Decline of Prince?

jbdbackfan

Rookie
uuhhmmm..not so...Agassi switched away from prince for the MONEY.. Read his book. He was after head and /donnay to make him a copy of his prince sticks.
Its true... to this day I got to meet him and some of those Head paintjobs where really really POG OS with the cross bar removed. He also in post retirement consistently uses POG OS (saw him in 2014 play).
 

ccmtennis

Rookie
Yes. In fact, I believe that the o-ports would have completely taken off it more players had given them I chance. I, for one, was initially very skeptical of the design and doubt I was alone.

Hope Prince brings back the old Price O3 Tour 18/20. (FWIW, I hit w the new O3 Tour, which is available in Europe, but it didn’t have the same sublime feel — but pretty good nevertheless)
Yup I would throw myself in there too. I never gave the ports a chance and to think back honestly I believe the TW reviews swayed me from them. There are great playtesters don’t get me wrong but they complained about the lack of feel etc. It took me a while to realize that feel is very subjective and we have have different games and stroke techniques. Once I put that aside I ended up with the beast 98 03. Don’t know if it the textreme and twaron combo but with a full bed of poly in the low 50s , I have plenty of feel and playin the best dubs of my life
 

BorgCash

Legend
What a great list! Wonder what the list for this years Oz open would look like in terms of the seeds and rackets they use!? Much less spread of rackets i suspect.
Actually i do not interested so much in modern tennis, i don't like it. Before it was a magic world for me, probably i felt the same like you in your post about Prince contest.
Concerning racquets brands, let's see, among the big brands - W, B, H, Y, there are few Dunlop/Srixon, Technifibre, one Pro-Kennex (if not a pj - Seppi), one guy ( not big name, sorry forget ) playing with Zus without stencils.
 

2nd Serve Ace

Hall of Fame
Prince has got some of the best frames going right now, no doubt. Primarily by getting back to basics. Still, I have my gripes.

One issue with them has always been string pattern: the 16x18 is super launchy while the 18x20 is flat as a submarine. Just wish they would find a middle ground.

Also, constant taper beam: just makes frames feel sluggish for the weight. A player on his own can expand the sweetspot with a bit of lead tape, I don't need a clunky beam shape to accomplish this.

Also, o-ports have some merit, but doing them along with a low RA and you get a frame that has no feedback at all. Who wants that?

I'm sorry but the old prince company was always selling overpriced gimmicky stuff.
$300 for a prince vortex in 1993! $500 for a prince boron in 1986!! Could by a drivable car for that. No wonder that company didn't survive.
 

Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
My first was ( and i still got it ) Precision Whisper Control of 1995. Got it 2000 as i remember. Actually this racquet is not so often seen. Maybe somebody know something about it?
Never heard of it. Have a Precision Response 660 & Precision Graphite 700, my fav Prince OS racquet.
 

BorgCash

Legend
Prince has got some of the best frames going right now, no doubt. Primarily by getting back to basics. Still, I have my gripes.

One issue with them has always been string pattern: the 16x18 is super launchy while the 18x20 is flat as a submarine. Just wish they would find a middle ground.

Also, constant taper beam: just makes frames feel sluggish for the weight. A player on his own can expand the sweetspot with a bit of lead tape, I don't need a clunky beam shape to accomplish this.

Also, o-ports have some merit, but doing them along with a low RA and you get a frame that has no feedback at all. Who wants that?

I'm sorry but the old prince company was always selling overpriced gimmicky stuff.
$300 for a prince vortex in 1993! $500 for a prince boron in 1986!! Could by a drivable car for that. No wonder that company didn't survive.
Boron was by far the most expensive racquet, cost DM1500 in Germany.
 

Ihatetennis

Hall of Fame
Babolat came into the market, quickly gained popularity with recreational and pro players alike, and could be the most significant single reason Prince eventually declared bankruptcy. I'm not nostalgic for Prince but they would have to make ground breaking, even never before seen improvements in racket design and performance to regain much market share.
It was actually when they switched the production of their t22s, prince rackets might not have been huge, but the t22 was the best selling tennis shoe for many years and the sizing issues really soured people from them. Those shoes were a ton of their revenue and now you barely see anyone wearing them.
 

ccmtennis

Rookie
Prince has got some of the best frames going right now, no doubt. Primarily by getting back to basics. Still, I have my gripes.

One issue with them has always been string pattern: the 16x18 is super launchy while the 18x20 is flat as a submarine. Just wish they would find a middle ground.

