Italian Luca Vanni has just qualified for his first Australian Open and our friends at Tennisportalen (Swedish website about tennis) took some photos from his practice session where he used a blue racquet with no branding on it. Luca Vanni has previously used the Wilson Blade 98 so we instantly got curious about this likely gear change.
My thinking is that the blue racquet is not a new model or brand, it’s just that Wilson has stopped sending Vanni free racquets and that’s why he has decided to paint them over while waiting for something to come along. If you look closely at the racquet the butt cap is covered and there is evidence of some other paint behind the blue. Likely the brilliance of the Wilson Blade 98 (2015) or a Wilson H22 pro stock racquet.
This is not completely uncommon practice when players are in between sponsorships. You might remember when Marcos Baghdatis was disgruntled over his sponsorship with Pacific (previously called Fischer) and he broke four blue-painted racquets in a row (if you want to see this and some other some excellent racquet smashing, just click this link).
We’ll see what happens before Vanni’s round against Tomas Berdych in the first round of the Australian Open. The Bet365 bookies doesn’t give big hope in making the upset (betting on Vanni gives you 13 times your money at the time of writing).