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Serena Williams’s Racquet

Serena Williams has broken countless records with her trusty Wilson Blade, but which racquet in the lineup does she use?

Serena Williams has racked up a total of 23 Grand Slam singles titles over the last two decades, putting her in elite company at the very top of the sport.

The American has long been one of the most recognised brand ambassadors for the Wilson Blade line of racquets, but which specific model does she use, and can you buy it? Let's take a look.

What Racquet Does Serena Williams Use?

serena wilson sw102

Along with Roger Federer, Serena is one of the few players with enough clout to get her own Autograph racquet, and she uses the Wilson Blade SW102 Autograph, which launched in 2020.

While a career-long user of Wilson racquets, Serena has only used the SW102 since the middle of 2020, after a year-long collaboration with Wilson Labs.

The new Blade SW102 Autograph racket is two inches smaller in its head size than her previous frame. Although a minor change, the decreased head size allowed us to modify the racketโ€™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. Ron Rocchi, Wilson

What Specification is Serena's Racquet?

sw102 racquet

The Wilson Blade SW102 is a 28-inch racquet, which is 1 inch longer than the standard 27-inch frames that most players use. This provides a slightly extended reach but also allows the generation of more power.

In terms of how Serena's specification differs from the retail model, the only difference is Serena uses a 4 5/8 grip size, which is not sold at retail.

The spec that really stands out in this frame is the high swing weight; this frame is not easy to swing and is on a par with what you find most ATP players using, except Andy Murray, who is around 380 kg.cm2 swing weight which is uncharted territory.

You can see the specs of the SW102 below.

Serena's Wilson Blade SW102 Specification

Head Size 102 in2 / 658.06 cm2
Length 28in / 71.12cm
Strung Weight 11.4oz / 323g
Balance 13.18in / 33.48cm
Swingweight 349 kg.cm2
Stiffness 69
Beam Width 22.5mm / 22.5mm / 22.5mm
Composition Countervail/Graphite
Grip Size 4 5/8 (L5)
Grip Type Wilson Pro Performance
String Pattern 18 Mains / 19 Crosses

Why Does Serena Use the Blade SW102?

SW102

Serena has always had a penchant for the oversized racquet, and this is an outlier compared to most of the top women who are using between 98 and 100 square inch frames.

It's an interesting choice for her to make as most players using extended racquets and larger head sizes tend to be more diminutive in stature. In contrast, Serena is tall, muscular and has a lot of natural power, so you'd expect her to be using a more control orientated racquet that's a thin beam and headlight in balance.

Instead, she has a very high swing weight frame (most women would struggle to manoeuvre this racquet effectively), thick beam and a very forgiving head size that is designed to provide a ton of power.

The SW102 is difficult to get moving, but once you get momentum, the ball will absolutely fly off this frame, and you can see why she's been able to overpower virtually everyone on tour for the last 20 years. 

Interestingly as you will see below, Serena has recently moved from 104 to 102 square inches head size, which, although a negligible change, will offer her slightly more control.

Has Serena Changed Racquet Specs In Her Career?

wilson blade sw104

Both Serena and Venus started life on tour using Yonex frames, the former using the Yonex Super RQ 300. In 1998 they both switched to Wilson.

Serena won her first slam in 1999 using a Hammer 6.4 Stretch OS 110. She briefly played with a nCode 3 OS 113 paint job before switching to the new K-Blade Team 104 in 2007.

Serena stuck with a 104 square inch Blade until 2020 and then switched to the SW102 Blade.

I love my previous Blade tennis racket, and itโ€™s been a huge part of my game, but I knew I needed to make adjustments. A tennis racket 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. Iโ€™ve had this new racket in my hands for most of this year, and it just feels right. Serena on her switch to the SW102

Serena Williams OId Blade 104 Specs

You can see Serena's specs for her old Wilson Blade 104 below.

