September 29, 2007

Making Sense of String Choices

There are enough new-fangled strings out there it can make your head spin. Sure, the pros and the higher level amateurs may be able to tell the difference, but to the club player it seems like a lot of tech (and money) without much discernible difference. A great article in the Naples Sun Times by tennis pro Doug Browne gives you the straight skinny on how to make sense out of it all.

Today, armed with a great top-of-the-line stringing machine and equipped with the best strings in the industry, we are able to customize rackets for our clients. In other words, one may buy a so-called best stick in the world, but it cannot play well unless it is strung correctly. Any hacker can recognize a poorly strung tennis racket. But can most recreational tennis players spot the advantages of the new hybrid strings?

I sincerely doubt that most 3.0 or 3.5 players can tell the difference between a good solid synthetic string versus the NXTs, Luxilon or even the K gut models. Nonetheless, I strongly recommend that most tennis players use a higher gauge synthetic that it is strung to their specific specifications. To avoid injury, players need to understand the importance of a softer string job. For instance, if you have a sore elbow or shoulder, oversize rackets should be strung at 58 or 59 pounds. Remember, the lower the tension, the more power that is generated from the frame.

In summary, if you are a 2.5 or 3.5 level player, string the racket as perfectly tailored for you. But there is no need to spend big money on gut or Luxilon, as the synthetics will suffice.

Read the whole article here

Thanks to Doug Browne and the Naples Sun Times - great article!

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September 28, 2007

Vintage Tennis Fridays - Stan Smiths

These are arguably the best know, more revered tennis shoes of all time. Why? Like I've said before, because they have a classic look. When people think about tennis, they don't think about guys in sleeveless shirts and clam-diggers with spaceships on their feet. They don't think about girls in denim skirts and body suits (although who among us doesn't like this?). They think of white clothes and white shoes, clean looks and clean lines.

Which gives us the Stan Smith shoe from adidas. One of the great American players, someone who has done a ton for the game. And one heck of a doubles player.

Like other classic products, adidas has made variations on the Stan Smith design. Some of these are OK, but I have a problem with some others. Specifically, they've made some of them with a vulcanized outsole, but the originals have a cupsole (I used to work for a shoe company, so I notice these things). And the product below right is a slip on, and not with green/white colors. Not a big deal, but my opinion is that if you evolve a classic design, there needs to be some remnants of the original in the design. I don't see those remnants in some of the styles.

We've also picked up from
Down The Line Tennis
some new pics of other fashionable Stans.

According to them, these Stan Smiths are now part of adidas' City Series - showcasing iconic imagery for the cities they represent including Las Vegas, NV; Brussels, Belgium; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Seville, Spain. While they're not my cup of tea, I think they're pretty cool. But...I wouldn't have known that cities were being represented, or which ones. To me...if you have to spend time explaining to people the "art" behind your sneakers...you're trying too hard. But that's just me.

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September 27, 2007

Why racquetball is bad for you

Although I sometimes like to play, most instructors of mine always told me that racquetball was bad for my tennis game. This video proved their point.

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September 26, 2007

Diamond-studded Racquets are a Girls Best Friend


At the “Diamond Games” tournament in Antwerp, Belgium, Amelie Mauresmo beat “hometown” favorite, Kim Clijsters, in her final tournament appearance in her native Belgium.

Amelie's prize? Well a diamond-studded tennis racket trophy, of course!

Likely the most expensive trophy in all of sports. The 8.8 pound gold racket trophy is studded with 1,702 diamonds. What to do with a trophy like that?


Maybe Mauresmo will hold on to the trophy forever or perhaps she will follow in Pete Sampras’ footsteps by donating it to a charity auction in the future. In the 1990s, Sampras donated the diamond-studded trophy he’d won to be auctioned to raise money for The Arthur Ashe Foundation for the Defeat of AIDS.

From tenniscountry.com

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September 25, 2007

Player Product Profile - Maria Sharapova

Birthdate: April 19, 1987
Birthplace: Nyagan, Russia (Siberian Region)
Residence: Bradenton, Florida, USA
Height: 6' (1.83m)
Weight: 130lbs (59kg) lbs.
Plays: Right
Turned Pro: 2001

The world's #2 women's player...and the world's #1 tennis babe. She plays with great intensity and brings a big game to the court. Beauty, brawn and brains. I haven't seen a stare like hers since Chris Evert, you know the kind that burns holes into you when you're being glared at...

I'm not sure what else to say...except...Anna Kourna-who?


Nike Women's Escape Mesh French Dress

Nike Women's Summer Tiered Pleats Dress
Nike Women's Flirt Tennis Dress
Nike Women's New Basic Feather Light Visor

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Tips on choosing the right overgrip for you

Grips surface types If you want to feel the position of the racquet in your hand (for example, you rely on feeling the bevels when you switch from a backhand tennis grip to a forehand tennis grip), a smooth surface is your best bet, followed by perforated, embossed, and ribbed. But if your biggest worry is racquet slippage, reverse the order. Here are the benefits of each.

Smooth: The no-frills version - no bumps, ridges, or treads. This high-feel, low-cushioning option is preferred by most pros. Perforated: This one's for heavy sweaters. It has hundreds of pinholes in the outer layer that channel sweat to the more absorbent layers underneath.

Embossed: It's close to perforated, but instead of pinholes, the embossed grip has a tire-tread pattern. It won't absorb as much sweat, but it will move it away from your hand (in much the same way that radial tires keep a car from slipping on wet, twisting roads).

Ribbed: This is the most secure of the tennis handle grips because it has corkscrew-shaped ridges in which to place your fingers. It's especially good for players suffering from arthritis and for those who have difficulty maintaining a firm grip.

Here's the bottom line. The grip size, and the grip type, must both feel good in your hand. Seems like a no brainer, but we can also over-analyze these things. If the grip feels comfortable in your hand when hitting and not hitting, and you can control your shots with it, you have the grip for you.


Thanks to LifeTips for the info!

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September 24, 2007

Killer Serve T-Shirt

This retro T is sure to have even the most seasoned players shaking in their sneakers...

