October 30, 2007

OCTOBER MONTHLY ROUND-UP

THINK PINK - NATIONAL BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
Think Pink - October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Pink Vibration Dampeners
Wilson Pink Headbands
Prince Pink String
Wilson Pink Bracelet
Pink Vibration Dampeners for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

TENNIS BOOKS
Tennis and the Meaning of Life: A Literary Anthology of the Game
The Inner Game of Tennis

TENNIS NEWS
Growth Continues throughout the Tennis Industry
Ion Tiriac Proposed 5th Grand Slam, Wins Moustache Award
Babolat Launches '07-'08 Models
Head Does Their Part for Corporate Carbon Responsibility

VINTAGE TENNIS
Wright & Ditson Tennis Ball - circa 1890
Wright & Ditson Tennis Shoes
King of Games - Tennis T-shirt
Stan Smith II - Camo
Continental Tennis Balls
Vintage Tennis Bum T-Shirt

PRODUCTS OF THE PROS
Nike Pros Need to Change Things Up A Bit

TENNIS BALLS
Awesome Picture of a Tennis Ball
Tretorn Tennis Balls for Beginners...c'mon...
Tretorn Micro-X Tennis Balls

TENNIS RACQUETS
The Natural Tennis Racquet a.k.a. The Dumbest Racquet I've Ever Seen

TENNIS FITNESS
Eyeport Vision Training
Tennis Power Resist System / S&M Device
Lateral Resistor - Prepare for Impact!
Plyo-Hurdles for better, stronger movement on the court

TENNIS DEALS
TENNIS DEAL ALERT - ADIDAS FORREST HILLS 72
eBay Alert - Adidas GTX Pro-T - Lendl - Great Condition

TENNIS BIRTHDAYS
HAPPY BIRTHDAY IZZY! TENNIS GEAR FOR THE MUNCHKINS OUT THERE
My Birthday Tennis Wish-list

TENNIS APPAREL
Tennis Baby! Yeah!
One Shot Tennis Apparel
Infants need tennis shoes too - Patina Tennis Shoe Socks
Alabama Girl Hats...Huh?
Lily's of Beverly Hills 2008 Tennis Apparel Line

TENNIS VIDEOS
Tennis Racquet Balance
The New Yellow-feathered Tennis Ball, by Pixar
Why Overgrips are Important

TENNIS VIDEO GAMES

Wii Remote Controlled Tennis Racquet
ezGear's Wii Sports Pack Accessories
Prince Announces Wii Tennis Racket Brackets

TENNIS BABES

Anna Kournikova in a Bikini
Nike buys Umbro, leverages Daniela Hantuchova "ass"ets

RANDOM TENNIS STUFF
Wallets made from tennis racquet covers

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October 30, 2007

The Nike Pros Need to Change Things Up a Bit

Down the Line! has been making a few very accurate, very pointed observations regarding the repetitiveness of the Nike apparel line, esp. in the men's game.

Basically, all the pros are not only wearing the same styles (esp. the sleeveless numbers), they are wearing the same colors of those styles. Which in many cases, makes for a bunch of look-alikes on the court.

While I'm sure this is by design by Nike, it seems to me (and Down the Line!) that there are plenty of other color-ways of these outfits that would serve both the player and the brand better. Everyone looking the same isn't a good thing, it could very well end up backfiring if it is, in fact, planned.

Down the Line Tennis from 10/19

Down the Line Tennis from 10/29

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October 30, 2007

Think Pink - Nat'l Breast Cancer Awareness - Wilson Pink Headbands

Think Pink this October with pink tennis products!

This micro-dry headband features microfiber copolymer composite fabric for maximum absorption and the softest feel.

And a percentage of the wholesale price is donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Wilson Tennis Hope Headbands - $3.99 from Center Court

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October 27, 2007

EyePort Vision Training

If you end up getting one of these, I recommend closing your door and not let anyone see you, lest they call the guys in white suits to pick you up.

Accoring to Vic Braden, "The EyePort will revolutionize the way athletes train and perform."

How It Works: Position your EyePort near the edge of a table or desk. Sit so your eyes are 24 to 30 inches from the unit. Put on the provided red-blue glasses. Press the Enter button on your EyePort, and simply allow your eyes to effortlessly move from one light to the next on the programmed EyePort. Voila! You are on your way to top visual performance - tennis, golf, baseball and more.

Ummm...is this a tennis training guide or are we watching Spy Kids in 3D?

Beware any product that starts it feature description in the following way:

It may look like a space ship, but it’s far easier to operate. Here are some of the EYEPORT's features.

Here are the features:
- Automatic shut-off (I want mine to shut off when someone walks into the room.)
- Pre-programmed workouts (Workouts? Really?)
- Multiple speed settings
- Special glasses to train each eye individually (we call them eye patches)
- Carrying case included (in case you want to look silly in other places)
- Manufacturer's Warranty: 1 year

The device is developed by Dr.Jacob Liberman.

