August 31, 2007

2007 US Open Products - Day 5 + Vintage Tennis Fridays

The US Open is selling 18 different women's tees this year. It was a very tough choice, but we believe we've found our favorites. The 2007 US Open Ringer T exemplifies a tournament souvenir shirt. Nice fitted style, heathered blue, wider neckline, and a US Open logo that is authentic but understated. The only thing we're not crazy about is that its a 50/50 Cotton Polyester blend. Some blends make them lighter and thinner and much more comfortable. Sometimes they end up being cheap. My guess is this one's the former.

The 2007 US Open Ringer T

Another great T is also our Vintage Friday design: The US Open Women's Retro '86 Tee in Green

Two other honorable mentions include two performance tees:
US Open Women's Performance V-Neck Sleeveless Top - White
US Open Women's Performance L/S Top - Navy

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August 31, 2007

TENNIS DEAL: Free Shipping & Stringing on Prince O3s

Court Company Racquet Sports is offering free ground shipping and stringing on all Prince O3 racquets.

Check out the Court Company website

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August 30, 2007

Federer's US Open Night Match Outfit

In the city that never sleeps, one needs some appropriate formal wear, even if you're playing tennis. Which is why, I suppose, Nike debuted its men's Black Collection last night at the US Open on Roger Federer.

It was all black, satin and patent leather for the world's #1. He sported shorts that looked like tuxedo shorts, which looked normal from afar, but a little odd up close, if you ask me.


The Dri-FIT Polo has a satin-backed placket from which Roger's initials "RF" are laser etched. The laser cut graphic exposes the satin facing behind. Rear of polo has "RF" logo at collar that fades into a sublimated pattern down the back.


Roger's all-black Nike Vapor IV are a limited series, Nike's only offering 50 pairs on-site in NYC only. His, of course, tout the 3 red and white Swiss flag logos, each one representing a US Open win.

Lastly, the bag...well, we'll let the bag speak for itself. Its shiny, that's all I can say.

From Down The Line, by way of MTF

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August 30, 2007

2007 US Open Products - Day 4

I suppose it wouldn't be tennis if there weren't at least some semblance of snootiness. Which would explain Tiffany's sponsorship of this year's U.S. Open. I'll let the products speak for themselves - they are selling both jewelry and accessories, and the prices actually don't seem too outrageous.

Check out the US Open Tiffany Collection

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August 30, 2007

And the Jack-O-Lantern Award Goes To...

adidas!

I love orange...and I love black...but when you put them together you look like a Halloween decoration. I don't even mind the design of the outfit, its actually quite nice. But the colors have to be rethought.

Maybe its a tie-in to Rob Zombie's remake of Halloween?

If you're interested in this outfit (they come in a bunch of colors, btw), you can get them at Tennis Warehouse.

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August 29, 2007

Triple Shot of US Open Fashion


Shot #1
Martina Hingis, the scrappy, former #1 has been seen using a blacked out racket at the US Open, which likely means she's switch-hitting these days and trying out another brand. I bet Yonex is none too happy about this, but that's the way it goes. Hingis needs more power to compete with the other top women in the game. Yonex, maybe you should focus there, and fast.


Shot #2
Venus Williams debuted her day outfit for her new EleVen line of clothing. Again, looks very nice. Athletic, clean design, classic but modern. See what else What's All the Racquet had to say about EleVen.


Shot #3
Bethanie Mattek wore a metalic gold outfit in her first round match. Uh, yeah, Bethanie...Erin Grey called and wants her costume from the the 1980's hit, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century back.


Thank you Down the Line for all these great catches!

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2007 US Open Products - Day 3

Polo is a major sponsor of this year's Open. We thought we'd give you a quick rundown on the Polo US Open store. First of all, get used the excessively large Polo emblem. I get it that the pros need to wear such large brands so they are seen on TV. But be ready, these items are well-designed, but a little on the "in-your-face branding" side

The tshirts have a nice, modern cut, and some excellent urban graphic designs. We also particularly like the men's jackets. The women's products are much more striking in our opinion, especially the shirts and skirts. Overall, its exactly what you'd expect from Ralph Lauren - quality products and classic designs - but this time with a bit of a twist.

Check out the whole Polo US Open line

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Federer leads the neat & classic look in tennis

The Sporting News makes note of Roger Federer's precision in playing and in dressing, especially at this year's US Open.

"He's got it all going on," observed Men's Vogue editor Jay Fielden, who put Federer on the cover of his magazine this year.

"He wears clothes that are emblematic of age and status. He does not dress too old or too young, too stuffy or too trendy. He's solid, smart and handsome," he added.

This look is spilling over to the amateurs according to the article. I must say, I was raised to wear not necessarily coordinating outfits, but clothes that showed the game respect. So I think this is a nice trend being led by the world's #1. Although the white suit at Wimbledon borders on the sarcastic, which Federer needs to be wary of, because I don't think that's his intent.

Read the whole story at SportingNews.com

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August 28, 2007

2007 US Open Products - Day 2

You can't watch the US Open (at least not live) without good head protection, we don't want any sunburns out there...

The US Open shop sports 40, count 'em, 40 different caps and visors. Of all of the choices, this one's our favorite - the Mesh Swatter Cap in Navy and Natural. It has a classic look, weathered w/o looking tattered, and a mesh back for better aeration (esp. if you're playing in it). And while it may not be feminine per se, we're pretty sure girls would also look great in this cap.

US Open Mesh Swatter Cap

See all the US Open caps & visors

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Venus, Serena and Ana bring varied but classic styles to the US Open

Day/Night 1 of the Open didn't bring any surprises in results, except but the loss of Marcos Bagdahtis (but Max Mirnyi is no slouch). Nor were there any surprises in tennis fashion. The Williams sisters, both designers in their own right, looked great as usual. And Venus' new line of EleVen clothing merged a modern cut with a classic, almost retro look. The look reminded me of the clothes I saw in the 1970s, but certainly with a Williams' twist, especially in the green.


Venus' New Clothing Line in Action


Serena in "Evening" Black w/ a cool pink bow (which she later tore off b/c it was bothering her)


Ivanovic in a more traditionally sporty adidas number.

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August 27, 2007

Yes, Serena...we admit it...we're looking at your titles...

Serena Williams is one of many female athletes starring in Nike's new ad campaign to support women's sports. The "ATHLETE" campaign also showcases skier Picabo Street, volleyball player Gabrielle Reese, and soccer player Mia Hamm.

A large billboard of the above image will be going up on Tuesday in NYC for the US Open. As someone who has admired the titles of Serena Williams for many years, I must say I do like this campaign. And I love the new, short hairstyle too!

It's important to hear from women who overcome stereotypes, ignorance and inequality. It's also important for a woman "to be an athlete, be strong and not feel sorry for kicking someone's butt. - Serena Williams, on the new campaign

Thanks to DownTheLineTennis.com for the info

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Empire State Building to be Illuminated Yellow for US Open

The Empire State Building will be illuminated in "tennis ball yellow" for the duration of the tournament. I think its a big "THANK YOU" from Michael Bloomberg, after he saw the USTA's demonstration that the U.S. Open's economic impact on NYC is $425 million!

Empire State Building Lighting Schedule

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2007 US Open Products - Day 1

We're going to start out the tournament with the towels the players will be using. Solid construction and one of the better designs I've seen over the years.

- 100% Cotton
- 25 x 44 Dated Court Towel (2007)
- Official Licensed US Open Product

Men's US Open Towel
Women's US Open Towel

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August 26, 2007

Brand Tally for U.S. Open Draws

Well, after several tedious hours of going through the ATP site to look up each player in the player in both draws for the 2007 US Open, I tallied the brands in the mix for shoes, apparel and racquets. A lot of the players don't have contracts (the TBDs).

MEN:
For racquets, the big winner was Head, followed by Wilson, Babolat and Prince. No surprises here, except that I was a little shocked to see someone actually playing with a Volkl. Apparel? adidas and Nike are on the top of the heap, especially with the ranked and/or exciting players. Two brands cropped up from Argentina (Topper) and France (Airness Apparel). Interesting, although I found it difficult to find much out about them. Shoes. Hmmm....who could the top brands be....Nike and adidas? You bet, with 20 and 16, respectively. Topper showed up again in this list, as did another brand (I believe from Europe?) called Signia. Plus, Boris Becker's line of footwear and apparel, on none other than Benjamin Becker.

WOMEN
The big surprise to me in this tally was the number of players who had no sponsor whatsoever (at least as far as the WTA website has determined). 77 players - really shocking to me, especially given the popularity of many of the Eastern block women players and the Williams sisters. But maybe those players take up all the sponsorship money? Bartoli...BARTOLI...doesn't have a sponsor? The finalist at this year's French Open? Cinderella story? Do the companies figure she's a fluke? I don't get it.

Two other notes on the apparel and shoes...Venus Williams new EleVen line will make its debut, on Venus, at the Open. I did not however, count them, I used her Nike/Wilson sponsors. Also check out the German brand Erima, worn by Sybille Bammer.

adidas led the pack definitively in shoes and apparel, at least doubling Nike on both counts. For racquets, Wilson and Prince were the leaders, but not by much.

As the tourney progresses, we'll be giving updates on how each brand is fairing. Obviously, the #'s are lopsided for adidas, Nike, Wilson and Head. But we'll fill you in anyway - see how it plays out.

What else did we learn from this?
1) I have too much time on my hands
2) I have an unhealthy interest in tennis equipment
3) I need to go play tennis instead of writing about it

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U.S. Open Racket Stringing Tech for Pros & Amateurs Alike

Top end stringers also sell their services to the rank and file players like you and me. Hmmm...seems interesting. But...I sure wish I believed an extra $100 to learn about my stringing would help my game as much as it does the pros. I'm just not convinced the amateur game is as nuanced as Federer's and Sharapova's. I think something like this is more a mental thing than a reality thing. So if it makes you feel more confident, go for it!

For amateur clients, who make up 60% of his business, Mr. Prokes says he tries to take on the role of a sommelier -- explaining the menu of adjustments (everything from changing string tension to altering the racket's length) and how they interact to affect the way a racket performs.

Full article by Allen St. John in the WSJ - Read the article here

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August 25, 2007

More on Tennis babes' new on-court designs for the US Open

Not only are sports stars Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams big hitters on the tennis court, they're also proving to be well ahead in the fashion stakes too. In New York ahead of next week's US Open, the duo have been previewing the designs they'll be wearing while they battle it out for the top spot in the competition.

Read the whole story at hellomagazine.com

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Top Spin Tennis Coming to the Wii

For all you Wii fans, you're getting a new tennis game. More specifically, you're getting Top Spin, one of the best tennis game franchises spanning many gaming consoles. Unlike Wii Sports Tennis, it’s looks like in this version you control the player’s movements along with swinging the racquet to hit the ball.

From: Andy G @ WiiLiving.com

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August 24, 2007

Venus Launches EleVen Clothing Line

EleVen by Venus Williams, features a wide assortment of classic, active lifestyle and performance looks, on-court as well as casual footwear, accessories, and more. The signature item in the line is the V-Court, a high performance, on-court sneaker. Six-time Grand Slam champion Williams will be sporting the V-Court during her matches at the forthcoming US Open.

Williams said the name EleVen comes from the address of the home where she first lived in California, together with her sister Serena and the rest of her family.

Something very cool is that everything in EleVen will be priced at $19.98 or less, including the V-Court sneaker, which will retail for $14.98. While the price is affordable, the quality of the V-Court is high-end, offering similar construction and styling as many of the most expensive tennis sneakers on the market. We LOVE this idea, nice work Venus!

The line will be sold exclusively at Steve & Barry's stores nationwide beginning mid-November. It will be merchandised in a store-within-store environment featuring specially designed fixtures and signage.

The line isn't launched yet, and we went to the EleVen website and there's nothing there yet except a homepage and the option to sign up for their newsletter.


Read the whole story at the Sony Ericsson WTA website

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Vintage Tennis Fridays - Tretorns

Tretorns. If you're a girl who grew up during the 1980's, I bet you had at least 2 pairs, each with different colored logos. The classic, uber-preppy look of clean white canvas and that classic, "V" logo. I would like to go on record that I'm a fan of Tretorns and wish my size 13's wouldn't look so weird in them. OK...I know you don't see a lot of guys wearing these anymore...but Borg wore Tretorns during the early part of his career. You're saying, "Hey, Borg wore Diadoras!" You're right. But early on he wore Tretorns darn it, and I have the poster to prove it!

