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Sharapova ends partnership with Prince, Oudin becomes Wilson exclusive player

Maria Sharapova's Nike promo for Australian Open 2011

Maria Sharapova will officially not use Prince racquets any more, and the word is out that her new brand of choice is Head, even though her agent refused to comment on the subject. The 23-year-old Sharapova had played with Prince since she was nine and won all three of her Grand Slam titles with that racquet.

And although Sharapova's partnership with Head is not official yet, this Nike promo for the Australian Open 2011 clearly shows the Russian is using Head now. (Jacob, thanks for sharing the pic with me!).

Melanie Oudin Wilson exclusive player

There's another partnership change in tennis - Melanie Oudin, who was wearing adidas and famously promoted their Barricade shoes with inspirational messages "believe" and "courage", will now be sporting Wilson's apparel and footwear. The American has been using Wilson’s Blade racquet, but has now become a Wilson exclusive player, having switched to their clothing as well.

There’s one more novelty concerning Oudin and Wilson – the 19-year-old will be swinging her new Blade 98 Pink BLX racquet starting in Australia. (Magdalena, thank you for telling me about this!)

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14 thoughts on “Sharapova ends partnership with Prince, Oudin becomes Wilson exclusive player

  1. Benjamin

    I honestly misread your title of post as saying "Sharapova ends partnership with PRINCE, becomes Wilson exclusive player" and went :O

    Anyhoo, I received the photo today. Thank you very very much Marija. You're the best! :)

  2. Marija Post author

    Sam, I wouldn't be so harsh. :/

    Benjamin, haha it wasn't my intention! :) About the autograph, that's awesome. Thanks for telling me. I'll have to ask Karunya whether he received it as well.

  3. Sam

    Sorry Marija – Comment wasnn't meant to be harsh. I do have great respect for Melanie and am a fan of hers.

  4. LuLinQa

    I knew she was about to switch brands as she was sporting unlabeld racket for previous 7 months. It's weird to see her without prince anyway.

  5. mg

    Wow, last year Masha was no more daddy's little girl,and now she's no more Princess? Such a change.:P Anyway, hope she'll do well with it.
    As for Melanie, 2010 was her year to show herself off,and she failed.I am not a fan of hers, but, still,wouldn't like to see her stay one-Slam-quarterfinals-miracle.

  6. Bróna

    Changing rackets is a big deal, but if she's been using this racket for the last few months then she should be kind of used to it now. Maybe the change has something to do with the shoulder injury. Hope it proves successful for her anyway :)

  7. Leo

    Making a racket switch is one of the toughest decisions that a tennis player can make. The racket is the most important weapon that a player has and a wrong choice of racket can ruin one's game. For Maria Sharapova, her racket switch to head is no longer a surprise considering that she has been using the racket upon her return from shoulder injury. The only difference is that she will able to use the Head stencil in her racket.
    But the big question is can she return to TENNIS big time in 2011?

  8. Marija Post author

    Just as Bróna said, Sharapova must know what she's doing, especially that she's been using Head, it wasn't a sudden decision.

    Maria still has the heart to return to tennis big time, but weather her perfect game will return and stay there long enough, we can't know before we see it.

  9. Francesca

    When Maria came back from injury, one of the things that I was just noting was the absence of holes in the frame of the racket she was using, then I happened to read somewhere that, in fact, the change was due to the conditions of the shoulder. But honestly I hadn't thought she was using a Head racquet, I thought it was a paintjob of another Prince racket… however I'm convinced that Maria knows well what she does and Head scored a big hit.

  10. Marine

    Well,hopefully Maria will achieve more results with this new racket. Her 2010 season was not very glamorous when it comes to tennis results. She's become an average player, sad as it is.
    Melanie cracked under the pressure and expectations. She is still very young so maybe the lack of limelight will actually help her to do better in the future.

  11. Milano

    While we are at "the racquet talk", there is also one thing about Jelena Jankovic that I noticed.I went to official princetennis.com site just to find out that she is NOT on their list of tennis representatives.She is the highest ranked singles player, male or female, playing with prince racquet ,so I think there's something "wrong" there.Besides that , she has been playing with unlabeled prince racquet in 2010.

  12. Krystyna

    Maria switched from Prince to Head since the Prince brand was head heavy and since her shoulder surgury her physicians suggested that she make a switch. Her new Head racquet is lighter and the frame is thinner, thus giving her shoulders and arm and wrist relieving the pain she once experienced. I hope Maria will be able to be the No.1 player she once was without her Prince racquet.

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