Dr.Jacob Liberman received a Doctorate of Optometry, a Ph.D in Vision Science and is a fellow of The American Academy of Optometry, The College of Optometrists in Vision Development, The College of Syntonic Optometry, and The International Academy of Color Sciences. He is also the recipient of the H.R. Spitler Award for his pioneering contributions to the field of phototherapy.

100% Satisfaction Guarantee: At Mansion Select, we want to be sure that the item you choose is the right one for you. Within 30 days of delivery of your order, you may return any merchandise (except e-books, opened video & software products) purchased from Mansion Select in its original condition with your email order confirmation or packing slip for a full refund of purchase price. On items over $75 shipping within the US, we will even arrange free pick up or pay for returns shipping.

EyePort Vision Training System...$199.95

Self-respect...Priceless

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October 26, 2007

Vintage Tennis Fridays - Wright & Ditson Tennis Ball - circa 1890

Welcome back to the 19th century.

Last week we talked about the tennis shoes sold in the Wright & Ditson tennis catalog. This week, same catalog, but this time its tennis balls we'd like to talk about.

More specifically, look at the prices. Anywhere from $.40 to $.20 each. Seems dirt cheap by today's standards. But its actually quite expensive for back then. Think about what $.25 would typically buy, like at least 5 loaves of bread I'm guessing. Very interesting, tennis gets its snooty reputation from many years of being an expensive sport to play.

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October 25, 2007

Tennis Power Resist System / S&M Device

Stop the madness.

Mansion Select is selling a Tennis Power Resist System that claims to help you "Become a better tennis player faster with 'overspeed training!'" whatever that is.

The Power Resist System provides an extended workout on the tennis court, that is also safe. Increase speed, intensity, and conditioning under resistance! The Power Resist System, like our Powerband, trains players to become better athletes faster through what is known as overspeed training. But, while the Powerband is designed for close-up work with a coach or partner, this Power Resist system allows for much longer stretch and resistance - up to 27 feet.The result is an incredible workout with extended yet safe court coverage.

I will let this video speak for itself. If you believe that this will help you win more tennis matches, go for it.

Watch Video

Tennis Power Resist System - $69.95 at Mansion Select

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October 24, 2007

Think Pink - Nat'l Breast Cancer Awareness - Prince Pink String

Think Pink with this Prince Tennis Lightning XX Pink String for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The Prince Tennis Lightning XX String has spring-loaded Powerfoil that releases explosive energy on impact for greater power, while providing a broadband wear barrier for increased durability.

Prince Lightning XX 16G Pink Tennis String

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Nike buys Umbro, leverages Daniela Hantuchova "ass"ets

Today Nike announced its all-cash purchase of Umbro, a leading UK-based global football (soccer) brand, for $582 million. Down the Line Tennis alerted us to this image that has been circulating around announcing the Nike acquisition.

Nike has been putting their logo on places where people look for decades...from college football teams to Tiger Woods' put that slowly falls into the cup. Finally, they close the loop and get some advertising on what I would argue is the most watched spot in women's tennis.

From Down the Line Tennis

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October 23, 2007

Lateral Resistor - Prepare for Impact!

I'm finding myself being increasingly sarcastic and cynical when it comes to the tennis fitness items I'm finding. That's not my intent, but as a marketer I understand what these companies are doing - selling you things you don't need.

Now, today we have the Lateral Resistor, which helps you work on your quick step patterns. I 100% agree that small steps are critical to make adjustments and ultimately set yourself up for a winning shot. Just look at Jimmy Connors, he was the master at this.

But it just seems to me that tying your legs together will do more to give you bumps, scrapes and bruises than fix your footwork. Here's a better idea to work on this. Next time you're hitting, try to make 6 tiny steps before you make a shot, each and every time.

There, I just saved you $30.

$29.95 at Mansion Select

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October 22, 2007

Think Pink - Nat'l Breast Cancer Awareness - Wilson Pink Bracelet

Think Pink!

Show your support for breast cancer research with this pack of three Hope bracelets.

A percentage of the wholesale price is donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Wilson Tennis Hope Bracelets - $1.97 (formerly $4.99) from Center Court

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October 21, 2007

Awesome Picture of a Tennis Ball

I happened across this awesome image of a tennis ball. I have no idea who is responsible, so I apologize to that person, it was on another site and not sourced. But I think its really cool. Enjoy!

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October 20, 2007

King of Games - Tennis - Tshirt


From King of Games, the t-shirt maker of classic Nintendo games, comes the NT-0022-W Tennis shirt. Its part of the CASSETTE LINE series. It has a pulse line on front, license and trademark information on back.

Its a cool shirt, a look I would call "understated geekiness." You could get away with wearing this to play tennis, or you could be a hero among your gaming friends.

For the low, low price of 4725 yen at King of Games

About The King of Games

The Kyoto-based "EDIT MODE" design team began a line of T-shirts called "King of Games" in 2001 after Masaaki Enami convinced Nintendo Company Ltd. ("NCL" a.k.a. Nintendo of Japan) to grant him a license to produce a line of high-quality, original Nintendo shirts. Enami-san was unusually lucky; most licensees are large companies, mass-producers of thousands of toys. Perhaps being a Kyoto native as well as a lifetime Nintendo fan had an influence on NCL's decision.