We mentioned last week about the preppy look being in fashion, so look for Tretorns to make a come back.

An interesting side note, I've included a pair of Tretorns that are much more fashion oriented. Maybe they're looking to take part in the classic turned designer trend going on.

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August 23, 2007

Diadora Borg Elite Trainers

A tennis shoe that is, well, more of a fashion shoe than a tennis shoe. But it bears Borg's name, its a Diadora and its modeled after shoes he wore. It has a full grain nappa leather upper with embroidered logo and in two color schemes - the traditional white/gold monochrome and this new black/gold version.

I haven't seen them in the U.S., but it looks like you can get them in the UK for £90.

Find out more at the Oki-Ni website.

Thanks to Retro To Go Men's Fashion

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Jankovic Picks up New Sticks for the Open

World #3 Jelena Jankovic will be sporting the new Prince Ozone Seven at next week's 2007 US Open. The new sticks infuse the O-ports with Prince's Carbon Wave Matrix Construction. WATR's previous coverage has mentioned the benefits of the O-ports, especially the stability and lack of wind resistance.

Check out the OZone Seven MP+

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August 22, 2007

Dunlop M-Fil 300

Dunlop...the brand of McEnroe and Graf...but also a brand I remember as being really f-ing heavy...like a club. Not so with the newest installment of the M-Fil series, first seen in 2005 when Dunlop came back on the racket scene. If I were to describe this in one word, it would be "value." The stick is only 100 bucks, which these days is cheap. Especially if you consider the quality construction (its made of carbon, t-fiber and tungsten steel). It sports a 98 sq. inch head (on the smaller side), and is 10.3 ounces (pretty light). So for the intermediate to advanced players, this looks pretty solid.

Dunlop M Fil 300

Visit Dunlop Sports

Thanks to Best Life magazine for help with some of these details.

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Wilson Racquet Sports announces it's Going Green

[PRESS RELEASE, CHICAGO] – Wilson Racquet Sports today announced the details of their new Green Initiative, a program committed to developing and implementing environmentally responsible products and manufacturing procedures across the racquet brand’s major product categories.

As the world’s leading racquet sports company, Wilson developed its Green Initiative as part of the company’s growing focus and global commitment to focusing more efforts towards environmentally considerate products. Wilson also hopes to encourage others within the tennis industry to follow suit in an effort to reduce overall waste and develop more environmentally friendly manufacturing processes.

Read the full release at Wilson Tennis...

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Preview of Nadal's U.S. Open Outfit

Down the Line! got their hands on some line sketches of Rafael Nadal's gear for the U.S. Open.

For the shirt, we're looking at advanced Nike Sphere React Dry technology, plus the "gun-show" sleeveless look.

For the shorts, these actually look a little shorter than the clam-diggers he usually sports, but its hard to tell in the pic. They're all-condition three-quarter length Dri-FIT shorts

Finally the shoes - Nike's with enhanced torsional rigidity and durable XDR rubber compound.

Thanks to Down The Line! for providing this sneak peek!

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Maria Sharapova on the cover of Shape magazine

I was walking through my living room and saw my wife's copy of the September Shapemagazine, and felt compelled to write a post. I just couldn't take my eyes off Sharapova's Nike apparel...and since this is a blog about tennis products, it would be downright irresponsible not to take note.

Check out Shapemagazine

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August 21, 2007

Nike Men's Apparel & Footwear Liquidation

Tennis Warehouse is having a Liquidation sale on Nike apparel and footwear. Of course, for deals like this they don't have full size ranges. But we're talking on average 1/3 to 1/2 off most summer styles from Nike. Get 'em while they're hot, I'm sure they won't all last. Some of the good deals include the Summer Global Control Polo (worn by Federer in this year's French Open) at $20 off; and the Spring Sphere Macro Sleeveless (worn by those with the "guns" like Nadal and Blake).