A retro design with a distressed decal of a big dude killing his serve. The design is 8.75 inches high and 9.50 inches wide. A cool thing about the store selling this, RetroDuck, is that you can choose from a large list of colors, so it doesn't have to be this bright green.

$15 at RetroDuck.com

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September 23, 2007

This Just Seems Wrong - A Double-strung Racquet?

Blackburne is a legitimate tennis weapon, a double edged sword that can help tennis players of all levels slice their way through tournaments--particularly those who bounce too many shots off the frame. - Tennis Magazine, May 1997

I think the fact that few people know about this, and that the big selling quote from Tennis Magazine is from 10 years ago, should be an indication that something smells funny about this whole idea. They say its "legal" twice, and brag that the 10 year ban has been lifted by the ITF. Me thinks thou doth protest too much...

The Blackburne tennis racquet is double sided with a set of strings on both sides of its frame. It claimes that because the strings are taken to the edge of the frame, it eliminates flubbed shots off the frame, and giving you a bigger hitting surface.

Here's what else we know:
1) It has been approved for Tournament play by the ITF after a 10 year ban
2) Its 10.7 oz. and graphite
3) Claims to reduce tennis elbow
4) 40% more hitting area
5) You string it at 57 lbs.
6) 107" head size
7) It costs $199. Of course, you have to spend twice as much stringing your racquet, so factor that into your budget...

You can buy the Blackburne...if you want to be one of those kind of people...here.

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September 22, 2007

The Agassi Graf Collection by Kreiss

It's not every day two tennis legends get married, much less design their own furniture line. Which is why we're going to have a series of posts dedicated to the AGK collection, which is a living room, dining room and patio furniture line designed by Agassi and Graf, and produced and sold by Kreiss.

Let us first venture outside to the patio...

Shown is the:
- Patio Umbrella: 84"W, 84"D and 50 lbs; Outdoor Fabric on an aluminum frame, powder coated.
- Outdoor Sectional: Three versatile seating options: armless, corner and ottoman, can be configured for a multitude of lounging combinations. The sturdy and lightweight powder-coated aluminum frames have a hand-woven synthetic rattan skin that gives each piece texture and durability. The all-weather outdoor fabric is the perfect foil to rain and sun. All-weather outdoor fabric: 100% acrylic outdoor Terry, cream color, 25 lbs
- Cabana Chair (one of our personal favorites): Sturdy powder-coated aluminum frame with hand-woven synthetic rattan skin features all-weather upholstery and a canopy that can be raised or lowered to accommodate sun or shade. Woven synthetic rattan skin, Powder-coated aluminum frame, All-weather upholstery, shown in Outdoor Terry color Cream, 100% acrylic; 58"W, 64"D, 62.75"H, 200 lbs

But probably the most interesting piece is the AGK Ball Lounge Chair. A spherically shaped frame. Hand-shaped and welded powder-coated steel wire that is weather-proof, and the frame is hand-wrapped in polypropel synthetic rattan, in a dark brown color.

Visit AGK at Kreiss

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September 21, 2007

Vintage Tennis Fridays - Rod Lavers

We always have classic, vintage tennis stuff on Fridays. But today is particularly fun because Rod Lavers are my personal favorite. Basically Stan Smiths but in mesh. This makes them perfect summer shoes to wear with no socks. Not to mention they bear the name of the greatest tennis player of all time - Rod Laver. The man won TWO grand slams...SEVEN YEARS APART. Truly amazing.

'Nuff said.

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September 20, 2007

Under Armor Tennis Apparel

In my old view of the world, "Under Armor" and "Tennis" should never be in the same sentence. But I have I would be lying if I told you I did not like the Under Armor apparel this year. And it is for exactly the opposite reason I thought I would hate them in the first place. I figured a company best known for its football clothes would bring more bad styles to tennis. Boy was I wrong.

Under Armor has effectively merged the modern with the classic. This is what makes Nike's apparel so darn great, and its what has won me over. As much as I'm an old-school, let's keep some tradition in the game kind of guy...I'm not in any way against technology, modern looks, etc. I just don't think tennis players should look like they're trying out for Cirque du Soleil.

Under Armor's apparel have classic cuts and traditional looks, with a twist. Very cool colors, unique treatments of stripes and the technology that has made them famous. All tasteful, functional, and cool-looking. Good job guys, and apologies for doubting you.

Tennis Warehouse has a great Under Armor selection

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Lendl signs as tennis spokesman for Trion

Former World #1 Ivan Lendl has been a big fan of this bracelet for some time, so he was no doubt happy to become the company's Tennis spokesman. The Trion:Z Braceletare worn by professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, MLB, INDY Car, Tennis and over 200 professionals on the PGA TOUR, LPGA Tour and Champions Tour. Trion:Z Braceletand necklaces are made with a unique material called “STAYERS” which has minus ion-producing minerals woven into the fabric to counteract the positive ion build-up which leads to excess fatigue, heightened sensitivity to pain, and reduced focus and concentration.

Thanks to the Daily Racquet for the scoop and info.

Check out the Trion:Z Bracelet at Amazon.

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September 19, 2007

Wilson Tennis Racquet Commercial circa 1973

This ad is awesome! I'm dating myself here, but my racquet growing up was the Jack Kramer Pro Staff. I particularly like the slow-mo, balerina-esque movements.

Viva wood racquets!

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Ame & Lulu tennis racquet bags make a statement on the court

I used to live in Brookline, MA, so I was surprised to hear about this company only since moving to Arizona.

Ame and Lulu has found a very stable niche in the sporting goods market since its inception in 2003. It began when Amye Kurson, the company visionary, was a golfer on the quest to find a trendy, fun, yet sophisticated set of golf headcovers. After searching through boutiques and pro shops, she was surprised by the lack of such sports accessories. Amye sought to put an end to the void and designed her own prototypes for golf headcovers, shoe bags, tennis bags, and yoga bags. The stylish fabric and dulcet colors have become a match for those seeking to make a fashion statement while playing in the great outdoors.