Making K.O.G. shirts is not without it's challenges. Every shirt design must be approved by the licensing department at NCL. More importantly, each design must be approved by the creators of the game as well. It's not uncommon for a design to go through several revisions before everyone is satisfied. After a design is approved, small test run of shirts is made for final approval. Then the shirts can go into production.

Typically, a total of about 200 shirts are hand-printed at a time. Occasionally, (if demand is high enough), some shirts are reprinted. Subsequent printings occasionally have small design changes to differentiate them from the 1st run shirts.

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Book Review - Tennis and the Meaning of Life

Why would tennis prove to be a great subject matter for fiction writing? Because tennis, like most sports, is a reflection of life. Striving to be your best, dealing with victory and defeat and overcoming adversity.

Tennis and the Meaning of Life: A Literary Anthology of the Game is editted by Jay Jennings. Its a book of short stories that run the gambit on using tennis as a metaphor for life. My favorite is by none other than Bill Tilden. He writes a story about an old champion delays his entry to heaven for one more match.

Short story compilations are great. You don't have to read them all at once, you can pick them up and enjoy something self-contained and entertaining in a single sitting. This book is an awesome addition to your reading list.

Tennis and the Meaning of Life: A Literary Anthology of the Game

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October 19, 2007

Vintage Tennis Fridays - Wright & Ditson Tennis Shoes

My how times have changed...for the better I think (at least that's what my feet told me).

We dug up a page from the Wright & Ditson tennis catalog, circa early 1900s, that features the "Pettitt Match Shoe." Looks like a saddle shoe to me. They look like they have treads on them to help with traction on the grass, much lick the soles today.

It is named after Thomas Pettitt, the hall of famer, who


won the (world championship) title in a successful 1885 challenge to George Lambert, 7-sets-to-5, at King Henry VIII's old playpen, Hampton Court, outside of London. In an 1890 defense he turned back Charles Saunders, 7-5, at St. Stephens Green, Ireland, resigning the title later unbeaten. In the earliest pro lawn tennis tour, he and Irish pro champ George Kerr played a series of three well-attended matches in New England in 1889. Kerr, won at Boston, Springfield (MA), and Newport.

Ummm...did they say 7 sets to 5! In saddle shoes? Ouch.

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Think Pink - Nat'l Breast Cancer Awareness - Vibration Dampeners

Show your support for breast cancer research with this pack of two Hope racquet vibration dampeners.

A percentage of the wholesale price is donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Wilson Tennis Hope Vibration Dampeners - $2.99 from Center Court

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Growth Continues throughout the Tennis Industry


According to TIA, tennis is continuing to show growth in many areas. Figures released by the USTA and TIA during the US Open, and shared with the industry during the inaugural TIA Tennis Forum in August, show that trends are consistent across several categories of tennis equipment sales, and represent more than three years of continuous growth.

• Year-end total racquet shipments in 2006 showed an overall increase in units of 1.8 percent over 2005. Since 2003, racquet shipments are up 29.7 percent.

• Youth racquet sales were up 2.8 percent in 2006 and have increased 48.9 percent since 2003.

• Racquet sales continue to increase in 2007, up 5.3 percent over 2006 for the first two quarters.

• Year-end total ball shipments in 2006 increased 8.1 percent in units over 2005 and are up 11.5 percent since 2003.

• Ball shipments in the first half of 2007 have increased .7 percent versus first half 2006.

Some of these numbers don't excite me too much to be honest, but any forward progress is to be commended. By far, the most encouraging of these stats is the 48.9% increase in youth racquet sales since 2003. Youth tennis is the future of the sport. There are a lot of competing activities for kids to participate in these days. We must make tennis a solid choice and it looks like we're on the right track.

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October 18, 2007

Ion Tiriac Proposed 5th Grand Slam, Wins Moustache Award

Former tennis player and coach of Boris Becker, Ion Tiriac is pushing to make Madrid the location of a 5th Grand Slam tournament. The Romanian is the most powerful businessman in world tennis, and he already has another goal - to make a fifth Grand Slam in Madrid. For all of history, there have been four Grand Slam tournaments, and they are played in London, Paris, New York and Melbourne. Why Madrid? Tiriac say because the city incarnates this "new sport," the city that can go beyond the limits of Paris and London.

"Madrid has a very great future, and it is going to have facilities like no other tournament. There is no other which can close three courts in five minutes and keep playing despite the rain," Tiriac stresses.

He notes he has ruled out the Asian option that he contemplated a couple of years ago.


"I do not need to move Madrid. It is likely that in Shanghai I could have made money, a lot of it. But I am lucky enough not to be about to starve to death," he says.

Really, I don't want a 5th Grand Slam, nor do I believe there needs to be one. However, I would like to change the focus of this Tirac story to focus on his mustache. Over the year, this baby is really something to behold.


