February 28, 2005
Bordentown, N.J.— Prince Sports backs this month's introduction of its O3 racquet line with print and Internet efforts, via VitroRobertson, San Diego. Product-driven ads, running in core tennis books and regional publications, tout the racquet's enlarged "Sweet Zone" and the frame's giant "O-Ports." Tag: "Engineered for the Zone." MSRP for the O3 ranges $250-300, depending on model type
From BRANDWEEK, 2/28/05
We’ve been trying to get an electronic version of these ads, they look pretty good in the magazine. If anyone has gotten their hands on one and wants to send it to us, we would greatly appreciate it. In the meantime, this is a shot of the newly launched website. A pretty cool site, although the Flash gets a little irritating.
February 23, 2005
Remember, how we talked about Babolat changing the shape of their frames. Wee, Dunlop is using softer materials in theirs to make them more forgiving. That means, we can do more stupid things and make more mistakes and it doesn’t feel like we just grabbed a live electrical wire.
The new M-Fil series is the newest version of Johnny Mac’s Max 200G. This was obviously a 20 lb. war club used only by the top players. However, when I used it, it had remarkable touch. My arm was 3 inches longer at the end of the match, but great touch. They have added fiberglass and magnesium at the 3 and 9 o’clock positions to make the frame more flexible. Along with the multi-filament technology, they have made a frame that is really easy on the arm. This tends to give the player the feel of the older wood racquets.
The series has something for everyone in either the M-Fil 2 Hundred, M-Fil 3 Hundred, or M-Fil 7 Hundred. Knock it around for a few sets. For that person that is starting to feel that slight twinge in the elbow, only a few things you can do:
1.Take some time off.
2.Stretch, exercise, and ice.
3.Try this racquet plus 1 & 2
Whatsalltheracquet.com Ratings: (from 1 to 5 best)
Spin control 3.5
Product Review by Mike Wallace
February 19, 2005
February 10, 2005. Not neccessarily new news, but racquet news nonetheless. It appears that top seeded Serena Williams smashed a racquet on her way to a quarter-final berth at the Paris Indoor Open. She won 6-3, 6-2 against wildcard Stephanie Cohen-Aloro, but the second round match was riddled with errors by the American, who had seven double faults and managed just under half of her first serves.
"I have a problem, I think I have anger issues," said Williams.
"I've just switched to a new racquet. The new one breaks easier, even if you bounce it," she said. "I've smashed so many racquets but this is the first one here."
Hmmm...do you think its the anger or the racquet's fault?
On an unrelated note, Williams withdrew from the tourney (Open Gaz de France) in the next round (quarterfinals) because of stomach flu...
Serena plays with the Wilson n3
From The Australian. Read the whole article.
February 14, 2005
This tennis site has what they call the Knowledge Center, where they use a cool, useful color-coded system which allows consumers to figure out which frames will best fit their game. Its tough to weed through the hype, and figure out which frame is best for your style. This might help, especially when you're looking online.
Check out the Knowledge Center at Tennis Racquet Pros.
February 9, 2005
Prince has announced that they are launching their Tennis O3 Play in the Zone Tour this month. Its a consumer focused, hands-on event where tennis players can experience Princes new O3 engineered racquets. We at WhatsAllTheRacquet think this is a great mix of racquet technology and spreading the good word on tennis through teaching. Grassroots tennis is the future of the sport.
At our O3 Play in the Zone Tour, consumers will experience first hand the breakthrough engineering that makes the new O3 racquets easier to maneuver and quicker through the air.
Acccording to Prince, the O3 models improve two critical elements of racquet performance: sweet spot and speed. Instead of adding length, size or weight to the racquet, they use giant O-ports that replace traditional pin-sized string holes, which create a more responsive stringbed, increasing the sweet spot by 54%, turning it into a Sweet Zone.
O-Ports also act as wind tunnels to reduce aerodynamic drag, creating a fast and maneuverable frame which produces a faster swing speed for more aggressive play, generating faster more accurate serves, more controlled volleys, and more penetrating ground strokes. Two models will be offered: O3 Silver (for power), O3 Red (for a blend of power and control). We're looking forward to getting our hands on these and taking them for a test drive. We'll let you know what we think when we do. They sure look cool from the pics.