The tennis racquet bags fit two oversize racquets, have zippered pockets for your keys and a comfortable strap to throw over your shoulder. The tennis tote bags tote havce 5 compartments for all your tennis necessities plus a large Velcro compartment inside to hold your tennis racket. The totes measure 22 inches wide and 16 inches high. Plus all products are made in the USA.

They have 12 racquet bags in their collection. Shown here are two of our favorites, the Cabana Stripe and the Snorkel. They run $100, which is not inexpensive. But I think the question is whether its TOO expensive to have a truly well-made, truly stylish, truly unique racquet bag. If you're a regular club player, we say its a bargain.

In addition to tennis bags, they also have a line for golf and yoga, plus a small line of Ame and Lulu branded apparel.

Check out the full collection at AmeAndLulu.com

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September 18, 2007

Prince O3 Speedport Red

We've been fans of the O3 series since it came out in 2005. O3's have abnormally large holes for the strings. This allows them to move faster through the air - less resistance. They also have a humongous sweet spot. In fact, and I did not know this, the air intake idea from the larger, rectangular holes were inspired by F-18 fighter jets!

The large heads aren't for me personally, but it comes in 3 sizes (105, 110 and 118). And its light (9.9 oz.). It is a little pricey at ~$250, but that's what happens w/ fighter jet technology in a tennis racket I suppose. But for those who like a larger hitting area, a light racket, and the prestige of a super high-tech, cool stick...this is it.

Prince O3 SpeedPort Red Tennis Racquet

Check out Prince Tennis

Thanks to Best Life for some of the details.

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September 17, 2007

Book Review - Tennis Shorts

More tennis short stories. But this time editor Adam Sexton brings us stories from Nabokov, John Updike and Paul Theroux.

Need I say more?

Tennis Shorts: Great Writing on Tennis and Life

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The Best Tennis Accessory EVER!


Congrats to Lindsay Davenport, who after nearly a year off and the birth of her first baby, won the Bali Open this week. She beat Daniela Hatuchova (no slouch, btw) 6-4, 3-6, 6-2. She was sporting the best accessory ever, her son Jagger.

"I'm a little bit in shock," said Davenport. "It's just overwhelming and exciting. I swear this is probably the first tournament I've played in four years where I didn't have anything wrong with my lower extremities."
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2086 Professional Tension Head - Electronic Tennis Racquet Stringing

I'm not that good at the stringing machine, but my brother is, this might be something of interest to him and to all those other tireless pro shop stringers.

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Curves® for Women Leg Toning Sneaker

We had no idea that the extremely popular Curves chain of women-only gym had branched out into branded sporting goods, but apparently they have. Here we have the latest in those endeavors, the Curves® for Woman Leg Toning Sneaker. We could only find these on Avon.com and one size on eBay, so the information is limited. And its hard to tell how well these would actually perform on a tennis court. However, from what we have read, this unique sneaker-based design cushions feet while also helping to stimulate circulation. And the natural rocking movement challenges your muscles to strengthen. Leather and man-made materials.

BTW - WhatsAllTheRacquet learned from GottaDeal.com that you can enter promo code AVON710 for FREE shipping!

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September 15, 2007

Player Product Profile - Rafael Nadal

Birthdate: June 3, 1986
Birthplace: Manacor, Mallorca
Residence: Manacor, Mallorca
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 165lbs lbs.
Plays: Left
Turned Pro: 2001

Ranking: #2
Singles Record: 242 - 60
Singles Titles: 23
Doubles Record: 58 - 36
Doubles Titles: 3
Prize Money: $12,592,374

I feel like I should be putting boxing equipment here as well as tennis gear. This guy is a fighter, scrapper and athlete to the extreme. I've heard Borg was as fit as Rafa, but I can't see it. The guy has guns...tennis players don't HAVE guns...Plus he's a great player and a truly class act.

Nike locks up the biggest rivalry this sport has seen since Borg/McEnroe. Yeah, I know...Agassi and Sampras...but they are nothing compared to these 2 rivalries, despite how great they both were.

Nike Men's Fall 9" Global Control Short
Nike Swoosh Bandanas
Nike Raised Profile Swoosh Wristband
Nike Air Max Breathe Cage

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Klip Head Protection Tape

Now here is an accessory I use a lot, because I scrape my racket on the court all the time. OK...I bounce it head first and occasionally throw it too (I'm not proud). Anyway, Klip is a brand mostly known for strings. I hadn't heard much of them, but we like to bring you the more obscure tennis brands whenever we can. Klip Protection Head Tapefits over the edge of your racquet, just like all the rest. If you're ever thinking about reselling your stick, you have to use this stuff.

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September 14, 2007

Vintage Tennis Friday: The Fila Vintage Matchday Jacket.

If you've grown up watching tennis through the 70's and early 80's...or if you've watched Luke Wilson in The Royal Tennenbaums...then you've at least seen a very similar jacket to this. It was the Bjorn Borg signature jacket when we was en route to winning 6 French Opens and 5 straight Wimbledons in the 70s. And it's back in a range of colour schemes, including this green and white one and made from 70% acrylic and 30% wool. Hey...no one said fashion had to be comfortable. I've seen some on eBay, but this one comes from the UK, and runs £64.


From Retro To Go

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Those crazy Kiwi's and their tennis

The Manawatu Standard ran a story this past Sunday on a woman who is organizing a world record attempt for the most people on a tennis court holding a tennis racquet. She's doing it to get attention on tennis and hopefully motivate people to "dust off their racquets," which we think is a noble effort.

It seems to be building into quite an event too. There'll be a family friendly zone, and the chief executive of Tennis New Zealand, Steve Walker, will be there. Afterwards there'll be a 10-minute demonstration match between an as-yet-undisclosed New Zealand celebrity and a top local player.

I'm thinking there aren't a heckuva lot of WhatsAllTheRacquet readers who live in New Zealand, or are traveling there this weekend. But...if you're around Manawatu, get over to the courts and participate!

So...do you think they will be using the doubles alleys?

Read the whole story

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September 13, 2007

Tradition vs. Individual Style and the Evolution of Tennis Apparel

Came across an interesting overview of the evolution of tennis apparel that I thought was concise and informative. This subject actually has me torn. I love the tradition, but I also love the fact that players of all sorts wear what they want. My happy medium is to make sure Wimbledon dress codes stay the same...the rest can do what they want.