If you like mustaches, especially celebrity mustaches, check out the Celebrity Facial Hair section of ShavingStuff.com.

Read the article at Digital Journal

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Stan Smith II - Camo

We covered Stan Smith's and the "fashion-forward" versions of the classic back in September. We've come across another version, the Stan Smith II - Camo.

An interesting tidbit of information I picked up. The Stan Smith was introduced in 1965 as the first all-leather tennis shoe, and was originally endorsed by Robert Haillet. It was only renamed the Stan Smith in 1971.

Camo, of course, is short for camouflage, which as defined by Wikipedia is something that "allows an otherwise visible organism or object to remain indiscernible from the surrounding environment." My question, then, is in what surrounding environment would these Stan Smiths be "indiscernible?" Confetti? Vomit after eating too much candy? Or does one need to be on an acid trip in order not to see these shoes?

- Painted camo print canvas side panes.
- Perforated 3-Stripes on side panels.
- Smooth leather round toe.
- Embossed trefoil on heel.
- Lightly padded tongue, collar and footbed.
- Textile lining.
- Durable rubber outsole.
- 14.00 oz.

$63.95 at Zappos.com

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Tennis Baby! Yeah!

What are infants and toddlers for if not to dress up in outfits that reflect the parent's passions?


Kids Rompers, in white and green, available in 24-month size. The white's emblem says "My Tennis Racquet" and the green says "My Tennis Ball."

$29.90 at Mansion Select


“Future Stars” Baby Bib - I wish I had something interesting to say about this, but its a white, silk screened bib, pretty self-explanatory.

$6.50, 6/$37.05 from Mansion Select


Both very cute for the tennis tyke in your life.

And for more awesome baby gear, check out Super Cool Baby.

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Pink Vibration Dampeners for Breast Cancer Awareness Month


Own the Zone Introduces Buckets of Pink Vibration Dampeners - Part of proceeds from sales of Pink OTZ Band Dampeners to be donated to breast cancer research

Own the Zone Sporting Goods, LLC today announced that they are selling Buckets of pink OTZ band vibration dampeners for tennis racquets. For every pink Bucket-of-Bands purchased by pro shops and tennis specialty stores and for every pink OTZ bi-pack (2 bands in a packet) sold online via www.otzsports,com, Own the Zone will make a donation to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

“We hope tennis players around the world will Join the Band,” said David Marcus, Co-President of Own the Zone Sporting Goods. “October is the month to show people you’re aware and care about breast cancer. We encourage everyone to tie a pink OTZ band on their racquet and wear the spare on their wrist.”

““When you tie the pink OTZ band to your tennis racquet, you are not only getting the world’s best vibration dampener, but you are also helping promote international awareness of this disease,’’ said Julius Stockfish, Co-President of Own the Zone Sporting Goods. “In the United States alone there are more than 25 million tennis players and globally there are more than 100 million tennis players. We can make a difference in helping to find a cure.”

The pink Bucket of Bands contains 48 pink 2-band packets and can be found at select pro shops and tennis specialty stores in the United States and around the word. The pink Bi-packs which contain 2 bands per packet and the pink buckets can also be purchased online by ordering from www.otzsports.com

About Own the Zone Sporting Goods, LLC:
The company designs and distributes innovative and fun sports products that help players reach their zone of peak performance. Based on excellent design and use of quality materials, the company's first world patents pending product, the OTZ band vibration dampener, significantly improves upon the band solution used by several of the world's Top 10 ranked tennis pros. Called the “World’s Best Vibration Dampener” by Tennis Warehouse Australia, the OTZ band dampeners are sold to tennis pro shops and specialty stores throughout the United States and overseas. The Own the Zone Sporting Goods, LLC, website is located at www.otzsports.com To place an order just or receive more information contact sales@otzsports.com

Links: www.otzsports.com

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October 17, 2007

Babolat Launches '07-'08 Models

Babolat Expands Oversize Offering: Launches New ‘07-’08 Models for Club Players

Babolat, the leading French manufacturer of tennis racquets, announces the launch of three new oversize racquets designed specifically to meet the needs of club players.

The new Babolat Drive Z 110, Aero 112 and Drive Z 118 (numbers correspond to racquet head size in square inches) are the newest additions in the oversize category for Babolat. Olivier Bailliard, President and CEO of Babolat USA commented, “Babolat has always been committed to providing equipment for players of all levels. These racquets in particular are designed to help improve a club player’s game through increased maneuverability, power and - with the addition of Cortex technology - comfort.” Linda Ryan, Babolat Senior Player Manager, adds: “We’ve received very positive feedback from players who have tried these new racquets and are making the switch. They love the expanded sweet spot as well as the comfort of the Smart Grip ergonomic handle.”

KEY TECHNOLOGIES
The Cortex System is the first technology customized to filter different vibrations. This exclusive Babolat material has the ability to filter and dampen. The handle and the frame of the racquet are linked by one interface in the C.D.S. (Cortex Dampening System), which allows the filter to absorb the unnecessary vibrations for a purer feel.

The innovative Smart Grip ergonomic grip optimizes contact between the grip and the hand.

∑ More power: less effort is needed when hitting the ball.
∑ More control: reduced handle twist when striking the ball, especially on two-hand backhands and volleys.
∑ More comfort: a truly natural grip delivering significant reduction of fatigue and stress points on the hand.

NEW PRODUCTS
The Babolat Drive Z 110 and Babolat Drive Z 118 tennis racquets are designed for club players looking for power and maneuverability. These new oversize racquets are lightweight, yet powerful. The unique Elliptic Geometry guarantees the best torsion resistance: +20% stiffer compared to a traditional beam. The Babolat Aero 112 is will appeal to club players looking for a faster swing, more topspin and a greater balance of power with control. The latest in the Aero range, the Aero 112 has the same modular frame concept with varying beam profiles at three strategic locations creating maximum penetration of the racquet through the air and increase the hitting power - perfect control for directional hitting.

Babolat Drive Z 110 Product Specifications:
Head size: 110 sq in
Weight: 255g / 8.9oz
Length: 27.5 inches
Composition: Graphite/Kevlar
Stiffness: RA: 70
Recommended Strings: VS Natural Gut / Xcel premium
Technologies: Cortex System (filtering & absorbing); Smart Grip; Elliptic geometry
Suggested Retail: $199.00 (sold unstrung)

Drive Z 118 Product Specifications:
Head size: 118 sq in
Weight: 255g / 8.9oz
Length: 27.5 inches
Composition: Graphite/Kevlar
Stiffness: RA: 70
Recommended Strings: VS Natural Gut / Xcel premium
Technologies: Cortex System (filtering & absorbing); Smart Grip; Elliptic geometry
Suggested Retail: $229.00 (sold unstrung)

Aero 112 Product Specifications:
Head size: 112 sq in
Weight: 260g / 9.1oz
Length: 27.5 inches
Composition: High Modulus Graphite
Stiffness: RA: 70
Recommended Strings: Xcel premium / VS Natural Gut
Technologies: Cortex System (filtering & absorbing); Smart Grip; Aero Modular Technology
Suggested Retail: $219.00 (sold unstrung)

ABOUT BABOLAT
Founded in Lyon, France, in 1875, Babolat is the first company to have specialized in racquet sports and the world leader in the production of natural gut strings. Easily recognized by its trademark “double-line” (two stripes on the racquet frame and black on the stringing bed), Babolat is still family-owned. Today, with U.S. operations in Boulder, Colorado, the company also manufactures synthetic strings, shoes, a full range of accessories for all racquet sports as well as a best-selling line of racquets used by some of the most renowned names in tennis. To find out where Babolat products are sold, log on to www.babolat.com or call (877) 316-9435.

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Tretorn Tennis Balls for Beginners...c'mon...

These balls by Tretorn are designed to be better for beginners to learn the game. The idea is that some people find a real ball to be too hard, fast and difficult to handle.

40% softer and lighter than regular tennis balls, Tretorn Academy tennis balls are designed with a special rubber compound. With a 30% lower bounce than regular tennis ball, these balls are ideal for mini-tennis and half-court learning, and for kids and beginners wanting a look-alike "real" tennis ball. They also offer more reaction time allowing for proper stroke preparation.

They come in 20-pack in 5 tubes; 60-pack in 15 tubes; 60-pack in bucket. This is a good idea if you're using them for teaching.

My opinion about not liking the feel of a "real tennis ball?" Tough. That's tennis. Blaming the equipment is a whimpy way to learn anything difficult. Plus its bad for your game. Learning with a lesser ball will only make the transition more difficult. And if you're looking to be competitive, the majority of people will learn with real balls, so you're at a disadvantage.

Is it OK to have a little kid learn with these? Sure. But older beginners, or "people wanting to play a more casual game of tennis," no way. It only does damage to your game, and truthfully its not tennis without the real gear.

A pack of 20 is $34.95 at Mansion Select
If you want 60 in buckets, add $60; 60 in tubes, add $63

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October 16, 2007

The Natural Tennis Racquet a.k.a. The Dumbest Racquet I've Ever Seen

The description says that the Natural Racquet "has been called the 'Racquet of the Future,' and could very well be. Both hands can deliver more power, control and accuracy in shot making. See what it can do for your game!"

I'll tell you what it can do for your game...royally f#$% it up, that's what. Look...tennis is a hard sport. Its hard to learn and even harder to become a good player. I understand that. I understand that the club player may want a little help - maybe a larger head, a wide-body, whatever. But you know what? You need to learn with a single grip on your racquet. You need to decide whether you're going to have a 1-handed or 2-handed backhand. Or maybe 2-handed off both sides. Its one thing to choose equipment that makes life a little easier so you enjoy yourself more. But you DO NOT choose equipment out of convenience. I can't think of a worse thing to give to a new player.

