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Marion Bartoli: Me and my racket

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Originally published on: 14/05/13 00:00

Can you remember what your first racket was? 
Yes, it was a Wilson. It was black and yellow. It was a junior racket so it was a small one and I remember I never broke the strings on that racket. When I switched to a normal racket I switched to Prince and I had a white and pink light one.

How long have you been playing with Prince for?
I started with Prince when I was nine and I played with them up until I was 12. Then I switched to Yonex for one year, then from 13-18 I went to Babolat and then I switched back to Prince and stayed with them.

What do you like about Prince rackets?
I love the comfort of the swing. It’s a very comfortable racket but it’s still a very powerful racket, which is sometimes unusual because when you get a powerful racket it’s pretty stiff but this one is very flexible. I think the holes in the racket make it very easy to swing so I just love it and honestly I can’t switch!

What characteristics in a racket suit your game style?
Well, I feel like I need a lot of control but still a lot of power. I don’t feel like it’s hard for me to swing [with this racket], it comes very easily to me so I don’t really have to put any extra energy into just trying to swing the racket.

Do you customise your racket at all? Is it true you use a longer grip?
Yes, my name is on the racket and I use a longer grip because I am double-handed off the forehand and backhand and it gives me extra reach.

What strings do you use? 
I use a mix of strings. I use natural gut from Prince and I also use a black string from Prince because using only gut is a bit too much for me. I break too many strings with just that so I like to mix it up.

Do you ever smash your rackets?
No! Never, never. I’ve never broken a racket in my life.

I think you’re the first person we’ve spoken too who’s never broken a racket! Do you have any superstitions when it comes to you racket?
No, I just like to switch my over grip often because I don’t want my hands to slip but that’s not really a superstition because you have to have a good grip on your racket.

What do you do with your old rackets? I give them to charity but I kept the one from when I made the final of Wimbledon!

Prince EXO3 Warrior 100
Head size: 100 square inches
Length 27 inches 
Unstrung weight 300g
String pattern 16 x 19 
Cross section 24-26-22 mm

This article originally appeared in the June 2013 issue of tennishead. To read the interview in full, get your hands on Volume 4 Issue 2, available in print or digital.

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