Tennis clothes have changed drastically in style, fabric, and color over the last 100 years. The first lawn tennis players in England wore formal attire when playing. Standard tennis clothes for women were full-length dresses. Men wore long pants and formal, long sleeve shirts. The tennis clothes of both men and women were entirely white in color. Contrast this formal style with the tennis clothes worn by the tennis players of today. Modern tennis players favor synthetic fabrics, more athletic clothing styles, and a greater variety of colors...

...tennis clothes have seen many changes over the years. While tennis clothes maintain some of their formality and traditional style, modern tennis players value comfort and individual style over tradition. Increased athleticism, advances in technology, and changes in general fashion have greatly affected the tennis clothing industry. In addition, breaking from their traditional roots, tennis clothes have become a medium for personal expression of individual style and important pieces of equipment in an increasingly physical sport.

From 57899

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How NOT to use your Prince racquet

We're going to start a new category here at What's All the Racquet called "Tennis Videos." An uninspired name, I admit, but what won't be uninspired will be our dedication to scour the Internet in search of cool, funny or ridiculous videos that feature tennis equipment. Our hope will be that these videos speak for themselves, this one certainly does.

Don't try this at home!

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Vibration Dampeners

When I was growing up playing, and to this day, I don't use a dampener. Mostly, this is because I like to feel the impact, to me it gives me more feel for my shots. Luckily I've never had any problems with pain, etc. And when I did try them, I simply tied a rubber band around two strings at the bottom of the head (a la early Agassi). But today, Babolat sells all sorts of high tech dampeners to help those who would like less vibration. Here are three.

First is the Babolat Custom Damp Vibration Dampener. It allows you to customize your level of dampening with the included "O" ring (which provides minimal dampening) and the additional insert if you need more dampening for more comfort.

Next is the Babolat RVS Vibration Dampener. This one takes on both types of vibrations from ball impact - strings and frame. It also decreases the strings vibrations to keep all the feel of the ball, so maybe I'd like this one better. Its fixed to the racket frame, and claims to be the only vibration dampener to reduce both of these vibrations.

Finally is the Babolat High Damp Logo Vibration Dampener. This one is designed with a viscoelastic (whatever that means) material that absorbs vibrations without changing the feel of the game. Again, maybe this is one I should try out.

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Racerback Tanks from Fila, Sergio Tacchini and Ellesse on Sale

When I was growing up, tennis apparel, believe it or not, was not dominated by Nike and adidas. Instead, there were brands, typically European, that dominated the scene like: Fila (Borg), Sergio Tacchini (McEnroe) and Ellesse (Evert). These were aspirational brands that were (1) difficult to find and (2) were expensive. And I loved them all.

But what I also love (nice segue huh?) are racer back tank tops for women. They accentuate the back and shoulders, and are generally very flattering no matter your body type. So when I came across three of my favorite brands' racer back tanks...in a clearance sale...I had to let you all know. These are all from TennisExpress.com


Ellesse Nole Racer Back Tank Top
Was $50.00, now $19.99
RacerBack Tank These high neck solid colored racer back tanks come in solid Lilac and white with black colorblocking and trim. The body of these tops are made from Aerocool fabrick and includes a built in shelf bra. Made From: 92% Polyester and 8% Spandex



Ellesse Osero Racer Back Tank

Was $50.00, now $19.99
RacerBack This solid colored strappy racerback tank comes in solid black or peach with black trim. This fashion fit tank has cut and sew panel detailing with elastic tape at side seams and includes a built in bra. Made From: 92% Nylon and 8%Elastane


Sergio Tacchini Delie Racer Back Top
Was $38.00, now $10.99
Solid colored strappy tank with xontrasting side mesh paneling and logo in center of chest. Made From:Meryl Stretch Jersey + Mesh
91% Nylon 9% Spandex


Fila Center Court Elite Racerback Tank
Was $60.00, now $11.99
Solid colored racer back tank with with built in bra and pintuck detailing below the bust. Fitted style made from: 91% Polyester and 9% Lycra

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September 12, 2007

Wilson K-Zen

Last spring, Wilson came out with a pretty funky racket called the K-Zen. It took 3 years of R&D, and it shows. The big highlights:

1) A nanotech-engineered frame to boost strength
2) Small wings on each side of the head to add comfort
3) A new yoke adds stiffness
4) A compact center improves handling

OK...so if you ready don't care if nanotech was involved...here's the bottom line. All of these enhancements give the racket really good control and decent forgiveness - which is good for the player who might not hit it dead center every time...hmmm...who does that?...:). It runs about $190, which somewhere in the middle these days, so I think its a pretty decent deal.

BTW, it weighs 11.1 ounces and has a 103 sq inch head.

Wilson K Zen Team K Factor Tennis Racquet

Check out Wilson Sporting Goods

Thanks to Best Life for some of the details.

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DEEP DISCOUNTS ON RACQUETS & SHOES AT GOLFSMITH

CenterCourt, by Golfsmith, has several incredible deals running right now. As is often the case, sizes and quantities are limited, but these are definitely worth checking out.


