Sharapova with New Racquet and Bag for 2010

January 8, 2010

Bordentown, NJ — When 2008 Australian Open champion Maria Sharapova steps onto the hard courts of this year’s first Grand Slam event later this month, she will be sporting some new equipment. In her quest for her fourth Grand Slam title, the 22 year-old will be wielding a new racquet – the recently launched Prince EXO3 Black – and carrying the first piece from her new Limited Edition Prince Sharapova Bag Collection.

“I am so excited to walk onto one of tennis’ biggest stages with the new racquet and my 2010 bag line. What better place to introduce them than the first Grand Slam event of the year?” said Sharapova.

Her new racquet, the EXO3 Black is one of the new frame offerings from the tennis leader’s 2010 performance racquet line and is set to hit store shelves in the United States beginning January 18. The EXO3 Black is an upgraded version of one of the most popular racquets of the past five years and features the unmistakable EXO3 “hole” technology along the outer frame of the racquet.

Maria will be one of nearly a dozen touring pros to make the switch to the new racquet beginning in January. Additional ATP and WTA touring pros are expected to pick up the frame during the year.

“I picked up the EXO3 Black and immediately loved the sound the ball made coming off the string bed — something very important to me,” said Sharapova. “I also felt as though I could generate the power and comfort I need on balls I have to reach for or are out of my traditional hitting zone, but was receiving additional control in the process. The engineering team at Prince did an incredible job taking an already great playing racquet and enhancing it with the EXO3 technology. This racquet is going to be a winner for a wide range of players.”

In addition to the racquet, Sharapova will also be carrying a new racquet bag over her shoulder in Melbourne. Inspired and designed by Maria herself, the Limited Edition Sharapova Collection is crafted with a unique shape and soft, lightweight materials, making it the perfect on-court accessory for female players around the world.

“With the bag, the Prince product development team and I decided to push the boundaries of traditional racquet bag design silhouettes to develop a new look that incorporates my fashion sense, while at the same time providing the functionality that players need on-court,” said Sharapova. “It was a lot of fun to work on and I am excited to make it available to everyone.”

The new bag collection will be available in the United States mid-January and will consist of two models — a 6 Pack and a Triple. The 6 Pack will feature two racquet compartments capable of holding multiple racquets, clothing and personal items, with an internal footwear pouch, and multiple internal and external pocket locations. The Triple is a slightly smaller version featuring one racquet compartment and several external accessory pockets. Maria will carry the 6 Pack in the collections first color: White/Navy/Royal through the French Open before introducing a new color for Wimbledon and the second half of the year.

“Maria has literally been involved and has helped in every stage of the design process, right down to the location of her iconic signature on the shoulder strap and her feedback has been invaluable,” said Dave Malinowski, Global Product Manager for Strings, Grips, Bags and Machines at Prince. ‘With her vision and our engineering, together we developed a line that is not only highly fashionable, but highly functional and has already piqued the interest of many consumers and retailers who have gotten a first look.”



For more information about, or images of , the new EXO3 Black racquet or the Limited Edition Sharapova Collection, or any other Prince products, log onto: