Serena Williams used a single prototype to win the AO 2007?

VGP

Legend
From Jon Wertheim's mailbag....

This is a good a time as any that sometime about Wimbledon you hinted of a story you would relate someday, about Serena and her lack of fussiness about her racket/strings. Really interested to hear that tale.
--Michael Roetzel, Little Rock, Ark.

So I've heard two variations of this story, and one of my sources is now getting gunshy. Bear in mind that a few details could be challenged, but it's a fun story that ultimately reflects well on Serena, so here goes: In 2007, Serena goes to Melbourne with her game in a state of disrepair. She's lost in tune-ups, she's out of shape and she's not happy with her equipment. She talks to a Wilson rep and absently picks up a racket. It turns out this is a prototype that had been created for Federer. Serena holds it in her hand and says, "I like this!" She takes the racket on the practice court and plays well. Not only is it the wrong grip, but it's been strung for Federer. It's also a prototype -- i.e. a racket still in development, not mass produced or available in stores. No matter. Serena asked for it to be restrung -- with natural gut; she's one of the few players who rolls old school and doesn't mess with the polyester stuff. She wins a match with this new racket. Then another and another and another. Again, she's using a quasi-racket that had never been tested and she had never used before the tournament. Had she cracked it during a match, she would have had to use different model. As it is, she goes on to win the tournament. Compare this to, say, Agassi, who was so sensitive to equipment that he would sometimes ask to have his sticks restrung during a match if a breeze picked up.
The haters will surely figure out a way to use this to impugn Serena. But I think it says an awful lot about her native ability -- and self-belief -- when she can pick-up a "beater" racket and go on to win a major.

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/jon_wertheim/11/03/mailbag/index.html#ixzz14EjHMAut
Interesting take.....I suppose that prototype went on to be the Wilson kBlade Team?

It reminds me of Nikolai Davydenko winning Miami a few years back when he used one prototype frame to win the tournament.
 

Arvid

Semi-Pro
From Jon Wertheim's mailbag....



Interesting take.....I suppose that prototype went on to be the Wilson kBlade Team?

It reminds me of Nikolai Davydenko winning Miami a few years back when he used one prototype frame to win the tournament.
Interesting story, incredible, and perhaps most incredible that Fed would have wanted to test an oversize racket, i would like to see Fed with that huge racket.
 

T21D

Semi-Pro
I didn't read anything into the article it being a K-Blade or oversize racket. Nevertheless, interesting read
 

li0scc0

Hall of Fame
This is fake. No prototype for Federer would have been over 90 square inches, let alone over 100.
 

volleynets

Hall of Fame
I refuse to believe federer would demo a 110 coming from a 90. That is just unreasonable and would take way too much adjustment after using the same frame for 5 years or so.
 

VGP

Legend
This is fake. No prototype for Federer would have been over 90 square inches, let alone over 100.
I'm sure Wilson hands their players (especially their top players) a handful of frames to try. It may have been designed for Federer with no real chance that he'd even try it. But.......on the off chance that he does and finds that he likes it then they may have something (new) that they can market.

Any company would be foolish not to ask their contracted players not to try a variety of frames.

If there's a chance that a frame that a top player (even a then #1) that could easily be marketed to the masses no one would pass that up.

Davydenko only used a different string pattern
Yeah but for established pros that is still a different frame.....AND he still only had the one frame for the week.

Imagine going out on the court with only one frame and configuration with the intent to win a tournament......let alone a Master's level event.

I'd posted it before, but at Wimbledon '98 Agassi started the tournament with frames with one string patter. In the middle of a match (one that was halted overnight due to darkness) he had some frames with a different string pattern flown in to finish the match. No matter on that day, he ended up losing.

A lot of juice, not the racquet helped her win AO in 2007, among many other Slams.
From the above story: The haters will surely figure out a way to use this to impugn Serena.
 

PED

Legend
I heard a similar version of this story last year. The only difference in the version I heard was that there was no mention of it being a Federer prototype, just a prototype.

She picked it up and loved it and the rest is history. :)
 

vsbabolat

G.O.A.T.
A lot of what Jon Wertheim writes is inaccurate. Also the fisrt sentance of his story Jon writes: "So I've heard two variations of this story, and one of my sources is now getting gunshy. Bear in mind that a few details could be challenged, but it's a fun story that ultimately reflects well on Serena, so here goes:"

Even Jon admits the story is not accurate. Nobody challenges that Serena played the 2007 Aus Open with a Wilson prototype. It was well documented at the time. It is the other stuff Jon put into his story that is not true.
 

Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
Serena didn't use an OS version of the frame, Venus does I think. The frame was a MP.

So, to the group that continually suggest Federer try a MP, he has apparently.
 

vsbabolat

G.O.A.T.
Serena didn't use an OS version of the frame, Venus does I think. The frame was a MP.

So, to the group that continually suggest Federer try a MP, he has apparently.
They both use the 104 Blade with the powerholes.......................
 

PBODY99

Legend
Serena used PowerHoles for all of her frames since her first US Open win, except the 2006 season from all of the pictures and reports I have ever seen. The 104 Blade has a tighter string pattern and is not a wide body like the various PJs of her 6.3 110.
Venus used this same prototype in a tourney in 2006 afterwards and said she borrowed Serena's frames. They soon switched to the 104 Blades, when Wilson decided on the cosmetics.
The 104 Power Holes have grommets that extend to just short of the inner hoop, making cross string installation much easier than the original setup.
 

AkilKB

Rookie
from what i heard she first used/tired out the K90 and liked it...then she used the Kblade 104 prototype for Hobart and AO 2007...so the part about the frame being Federer;s is partly correct, except that she eventually switched to the 104 KBlade..hmmm i wonder if she had indeed switched to the K90 how it would have suited her game? Imagine Serana's power tamed by the K90..and imagine the control and precision she would have gained...i dont get why they continue to use OS rackets.....
 

raging

Professional
from what i heard she first used/tired out the K90 and liked it...then she used the Kblade 104 prototype for Hobart and AO 2007...so the part about the frame being Federer;s is partly correct, except that she eventually switched to the 104 KBlade..hmmm i wonder if she had indeed switched to the K90 how it would have suited her game? Imagine Serana's power tamed by the K90..and imagine the control and precision she would have gained...i dont get why they continue to use OS rackets.....
It has puzzled lots of people and that is the irony behind this story from Wertheim, Serena and Venus were both hooked on oversize rackets from a young age and like Agassi were just as particular about their rackets...
it is just a fun fantasy from Wertheim and he says as much.

What is interesting about this story is that it reveals that a good player instinctively picks up a racket, plays well with it and knows what they like to swing. The set-up, grip, strings etc can always be changed.

It actually reveals more about the player (and the writer) than the writer intended...
 

BLACKOUT

Rookie
I strung that prototype racquet for her when she was in new york doing some promo, it was a modified n blade with power holes
 

jorel

Hall of Fame
its not a beater racquet... if it was made for Fed its prob better than most of the frames that the women currently use on tour
 
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jorel

Hall of Fame
i actually heard she tried a 6.0 85 and liked it... so I guess she went with the Fed prototype??

maybe it was the the original pro staff largehead
 

ksam12

New User
It's actually the wilson N Blade 106 blacked out. I talked with a wilson rep last year when they were introducing BLX rackets for a sponsorship for our tennis team and he gave me all the details. It's an Nblade 106 with a head heavier balance and natural gut at a tight tension. It was cool to know and also a bunch of other racquets from pros that were just paint jobs and alot of them are off the shelf and just customized.
 
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