Check out the full list of items at Tennis Warehouse

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August 20, 2007

Book Review - Psycho-Cybernetics

Psycho-Cybernetics, A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life, by Maxwell Maltz is just that. I used it for tennis, but indeed its a way to clear your head overall. This book was lent to me by my teacher growing up. It helped me immensely. For me, it helped me clear out all the junk cluttering up my mind during play, and just let it loose. In other words, I had worked and practiced so hard, at match time, it was about letting go and letting that hard work do its part. After reading it, I remember consciously clearing my head from everything the split second before my serve. Worked like a charm.

Psycho-Cybernetics, A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life

New Psycho-Cybernetics

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August 19, 2007

Nike Mac Attack T-shirt

A brash t-shirt, just like Mac himself. This is not your country club t-shirt. The emblem mixes the psychedelic look of the era with an illustration of Mac in his prime.

Dri-Fit, 100% Cotton Knit Jersey, Black, Emblem is in shiny ink, athletic fit.

$20 while supplies last at Tennis Warehouse

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Lever 2000 U.S. Open Promo - Win a Free Tennis Lesson

Lever 2000 is running an interesting promotion and mini-site for this year's U.S. Open. Among webisodes and online video tips for all player levels, you can get a free beginner group lesson. All you have to do is enter the code found on the sticker attached to your specially marked
6-bar or 8-bar pack of Lever 2000 and download a voucher to redeem your free lesson.

Check out the Lever 2000 "Raise Your Game," U.S. Open promotion site

Need U.S. Open Tickets?

US Open Tennis Tickets - Arthur Ashe Kids Day



US Open Tennis Tickets - Day Session



All-Inclusive 2007 US Open Tennis Packages Tickets



US Open Tennis Tickets - Session 25 (Womens Final)

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August 18, 2007

Closeout Deals on Racquets

I came across a site called TennisBoom.com, and right now they're having a closeout sale on a lot of racquets. Here's a sampling. I'm not sure what the inventory is on these so I'd move quickly b/c these are pretty great prices. Many of these are oversized heads, but many are not if that's not your cup of tea.

Note: WATR has no affiliation with TennisBoom.com


Dunlop 1000G I.C.E. Tennis Racquet; Suggested: $250.00; Their price: $69.99

Wilson H Rival 96 Tennis Racket; Suggested: $149.99; Their price: $79.95

Head Ti S6 Original Tennis Racquet; Suggested: $250.00; Their price: $89.99

Prince Thunder Rip Oversize Tennis Racquet; Suggested: $210.00; Their price: $79.99

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August 17, 2007

Vintage Tennis Fridays

I grew up in the 70s and 80s. This was a time of McEnroe, Borg, Conners...Evert, Navratilova, Austin...

Those were days when tennis apparel didn't look like apparel from Gold's Gym, and tennis shoes didn't look like spaceships. Even then, I liked the classic tennis look that went even further back in time. Call me old-fashioned. But this is a classic game and should have classic looks. Some of the new stuff is modern and classic, which I applaud.

But Fridays are going to be a nostalgic look back.

Today, we have the Jack Purcell. I love the look of these. But just the thought of actually playing in them makes my ankles hurt. As I started looking at these products, which now sell very well as casual sneakers, I was really struck by the large number of different versions of the shoes. I was fully expecting white canvas, maybe blue, but that was it. Instead I found new styles on the same sole, men's, women's, ones by brand name designers like John Varvatos, even boots!

Very interesting, classic tennis looks as fashion - might be part of the larger trend toward the modern preppy look going on right now.

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Review of MeshTennis.com

I live in the greater Phoenix, AZ area, have for the last year. Before that I lived in Boston for 6 years, and before that I lived in PA for 25+ years. The one problem I have had once moving out of PA, and a major factor in my not playing as much as I would have liked, is not having someone to play with. Occasionally I would find someone random, usually co-workers, but with them you're not sure whether you're going to be playing a terrible player, or someone who can kick your butt - neither is too appealing. And I don't think I'll get my money's worth from joining a club right now being pretty busy with work and family.

Enter MeshTennis.com. Social networking meets local tennis. Think MySpace meets LinkedIn meets the bulletin board at your club or local courts. A very nice looking site, well-designed and easy to use and navigate. You load up your profile with your playing level, what gear you like, where you're located, etc. You can build groups or just use it to find other players, in your area, who are around your playing level. I just got a message recently, actually, to play. And as soon as the temperature dips below triple digits...I'm there!

