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View Full Version : Masha's new racket - Official discussion thread


Marilyn Monheaux
May 9th, 2010, 07:01 PM
I thought it would be appropiate to open one since we've been spamming around other threads quite a lot.

Here's the deal.

Maria is playing with a new, blacked out, logo-less racket this week, that doesn't look like it's a PRINCE, but a HEAD racket.

She's still carrying her Prince bag, though.

Discussion on tt.tennis-warehouse: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=326819

Her old racket

http://7thumb.skins.be/2/2/7/0/0/4/5/27067-mariasharapovapracticingattheindianwellstenn.jpg (http://image.skins.be/2270045/27067-mariasharapovapracticingattheindianwellstenn/) http://7thumb.skins.be/2/2/7/6/3/9/9/img-4b9c9b067a0be.jpg (http://image.skins.be/2276399/img-4b9c9b067a0be/)

Her new racket

http://7thumb.skins.be/2/4/0/2/0/9/7/98345-mariasharapovatraininginmadridspain4-122-582.jpg (http://image.skins.be/2402097/98345-mariasharapovatraininginmadridspain4-122-582/) http://7thumb.skins.be/2/4/0/2/9/5/2/img-4be340601cd97.jpg (http://image.skins.be/2402952/img-4be340601cd97/)


HEAD Youtek Radical Extreme (just as an example for this kind of Head rackets)

http://img.tennis-warehouse.com/new_big/HYTRL-1.jpg
http://img.tennis-warehouse.com/new_big/HYTRL-3.JPG
http://img.tennis-warehouse.com/new_big/HYTRL-6.JPG

Привет
May 9th, 2010, 11:50 PM
Well I only realised that she wasn't playing with her regular racquet last night. :o I'm not sure why I was so behind on that news... :lol:

It's so weird, I would have never pictured Masha using a HEAD. If it's good for her game and for her shoulder though, I am all for it. And hey, at this stage, it's keeping me a little interested in her. :lol:

jcshie
May 10th, 2010, 01:48 AM
about the contract with Prince


29 Aug 2006
All of 19, Maria Sharapova is committing to a "lifetime" of sponsoring the only tennis racket brand she's used as a pro.

Sharapova and Prince have agreed to an endorsement deal that will last until the end of her playing career and beyond, The Associated Press has learned.

The contract is set up to be worth about $25 million over the next 10 years, according to a person in the tennis industry who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the parties didn't want the deal's terms disclosed.

Sharapova will earn royalties from sales of various Prince products, and there are clauses tied to tournament appearances, success and rankings.

"We hope Maria will perform at a minimum level, and we have no doubt she will. The contract is very similar to others in many ways, where she has the opportunity to earn additional dollars with even stronger performance," said Linda Glassel, Prince vice president of sports marketing and communications.

"This contract is all about a partnership and a collaboration, and whether Maria wins 10 Grand Slams or one over the next couple of years, we're very, very confident that the partnership will continue to grow."

The contract succeeds the five-year deal Sharapova signed with Prince when she was 14 and is the latest step in the marketing of the 2004 Wimbledon champion. She’s been estimated to earn between $23 million and $25 million annually, including sponsorships and prize money (but mostly sponsorships), and her off-court activities are managed by the same agency, IMG, that works with Tiger Woods.

spb98
May 10th, 2010, 03:55 AM
about the contract with Prince

I knew there was some kind of long term contract, anyways I hope she stays with prince.

Привет
May 10th, 2010, 04:04 AM
Success and rankings?

I wonder if Masha is performing at the "mininum level" right now? :spit:

Break My Rapture
May 10th, 2010, 03:09 PM
I don't know but.. changing your racquet 2 weeks before the French Open seems a little risky. :scared:

Привет
May 11th, 2010, 07:43 AM
^^ Who knows, she hasn't played in awhile, maybe in all that time off she was practicing with this new one. :shrug:

Mr.Sharapova
May 11th, 2010, 10:06 AM
Maria needs to change her coach not her racquet..

Привет
May 19th, 2010, 03:38 AM
Does anyone else really hope she DOES change racquets? :scared:

Jacey
May 19th, 2010, 04:21 AM
Im happy with whatever is getting the job done :D

Maria Croft
May 19th, 2010, 08:26 AM
Whatever works for her is fine by me.