Prince Thunder RIP
* Was:$209.99, Now: $79.99
* Racquet Composition and Technologies: Triple Threat with Tungsten places titanium, copper, carbon and tungsten in three critical racquet locations: 10 o'clock, 2 o'clock and at the bottom of the handle. A phenomenally stable racquet design is created, with a huge sweet spot for more power and precision than ever.
* The Air handle has two air-filled independent suspension legs that reduce shock by 25%, providing ultimate comfort.
* Grip: Cushion Fit Grip has a FlexFoam backing and air channel design which combine to give your elbow a rest.
* Swing/Player Type: This racquet is a great choice for beginners looking for extra power for their game.
* NTRP: Based upon the USTA's self-rating system, we feel that this racquet best suits players with a 2.0 – 4.0 NTRP rating.
* Comes with a racquet cover
* Comes strung with Prince Lightning XX 16 string.
* Head Size: 115 sq. in./742 sq. cm
* Length: 28 in./71.12 cm
* Weight (strung): 9.65 oz./274 g
* Balance Point: 14.57 in/37 cm/ 4.56 pts. Head Heavy
* Swingweight: 340 kg/sq cm
* Stiffness: 78 RDC
* Beam width: 28 mm
* USRSA Power Index 3355
* String Pattern: 16 Mains / 19 Crosses
* Recommended Tension: 60-70 pounds


Wilson Prestrung nCode nTour
The Wilson Tennis Prestrung nCode nTour measures two times stronger, two times more stable and up to 22% more powerful than ordinary racquets. Stronger and even more resilient, nCoded racquets play better longer.
* Was:$179.99, Now: $79.99
* Racquet Composition and technologies: nCoded racquets have nano-sized silicone oxide crystals which permeate the voids between the carbon fibers at the molecular level, significantly strengthening and enhancing the stability of the overall carbon matrix
* Features nZone technology whereby the racquet features a bigger grommet at the 3 and 9 o’clock positions to increase the sweetspot
* Grip: Micro-dry touch grip has a microfiber felt backing, absorbs more moisture and then dries more quickly. Grip has a center groove and a soft surface
* Swing/Player Type: Perfect for serious players by providing a perfect mix of control and feel
* The choice of many top players including Lindsay Davenport and Justine Henin
* Comes with a racquet cover
* Lively response from the net or the baseline
* Offers a good blend of power and speed
* Head Size: 95 sq. in/613 sq. cm
* Length: 27.25 in./69.22 cm
* Weight (strung): 10.74 oz./305 g
* Balance: 13.98 in/35.5 cm/3 pts. Head Heavy
* Swingweight: 340 kg/sq. cm
* Stiffness: 63 RDC
* Beam Width: 22 mm
* USRSA Power Index: 2086
* Based upon the USTA's self-rating system, we feel that this racquet best suits players with a 4.0+ NTRP rating.
* String Pattern: 16 mains / 20 crosses
* Recommended Tension: 50-60 lbs


adidas Climaultimate III Men's Tennis Shoes
Full 360° ventilation and a new TPU cage along the upper give this shoe an unbeatable combination of cooling comfort and stablility for hot, unforgiving courts.
* Was:$84.99, Now: $59.97
* adiTUFF for best abrasion resistance in the toe area
* ClimaCool provides 360° cooling for the entire foot
* Synthetic leather upper for light weight and durability
* Synthetic mesh window for breathability
* Textile lining
* Perforated ClimaCool sockliner for increased airflow
* adiPRENE midsole insert for comfort, shock absorption, forefoot propulsion and efficiency
* adiWEAR outsole for best durability in high-wear areas


Wilson Open Tennis Shoe
* Was:$129.99, Now: $69.97
* Contoured last
* Blown Cushion Core midsole/outsole
* Floating heel
* Quarter TPU Stable Wrap
* 360° ventilation in outsole, upper, heel and arch bridge
* Super lightweight, foot-conforming air-mesh upper
* Customized elastic heel-lock system
* Asymmetrical lacing system
* Perforated polyurethane sockliner
* 13.6oz

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September 11, 2007

For true lovers of yellow felt...we give you, tennis ball shoes

The Talk Tennis Warehouse discussion forum made mention of a special edition Reebok pump tennis shoe made out of...wait for it...wait for it...actual tennis ball materials. Check it out...you're sure to make a statement at your local club.

However...Reebok was not the originator of this footwear folly...it was, in fact, Airwalk who made the idea of a true "tennis shoe" famous. I know because I worked there when this shoe was made. It is not a performance tennis shoe like the Reebok, but it is a made entirely out of tennis ball felt. The model is actually called the "Jim" and it was a classic, Stan Smith-esque casual shoe. And I can tell you, much to the chagrin of the footwear buyers who were too afraid to buy this gem...it sold very well.

Thanks to Tennis shoes... or so they're called for the image of the Jim.

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Dubai Duty Free Announce Barclays as Title Sponsor of the Dubai Tennis Championships

My...what big balls these people have...

Dubai Duty Free has signed a US$ 9 million agreement with Barclays that will see Barclays become the title sponsor of the award-winning tournament for the next three years (2008 – 2010 inclusive). The announcement marks Barclays first foray into professional tennis sponsorship globally and is seen as a major endorsement of the Dubai Duty Free-run tournament which began in 1993 and has grown into a fortnight of world-class tennis.

Barclays has been associated with the sponsorship of English Premier League and golf. But this will be its first entry into professional tennis sponsorship globally.


Commenting on the sponsorship agreement, Shaikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Airports Company and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, said: “This announcement underlines the tremendous growth and success of the Dubai Tennis Championships which is now among the top tennis events in the world.

From Khaleej Times Online and The Dubai Tennis Championships website

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DEMO SALE AT TENNISBOOM.COM


WILSON W4 SAVAGE SAPHIRE OPEN GRIP

I'm confused by the pricing. It says the MSRP is $220, but then it says it sells for $199. Regardless, at $129.99 this is a deep discount.

Head Size: 107 sq. in. / 690 sq. cm.
Length: 27.25 inches / 69 cm
Strung Weight: 9.7oz / 275g
Balance: 4 pts Head Heavy
Swingweight: 306
Stiffness: 67
Beam Width: Dual Taper Beam 24-26-25 mm
Composition: 80% nCoded Graphite / 20% nCoded Hyper Carbon
Power Level: Medium-High
Swing Speed: Moderate-Fast
Grip Type: W Grip
String Pattern: 16 Mains / 18 Crosses
Mains skip: 7T,9T,7H,9H / One Piece / No shared holes
String Tension: 53-6
Weight: 3 pounds

Order here from TennisBoom.com

Bob Wallace Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

September 10, 2007

Separated at Birth - Federer and...Minelli????

OK, I just got this from Down the Line and I had to write a post. I watched the whole final and it never occurred to me that Liza was dressed pretty much like Federer. Whether on purpose or not (my guess is it was), its laughable...much like Liza Minelli.