Social networking sites like MeshTennis.com are only as strong as the number of people who are involved, and how much they engage with the system. So I encourage you to go there now, sign-up, and start playing and meeting new people!

www.meshtennis.com

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August 16, 2007

Nadal is Injured and Out in Cincy

Rafael Nadal retired down 7-6(5), 4-1 to Juan Monaco in his opening match at Cincinnati, suffering from dizziness and cramping in his left arm. Richard Gasquet, with whom Nadal was supposed to play doubles this week, also retired in the second set of his match against Lleyton Hewitt. Tired Montreal champ Novak Djokovic was another casualty, losing to Carlos Moya...Read more from Tennis Magazine

Subscribe to Tennis Magazine

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August 14, 2007

Player Product Profile - Roger Federer


Roger Federer
Birthdate: August 08, 1981
Birthplace:Basel, Switzerland
Residence: Munchenstein, Switzerland
Height: 6'1" (1.85m)
Weight: 177lbs (80kg) lbs.
Plays: Right handed
Turned Pro: 1998

The best player in the world...probably the best player of all time. Federer has won 5, count 'em, 5 consecutive Wimbledon titles. This ties one of our all-time favorites, Bjorn Borg. Here are some more ridiculous stats:

523-131 lifetime singles win/loss record
49 singles titles
159-69 doubles win/loss record
7 doubles titles
Lifetime prize money: $32,840,078
Federer's Official Website

From the ATP website


>

Wilson Extreme Control 16 reel - natural Nike Men's Fall Control Polo
Nike Men's Control Bodymap Polo
Nike Tennis Dri-Fit Shirt
Nike Men's Fall 9" Global Control Short
Nike Swoosh Bandanas
Nike Raised Profile Swoosh Wristband

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August 13, 2007

Rogers Cup Proves to be Big for Adidas!

Novak Djokovic took down Andy Roddick, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in consecutive matches to win the Rogers Cup in Montreal this past weekend. Novak's 3rd in the world, so it is no surprise that he can hang with the best of them. But to take down #4, #2 and #1 (not to mention probably the best player of all time) in the course of a few days is quite remarkable.

It is going to be one heck of a U.S. Open this year!

In a world where Nike dominates with Roger and Rafa, and Roddick's high profile gives Lacoste a great walking bilboard...adidas just may have their superstar. And Wilson too, of course.

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Tennis is 80% Mental - Books about the mental game of tennis

Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis--Lessons from a Master
Another take on a similar issue from one of the best fighters the game has seen, Brad Gilbert. This is a guy who is not the best shotmaker, but could give the very best in the world a run for their money every time. This book lets you in on some of his secrets.

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August 11, 2007

Tennis is 80% Mental - Books about the mental game of tennis

I've read a lot of tennis books. Sometimes I think the more "tips" you learn, the more you can screw up your play by over-thinking. But...there are a few classics and solid books about the game. Here are a few of my favorites. As I come across new ones you'll be the first to know.

These are some of the best takes on the mental game I've ever read. They aren't the newest books, but some ideas are classics:


If I'm The Better Player, Why Can't I Win?
I don't know about you, but I've asked myself this question many, many times. To win, it takes much more than great strokes. Just look at McEnroe - not exactly the most orthodox strokes, he breaks nearly every "rule" in the book about hitting a tennis ball. But he is most definitely a winner. This book came out in 1979, but the lessons are true today. This book gives tips, advice and direction on how to win, not just play well. These lessons can be carried into all walks of life beyond tennis.

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August 9, 2007

Federer U.S. Open Nikes

Midwest Sports has an interesting description of the new Nikes that Roger Federer will be sporting in this year's U.S. Open. The colors are more attuned to the tourney, versus the gold kicks he had at Wimbledon.

What I have to say is this...THANK YOU NIKE for a clean, sharp looking pair of shoes!

I just saw Nadal at the Montreal tournament today wearing customized Nikes with a cool bull logo on them. As soon as I can dig up more I will have it here at WATR.

