Wilson Unveils a Serena Williams Autograph Racquet with Countervail Technology
Wilson held a big-time product reveal on Thursday night in New York City. In conjunction with Serena Williams and Milos Raonic, Wilson announced the launch of the new Blade Serena Williams (SW) 104 Autograph Racquet and newly designed 2017 Blade line, both incorporating innovative Countervail technology. (Which sounds like something from the Defense Department. More on that in a sec.)
Notice the cosmetics are similar to the new Federer frame, as well. This design includes a simple, bold, and clean aesthetic that features a specially engineered, high performance paint never used in the tennis industry before called Black Velvet.
This matte paint provides a smooth, soft, light-absorbing finish Wilson created to significantly improve the “feel,” or tactile experience, a player has when the racket is in his/her hands. The racket also features strong electric green accents, a signature look from the Blade franchise, at the three and nine o’clock positions on the racket’s frame.
To customize her Autograph racket, Serena William chose to add special gold accents to the design, including her signature, initials and the Blade name in gold chrome letters. The racket features a red Wilson-branded butt cap.
The racquet marks only the 16th time in the brand’s 102-year history, and only second time in the last 38 years, that it has celebrated an athlete with an Autograph racket. Serena Williams will debut her new Autograph racquet at the start of the 2017 season in Australia.
I’ve played with Wilson rackets since I was a young girl, and to now hold an Autograph racket of my own is a great moment,” said Serena Williams. “I am just thrilled that players of all ages around the world will be able to play with a Wilson racket that bears my signature. This racket feels like me – it reflects my passion, perseverance and drive – and I hope it energizes and encourages those that play with it to always chase their dreams.
That Countervail Technology?
TI editor, Karin Burgess, who attended the launch, explains “Countervail makes a product that essentially cancels vibration without effecting the feel or power of a racquet. The product has been used in the defense industry and is now finding applications in consumer products.”
Interestingly Bianchi bicycles have successfully incorporated Countervail in their frames. Long distance riders report feeling less beat up after riding a bike with it.
Milos revealed he’s been playing with new technology since the Australian Open. In fact, after trying it out just before the Slam, he switched – two weeks before the event. Unheard of really.” See the below video.
Train Harder, Play Longer.
“Countervail was put into the racquets in response to player feedback indicating that longer and harder matches are tough on the body. This technology helps alleviate the common growing fatigue over long matches by absorbing the shock that the body would have had to deal with.”
Note, Milos is no longer wearing an arm sleeve and case in point, in Raonic’s 5 set Wimbledon match against David Goffin, Raonic’s serve actually went up (to 131 mph).
This patented racket technology, exclusive to Wilson in tennis, is an integrated layer of one-of-a-kind carbon fiber that is placed in precise locations throughout a racket. The benefits to the player are a significant improvement in performance without compromising feel, structure, power or strength by dampening vibration.
We are excited to celebrate Serena Williams as an athlete, a tennis icon, a partner, and a friend,” said Hans-Martin Reh, General Manager of Wilson Racquet Sports. “She is a game-changer in the truest sense. And her ability to rewrite tennis history and inspire a new generation of tennis players is invaluable to a sport we all are incredibly passionate about. The Wilson Autograph racket is the highest honor we as a brand can give an athlete and we are tremendously proud to recognize Serena in this way.
Wilson recently worked with the University of Minnesota’s School of Kinesiology to study the effects of Countervail in tennis rackets vs. standard Wilson racquets. Study results revealed players using rackets with Countervail experienced nearly 40% more accuracy and control, 30% less vibration in the racket, and 10% less arm fatigue.
Further, the racket features the patent-pending X2 Ergo Handle, which offers players a more optimal, personalized feel on the modern two-handed backhand. Wilson LABS developed this player-directed handle insert system to allow every athlete to customize an ergonomic handle shape to optimize their grip.
Tennis is a game of numbers- Serena owns all of these:
And here’s Milos winding up to clock a backhand with his new frame, the Wilson Blade 98 (16×19) Countervail. The green and black theme continues on.
BTW here’s the drink menu on the bar!
And the line of of new signature racquets next to it.
Countervail will begin arriving at retail in November in a Blade for $219. The new Burn will land in January 2017 as will Serena’s Blade SW 104 Autograph. It will retail for $249.