You may never play with the power and control of Serena Williams, but next month you’ll be able to play with Serena’s signature stick.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion and Wilson Sporting Goods unveiled today the new Blade SW102 Autograph racquet.
Initially seen on court at the 2020 Australian Open as a blacked-out prototype, the new SW102 was co-developed with the four-time Olympic gold-medal champion. Serena spent nearly a year working with Wilson LABS play-testing prototypes to create a racquet that supported her signature power while providing enhanced control.
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 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,” Serena Williams said. “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 racket in my hands for most of this year, and it just feels right.”
The former world No. 1 used her new stick en route to the Lexington quarterfinals last week and said she’s had fun playing with the smaller head size.
“I’m one of the few players, along with Venus, who played with a 104,” Serena said last week. “I got a smaller head size. My head shape is unheard of and Wilson did that. They created a 102 which is literally off the charts.
“Definitely my whole career I’ve been above 100. Now I’m at my lowest point and enjoying it.”
Working with Serena, Wilson LABS co-developed and play-tested nine different 102-inch prototypes before ultimately landing on the final design.
The new Blade SW102 Autograph 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 Ron Rocchi, Advanced Innovation and Player Insight Manager for Wilson Racquet Sports.
The all-new aesthetic of the Blade SW102 Autograph reflects Serena’s style with accents in her favorite color—gold.
In continuing the minimalistic design DNA of Wilson high-performance rackets, the Blade SW102 Autograph features a stealthy black finish accented with Serena Williams-inspired gold at the racket’s hoop rather than the Blade’s traditional green and black cosmetic. The stick highlights Serena Williams’ signature and communicates words of encouragement along the inside throat of the racquet.
The Blade SW102 Autograph retals for $249 and will be available online and in racquet shops starting on September 15th.
Photo credit: Wilson