Bob Wallace Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

And the winners are....

The US Open is sadly over. It was an amazing two weeks, one filled with great play, great personalities and the electricity that you can only get in NYC.

At the beginning of the tourney, you remember we tallied the brands of all the players. No big surprises in terms of how that turned out - Nike, adidas and Wilson dominated singles with Henin and Federer winning.

Here's how the main draws turned out:

Men's Final: Federer - Nike, Wilson
Women's Final: Henin - adidas, Wilson
Men's Doubles: Aspelin and Knowle - Lotto, Nike
Women's Doubles: Safina and Dechy - Lacoste & adidas
Mixed Doubles: Nike, Wilson, Head

Bob Wallace Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Player Product Profile - Justine Henin

Birthdate: June 01, 1982
Birthplace: Liege, Belgium
Residence: Marloie, Belgium
Height: 5'5 3/4" (1.67m)
Weight: 126lbs (57kg) lbs.
Turned Pro: 1999
Current WTA rank: #1
Right-handed (one-handed backhand)
Lifetime Prize Money: $16,107,749
Win Loss Record - Singles: 452-103
Win Loss Record - Doubles: 47-35

Head to toe adidas (except the racket). The best women's player in the game. She's so powerful and so fast its amazing. The power she generated for her relatively small size is really remarkable. And her strokes are truly beautiful to watch.

Oh...and let's not forget the 3 time French Open champ and this year's US Open champ (a feat she accomplished without losing a single set!).

Wilson Extreme Control 16 reel - natural

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Would it kill the fashionistas to have a little history with their 2008 Lacoste product line?

When one door closes another opens up...or something like that.

The US Open wrapped up yesterday with another Federer slam...and NY Fashion week now begins.

For one of our favorite, classic tennis brands, Lacoste, this marks its 75th birthday. When a brand gets this into fashion, I think people think more about the styles and the crocodile logo (and it IS a crocodile, not an alligator) than they do Rene Lacoste and the Four Musketeers (the four French tennis players who dominated Davis Cup tennis in the 1920's and 1930's). Lacoste also won seven grand slams.

I wish they would remember these legends a little more, and worry about what anorexic models look like in the garments them a little less...but I understand they have to sell clothes.

From Tennis Served Fresh, by way of Style.com

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The Adidas Barricade


If you've checked out the kicks of Novak Djokovic, Marat Safin, Tim Henman or Fernando Verdasco, just to name a few, then you've no doubt seen the adidas Barricade.

This line is growing in prestige and popularity with each new line. The Barricade line has been an Editor's Choice from Tennis Magazine multiple times, and for good reason. The shoes have built upon one another, taking the best from one generation and adding new features. The new adidas Barricade IV is lightweight and form-fitting, like the Barricade 2; and is stable and durable like the Barricade 3. It has the adiWEAR 6 outsole, which makes it a good call for any playing surface.


If you want to learn more about the Barricade, there is a terrific slideshow about this great shoe that Tennis Warehouse has put together. It shows early product sketches and walks through the history and evolution of this popular line from adidas. Whether you're someone who is interested in trying the adidas Barricade, or a die-hard adidas Barricadefan, you'll get a lot out of this slideshow. Click here to see it.

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September 9, 2007

2007 US Open Products - Day 14

Alas, it is our last day at the 2007 US Open. And with all the products we've talked about, you need a bag to carry them all home in. Or if you didn't make it live, you need a cool duffle to take to the club to carry your gear. We think the US Open Flame Duffle Bag by Wilson fits the bill. Its made by Wilson, so you know the quality's there. We thought about showing a US Open racket bag, but we figured a duffle was more unique.

- 420 D Nylon 23"L x 14"W x 9.5"H
- One large main compartment for gear.
- Padded and adjustable sport mesh shoulder strap with speed clips.
- Velcro carry handle.
- Large outer accessory pocket with an organizer.
- Hide Away adjustable padded backpack straps.
- Official Licensed US Open Product.

US Open Flame Duffle Bag by Wilson

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September 8, 2007

2007 US Open Products - Day 13

Let's give a hand to the unsung heroes of the tournament - the ball girls and ball boys. Without them (gasp), the players would have to chase their own balls. Without them, there would be no one besides the lines people for players to give dirty looks to. Without them...hmmm...I'm out of things to say. But that doesn't mean their legends can't live on with these sharp track jackets!

- Official limited-edition US Open track jacket in soft stretch cotton jersey.
- Full-zip front with "RLX"-embossed metal pull.
- Mockneck collar with contrast tipping, angled hip zip-welts.
- Ribbed collar, cuffs and hem.
- Oversized embroidered pony at the left chest.
- "US Open 2007" with flaming ball logo embroidered at the right chest.
- Oversized screen-printed pony at the back.
- 67% cotton, 28% polyester, 5% elastane. Machine washable. Imported.
- Official Licensed US Open Product.

US Open 2007 Women's Official Ball Girl Rally Jacket-White by Polo Ralph Lauren

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September 7, 2007

2007 US Open Products - Day 12 + Vintage Tennis Fridays!

These tees allow us to relive the early days of the US Open with designs inspired by the 80s and 90s. What could be better? We'll let their retro goodness speak for itself...


US Open Retro '85 Tee


US Open Retro '82 Tee

Both have screenprinted fronts, are 100% sheer combed cotton. Tagless collar and neck taping to boot.

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BRANDS FOR THE US OPEN MEN'S SEMI'S

A couple days ago, WhatsAllTheRacquet posted the brand matchups for the women's semis at the US Open, and made some predictions. Now its time for the men's semis.


Djokovic vs. Ferrer - Djokovic is head-to-toe adidas, and uses a Wilson stick, while Ferrer is head-to-toe Lotto, and plays with a Prince racquet.

What's All The Racquets Pick for the Match: Djokovic...he and his impressions of other players are on their way to their first Grand Slam final. Ferrer will win a set, though.

What's All The Racquets Pick for the Equipment: Tie...we like the Lotto apparel better than the red, white and blue Cirque du Soleil outfit adidas of Novak. But we prefer Wilson sticks to Prince.


