June 30, 2005
From the 6/30/05 The Advertiser
Tennis racquet designers are now looking back a couple of millennia to Roman civilization for inspiration - in an effort to continue to make racquets light, aerodynamic and powerful.
For example, Prince has expanded the traditional pin-size string holes on the rim into ovals - a design based on the principle of the arch. The six ovals on the top and seven on each side are said to expand the sweet spot by up to 54 per cent.
Read more about the Prince O3 on WhatsAllTheRacquet.com
"Head's Flexpoint technology puts dimples and holes on the top and side of the racquet. Head says that reduces the height of the frame, increases flexibility and responds to the impact of the ball like a human hand." Whatever that means...
Read the article
June 29, 2005
Look for the bankable Andy Murray to soon be adding to his four current endorsements: a long-term clothing contract with Fred Perry, a racquet deal with Head, and deals with the Royal Bank of Scotland and Robinson's, the Brit soft drink manufacturer.
From Tennis X
June 28, 2005
As a consummate string-breaker myself, I am always in search of either a better string or a cheaper, faster way to string. When I was a sponsored player, the string and/or the price didn't even enter my self-inflated head. But now that I have to actually pay for my strings, I find myself checking my strings after each point to make sure I haven't done any damage to them.
Well, as I see it, the two questions you have to ask yourself are:
1)Am I breaking a lot of strings (every 6-10 sets)?
2)Can I tell the differences between strings (gauge, brand, spin,
If you answer "yes" to #1, you are either using a thin gauge, a softer
string, or hitting with a ton of spin. If you also answered "yes" to #2, you have moved along quite well in your training, young jedi!! This is tough to do, but after a while, even beginners start to "feel" the string better.
Now, if you answered "yes" to both questions, you have a BIG decision to make: Am I going to sacrifice feel for durability? If you are going to stick with "feel", buy your strings in the single pack and buy in bulk. It will cost you more, but each pack will stay fresh and the feel will remain intact. Durability is easy. Order by the reel. 330' or 660', depending how much you want. Keep track of how many rackets you get per reel. A good stringer will be able to get 18-20 or more rackets out of 660'. If you pay $50 for the reel....well, you do the math. Plus it's a cool feeling to walk into your local pro-shop and toss your racket and reel at the stringer and say in you best Johnny Mac, "Gimme the usual...plus 2 lbs. I have string to
Entry by Mike Wallace
June 28, 2005
Taylor Dent lost a tough 4-set match to Lleyton Hewitt in day 7 of Wimbledon. He gave the Wimbledon website an interview, in which he mentions the technology advancements in tennis and how they have affected serve and volleyers.
Q. As the last bastion of serving and volleying, as a tennis fan, is it just sad that Wimbledon of all places for you, this was the place where you came to see serve and volley, and we're not seeing a lot of it.
TAYLOR DENT: No, we're not seeing a lot of it. I think tennis ‑‑ all sports go through waves. You see them mess around with the baseball, American baseball. All of a sudden they're hitting 10 home runs a game. I just think tennis is going to go through waves. Maybe one day they'll shrink the racquet size. They could have the conditions as slow as they want and that's going to help the serve and volleyers because now these guys, you can't have all this racquet to hit the ball. You know, something like that.
Read the interview
June 25, 2005
Another Summer week passes and tons of cool articles around the Blogpire. Single Serve Coffee.com focused on reviews about Green Mountain K-Cups, Arabica Express Melitta One:One Pods, and a way to win a Keurig B50. Kitchen Contraptions.com was crazy about Egg Cookers, Rainbow Toasters, and of course more Soho Spice Racks. If you like Tennis, What's All the Racquet.com talked a bunch about racquet technology (what else do those guys do?), and Shaving Stuff.com covered a diamond encrusted razor made for David Beckham. Just The Chips.com covered the World Series of Poker and some cool new chips. TV Snob.com continued it's series on how HDTV is totally confusing and how the VCR is dead.
Continue reading: "The Week in Review - News Around the Blogpire"
June 19, 2005
We at WATR have talked about tennis not being as fun to watch as it used to be...that it needs a good shot in the arm. Well, racquet technology certainly has something to do with that. Has anyone seen the monster racquets they are selling now? They're like cricket bats!
Don't get me wrong, they help the club players like us, but it makes the pro game a snooze-fest. In the article, a WATR favorite, Bjorn Borg, sums it up...