Head Size 104 inยฒ
Length 27.7 in
Unstrung Weight 312 g
Strung Weight 330 g
Balance 34cm / Around 1pts HL when strung
Swing Weight 366 kg.cm2 (strung)
String Pattern 18 x 19
Dampener No
Grip Style Custom grip pallet (Head shape) + Tournagrip
Grip Size 4 5/8 in (L5)
Stiffness 61

What String Setup Does Williams Use?

serena williams strings

Like Federer, Serena also uses a hybrid setup with Wilson natural gut in the mains and Luxilon 4G in the crosses. She strings at a high-ish tension, usually around 63-65lbs.

Serena has used this setup since 2012, when she changed from a full bed of Wilson Natural Gut. She initially tried Federer's setup with the Luxilon Alu Power Rough in the crosses but didn't like the feel. 

Wilson then recommended Luxilon 4G to her, which was brand new at the time, she liked the softer feel, and that's what has been in her racquet for the last nine years.

This setup is great to play with, you get the natural gut properties, which is power, tension maintenance and feel, and then the polyester can temper the power by helping impart more spin on the ball.

Can You Buy Serena's Racquet?

serena blade sw102

CHECK BLADE SW102 LATEST PRICE

You can get the Wilson Blade SW102 Autograph from pretty much all major tennis retailers and like the RF97, the retail model is the frame Serena uses.

Should you buy it? Maybe but I think the use case for a frame like this is only for a tiny number of players so I would recommend demoing the racquet first.

You'll need to be physically strong as it's a very high swing weight. You will also need to play with a more compact swing with an emphasis on hitting flat to really reap the rewards of the power it can generate. Stringing at a higher tension like Serena will also be beneficial.

If you're a fast arm, topspin baseliner, while you'll like the power when you hit through the ball, over the course of a match it will probably lead to too many errors as you won't get the required control from the SW102. 

What do you guys think of the Wilson Blade SW102 Autograph? Let me know in the comments.

Jonathan

Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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8 Comments

  1. Ha! I have something common with Serena HyperHammer was one of my first rackets. Cannot recall the setup I used by then. I liked this racket and played it for many years. After Hammer I have experimented (too much) with more “masculine” rackets, which ended when I found Dunlop M-Fil 3hundred and was happy with it until I started to follow Thiem, but 2 M-Fils are still ready to play and I feel sometimes, they fit me better but then … well, I’m still Thiem’s fan.
    @Jonathan – do you know, who from top players (if any) used Dunlop M-Fil?

    1. I think Robredo, Haas, Rusedski all used M-Fil frames, the M-Fil 200. Maybe Berdych had one too?

      Robredo was using a Dunlop pro stock based on one of those I think up until recently.

      I doubt any modern players use it, Dunlop lost quite a lot of the top guys so less juniors will have picked up those frames or had racquet deals with them. Only Anderson I can think of they have at the moment?

    2. Just looked now at their lineup of pros, they just signed Kecmanovic. He was using Babolat before I think.

      Not many pros seem to use them anymore, I think they did go downhill a bit, but since that merger with Srixon, they made some good sticks. The Anderson endorsed one plays well.

      Way more back in the day, and Henman with his Slazenger.

    3. Just done some more research.

      I think Robredo may have used an Mfil racquet at some point but he used a Dunlop Option 2C pro stock for a long time, which was based on the Wilson 6.1 95 so it could just have been a paintjob. Henman was also an Option 2C as well with Slazenger.

      Thomas Johansson used an MFil by the looks of it. I don’t see any modern players using it though, they’ve all retired.

  2. Again off-topic, sorry.
    Thiem is back on practice court and feeling well. He tells, he should play some good tennis in Madrid ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Wimbledon should have at least 50%? If Johnson goes like so far with vaccines ๐Ÿ™‚
        Maybe Thiem could finally show some edge on grass too ๐Ÿ™‚ Would be nice challenge for him once he mastered somehow hard.

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