Привет
May 19th, 2010, 11:06 AM
Just all the talk about how Prince racquets are so bad for people with shoulder issues, and the fact that she isn't using her regular Prince one now makes me think that there was a problem with it, so I'd really like to see her switch to HEAD if it means it's better for her shoulder. :shrug:

pokey camp
May 21st, 2010, 09:10 PM
^^ITA. I've been hoping she would somehow change rackets for a while now after reading about the stiffness Prince rackets. So I'm glad? (I've never used one so I have nothing to go on other that what I've read.) But if it's true that Prince rackets don't absorb impact and force as well, then yes it makes sense to change rackets. If it can dampen the jarring impact on right arm and her shoulder joint it may help elongate her career. What's the point of a "lifetime" contract if it shortens her career in the process? It's not like she needs the money. And they've already tried different strings and tensions. :shrug:

I wonder how long it'll take the media to ask about the new racket? Probably as long as it took them to figure out she'd changed her service motion last October. :help:

For people who are watching the matches this week in Strasbourg how is she playing with it? Have you noticed anything different play wise?

Marilyn Monheaux
May 21st, 2010, 09:19 PM
^^Her serve has gotten better. That's the main thing I noticed this week, but I think her serve has been a main target in practice anyway, as she changed her pre-serve routine to not pulling strands of her behind her ears any more. Strange.:scratch:

Vaidisova Ruled
May 22nd, 2010, 09:51 AM
I think that there is some problems with the racket
I think, it was 2 days ago, but Maria at some point in the match, went and changed her racket (but it wasn't meant to take advantage of the situation). And then, Michael talk to Maria and said something like "it's not the racket" or something.
I know, it is a pretty random thing but still.

I thought that she would play with the new black O3 Prince, but it seems that it's not good for her.

Shafanovic.
May 22nd, 2010, 10:16 AM
she played with the EXO3 black til Indian Wells.

i wonder what's happening with her contract. if it's on hold or whatever.

whatever racket she uses, i'm good with as long as she keeps winning.

Привет
May 22nd, 2010, 10:41 AM
I'm with everyone saying that they're happy with whatever helps her to play well, but it really would be quite exciting to see Masha playing with a new racquet brand. :lol:

Vartan
May 23rd, 2010, 06:05 PM
Don't know how much of this we should believe, but:

"I was speaking with a Head rep on Sunday. He mentioned that they were currently working with Sharapova."

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=326819

Vaidisova Ruled
May 23rd, 2010, 07:16 PM
She has a lifetime contract with Prince.

What happens if she "breaks" her contract?
Can they sue her?
And since Maria hasn't had good results in years, maybe Prince doesn't care if she leave them

BTW, some people say that her new head racket is better for her Elbow and for her shoulder.

Maybe she is just going to have this racket with a P on it for some months. Maybe not a new contract. Only die hard fans will know it's not a true Prince racket

miffedmax
May 23rd, 2010, 07:21 PM
Dropping Prince for Head would move TOB down on the list of LOB. Not out, but down. I hate Head sticks with a violent passion.

Marilyn Monheaux
May 23rd, 2010, 07:50 PM
She has a lifetime contract with Prince.

What happens if she "breaks" her contract?
Can they sue her?
And since Maria hasn't had good results in years, maybe Prince doesn't care if she leave them

BTW, some people say that her new head racket is better for her Elbow and for her shoulder.

Maybe she is just going to have this racket with a P on it for some months. Maybe not a new contract. Only die hard fans will know it's not a true Prince racket

Maria has a 10 year contract that is just marketed as "lifetime", because she was supposed to play with Prince throughout her entire professional tennis career.
Without knowing any internas, I'm thinking that there is likely some kind of clause that would allow Maria to opt out of the contract.

I'm pretty sure that Prince must be devastated if they lost her. Even if her results weren't quite on the level they used to be, she's still the biggest draw they have. Her name sells more rackets, than what she actually does with them.:lol:

I don't think they (Prince) would put their stencil on a racket that isn't their's. Maybe with some of their second tier pros, but not Maria. Even though the media has been sleeping on it thus far (maybe due to lack of coverage of the Straßbourg tournament), I do think that they'll pick it up sooner rather than later.

I'm actually hoping that the guy who has all the inside information on Maria would just tweet what's up.;)

Vodkapova
May 24th, 2010, 06:00 AM
Maybe the reason there hasn't been any announcement is because Prince doesn't want to know Maria is not using a Prince racquet? I'm sure her sponsor is still Prince but she's using some other racquet, and maybe they didn't want people to know and still want people to think she's using a Prince. :shrug:

Although I don't understand why they couldn't just do a paintjob or something.