"Tennis has become a power sport," says former five-times Wimbledon champion Bjorn Borg, "I don't enjoy watching it any more."
WATR would love to hear about what you all think, please send us your comments.
Read the article
June 18, 2005
Maria Sharapova's image will be on the hang tags of Wimbledon tennis racquets and bags. She is the first major player to have her image on the tag of every Wimbledon-branded tennis racquet and sports bag sold.
"As a rule, the All England Club's marketing team avoids endorsing individual players for the sake of equity. However, the club has a deal with Prince tennis racquets, which in turn sponsors the 18-year-old player."
Hmmm...do you think there may be another reason than just their Prince affiliation?
Read the full article
This year's Wimbledon celebrates the 25th anniversary of Borg v. McEnroe. Wood racquets, better rallies, more interesting personalities, a fifth Wimbledon for Borg. WATR's opinion, the greatest match ever. Five sets, 8-6 in the fifth, and a fourth-set tiebreaker that needed 34 points and 22 minutes to finish.
From: The ultimate from the era of finesse
Published: June 17 2005 19:41
June 17, 2005
I think you need a TV that looks like a Tennis Ball. Okay, so I couldn't find one but I did find this TV that looks like a soccer ball. I've been following this trend of making TVs look like everything from Mickey Mouse to a Frog - but now soccer balls? It seems Hanspree - a Taiwan based TV maker, is preparing to offer such designs as it launches U.S. operations this summer. If they make a tennis ball version, I'm sure tennis people will love them as well.
OK...one might wonder why WATR is writing about Tiger Woods. Well, it is golf's US Open weekend, and we came across an article about Tiger's new swing. Apparently, Tiger is taking more of an 'around' style, "like a tennis racquet swing", which is a flatter, one-plane swing. While the analysts and critics are debate whether this is good or bad for Tiger, he may just take another US Open title. Plus...in my experience trying to play golf, my instructor taught me to take advantage of my tennis swing. And it works! So we at WATR think Tiger is on to something.
Read the article
June 16, 2005
Federer recently made a promotional appearance in England where he swappped his normal racquet for the heavy, asymmetric wooden version to play Real Tennis. Real Tennis is the royal and ancient forerunner of the sport we know today. Federer also said he was confident about his chances at Wimbledon, but is wary of Henman.
To be perfectly honest, I had heard of Real Tennis, but had no idea there was such a following. I found several sites which may be of interest to WATR readers:
Real Tennis Online
Real Tennis History
International Real Tennis Professionals Association
Read the article
June 15, 2005
The Prince 03 has had some solid success on the tour this year, most specifically Guillermo Coria (Monte Carlo, Rome), Paola Suarez, Liezel Huber, and Nikolay Davydenko (French Open). The article states that the 03 technology is "the first significant change on the tennis tour in racquet technology since the late eighties when racquets changed from wood to graphite." As a marketer myself, sometimes companies are drawn to hyperbole. But...the technology is very cool and its a great racquet for sure.
Prince launched the O3 in February 2005
Read the article
June 14, 2005
WATR has found a cool feature on the BBC website that talks about various tennis technology (racquets, balls, strings, etc.) and discusses various issues surrounding them. They take a poll on whether men's tennis be slowed down? As fans, WATR votes yes. It is just not as fun to watch as it once was. There is also a quiz. I got a 4 out of 6 right. How are other people doing on it?
The article has audio and video as well.
Go to the article
June 13, 2005
In case you can't make it to the beach this year...or if the beach doesn't have the right kind of nets for beach tennis...or if you just like free online video games with girls in bikini's...WATR came across this game while researching beach tennis from the previous posting.
Beach Tennis is pretty basic, with simple keyboard navigation and movement. Not the most robust or enthralling game, but a fun distraction nonetheless.
Play Beach Tennis
Beach tennis is debuting at the North American Sand Soccer Championships this week. Maybe sounds a little weird, but who hasn't played Smashball at the beach? I know it was a favorite of us here at WATR. So why not beach tennis, seems like a natural extension? Where do we sign up?
The playing area is the same as a standard beach volleyball court. The net is about 6 feet high, and the equipment is a traditional tennis racquet and ball that is not pressurized, making it a bit less lively. Scoring is the same as tennis, but there’s no deuce point. Matches last about 30 minutes. The winner is the first to take eight games, instead of the normal six. Serves are overhand, smashes at the net are frequent, and the ball is dead as soon as it hits the ground, as in badminton. But the soft sand invites all sorts of diving and rolling that the hard-court variety discourages.
