Prince Extends Partnership with World’s No. 2 and Top-Ranked Russian Tennis Player Vera Zvonareva

January 26, 2011 – Bordentown, NJ – Prince, global tennis equipment leader and master of the physics and design of tennis weaponry, is proud to officially announce the extended equipment partnership with the current No. 2 ranked woman in the world, and top-ranked Russian player, Vera Zvonareva.

Zvonareva made the switch to her current weapon of choice, the Prince EXO3 Black, early last year and subsequently enjoyed the best year of her career. After picking up the racquet, she went on to reach her first-ever Grand Slam finals (Wimbledon and US Open) and shot up the rankings from No.7 to No. 2 – a career high.

As Zvonareva heads into the semifinals of her third straight Grand Slam quarterfinal this week at the Australian Open, she is well aware that EXO3 technology has played an integral role in her improved play.

“I picked up the EXO3 Black early last year and immediately knew it was something special. Hi-speed video shows that pros frequently hit the ball out of the direct center of the string bed, as do players at other levels. The sport at our level is played at such a fast pace and along the smallest margins and with less reaction time that it is unavoidable,” said Zvonareva. “For me, EXO3 technology allows me to do more with every ball, even those that I hit on the run or at full stretch – and those few shots can often be the difference between winning and losing. I have a lot more wins since picking up this technology.”

What is EXO3 Racquet Technology?

EXO3 is a high-tech, patented racquet design, which utilizes large holes and String Suspension Inserts to deliver a superior, effective hitting area compared to competitor racquets with the same head size. The strings in an EXO3 racquet are completely liberated
from restrictive, response-strangling grommets, allowing the strings to respond more freely – even at the outer edges of the string plane for balls hit off-center. This technology delivers a larger, more consistent hitting area – at ANY head size – giving players at all levels the advantage of hitting better shots, more often because even balls hit off center feel and respond more as though they were hit in the center of the string bed.

Nikolay Davydenko Looking to Capture First Career Grand Slam Title in 2010

January 18, 2010Bordentown, NJ, - After a sensational past few months, including the biggest title of his career at the ATP World Tour Finals in London, the oft-overlooked Nikolay Davydenko has forced tennis fans and media around the world to sit up and take serious notice.  Constantly competing against tennis’ more marquee names, the 28 year-old Russian has been a fixture in the ATP top 10 the past three years and, in recent months, has consistently knocked off the best players in the world – beating both the world’s No. 1 and No. 2 ranked players in the same tournament, on two separate occasions (London and Doha).   In the process Davydenko has grown a strong underground legion of fans and now, on the eve of his first round match at the 2010 Australian Open, has his eyes set on capturing his first career Grand Slam title this year.

“I am competing very well and feel like I belong and can challenge any other player on tour.  I hope to continue to play at a high level will continue to work for every ball, every point.”

Davydenko, the No. 6 seed in Melbourne has also been very vocal in crediting his racquet for much of his on court success. He was one of the first players on tour to adopt O-technology – a visible racquet technology built around a unique “hole” system along the hoop of the frame proven to increase aerodynamics and enlarge the hitting zone on the strings.  Davydenko has continually sung the praises of the technology and his racquets making it clear that, for him, there is no other choice.

“I don’t make it a secret that I love this racquet,” says Davydenko. “I have tried other racquets and to me nothing compares to Prince. The feel is special.”

“According to Helge Capell, Global Tour Manager for Prince and the person responsible for providing Nikolay with his racquets, “Nikolay is very in tune with his equipment. He was one of the first players on tour to switch to O-tech in 2005 and knew when he picked up the Ozone Pro Tour model in 2008 that the denser pattern would give him added control.  He has not looked back and has quietly put together an incredible few years.  Players are very aware of what O-technology has done to raise the rankings of their peers. We have a special, visible technology here, Nikolay realizes it, as do a growing number of tour and club-level players around the world.”

In fact, after his title run at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami in 2008, only a few days after picking up the Ozone Pro Tour, Davydenko said to on-court interviewer Mary Joe Fernandez that he wanted to “keep this racquet forever.”

Nikolay is also acutely aware that he has not amassed the wide-reaching notoriety of some of the other top 10 players on the men’s tour, but has slowly gained a loyal and strong underground following of fans who appreciate his hard nose playing style, heart and determination on tour – week in and week out.  As Davydenko puts it, “I am not Federer or Nadal, but lot of fans now come to me and tell me that I am their favorite. I don’t know, maybe they respect how hard I play and how much I work.”

As his official racquet sponsor, Prince will continue to provide Nikolay with his racquets through 2010, will work with him on new product development and utilize him in a variety of its on and off-line marketing functions. While not officially under contract with the brand last year, (though he continued to use and praise the product) after reaching the end of a long-term three-year deal, an agreement has been renewed for 2010.

“Nikolay is the perfect example of a player who truly stands by his racquet and we are proud to have him represent the brand and our racquet technology – especially during our fortieth anniversary year,” said Gordon Boggis, President and COO of Prince Sports, Inc.  His clear affinity for O-technology is not an anomaly.  We continually hear from players at every single level of the game who, once they make the leap and spend time playing these racquets, simply can’t go back to using anything else.  We are happy Nikolay is so comfortable with our frames and our team and wish him all the best in 2010.”

For more information on Nikolay Davydenko, including personal stats and detailed information on his Ozone Pro Tour racquet, log on to www.princetennis.com.

About Prince Sports, Inc.
Prince Sports, Inc, based in New Jersey, is a company of racquet sports enthusiasts whose goal is to create cutting edge, functional and technically advanced products that deliver performance benefits for avid players.  The Company’s portfolio of brands includes Prince (tennis, squash and badminton), Ektelon (racquetball) and Viking (platform/paddle tennis).   The Company has a history of innovation including inventing the first “oversize” and “longbody” racquets, the first “Natural Foot Shape” tennis shoe, the first “synthetic gut” string and the first electronic ball machine.  Today, Prince markets leading technologies in racquets (EXO3), string (Recoil), footwear (Precision Tube Technology) and apparel (Aerotech).   It has operations on three continents with distribution in over 100 countries. For more information on players, products or programs please visit www.princesports.com.

Contact: Zach Perles; Prince Sports, Inc. zperles@princesports.com 609.291.5932

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GETTING TO KNOW NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO:
•        Born in the Ukraine on June 2, 1981
•        Began playing tennis at 7 years
•        Racquet: Prince Ozone Pro Tour
•        Favorite players growing up were Ivan Lendl and Yannick Noah
•        Married his wife Irina in 2006
•        Coached by his older brother Eduard
•        Made his ATP debut at Amsterdam in 1999 – reaching the semi-finals
•        Made his Grand Slam debut in Melbourne in 2001 reaching second round before losing to then world No. 1 Pat Rafter
•        Favorite surface to play on is clay despite his two biggest career titles coming on hard courts
•        When not playing tennis, he enjoys fishing, soccer/futbol and ice hockey
•        20 ATP Tour titles – Australian Open would be his first career Grand Slam title
•        Was one of the first players on tour to play a racquet with O-technology in 2006