Also, constant taper beam: just makes frames feel sluggish for the weight. A player on his own can expand the sweetspot with a bit of lead tape, I don't need a clunky beam shape to accomplish this.

Also, o-ports have some merit, but doing them along with a low RA and you get a frame that has no feedback at all. Who wants that?

I'm sorry but the old prince company was always selling overpriced gimmicky stuff.
$300 for a prince vortex in 1993! $500 for a prince boron in 1986!! Could by a drivable car for that. No wonder that company didn't survive.
I can agree with that gripe. I loved the TXT tour 310 except for the string pattern and launch angle . That what got me looking into the Beast line with the 16x20 pattern before I gave up on the prince line
 

PT280 Fan

Rookie
I can agree with that gripe. I loved the TXT tour 310 except for the string pattern and launch angle . That what got me looking into the Beast line with the 16x20 pattern before I gave up on the prince line
As a player that's done his best work on the 18x20 PT280, I'm sold on the 16x20 string pattern in the Beast. Just like the 280's I'd say I get what I hit - can't feel a discernible difference in the launch angle, but my top and slice seem to bite a little better. Maybe you guys need to go buy another overpriced arm-buster from Babolat and pray it lasts a year before it starts cracking and breaking.
 

BorgCash

Legend
As a player that's done his best work on the 18x20 PT280, I'm sold on the 16x20 string pattern in the Beast. Just like the 280's I'd say I get what I hit - can't feel a discernible difference in the launch angle, but my top and slice seem to bite a little better. Maybe you guys need to go buy another overpriced arm-buster from Babolat and pray it lasts a year before it starts cracking and breaking.
(y) about Babolat.
 

ccmtennis

Rookie
As a player that's done his best work on the 18x20 PT280, I'm sold on the 16x20 string pattern in the Beast. Just like the 280's I'd say I get what I hit - can't feel a discernible difference in the launch angle, but my top and slice seem to bite a little better. Maybe you guys need to go buy another overpriced arm-buster from Babolat and pray it lasts a year before it starts cracking and breaking.
Lol well said about the Bab sticks ! I did my best stuff with a 98sq inch and 16x19 pattern so I was skeptical about a 98 at 16x20. One of my strengths is a OHB with a down the line shot which is money for my game and I don't gravitate with sticks that have too tight as pattern as I need that to get pass the highest part of the net. I think the ports on the 03 helped and it made up nicely for the 16x20 pattern. Coming for initially liking the Strike P1-7 .... if most ppl here would get the hype of the P1-7 out of the way, they will likely find the beast 98 a more user friendly option and cost a fraction of it
 
When I started playing tennis (early 90's), Prince used to be the cool gadget of the posh guys. The most expensive and most glamour ones. I grew up hating them.
Then they went into dire straits, and it all became more nice.

Trouble is, despite all the hype around them twenty years ago, they never had a superstar racket, only the O3 technology and possibly the one with the cross-bar on the throat.
They never had a flag model like Pro Staff or Prestige or Radical (or Aero recently) for players to get affectionated to.
 

mxmx

Hall of Fame
uuhhmmm..not so...Agassi switched away from prince for the MONEY.. Read his book. He was after head and /donnay to make him a copy of his prince sticks.
I played with the first yellow Head racket Agassi played with after donnay. Was a great racket. Didn't the donnay and head look very similar though?
 

PBODY99

Legend
@Unforgiven79

Prince Graphite & Prince Diablo were flagship players frames.
Remember Andy Roddick was steered to Babolat when Tarik Benhabiles started coaching him.The drive for short term profits lead the various owners of the brand to stop the marketing strategy that grew the brand.
Betting the maarketing farm on Maria to drive sales was the start of the decline.
 
Babalots marketing guy CAME from Prince, and when they began selling frames they stole a page from Prince's initial marketing-----put a Prince in the hand of every up and coming player, and a few will stick with the company when they make it big. In my area, Prince gave out frames to very good kids.
had no idea about that, it explains a lot, ok.
 

jbdbackfan

Rookie
When I started playing tennis (early 90's), Prince used to be the cool gadget of the posh guys. The most expensive and most glamour ones. I grew up hating them.
Then they went into dire straits, and it all became more nice.

Trouble is, despite all the hype around them twenty years ago, they never had a superstar racket, only the O3 technology and possibly the one with the cross-bar on the throat.
They never had a flag model like Pro Staff or Prestige or Radical (or Aero recently) for players to get affectionated to.
Prince had quite a few flagship models: the graphite’s, Diablo, response, thunderstick, etc.
 

