.