Federer vs. Davydenko: Federer is all Nike with a Wilson racquet, and Davydenko wears Asics shoes, swings a Prince stick, and wears Airness apparel.

What's All The Racquets Pick for the Match: C'mon...do you have to even ask?

What's All The Racquets Pick for the Equipment: Federer wins out by a small margin. It all comes down to the outfit Nike chooses for him. If its the all black, patent-leather, tuxedo outfit, Davydenko wins with the Airness, all-white, classic look. But otherwise the Nike stuff is great.

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Agnes Szavay's US Open Dress Designed By Marta Makany

We haven't made mention about Agnes Szavay's apparel here at What's All The Racquet, not that we didn't like it, we thought it was quite sharp and we liked the halter top. But we couldn't tell what the brand was. Luckily for us, another blog figured out that her dresses were designed by Hungarian designer Marta Makany. According to the blog, "even Tennis World’s Peter Bodo was impressed that she hasn’t chosen to wear off-the-rack Nike or adidas."

Thanks to Tennis Served Fresh for the info

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September 6, 2007

2007 US Open Products - Day 11

Suppose you're at the U.S. Open on Day 11. It's an exciting time, but there aren't as many matches since its late in the tourney. You've already bought your obligatory tshirt, hat and poster...but you just haven't quenched the thirst for more souvenirs. May we suggest the official 2007 US Open Vibration Dampeners and Overgrips. In short...Wilson products for twice the price...but they do have the flaming tennis ball on them!

US Open Overgrips - Fun Combo

US Open Flame Vibration Dampeners

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BRANDS FOR THE US OPEN WOMEN'S SEMI'S


Semifinal #1: Justine Henin vs. Venus Williams

This is basically the finals. Venus is stepping it up big time and Henin is, well, Henin...which is to say awesome. Henin made short work of Venus' sister Serena two nights ago, but Venus seems fitter and is serving very well. Henin is head to toe adidas and uses a Wilson racquet. Venus is sporting her well-designed, well-priced EleVen line and also uses a Wilson stick. Venus made a tennis fashion misstep in my opinion last night w/ the short-shorts, I prefer that top with a skirt. But its a nice line for sure.

What's All The Racquets Pick for the Match: Henin

What's All The Racquets Pick for the Equipment: Close call, but I'm going to go with Henin for a classic athletic look. It all depends on which EleVen outfit Venus chooses. Short-shorts, bad...classic tennis look, good.


Semifinal #2: Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. Anna Chakvetadze

Not only will this likely not be a very compelling match, the equipment's less exciting as well. Kuznetsova swings a Head stick and Fila clothes and shoes, while Chakvetadze sports a Fischer racquet, and adidas shoes and apparel.

What's All The Racquets Pick for the Match: Kuznetsova

What's All The Racquets Pick for the Equipment: Chakvetadze - better colors and better overall design. The Fila clothes leave a lot to be desired, and I don't get the high cut slit in the skirt.

Bob Wallace Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Men in Black III - The US Open

If you watched last night's US Open quarterfinal between Andy Roddick and Roger Federer, you saw a number of things. First, you saw an incredibly well-played match by both players - extremely high quality tennis. Second, you saw the true dominance of Roger Federer - Roddick played extremely well and has nothing to be ashamed about...but it simply was not enough for the world's #1.


Third, you saw those silly tuxedo shorts of Federer.


Fourth, you saw and heard Andre Agassi in the booth, which was terrific and entertaining.


Lastly, you saw a lot of black clothing. Both players wore all black (with the exception of Roddick's shoes and socks), and Agassi had on a black button-down.

Read more about the match.

Bob Wallace Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

September 5, 2007

Head, Wilson, Prince...and Babolat?? Yes, indeed...Babolat!

Pros build a tower of Babolat

USA Today ran a fascinating article today about Babolat racquets and their entry and strong presence in the market. When growing up, Babolat was really just a string company, but now you see Roddick, among others, using the sticks. Good job for them, they have effectively placed themselves right alongside Head, Wilson and Prince as the dominant brands of frames.


Read the article in USA Today

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MONTHLY ROUNDUP - AUGUST 2007

Product Reviews
Nike Air Max Breathe Cage Shoe Review

Racquets
Solid Advice for Beginners to Intermediate Players
Dunlop M-Fil 300

Apparel
Nike Mac Attack Tshirt

Products of the Pros
Federer US Open Nikes
Rogers Cup Proves to be Big for Adidas!
Player Product Profile - Roger Federer
Jankovic Picks up New Sticks for the Open

Tennis Books
Tennis is 80% Mental - Books about the mental game of tennis
Book Review: Psycho-Cybernetics

Tennis Deals
Closeout Deals on Racquets
Nike Men's Apparel & Footwear Liquidation

Tennis Product News
The Tiger Woods of Tennis???
Nadal is Injured and Out in Cincy
Lever 2000 U.S. Open Promo - Win a Free Tennis Lesson
Wilson Racquet Sports announces it's Going Green
Top Spin Tennis Coming to the Wii

2007 US Open

Preview of Nadal's U.S. Open Outfit
U.S. Open Racket Stringing Tech for Pros & Amateurs Alike
Brand Tally for US Open
2007 US Open Products - Day 1
2007 US Open Products - Day 2
2007 US Open Products - Day 3
2007 US Open Products - Day 4
2007 US Open Products - Day 5 + Vintage Tennis Fridays
Empire State Building to be Illuminated Yellow for US Open
Venus, Serena and Ana bring varied but classic styles to the US Open
And the Jack-O-Lantern Award Goes To...
Triple Shot of US Open Fashion

Tennis Websites
Review of WorkInTennis.com
Review of MeshTennis.com

Vintage Tennis Fridays
Introducing Vintage Tennis Fridays
Vintage Tennis Fridays - Tretorns

Tennis Fashion
Diadora Borg Elite Trainers
Venus Launches EleVen Clothing Line
More on Tennis babes' new on-court designs for the US Open
Federer leads the neat & classic look in tennis

Tennis Babes

Maria Sharapova on the cover of Shape magazine
Yes, Serena...we admit it...we're looking at your titles...