Moveforwardalways

Hall of Fame
Kids play Babolat frames because the frames assist in hitting the ball harder with more spin. Babolat racquets produce a heavier ball with less effort, swing speed, and strength from the player. Period. Ever wonder why junior girls won’t walk out onto the court without a Pure Drive? It’s not because of the pretty colors or because a famous player uses it. It’s because once they get used to swinging a Pure Drive every other racquet hits an anemic ball that gets destroyed by someone else who is using a Pure Drive.

Now, are there benefits to other frames or other companies? Sure. Do they need a Pure Drive? No. But Prince isn’t making any racquets that make them put the Pure Drive down.
 
I grew up using Prince racquets. In my teens and into high school, it was all I ever used. Got into all the Prince Thunder series, and loved their extended length sticks. I actually loved the extra length. Got hooked on the Triple Threat series. Bought the 1st Hornet OS in the all red color, then jumped to the newer version with the black and red paint job. I loved that stick so I bought a second.

Stopped playing in the early 2000s due to health issues (Colitis, then a liver transplant). Plus my playing partner from high school (we were on the team together) stopped playing at our time due to job change. Move ahead to 2018, I picked up my old bag with my old Hornets in it from my parents house a few weeks prior. Then I went to the park with my wife to hit the ball a little. She's not athletic in terms of tennis (though she is killing it on her Peloton) but just wanted to be outside. Well, holding the racquet for the 1st time since the early 2000s woke up my urge to play again!

Started to look for something new and that's when I saw what happened to Prince. Such a shame. I remember going to Sports Authority, walk to the tennis section and seeing the wall full of different Prince sticks. Got to demo different ones. Man, times have definitely changed. Wasn't sure what to get, so a little Google searching, I saw they brought out a newer racquet a few years prior called the 110ES Hornet. Found it for $40 NOS unstrung. Got it strung and it's pretty good. Thought the thing feels a bit too powerful. Their silly lower level rating was 1000 I think.

I'll have to demo something new from a different brand. Wilson never spoke to me, Head is nice. I've never tried the Pure Aero. I should demo it to see what all the fuss is about. If it's as easy to spin as it sounds, maybe I'll give one a go. But I do wish Prince would bring back some of their older models. They would definitely sell. If they were to bring back a TT model with the copper, carbon, titanium weave at the "11 & 1" spots, I'd buy it. I've given up with the notion of staying with an OS head (107 sq in) as the game is moving to the 100 size. I'll have to definitely try it. Let's hope, for us old heads who are fans of Prince, that they have something up their sleeves for the future. Probably not, but one can hope.

Oh, and I almost forgot. I'm one of those few who actually bought a set of Prince golf clubs. Actually bought 2 sets. One a steel shaft set and then a graphite shaft set on sale a few years better. Actually, they are a wonderful set to hit. The Thunderstick driver is great (the driver is small in today's game) and I hit it consistently. Probably due to being offset. But there were a few who bought them. Not many though.
 

tennis347

Professional
I think Prince is doing something really unique with the Phantom line. Making a low flex frames with 100 sq inch head size is a great niche for players with arm problems as well as players who value feel and forgiveness. The 100x 305 is a spectacular frame. It comes in around 11.5 ounces with a reasonable SW. There's room for some customization and racquet is very user friendly for a variety of playing levels.
 

gooberwho

Rookie
I grew up using Prince racquets. In my teens and into high school, it was all I ever used. Got into all the Prince Thunder series, and loved their extended length sticks. I actually loved the extra length. Got hooked on the Triple Threat series. Bought the 1st Hornet OS in the all red color, then jumped to the newer version with the black and red paint job. I loved that stick so I bought a second.

Stopped playing in the early 2000s due to health issues (Colitis, then a liver transplant). Plus my playing partner from high school (we were on the team together) stopped playing at our time due to job change. Move ahead to 2018, I picked up my old bag with my old Hornets in it from my parents house a few weeks prior. Then I went to the park with my wife to hit the ball a little. She's not athletic in terms of tennis (though she is killing it on her Peloton) but just wanted to be outside. Well, holding the racquet for the 1st time since the early 2000s woke up my urge to play again!

