The Serena Williams Racquet: The Wilson Blade 104

Serena Williams' Racquet Of Choice: The Wilson Blade 104

ProsCons
The racquet packs a serious amount of powerThe increased weight compared to other racquets might take some adjustment time
Bigger head size counts for more hitting space and a fuller sweet spot Heavier weight could hurt movement on court
Outstanding level of stability

 

 

The Serena Williams racquet is a Wilson Blade 104, which is perfect for players who like to play from the baseline. The racquet boasts of power and performance as well as comfort like no other. The extended length of the racquet works to Williams’ advantage because it maximizes one of her biggest strengths, which is her serve.

Serena Williams is arguably the greatest player of all-time in women’s tennis, a sport that she transformed through her powerful shot-making. On July 8, 2002, she became the number one tennis player in the world for the first time. Since then, Serena has gone on to attain numerous accolades, which include WTA Championships, Olympic Gold medals, and Grand Slam titles. These victories make her one of the six women only to ever achieve a Career Grand Slam. Deservingly, she was named the Sportsperson of the Year by Sports Illustrated back in 2015.

Playing Style

As a baseline player, Williams likes to immediately take control of the game, beginning with her powerful serves and her offensive groundstrokes. While other tennis players usually have a preferred side to hit groundstrokes from, Serena’s two-handed backhand and forehand are both seen as formidable weapons. She uses an open stance for backhand groundstroke as well as her forehand. 

As I’ve mentioned earlier, her serve is one of her greatest assets, as her placement and pace are consistently excellent. In 2015, she hit a 126 miles-per-hour serve, which was faster than the Novak Djokovic’s fastest serve ever at the time. 

Serena’s record-breaking stats do not stop there. Even with aces being a rare occurrence in the women’s league, she had 102 of them at the Wimbledon Championship in 2012. The number of aces is a record that no other player would attain during the 2012 tournament, even in the men’s category.

She does not limit her game on the baseline, though, as she often chooses to finish her plays near the net, with either a sharp volley or a powerful overhead.

While other players struggle to bounce back, Serena thrives in the face of pressure. She won three Grand Slam titles after saving match points in the 2003 Australian Open semifinals, 2005 Australian Open semifinal, and 2009 Wimbledon semifinal. Another example of this is her comeback from the 3-5 deficit in the third set of the 1999 US Open, which was her first Grand Slam singles title.

Specifications

Head size: 104 sq. inches

Length: 27.7 inches

Strung weight: 330 grams

Strung balance: 340 mm

Stiffness: 61

Grip size: L5 (4 5/8)

Grip type: Wilson Synthetic + Overgrip

String pattern: 18 Mains / 19 Crosses

Paint: Wilson BLX Blade 104 (100-year logo)

Silicone: No (epoxy filled)

Lead: No (at least not visible)

Swing weight: 366

Construction: 22 mm straight beam

Composition: Countervail / Graphite

Something we should take note of is the massive swing weight and larger head size, which is something that sets Serena’s racquet apart from the rest of the competition. 

Playing Experience

The Wilson Blade 104 is a racquet for a player who’s able to take advantage of the heavier swing weight and larger head size. While these characteristics of the racquet may be tough for beginners to handle, these traits will surely raise the ceiling on the amount of shotmaking power you have at your disposal. 

Its significant difference in head size and its heavier swing weight may take some time to get used to. My advice would be to try it out first before fully committing wholesale to the racquet.

While the added weight makes swinging harder, the added weight also counts for better plow through, stability and power. This increased swing weight, however, means that shots that require fast reaction times (e.g. volleys) might be challenging.

You could immediately see the power this racquet offers when you hit your groundstrokes. The head size provides a slightly larger sweet spot, and the timing might take some practice, but the Blade 104 does not settle for anything less than a powerful shot.

Controlling your movements with this racquet may also be challenging initially, but it would be worth it once you see how much power each swing creates. You should learn to quickly set up your moves if you want to maneuver your racquet optimally, despite the added racquet weight.  If you’re interested in finding other racquets similar to this one, check out our buyer’s guide, which covers the best women tennis racquets

Final Thoughts

Serena Williams is a woman with unparalleled talent, with a track record to show for it. Years of outstanding performance justify why the Associated Press would hail her as the Female Athlete of the Decade for the 2010s. 

In 2019, members of the US Women’s National Soccer Team each wore on their jersey the name of a woman they want to honor; Serena Williams was on Crystal Dunn’s back. She proves herself in and out of the court, and it comes with no surprise that she has become an icon for women around the world.

The impressive amount of power, including its heightened sweet spot, is Wilson Blade 104’s most significant selling point. This racquet is ideal for players who have a more aggressive playing style. For one, its increased weight might take its toll on you as the game progresses, but I would say that this just takes some getting used to. In addition, the larger head size would also require time to adapt sufficiently, but receiving and controlling the ball should also become easier over time.

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