Here's some more from their description. Please note that these tennis experts misspelled Wimbledon. And serving, how does that work? I've heard that it needs to be a pseudo-volleyball serve to work. I don't even know what to say to that...

You might consider buying this to use as a divining rod, though...

Advantages

* Both hands deliver more power, control, and quickness on all ground strokes & volleys
* Angle of handle delivers more body torque
* Angle of racquet face on serve imparts more spin
* Volley with either hand gives greater reach
* Short learning curve

22 Years in the making

The dual grip racquet was developed by Lionel Burt of the Los Angles area 22 years ago and has undergone several changes in design and development. Just recently in the last year the Easton Aluminum Corporation saw the potential and merit in it's concept and design and are now implementing it's manufacturing in Tiwan on a highly professional level with a major racquet maker.

Ambidexterity

Up until a few years ago it was thought if you were right handed you couldn't even think of hitting a ball left handed. All this has changed with the "Natural". More and more people (even top pros) are realizing the merits and possibilities of developing the coordination in the unused hand. With just a little work on the backboard you too can find out it's really not that hard, and the advantages are awesome!

Dominating Players

Several top players in So Cal are winning with the "Natural". One in particular is Brian Battestone. This young man has in one year won 10 open championships in the southern California area, one being the Santa Monica Open 2006. He as now achieved a challenge ranking and is starting to play in the big leagues. It has been approved by the World Tennis Federation, Wimbeldon Tennis Foundation, as good to go for all levels of play in competition. Patents are existing.


Word on the message boards is that this is not the first attempt at such an atrocity.

It costs $250 from A Winner's Way

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Plyo-Hurdles for better, stronger movement on the court

The Plyo-Hurdles are lightweight and unbreakable hurdles meant to strenthen your stride and footwork. Each set comes with a packet of drills cards to create hours of fun while improving movement skills. Great for children to develop skills for all sports. Available in 7" and 12" heights. Set of 6 plus drill booklet.

“Plyometric exercises enable a muscle to reach maximum strength within a short time.” - Dr. Donald Chu, a leading authority on plyo training

Now, I am absolutely not saying these guys aren't worth it. I do believe in plyometrics and I believe that doing these types of drills will help your fitness and tennis game. But...for $70, I might think about looking up the drills online and using homemade versions of the hurdles - anything from shoe boxes to stacks of books would work.

A set of 6 is $69.95 at Mansion Select

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October 15, 2007

Think Pink - October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

THINK PINK!

This month is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so What's All the Racquet is going to have features throughout the month highlighting tennis-related products that promote awareness. So let's show some support and buy these items!

First off is the Wilson Hope 4-pack of tennis balls. The official ball of the US Open for more than 25 years. Made with exclusive felt from Tex Tech Industries. And, of course, they're pink in a blue can.

Wilson Hope 4 Pack Tennis Balls

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TENNIS DEAL ALERT - ADIDAS FORREST HILLS 72

adidas Men's Forest Hills 72 Tennis Shoes
- Classic Adidas men's Forest Hills 72 tennis shoes feature retro-inspired style
- Men's athletic shoes were originally released in 1977
- Tennis shoes feature a ventilation system designed by NASA
- Leather upper
- Brown rubber outsole
- Integrated rubber toe bumper

I have to say that I wouldn't have remembered these had I not seen them. But now that I have, they conjure up memories of the 70's and the shoes my father wore. Pretty cool overall. I like the upper very much, especially the perforation and the toe cap. The jury's still slightly out on the gum sole. Its OK, but it just doesn't seem to go with the very cool, retro upper.

adidas Forrest Hills for $79.99 (reg. $150)

Bob Wallace Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

HAPPY BIRTHDAY IZZY! TENNIS GEAR FOR THE MUNCHKINS OUT THERE


Happy birthday to my daughter, Isabel, who turns two today. Time surely flies.

While I've been trying to get her to pick up a racquet, the 'ole motor skills just aren't there yet...unless used for smashing things in my house. So, here are the first items I'll get for her when the time comes.

First things first, you need a racquet. My first racquet was a Davis wood junior, and I quickly moved on to a Jack Kramer Pro Staff. The Sharapova junior looks like a good bet, big head, short throat and light.

Prince Maria Sharapova 21 Junior Tennis Racquet

There's nothing cuter than a well-dressed kid. There will be plenty of time to wear whatever she wants to play tennis. But to begin, its going to be a classic look.

Polo by Ralph Lauren Baby Girl Pique Cecilia Dress

Same idea with the classic look. Plus, Daddy wears K-Swiss too.

K-Swiss Classic

No one likes blisters, so padded socks are a must.

Kid's 3 Pack Cotton Quarter Sock

And unless I want to spend 28 of the 30 minutes we're on the court chasing balls, we better have a lot of them.

Bucket of Practice Balls

Bob Wallace Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 14, 2007

eBay Alert - Adidas GTX Pro-T - Lendl - Great Condition

ADIDAS GTX Pro-T Ivan Lendl with original case with Ivan Lendl autograph printed on it and with original leather grip.