Started to look for something new and that's when I saw what happened to Prince. Such a shame. I remember going to Sports Authority, walk to the tennis section and seeing the wall full of different Prince sticks. Got to demo different ones. Man, times have definitely changed. Wasn't sure what to get, so a little Google searching, I saw they brought out a newer racquet a few years prior called the 110ES Hornet. Found it for $40 NOS unstrung. Got it strung and it's pretty good. Thought the thing feels a bit too powerful. Their silly lower level rating was 1000 I think.

I'll have to demo something new from a different brand. Wilson never spoke to me, Head is nice. I've never tried the Pure Aero. I should demo it to see what all the fuss is about. If it's as easy to spin as it sounds, maybe I'll give one a go. But I do wish Prince would bring back some of their older models. They would definitely sell. If they were to bring back a TT model with the copper, carbon, titanium weave at the "11 & 1" spots, I'd buy it. I've given up with the notion of staying with an OS head (107 sq in) as the game is moving to the 100 size. I'll have to definitely try it. Let's hope, for us old heads who are fans of Prince, that they have something up their sleeves for the future. Probably not, but one can hope.

Oh, and I almost forgot. I'm one of those few who actually bought a set of Prince golf clubs. Actually bought 2 sets. One a steel shaft set and then a graphite shaft set on sale a few years better. Actually, they are a wonderful set to hit. The Thunderstick driver is great (the driver is small in today's game) and I hit it consistently. Probably due to being offset. But there were a few who bought them. Not many though.
You're right: there are fewer and fewer 107 options. You could try the Warrior 107 if you can live with a small grip size (I believe TW only has L0 and L1 grips left), or go with the tried-and-true POG 107. There's also the Beast O3 104 if you can get used to the O-ports.

Outside of Prince, you could try the older Wilson Blade 104s with the 18x19 patterns or the Head Microgel Radical OS (107).
 
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Simplicius

Semi-Pro
.
I respect Challenge Court 's opinion as he is coming back to tennis after two decades and has a clear view.
But imho, with the eyes closed to marketing and focusing just on the racquets, Prince is the Top brand the latest "textreme" years.
Of course it's already proved (Fischer, Pacific, Volkl, etc) that focusing just on a top quality product is not the right way to sale an object to the masses.
 

gooberwho

Rookie
I grew up using Prince racquets. In my teens and into high school, it was all I ever used. Got into all the Prince Thunder series, and loved their extended length sticks. I actually loved the extra length. Got hooked on the Triple Threat series. Bought the 1st Hornet OS in the all red color, then jumped to the newer version with the black and red paint job. I loved that stick so I bought a second.

Stopped playing in the early 2000s due to health issues (Colitis, then a liver transplant). Plus my playing partner from high school (we were on the team together) stopped playing at our time due to job change. Move ahead to 2018, I picked up my old bag with my old Hornets in it from my parents house a few weeks prior. Then I went to the park with my wife to hit the ball a little. She's not athletic in terms of tennis (though she is killing it on her Peloton) but just wanted to be outside. Well, holding the racquet for the 1st time since the early 2000s woke up my urge to play again!

Started to look for something new and that's when I saw what happened to Prince. Such a shame. I remember going to Sports Authority, walk to the tennis section and seeing the wall full of different Prince sticks. Got to demo different ones. Man, times have definitely changed. Wasn't sure what to get, so a little Google searching, I saw they brought out a newer racquet a few years prior called the 110ES Hornet. Found it for $40 NOS unstrung. Got it strung and it's pretty good. Thought the thing feels a bit too powerful. Their silly lower level rating was 1000 I think.

I'll have to demo something new from a different brand. Wilson never spoke to me, Head is nice. I've never tried the Pure Aero. I should demo it to see what all the fuss is about. If it's as easy to spin as it sounds, maybe I'll give one a go. But I do wish Prince would bring back some of their older models. They would definitely sell. If they were to bring back a TT model with the copper, carbon, titanium weave at the "11 & 1" spots, I'd buy it. I've given up with the notion of staying with an OS head (107 sq in) as the game is moving to the 100 size. I'll have to definitely try it. Let's hope, for us old heads who are fans of Prince, that they have something up their sleeves for the future. Probably not, but one can hope.

Oh, and I almost forgot. I'm one of those few who actually bought a set of Prince golf clubs. Actually bought 2 sets. One a steel shaft set and then a graphite shaft set on sale a few years better. Actually, they are a wonderful set to hit. The Thunderstick driver is great (the driver is small in today's game) and I hit it consistently. Probably due to being offset. But there were a few who bought them. Not many though.
I thought about it a little more. Given your experience with the Hornet line, you might mesh well with the Warrior 100 or the Beast 98 (more modern players' frames / tweeners) if you happen to prefer to stick with Prince.