While fishing off the Maldives, Roger Federer hooked a black tip shark. Reeling the beast in was a moment of true inspiration. Taking a hot tip from the black tip, Nike Footwear Designer, Tate Kuerbis, imagined the Nike Vapor IV with the sleek predator in mind.

"The fluid, attacking nature of the shark mimics Roger's style of play," Kuerbis says. "To that inspiration we added Roger's sense of style. In the end, we tried to create a shark-meets-Prada look."

Making its debut in Australia, the Vapor IV should put Federer in a feeding frenzy with a sharkskin Swoosh, shark tooth-shaped perforations on the instep and gill-like slits at the midfoot of the upper for increased breathability and flexibility. Evolving from last year's model, the works in conjunction with the lateral support outrigger to provide stability. Heat Block technology in the midsole protects from the court's high temperatures and XDR in the outsole enhances durability.

From Midwest Sports

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Solid Advice for Beginners to Intermediate Players

Some solid, easy to understand advice on the basics of choosing a tennis racquet. According to the author, it comes down to: Head size, Weight, Weight Distribution and Flexibility.

Good advice, but as the article states, and I agree, tennis racquet beauty is in the eye of the beholder (or the player as it were). Whatever feels good, feels comfortable, and hits nicely is the winner for most players.

From Tennis Tips

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August 6, 2007

Nike Air Max Breathe Cage Shoe Review


I checked out the Air Zoom Breathe Free recently. Truthfully, I'm not as aware of the previous versions of this shoe, but the person at the store told me that this is a new version, and it has Max Air cushioning unit in the heel for increased impact protection. But what's interesting is the new "Air Max Breathe Cage" - which also has a whole new design-element, thicker strips of the Drag-On material resembling bars. Hmmm, guess that's why they're calling it the "Cage." What I do know, and have noticed, is that Nadal wears these. I formally worked for a large footwear company, so I'm always checking out people's shoes.


Here's what I liked:
The shoes are light, lighter than most tennis shoes I've worn. And they are definitely breathable. And the fit seems to be true to size.


But, here's what I'm less crazy about:

I have flat feet. No, this isn't Nike's fault...but it does mean I look at arch support and stability as a big deal. I have too many sprained ankles from shoes w/o support. These felt OK, but not great. And my feet are narrow, these felt a tad wide for me. But, if you have strong ankles and wider feet, these would feel great.


Bottom line, I liked the shoes and definitely liked how they look. I'd probably even be tempted to buy them personally because of that. But I would do so being anxious about my ankles.

Bob Wallace Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 5, 2007

Review of WorkInTennis.com

A new website has launched, sponsored by TIA (Tennis Industry Assoc.), for tennis job seekers. Its called WorkInTennis.com. Not the most inspired name, but damn clear. I'm not really looking for a job in tennis, I was curious...plus you never know what you may see of interest. The minute I got there I went into website product manager mode, a role I've played many times. The navigation is a little clunky and the UI isn't designed particularly well, its not clear the path they're looking for you to take. Examples:

- The top nav bar has the Home button second from the left. That's just weird. I've seen it to the far left, the far right, and the very top right corner. But why two in?

- On the homepage I clicked the "Make a Profile" link, taking me to another page which (1) wasn't a registration form, (2) didn't tell me what to do, and (3) had the second link to "Get Started" buried at the bottom of the page and didn't do anything to make the link stand out. During the regis. process, I went through three pages of forms...and then it went looney...errors everywhere...told me to contact the website administrator. I got the announcement for this new site from the TennisWire.org newsletter. My advice, having been burned by this many times...especially if you're not a web company...work the bugs our first. I look forward to it being fixed so I can check it out more.

Check it out here

Bob Wallace Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 3, 2007

The Tiger Woods of Tennis???

MSNBC and the Today Show reported on a 5-year old tennis prodigy named Jan Silva. Sounds like his mom was a pro at one time and even went into labor on the court (having had a baby in the not too distant past, that must have been weird). They're moving to France to enroll him in an academy I've frankly never heard of, but the French love their tennis and the current French pros are doing great. So more power to the little tyke. Go the way of Tiger Woods, not Jennifer Capriati, OK?

Read the story here

Bob Wallace Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
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