Read the whole article
Monica Seles is going to receive a special sculpture at this year's Rogers Cup in Canada.
When the Champions of both the men’s and women’s Rogers Cup raise their respective trophies this year, they will be lifting trophies which have quickly become recognizable “icons” in today’s world of professional tennis. The unique women’s trophy “Excalibur” which showcases an optical crystal tennis racquet awaits the Champion’s magic touch in releasing it from the crystal and granite base reminiscent of King Arthur’s legend, whilst the men will battle in Montreal (August 6-14) for the “Global Spin” trophy won by the World #1 Roger Federer last year.
Both trophy designs have been created by the internationally recognized Crystal Artist and Designer Mark Raynes Roberts, who has established a blue chip reputation not only as a world class artist, but also as a visual communicator and branding expert in designing many of Canada’s most prestigious awards.
Read the rest of the story
June 12, 2005
June 10, 2005
Tennis equipment sales are increasing year over year, which is good news. Now at $373.0M(2004) from $361.7M(2003) and $343.1M(2002). The sport needs a shot in the arm and seems to be struggling in my opinion. At least sales haven't gone through the floor...yet.
However, and to my point about tennis struggling...look at what I feel is the closest direct competitor to tennis for consumers, golf. $3,243.0M(2004), $3,148.1M(2003) and $3,046.0M(2002). Those numbers crush tennis. Granted, equipment costs are higher in golf. But they are dominating tennis.
WATR would love to hear about what you think about the state of tennis these days, and how it might be helped.
Read the whole article
The catalog's new "At A Glance" feature seems to be a great way to simplify the string buying process. For those of us who are dependent on the local pro to tell us what strings to use, this could be really helpful.
Ashaway Racket Strings has introduced its new 2005 Racket Strings catalog, highlighting their comprehensive line of over 40 different tennis, badminton, squash, and racquetball strings. The catalog's new "At a Glance" charts allow players and stringers an easy and convenient way to compare their favorite Ashaway strings using a number of different characteristics.
Read the press release
I think everyone who plays tennis needs the Racquet Zapper! It uses 2AA batteries to generate a charge that will kill bugs dead! Upon contact with said bug, they will receive what amount to a taser like charge that brings them down! you can pick up this little wonder for under $10 bucks.
Via Shiny Shiny: Racquet Zapper:
June 6, 2005
Bravo to all of this year's French Open champions! We'd love to talk more about all the conquerors of the red clay, but we're going to keep it to the singles champs:
Men's Champion: Rafael Nadal
The 19-year-old bested Mariano Puerta 6-7 (6), 6-3, 6-1, 7-5. Nadal says winning the major won't change him. Yeah, right...
Rafael's racket: Babolat AeroPro Drive (see the entry of WATR for a complete review of this racket)
Women's Champion: Justine Henin-Hardenne
Henin-Hardenne gave Mary Pierce a 6-1, 6-1 schooling. Congrats to Pierce, who gave it a tremendous run, but Henin-Hardenne proved to be just too strong.
Henin-Hardenne's racket: Wilson N Tour 95
An old-fashioned snowshoe on the wall inspired Madeline Hauptman to develop ways to diagonally string tennis rackets. Apparently she believed that the conventional horizontal and vertical stringing was contributing to uncomfortable vibrations in her right forearm and hand whenever her racket hit a tennis ball.
Into her head popped the idea of a different stringing pattern. It's a three-directional weave of two opposing sets of diagonals and a set of vertical strings. The theory is that this pattern will minimize problems by spreading dispersing the impact of the ball in more directions.
Power Angle Rackets were born, and let's just say that WhatsAllTheRacquet is intrigued and would love to try out one of these to let you all know what we think.
From The Journal News, 6/2/05
Read the whole article.
To learn more about the products, Power Angle Rackets also has a website.
WhatsAllTheRacquet has come across a great synopsis of a new book about Bjorn Borg (a WATR favorite). Among many other interesting tidbits, did you know that Borg's coach, Lennart Bergelin, was also responsible for all of the racket care and stringing?
Read the whole story.
A pair of 24-karat solid gold tennis balls, an ivory necklace, plus the racket and equipment bag that Arthur Ashe used during his final years as a player are being auctioned by Ashe's wife at Sotheby's.
Read the whole story.