Jacey
May 24th, 2010, 06:34 AM
well what is obvious is that Maria is still using the prince bag...now that she's at a GS maybe someone will ask her.

pokey camp
May 24th, 2010, 08:12 AM
Someone like Cahill has got to notice.

^^Her serve has gotten better. That's the main thing I noticed this week, but I think her serve has been a main target in practice anyway, as she changed her pre-serve routine to not pulling strands of her behind her ears any more. Strange.:scratch:
Interesting. So the velocity has gone up or are you talking about placement and percentage? I guess I'll wait till Tuesday. Not that I expect her to get back to the way she was serving in 2004 or especially Summer and Fall of 2006. New racquet or not.

That is strange about the hair tucking. Maybe she's trying to shorten her pre-serve routine? Ever since she started DMFFing all over the place I've been hoping she'd cut it down, especially on 2nd serves. It just gives her more time to think. Or maybe I just hate those 20 seconds of torture before the inevitable DF. :tape:

It's been mentioned that Haas switched to Head after his shoulder problems. Wonder if he was the one who recommended it since he and Maria are friends?

saska77
May 24th, 2010, 08:18 PM
this is just a personal opinion, but I have played with the O3 Black for a while. It;s great - plenty power on the serve etc but the ground strokes were a bit messy. When the new EXO3 Black came out I swapped to it as Prince advertised it as upgrade on the O3 Black, still loads of power (although less so on the serve) and higher consistency on ground strokes. I thought -yep hurray. A mont later a had to go to physio with a nasty shoulder pains that would not go away. Two weeks ago for whatever weird reason I picked up my old O3 Black and the shoulder pain disappeared.

Now I do not know what the connection is between Prince rackets and shoulder injuries, but I can tell you that the EXO3 Black definitely contributed to my shoulder being a bit angry with me.

Anyway, I hope she does not swap to Head. Perhaps Prince has made a custom frame for her, or she's using prototype?

drgray
May 25th, 2010, 07:14 PM
I thought the commentators today commented that it looked like her original racquet. Maybe she's tired of the o-ports causing her injury?

Marilyn Monheaux
May 25th, 2010, 07:17 PM
I thought the commentators today commented that it looked like her original racquet. Maybe she's tired of the o-ports causing her injury?

It's none of the rackets she has ever played with. The commies need new glasses.:lol:

MaitaBaby
May 25th, 2010, 08:11 PM
Argh. I want to know what's up with the racket already! She's obviously still with Prince because of the bag and she Facebook-ed about them not too long ago about the deal/sale they had in the US.

Maybe they're making a racket for her that'll suit her elbow/shoulder and until then she'll use this DIY/Head one? Aaah, I highly doubt it.

gc-spurs
May 25th, 2010, 08:52 PM
Yeah, damn mystery racquet has me all super curious and whatnot!

Shafanovic.
May 25th, 2010, 09:40 PM
From Prince Tennis facebook fan page.

"I saw now on the live match of Sharapova in Roland Garros that Sharapova doesn't use the EXO3 Black, did she changes the raquet agian?"

This is their reply.
Prince Tennis
"Hey Nikolas, yes Prince is working with Maria on a pioneering product development program which will have her play testing some experimental frames over the next few months in practice and actual matches to develop potential future racquet offerings. It is a completely innovative program and we are definitely excited to see the data it will provide."

I don't understand why they don't have the "P" on the string. I can understand the painted racket but the "P" on the strings would sell.

Marilyn Monheaux
May 25th, 2010, 09:43 PM
From Prince Tennis facebook fan page.

"I saw now on the live match of Sharapova in Roland Garros that Sharapova doesn't use the EXO3 Black, did she changes the raquet agian?"

This is their reply.
Prince Tennis
"Hey Nikolas, yes Prince is working with Maria on a pioneering product development program which will have her play testing some experimental frames over the next few months in practice and actual matches to develop potential future racquet offerings. It is a completely innovative program and we are definitely excited to see the data it will provide."

I don't understand why they don't have the "P" on the string. I can understand the painted racket but the "P" on the strings would sell.