Click here for the eBay auction

Bob Wallace Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Head Does Their Part for Corporate Carbon Responsibility

Head N.V. establishes an alliance with the global environmental charity, Cool Earth.

Cool Earth's mission is to fight climate change head-on by protecting endangered rainforest, which play a vital role in the global climate by absorbing carbon. More than 100 tonnes of carbon are locked up in each acre of rainforest - when the forest is destroyed, the carbon that is released warms the earth's temperature.

HEAD is committed to saving over 7,000 acres/28 km2 per year of mature rainforest from destruction - which equals the size of more than 100,000 tennis courts or 7,000 American football fields, or 3,650 FIFA Soccer Fields.

"Educating sports enthusiasts about the affects of carbon emissions is an important part of why we're doing this," said Eliasch. "We all depend on a stable climate to ski, play tennis, or dive. If we don't wake up and make a difference now we won't be doing these things in their natural environments much longer."

CoolEarth.com

Head.com

Bob Wallace Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 13, 2007

Tennis Racquet Balance

A brief, but extremely informative video on what racquet balance means, and more importantly what it means to you as a player.

Bob Wallace Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 12, 2007

Vintage Tennis Fridays - Continental Tennis Balls

We like to go vintage on Fridays, as you may know. I came across some great sources for really vintage tennis stuff, so we're going to go waaayyy back the next few weeks. The image above is a postcard for Continental Tennis Balls circa 1990s, from Germany. What's interesting to me is that the product takes a back seat, this is more of the image ad one might see today, with the lifestyle and activity taking the front seat and the product itself being a secondary, albeit aspirational, player.

We couldn't find much more about Continental Tennis Balls, except this other postcard which you can buy at Edwardian Delights for $35. According to the site, it was done by the Caoutchouc und Gutta-Percha Co of Hannover, Germany. It features a group of tennis players, one of whom knock the top hat off a passing gent. Again, less about the product, more about the story they are wrapping around the product.

Check out lots more vintage tennis stuff at Vintage Tennis Treasures

Bob Wallace Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

MY BIRTHDAY TENNIS WISH-LIST

Today's my birthday, so I figured it would be a good time to post my ultimate tennis wish list. Don't feel like you have to get me any of these things, but any gifts are appreciated...just kidding. This is just a way to highlight some products that I think are really great.


KSwiss Ultrascendor Mid Mens Shoes
I already have them, but wanted to tell everyone how much I like them. Good support, REALLY light, fits me well (size 13, very narrow), and the keep me from spraining my ankles.
- Upper: Leather mid-cut. Durable TecTuff toe wrap for toe drag protection.
- Midsole: Shock Spring cushioning technology. Cushion Board construction. midfoot shank for added support, stability and optimal flex point positioning.
- Outsole: Durable Aosta 7.0 rubber construction in a modified herringbone pattern. DragGuard in the toe and heel areas for increased durability.
- Weight: 17.1 ounces (size 10.5)
- Color: White / Navy / Silver



Head Metallix 4 Racquet

I'm using Wilson Pro Staffs right now and like them fine...but since I'm wishing...according to Tennis-Warehouse:

The lightest and most maneuverable "4" series racquet from HEAD since the Ti. 4 racquets, the Metallix 4 offers excellent mobility from all areas of the court. With the stiffer Metallix material in the throat and the new HEAD Stabilizer system, this racquet blends maneuverability with a stable response. The open string pattern combines with the low swingweight to offer easy access to spin and plenty of ball speed off the stringbed. At net the racquet offers some nice pop to get volleys away. The feel from the racquet is comfortable from all areas of the court, yet there's not too much dampening to hinder placement on touch volleys etc. Impressively, the racquet feels very solid at impact - much more so than found with most racquets in this weight class. Overall, the Metallix 4 offers lots of performance for players at the 3.5-4.5 level, as well as more advanced players seeking added power and mobility from their racquet.


Boris Becker Men's Romb Polo
Just like Boris Becker's hair, this shirt is very orange. And extremely lightweight with classic piping along the collar, placket and sleeves. And relatively subtle logos.

- Content: 100% Polyester
- Colors: Indigo Blue, Orange, White/Sky Blue
- Sizes: Small (SM) - Extra Extra Large (XXL)


Boris Becker Men's Woven Short
I'm liking the BB apparel, what can I say? Woven shorts with elastic waistband, built-in mesh brief, front pockets, back right pocket, faux fly (huh?), contrasting stripes down sides (except for white), and Boris Becker logos screen-printed on lower left front and back pocket. 6.5" inseam.


Adidas Men's Summer YOC Hoody
More orange...but what I like most is the cut of the sweatshirt. Who says a hoodie has to be big and baggy? It features a half zip with pull tab, mesh hood with toggles for adjustability, kangaroo pouch at center front with mesh trim, mesh inserts down sides, contrasting trim around hem, stylish colorblocking at left sleeve, thin elastic cuffs for comfort, adjustable hem for a custom fit, and a screened Adidas logo at left chest. And the ClimaCool technology helps you not sweat to death.