From Prince Tennis, News & Events, February 4, 2005
February 7, 2005
Over the last few years, one of the most popular frames around, both on tour and at the club has been Babolat. They have not been as mainstream as Wilson or Head. This is mainly because they don’t make racquets for the weekend warrior or Joe Country Club that you can find on a hook at Wal-Mart. They make frames for those who intend to use them in battle and for those who can sense the difference between a Wilson and a Penn ball upon contact.
These frames are no different. As the name suggests, the Aeropro series has an aerodynamic beam and throat that looks a lot like the wing of an airplane. For tournament players, this means that they can swing faster to generate more racquet head speed for more slugging power. This new throat has been added to the widebody head of the Pure Drive Team (Andy Roddick’s frame). The head on these frames has the Babolat “Woofer” system. The grommets are really wide. For the player, this increases both power and control by enhancing the trampoline effect. For your local pro, it makes the racquet much easier to string. You will notice that you might have more breaks and in weird places. This is because strings rub against each other and burn and cut through. If the strings are moving more along the trampoline’s surface, you may need to go to a more durable string. Unless of course, you don’t mind having your stick in the shop all the time!
Like I said…this racquet is not for everyone. But if you have played some competitive tennis like I have, you will appreciate the subtle power differences. The touch and spin in this frame is more due to the string tension. Do yourself a favor. Watch a lot of pros play; not just your favorites players, but everyone. Try to find the swing style that matches yours and then check out what racquet they use. If you have a swing like Roddick (if you do, I am available for coaching jobs), then a frame like this is for you, too.
BABOLAT Aeropro Drive 100 and Aeropro Control 98 $179
WhatsAllTheRacquet.com Ratings: (from 1 to 5 best)
Spin control 3.0
Product review by Mike Wallace
February 5, 2005
There is a very interesting article in this week's Business Week, whose cover story is on nanotechnology.
Throughout 2005, companies large and small will be rushing more nano-based products from labs to the marketplace. Consumers will encounter nanotechnology in the form of nick-proof trims on Hummers, Wilson tennis racquets with extra pop, even golf balls designed to fly straight.
In fact, "Nano-size silicon dioxide crystals help power this Wilson nSixOne tennis racquet."
So...Head is using piezoelectric technology, and now Wilson is using nanotechnology. Who would have ever thought, back when you were trying to keep your wooden racquet from warping in a press that they would now be made of materials that are engineered to thelevel of individual atoms!
Read the whole article in the 2/14/05 issue of Business Week.
February 3, 2005
This stuff looks pretty cool. I've often had reason to make my grip larger, but always took the overgrip route. This seems like an easy way to build the grip up below the overgrip.
Whatever your reason for having to increase the size of the grip on your tennis, racquetball, squash or badminton racquet or golf clubs, Add-On Professional Grip Build-Up Materials have been “performance-proven” for more than 14-years. Easy and fast application - all you need is your hands and a utility knife, in less than 5-minutes. Gives a uniform build-up, smooth and accurate thickness around the entire grip. And it maintains original grip properties
So, I've been playing with the same racquets since 1988 - Head Prestige Pros. I love them. They're chipped, some are cracked, they're a mess, but I love them. I'll someday take some nostalgic pics and log them on WhatsAllTheRacquet, but that's for another time.
I googled the racquet, and found the "original" being sold. I found a re-issue of the original being sold at TheTennisSpot.net.
Head Prestige Classic 600 Mid - 1/2 OR 5/8; Head Original (Austria Made) Prestige Classic 600 Mid(93"). The frame includes original head leather grips. The racquet is completely manufacturered and finished in Austria. No idea where mine were made. The racquet says "Prestige Classic 600" on one side of the frame, and there is a transparent "MADE IN AUSTRIA" label on the buttcap. Neither of these are, of course, on the original.
No idea how these play, but I'm certainly happy to see at least an effort to keep it alive.
We'd love to hear from anyone who has played with these or the "original" originals.
In today’s tennis world, the search for the Holy Grail of racquets has been a quest for more power without losing control. Up until now, when we found a racquet with the “juice”, we usually couldn’t keep the ball inside the lines. And when we found a frame we could control, we had to swing so hard, our arm almost popped out of the socket.
This season, that's all gonna change!!
Most manufacturers have gone back to the drawing board and altering the materials and the construction process to make frames more powerful and easier to control.
