EMMA RADUCANU plays with a DISCONTINUED racket that is no longer made.
The queen of British tennis, 19, famously stormed to US Open glory last summer and will be desperate to shine at Wimbledon again this year.
Emma Raducanu appears to play with a Wilson Blade V8 – but doesn’t actually use that racket
But she will not be doing it with the racket most casual viewers think she is actually using.
Avid watchers of Raducanu over the last year will be used to the black and green Wilson model – with a new “copper green” shade in recent months with the newest launch.
Both ‘models’ have served her well since she made the switch back to Wilson thanks to Mark Petchey’s insight and expertise after a brief trial with Yonex during lockdown.
The colour scheme means it did look like a Wilson Blade V7 – which has now been replaced by the V8.
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The V8 model is the version she used at her French Open debut, beating Linda Noskova before crashing out to Aliaksandra Sasnovich 3-6 6-1 6-1 in the second round.
However, it is widely accepted that the racket Raducanu is using on court is instead an old Wilson Steam.
That racket came in a red and white style so her manufacturers have painted it copper green and black to make it in the style of the current Blade model.
The Steam is a popular pick among plenty of pros because it is regarded as a stiff, powerful and generally user-friendly racket.
Its production, though, was terminated and replaced by the Ultra but that newer version has a slightly different string pattern.
It appears Raducanu uses the Steam 100 – with a 16×20 string pattern.
That has a slightly bigger head than the Steam 99, used by Elina Svitolina.
Despite being unavailable to buy, the Steam range remains a popular choice for Wilson’s tennis stars, especially on the women’s WTA Tour.
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But tennis coach Calvin Betton from the Love Tennis Podcast revealed it is not just a case of just a different paint job on a standard racket.
He said: “It’s not quite that simple because the pros all have their rackets customised.
“When you get a racket off a shelf, it says 300g and the balance.
“Pros will always mess around with it, put a bit of extra weight on [as Raducanu and Petchey did].
“The reason why you would have a heavier racket is because you want more weight behind it because the ball comes through harder – you don’t want something flimsy and light.
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“Professionals play with heavier rackets than club or social players – averaging around 300g.
“There is no pattern for who would play with a rigid or flexible frame, it is a personal preference.”