Pioneering product devolpment probably means she's playing with a Head racket as long as Prince needs to copy the frame her her.:lol:

markspot
May 25th, 2010, 09:51 PM
I see that at least she is not in the list of the EXO3 players on Prince website. Gone. Deleted.
Is she anywhere advertised on Prince website as using Prince?

markspot
May 25th, 2010, 10:01 PM
I think this whole thing may turn very badly for Prince. I predict that somebody (an investigative reporter?) will steal one of her stealth racquets, will analyse it and reveal that it is Head. Provided to her by Prince.
Anyway, it is already clear to everyone that it is not Prince because they do not dare to put on it Prince logo.

xan
May 25th, 2010, 10:22 PM
Very interesting. I doubt they would lie about using a rival manufacturer's racket. But I could see her having troubles with the EXO3 and them providing something else.

She has been serving very well with it so far anyway, and she had dozens with her on court.

lylux
May 25th, 2010, 10:22 PM
espn commentators said, Maria has not reached financial settlement with Prince, so she does not use logos

markspot
May 26th, 2010, 06:49 AM
I think a reasonable financial settlement is in the interest of Prince, otherwise there could be a very public and very nasty lawsuit to recover lost prize and endorsement money, lost because of a career affecting injury caused by their racquets. Just a subtle hint of such a lawsuit should be enough to make them reasonable.

Marilyn Monheaux
May 26th, 2010, 07:21 AM
espn commentators said, Maria has not reached financial settlement with Prince, so she does not use logos

There is no need for a settlement. She still has a contract. The same commentators also said that she's using a prince racket which she's not.:shrug:

Maria Croft
May 26th, 2010, 07:35 AM
No matter what, at least we know she's busy trying to find a raquet that works for her, so she can keep playing for a long time without getting injured.

markspot
May 26th, 2010, 02:58 PM
So how is it working, if she still has a contract with Prince?
Is Head cooperating with Prince on this?
Is she getting those no-name Head racquets from Head or from Prince?
Or is she buying them herself and painting black?

If Head is not cooperating with Prince, and Prince finally succeeds in making a Head racquet for her themselves,
Head may not be happy about it, they will say: hey, it is a copy of our racquet.

cyannnnn
May 26th, 2010, 05:30 PM
monfils who is sponsorised by prince also plays roland with a no logo racket...

Mr.Sharapova
May 26th, 2010, 09:52 PM
Pioneering product devolpment probably means she's playing with a Head racket as long as Prince needs to copy the frame her her.:lol:
The prince Page on Facebook Confirmed it today that They are making a project with Maria About Developing a new Racquet..

Vincey!
May 26th, 2010, 11:14 PM
Honestly, I don't understand why people are so eager to say it's a Head racquet. I mean Prince could really be working on a prototype for Maria with a fram looking like Head, or is it forbidden to use a lookalike frame form for another company? I have to say that it does look similar to a Head and that if tht source about a Head rep saying that they were working with Maria is reliable it could result in a major mess but to me as long as there's no logo on it or officials statement it's a Prince prototype.

If the raquet works, I'm happy.

markspot
May 27th, 2010, 08:10 PM
Honestly, I don't understand why people are so eager to say it's a Head racquet. I mean Prince could really be working on a prototype for Maria with a fram looking like Head, or is it forbidden to use a lookalike frame form for another company?


The only reason they would not put P on the strings is that it is a Head.
They would absolutely put P on a Prince "prototype".

WTAtennisfan15
May 28th, 2010, 01:44 PM
Or maybe masha will launch her own, unique racquet collection!

Marilyn Monheaux
May 30th, 2010, 02:12 PM
From twitter

Prince racquets: #Sharapova «testing frames in practice & matches to help develop offerings. May include frames not in our line». SAY WHAT?

So, they basically confirm that Maria isn't playing with a Prince racket and that they'll copy it afterwards!:spit:

JadeFox
May 30th, 2010, 02:45 PM
From twitter



So, they basically confirm that Maria isn't playing with a Prince racket and that they'll copy it afterwards!:spit:

Oh Prince. I don't think that's the type of thing you should say in public. :lol:

swissmr
May 30th, 2010, 03:19 PM
Prince :tape:
Whatever happens, I just hope she sticks with the racquet she's using at the moment because it's clearly working well for her.

Vartan
May 30th, 2010, 03:21 PM
Lmao, imagine we see Kuzzy's status on Maria's Facebook:

Maria Sharapova: I love HEAD!!!

pokey camp
May 30th, 2010, 05:59 PM
From twitter



So, they basically confirm that Maria isn't playing with a Prince racket and that they'll copy it afterwards!:spit:Safe to say that tweet was not approved by Prince's legal department. :o