Frames for those “tweeners” – those players that get caught in the middle of the traditional levels that are looking for a springboard to the next level – are now within reach. With all of these new changes, these sticks are better in power and control than even those of just a few, short years ago. Many racquet companies will be releasing their versions of these new frames over the next few months and you will be able to hear about them all right here. Here’s one now…
WILSON nVision ($180-200)
You won’t see much difference on the outside of Wilson’s new nCode frames. But wait until you swing it. Without getting too technical, Wilson has filled the spaces between the thousands of graphite fibers with silicone dioxide crystals. This is to give the racquet a more solid feel and greater stability on mis-hits. The nVision (formerly Lindsay Davenport’s popular H Tour frame) is a head-heavy stick that adds juice to your shots, especially on the serve and off the ground. And if you are an advanced all-courter, serve-and-volleyer, or doubles player, Wilson has the head-light version called the nPro.
I have hit these sticks and they were not kidding when they said they have juice. If you have a shorter, compact swing, the control and power is not an issue. I have a longer swing, so it would be necessary for me to string up a few pounds to keep my shots in the court. But from a serve-and-volley standpoint, big advantage!! Very crisp, deliberate, and stable. This racquet will perform best with a multi-filament string and will add to the feel. Have fun with this one!
WhatsAllTheRacquet.com Ratings: (from 1 to 5 best)
Spin control 3.5
Product review by Mike Wallace
February 2, 2005
This FAQ on strings ranges from the basic to the advanced. However, generally speaking its a good guide, especially for the beginning player. Advanced players may find the Q&A obvious, but if you have general questions about strings and stringing, this is a good site to check out.
From About.com, "Tennis String FAQ"
This is a brief, but quite informative article on the history and evolution of tennis racquets. I must admit I learned some things, not the least of which that the first "racquets" were hands, not actual equipment. And...it take you from the ancient to the ultra-futuristic...mentioning Head's new racquet that uses piezoelectric technology.
Piezoelectric materials convert vibration or motion to and from electrical energy. Head's new racquet takes the vibration resulting from impact with the ball and converts it to electrical energy, which serves to dampen that vibration. A circuit board in the racquet's handle then amplifies that electrical energy and sends it back to the piezoelectric ceramic composites in the frame, causing those materials to stiffen.
We at WhatsAllTheRacquet are looking forward to getting our hands on this to try it out. You all will be the first to know when we do.
From About.com, "An Evolutionary History of Tennis Racquets"
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This site is about all things tennis racquet related - frames, strings, grips you name it. We could have focused on a lot of tennis-related subjects, but we chose racquets because, frankly, there is a lot going on with them. There is a plethora of different frames – different brands, new technology and new aesthetics. But all you really care about is how it plays, how it feels, and does it work for my type of game? WhatsAllTheRacquet.com is simply news you can use about tennis racquets, written and managed by real players, teachers and lovers of tennis. We hope you find site helpful and enjoyable.
Products for Review: If you work for a manufacturer of tennis racquets, strings, grips or related items, we welcome any opportunity to test and/or review your products here on this site.
Bob Wallace - Founder & Publisher of WhatsAllTheRacquet.com
Bob has been a tennis player since he was seven years old, playing competitively through college and recreationally since then. Not one to change on a whim or be caught up in new technology, he’s been playing with a Head Prestige Pro from 1988. Recently he switched over to new Wilson frames. Besides loving tennis, Bob has been involved with websites and the Internet for over 5 years. Bob currently resides in Brookline, MA with his wife Noel.
Mike Wallace – Co-Founder & Product Editor
Mike up until the last two years, Mike spent over ten years as a professional tennis instructor, teaching at the Hershey Racquet Club, Walt Disney World and Hilton Head, SC. Most recently Mike ran tennis operations at the Lauderdale Yacht Club in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Mike is a tennis racquet freak – often being seen carrying as many as five racquets to a pick-up match. He also prides himself on being able to string a racquet in 15 minutes. Mike currently resides in Orlando, FL with his wife Leslie.
WORLD number one and defending Australian Open champion Roger Federer swapped his racquet for a cricket bat yesterday and showed he might have a fruitful alternative career if he ever gets bored with tennis.Â
Federer has spent several weeks in Australia preparing for his Melbourne title defence and began in grand style on Monday with a 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 defeat of Frenchman Fabrice Santoro.Â
During that match he made several practice swings which looked suspiciously like forward defensive strokes a cricket batsman would play, suggesting that his time in sports-mad Australia was starting to leave an impression.
World No 1 Federer swaps tennis racquet for cricket bat