You can also take a stab at using http://www.racquetfinder.com/ to input your spec preferences and get recommendations. Good luck.
 

Lucas2015

Professional
why I dont buy Prince:
- I cant find specs I want, similar to the prestige mp line. Headsize is too big, or too small, or the stiffness is high, or the string pattern is too open. There is always something odd.
-When I do find a Prince with the specs I want, the paintjob is ugly, eg yellow. I like minimalistic designs like POG, ps 6.0 95, ps97 black.

Why other people dont buy Prince:
-no pros endorsing it
 

avocadoz

Semi-Pro
why I dont buy Prince:
- I cant find specs I want, similar to the prestige mp line. Headsize is too big, or too small, or the stiffness is high, or the string pattern is too open. There is always something odd.
-When I do find a Prince with the specs I want, the paintjob is ugly, eg yellow. I like minimalistic designs like POG, ps 6.0 95, ps97 black.

Why other people dont buy Prince:
-no pros endorsing it
Interesting that you think Prince's pj is ugly when they have the most conservative/inoffensive pjs out there right now.
 
I thought about it a little more. Given your experience with the Hornet line, you might mesh well with the Warrior 100 or the Beast 98 (more modern players' frames / tweeners) if you happen to prefer to stick with Prince.

You can also take a stab at using http://www.racquetfinder.com/ to input your spec preferences and get recommendations. Good luck.
Thanks for the reply buddy. I've been looking for something new on the Prince site. The Textreme sounds interesting. I definitely gotta try to hit with a 100" size. But my eyes have been open as when I was at my local shop, back before the Pandemic took grips, picking up my Tech Challenge 20 shoes, I looked at and held the Pure Aero. I play with spin and this racquet does intrigue me. Just gotta try it to make sure I don't get any joint issues that i hear about.
 

1stVolley

Professional
If you review the many posts already made here it is obvious that Prince made many fine racquets and still does (e.g., the TT 100 (310) and the Phantom line). It seems also clear that there is some prejudice against the brand, e.g., Prince is a women's brand, Prince was mainly an O-port frame company.

My take is that, first, Prince didn't go along with the Babolat-style "very stiff-powerful-spin friendly" frames that, until quite recently, was the primary style for best selling racquets and, secondly, they didn't manage their finances properly. Financial mismanagement led to product supply problems and then to unsupportable debt and bankruptcy, back around 2012.

With Lukas Pouille's defection to Babolat, Prince has lost their sole male top 25 pro sponsored user. It is sad to say but many people buy the racquet brand and model their favorite pro player uses. Last, they entered into a sole USA distribution agreement with Tennis Warehouse, the reasoning for which I don't quite understand. They are owned by a large marketing company, Authentic Brands Group, which has an extensive portfolio of companies only some of which are athletics-related. Their current marketing efforts are IMHO virtually nil, e.g., a dull and outdated web presence.

I've been using their TT 100 (310) racquet for the last year or so until I recently switched to Head's Gravity Pro which I find gives me more control and plowthrough. Nevertheless, that Prince racquet IMHO is a fine stick, nicely balanced between power, control, maneuverability and stability. It deserves to be more popular than it is. It certainly garnered high praise from TW's racquet review, but there you go.
 
I just bought the Phantom 100P and 100X 305 after demos. I want to try to get a coherent review together, but bottom line is, the are both great in different ways. (the 100P gets the edge)

There were some bumps in the demo process, but @TW Staff was great to work with making it all smooth. I think I am going to be just plain thrilled with the 100P the more I use it (maybe 10 hours in so far) but I still may demo the 2 93s and the 97 for fun.
 

fox

Rookie
The case of Prince is simply easiest way to prove that real changes and new technologies to the racquets are useless and what matters is marketing. Contrary to what everyone claims they expect ;)
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
Prince declined a long time ago. If nothing else they are having a bit of a renaissance with their Phantom/Beast/Tour lines.
I'd say the declines are happening for Volkl and Head. Wilson and Babolat are the kingpins. Yonex is taking over Head's place. Prince, Dunlop(Srixon) are having a little bit of recent success after years of doldrums.

Head is an interesting case since they have a large pro presence but their club presence is minimal. I see as many Prince frames as I see Head frames at my club, and the most popular Head frame is not Djokovic's Speed but rather the old Ti S6. But every second Club player has either a Clash or a PA/PD in their bag.
 