Bob Wallace Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Closeout Deals on Tennis Equipment

Hollabird Sports has some nice deals going on right now in their closeout section, including this fancy US Open limited edition adidas Barricade IV. It was $120, now on sale for $104.95.

Here's the skinny on these shoes from the Hollabird site:

Weight: 15.5 Ounces

Color: White/New Navy/Light Scarlet

Durability. The Adidas Barricade IV draws inspiration from the previous generation models of the legendary Adidas Barricade. Along with its perfect blend of durability, cushioning, and support, adidas has made it even lighter with a snug, more supportive fit.

Upper: Synthetic leather upper for lightweight and durability.

Inlay: Molded EVA insole for anatomical comfort.

Midsole: adiPRENE insert for comfort and shock absorption. adiPRENE maintains forefoot propulsion and efficiency. EXTENDED TORSION for midfoot and forefoot integrity. Feathered construction allowing for ultimate performance in multi-directional sports such as tennis.

Outsole: adiWEAR 6 for the best durability in high-wear areas.

Available in width D (Medium).

6-Month Outsole Guarantee.

Get more info about this shoe

Check out all of Hollabird's tennis closeouts.

Bob Wallace Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

2007 US Open Products - Day 10

A classic white collared tennis shirt with an undated, understated logo. Plus is has tasteful stripes down the sides and arms, adding a little flair. Add to that the moisture wicking material and you have yourself the perfect US Open polo shirt to wear at your local tennis club.

- 100% honeycombed polyester (moisture-wicking material)
- Rubber-stamped sport logo at left chest (undated)
- Rubber-stamped Flamming Ball Logo on left sleeve
- Extended drop-tail in back
- Two-button placket
- Color: White with Navy and Red
- Official Licensed US Open Product

US Open Men's Honeycomb Mesh Performance Polo - White/Navy/Red

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September 4, 2007

2007 US Open Products - Day 9

The US Open Official Art Poster simply rocks. An art deco look, giving it the style of classic retro posters of the past, with appropriate homage to both NYC and tennis. And a triumphant theme overall, both with the raised arms of Lady Liberty and the player, but also the skyline of NYC.

- Size: 24 inches x 30 inches
- Each poster is individually rolled and tubed for the protection of the poster.
- Official Licensed US Open Product.

US Open 2007 Official Theme Art Poster

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September 3, 2007

Book Review - Days of Grace

It is only fitting that we review Arthur Ashe's autobiography during the U.S. Open.

Days of Grace is a book by Arthur Ashe and Arnold Rampersad. Like so many others, Ashe touched my life, and he did it through this book. Sure, I knew about him, I knew about his struggles, accomplishments and impact on tennis. But, you can't have a full view of the way he conducted his life without reading his own thoughts. After all his tennis and humanitarian accomplishments, the man battles all sorts of terrible health issues, many brought on by human error. And he doesn't bat an eye. "Grace" is the perfect word. You simply aren't going to find a more inspirational book about life, much less tennis.

Enjoy and celebrate Arthur Ashe!

Days of Grace

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2007 US Open Products - Day 8

It wouldn't be fair to talk about our favorite Polo women's top without mentioning our favorite Polo men's top - The Men's Long-sleeve Crew in Yellow. Frankly we were surprised we liked this one, the yellow typically would be a little bright for us. But, this one works. Why? Two reasons. One, the sewn stripes down the arm give it sense of quality and ruggedness. Two, the logos on the front and back merge the NYC them with a modern font and look that works great.

- Official limited-edition US Open classic-fitting long-sleeved crew shirt.
- Crafted in soft cotton jersey.
- Ribbed crew neckline, sewn sleeves and hem.
- "US Open 07" sport detail graphic on left chest
- Classic polo player and Statue of Liberty graphic featured on back
- 1.25" black stripe runs along the top of sleeves
- 100% cotton. Machine washable. Imported.
- Color: Yellow
- Official Licensed US Open Product.

US Open 2007 Men's L/S Crew-Yellow by Polo Ralph Lauren

Bob Wallace Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

September 2, 2007

2007 US Open Products - Day 7

We thought about waiting until the end of the tourney to post our favorite item from the US Open, but we couldn't wait. This is it, its a sleeveless women's polo by, well, Polo. A classic look and a classic color, but with a modern Polo twist and a heckuva fit.

Plus...for some reason...the large Polo emblem didn't bother us as much on this garment...

- Official limited-edition US Open sleeveless polo shirt in silky, moisture-wicking stretch microfiber.
- Half-zip placket with "RLX"-embossed metal pull, ribbed armbands, even-sewn hem.
- Flat-knit polo collar with contrast tipping, contrasting mesh inserts at the sides.
- Oversized screen-printed pony at the left chest.
- "US Open 2007" with flaming ball logo screen-printed at the left chest.
- 92% polyester, 8% elastane. Machine washable. Imported.
- Official Licensed US Open Product.

US Open 2007 Women's Rally Sleeveless Polo - White by Polo Ralph Lauren

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September 1, 2007

2007 US Open Products - Day 6

Let's hear it for the linesmen, those tireless beacons of truth and justice on the court!......No?....McEnroe's not into this?.....Hmmm....OK....then let's hear it for their jackets! Hooray!

This is a sharp jacket brought to you by US Open sponsor Polo/Ralph Lauren. All the specs are below, but the thing that struck us was the cut. Very sharp and tailored looking. This would be a nice lighter-weight to wear on and off the court.

- Official limited-edition US Open lightweight insulated jacket in weather-resistant microfiber.
- Mockneck collar, full-zip front with storm guard.
- Fully articulated raglan sleeves with adjustable custom molded cuff tabs.
- On-seam zip-welt pockets with in-pocket adjustable hem. Full lining.
- Oversized pony screen-printed at the left chest.
- “US Open 2007” flaming ball embroidery at the right chest.
- Upper and lower shell face: 95% nylon, 5% elastane. Lower shell back: 100% nylon.
- Lining and fill: 100% polyester. Machine washable. Imported.
- Color: Navy

US Open 2007 Men's Official Linesman Jacket by Polo Ralph Lauren

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