Prince declined a long time ago. If nothing else they are having a bit of a renaissance with their Phantom/Beast/Tour lines.
I'd say the declines are happening for Volkl and Head. Wilson and Babolat are the kingpins. Yonex is taking over Head's place. Prince, Dunlop(Srixon) are having a little bit of recent success after years of doldrums.

Head is an interesting case since they have a large pro presence but their club presence is minimal. I see as many Prince frames as I see Head frames at my club, and the most popular Head frame is not Djokovic's Speed but rather the old Ti S6. But every second Club player has either a Clash or a PA/PD in their bag.
This is accurate in my area as well. Right down to th TiS6, in fact. But add the RF97 in the mix a bit.
 

mike841

Rookie
Hi everyone. Firstly I have used and liked Prince rackets for years (Prince More Control 850 for nearly 20 years and only recently switched to Babolat). I recall the number of pros using Prince in the 80's and 90's being quite/very high, but now its predominantly Wilson, Babs, Yonex and Head, with a spattering of Technifibre and hardly any Prince. Is it just me or are there other tennis lovers who also feel a bit nostalgic and a tiny bit sad to see a previously popular, powerful brand now seemingly much less popular and only a very minor player in tennis?
Prince went through a bad spell a while back but now they've been producing brilliant racquets for the last few years since they introduced the Textreme and Phantom lines.
 

PT280 Fan

Rookie
Thanks for the reply buddy. I've been looking for something new on the Prince site. The Textreme sounds interesting. I definitely gotta try to hit with a 100" size. But my eyes have been open as when I was at my local shop, back before the Pandemic took grips, picking up my Tech Challenge 20 shoes, I looked at and held the Pure Aero. I play with spin and this racquet does intrigue me. Just gotta try it to make sure I don't get any joint issues that i hear about.
The Beast line is based on the Pure Drive according to the head of product development. It's an anomaly as it has a very low stiffness rating but is a modern frame - meaning high powered. Coming from the PT280 with an 18/20 string pattern, I couldn't believe all the extra spin and easy power I get. A lot of the Beast last year models are on clearance right now at TW for less than half original retail. Here's the one I got: https://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Prince_Textreme_Beast_98/descpageRCTWABG-TX2B98.html but there are several others to choose from.
 

keith2020

New User
Lots of reasons for prince decline.

1. Price synthetic gut used to be the best string out there outside of gut. All the pros/juniors used it and then poly came along. Synthetic gut became a <shrug> whats that...
2. Prince left all the pro shops out to dry and didnt pay them when Prince restructured. Now no pro shop will touch it b/c they all remember. Prince's main (and only?) sales are online. Hard to make that work....
3. Pro endorsements are weak. Noone can relate to Isner unless you are 6"10... Fed/Joker/Nadal/Theim yes. Isner no...
4. Prince went to weird/wacko ideas, racquets Mono, slottted designs, etc...
 
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nCode747

Semi-Pro
I believe they used to have the reputation for making chicks racquets, 30 mm beam width, 8.4 oz strung. Plus the O ports didn't really cause a huge stir; ugly looking and difficult to string. However, their last few lines of sticks had frames for every level player. I picked up a Beast 98 and love it.

Also, the Tour Diablo is one my favorite frames. If I was a more consistant player I'd be playing with it.
 

Seth

Hall of Fame
I believe they used to have the reputation for making chicks racquets, 30 mm beam width, 8.4 oz strung. Plus the O ports didn't really cause a huge stir; ugly looking and difficult to string. However, their last few lines of sticks had frames for every level player. I picked up a Beast 98 and love it.

Also, the Tour Diablo is one my favorite frames. If I was a more consistant player I'd be playing with it.
Like any other brand, Prince have always offered at least a couple of players frames, not just game improvement. I think the o3 ports were quite a bit more popular than you suggest. They were common on the tour for a while, and I saw a ton of rec players with them. Primarily o3 Tours and some o3 Reds thrown in there.
 

tennis347

Professional
Prince is definitely making headway with the new Phantom line and also very popular in Japan. I see really good things in the future if Prince continues make some nice technological changes with the Phantom and the Beast line.
 

Fedinkum

Legend
If Prince have cash to burn and one of the big three is using a prince racket, you bet there will be a surge of popularity within 3 months.

Tennis racket brands simply ran out of big 3 players to share the marketing marquee players. Yonnex could stay in the game with their deep pockets and Stan was not a bad catch.
 
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