Thorlo Level 2 Micro-Mini Sock

I like padding and I don't like high socks. 'Nuff said.


Fila Vintage Headband Tan/Navy/Red
Last but not least...arguably the one item of tennis apparel most associated with a single tennis player...the Borg headband. Do I look like a fool in a headband? Yes. Would people laugh at me if I put one on my huge noggin? Indeed. Do I love it? More than Nadal loves dumbbell curls.

Bob Wallace Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Wallets made from tennis racquet covers

Ever wonder what happened to all the single, slip-on, racquet covers we used to have on our racquets - before the days of having a bag big enough to carry your mother around with you.

Well...now we know. Some creative and industrious person has decided to make wallets out of them. Well, they're more like business/credit card holders, but they are cool nonetheless. These are handmade, though, so I'm guessing inventories are limited.

This item is a minimally-sized wallet made from vintage tennis racket covers. Great for the person who doesn't want a bulky wallet, it measures approximately 4x6" when open and contains 2 inside pockets perfectly sized for credit cards and business cards. Sewn with heavy-duty nylon thread, the color is dark green vinyl with white lettering and black stitching. The inside pockets are brown.

CHECK OUT THE TENNIS RACQUET COVER WALLET

Bob Wallace Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 11, 2007

ezGear's Wii Sports Pack Accessories


We covered Prince's foray into the wonderful world of Wii last week, with their racquet attachment for the Wii controller. On a similar note, we came across the Wii Sports Pack, which includes baseball bat, tennis racket and golf club attachments. It also comes with a handle that adds size and allows you to grip with both hands.

According to GamingBits:

On the top of each of the accessories is what ezGear calls an "IR Window." It's basically a transparent piece of plastic that allows you to still use the Wii Remote pointing functionality when navigating game menus. It's a good idea, but unfortunately it didn't work with the tennis racket and the golf club. Even using the baseball bat attachment, which has the largest IR Window, pointing with the Wii Remote was shaky and too much of a pain to use in the menus. You're better off removing the top attachment to use the Wii Remote in menus. You'll want to switch the accessories between sports games anyway.

ezGear's Wii Sports Pack is available for $29.99 online.

Thanks to Gaming Bits

Bob Wallace Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 10, 2007

Tretorn Micro-X Tennis Balls


I'm going to premise this by saying that I've always been a Penn and/or Wilson tennis ball kind of guy. All the others that I've tried (Dunlop and Slazenger included), have all landed flat (pun intended). Not that they aren't playable, I'm not that picky, but I've found Wilson and Penn to be superior and last much longer.

However, that might change. Tretorn's Micro-X balls, according to the product descriptions, have 700 million balloon-like microcells inside them that don’t leak. What this patented technology means is that they don't rely on gas pressure like every other ball out there. Bottom line, they play and store much, much longer.

They're ITF and USTA approved for all tournament play, by the way.

Another thing I like about these spheres of bouncy goodness is that they come in a cool can. Let's face it, in a world where design has come to the masses, a facelift for the 'ole Pringles can is well overdue.

Now...this extra life does come at a price. I found these at Mansion Select for $6.75 per sleeve of three. This is roughly twice what a 3-pack of Penn balls cost. But, if they live up to their billing, it should be worth it.

Check them out at Mansion Select

Bob Wallace Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 9, 2007

Infants need tennis shoes too - Patina Tennis Shoe Socks

For all the future tennis stars out there, Patina Store has a set of tennis shoe socks. Cute socks in six bright colors with a sneaker design on them. So even if you still crawl, you can be ready to hit the courts!

Specs: 80% cotton, 17% nylon and 3% spandex, ages 0-12 mos

$22.95 at Team Sugar

Interested in all sorts of other awesome baby stuff? Check out SuperCoolBaby.com

Bob Wallace Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 8, 2007

The New Yellow-feathered Tennis Ball, by Pixar

A commercial for Vizzavi, a UK-based mobile provider, made by Pixar.

Bob Wallace Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 7, 2007

One Shot Tennis Apparel

I first came across this company in Tennis Warehouse. After some digging around, I found their website. When I first saw them, I liked that they were modern looking apparel with a twist. According to the website (which needs some serious work), they seem to focus on racquetball, handball and beach tennis (a mix between beach volleyball and tennis...don't ask me...), so it stands to reason that they have a bit of an edge.

The majority of their product line, it appears, to be in the shorts arena. They have some t-shirts, and headgear as well. But the shorts are what caught my eye. I can't comment on the quality yet, but I'm seriously considering getting a pair of the shorts (although I don't think cammo is my style).

I'd love to learn more about these cats, so if anyone can fill me in I'd like to know. Here's some info about some of the products:


Special Ops Shorts
Made from the same material used by many of the UFC apparel manufacturers. In case I get into a fight on the court I suppose...
- Micropoly 100% Polyester
- 8" Inseam, 20" Outseam (M)
- Elastic Drawstring Waist
- Right and left slash pockets
- Embroidered OneShot Logo
- Color: Urban Camo (Grey/BK/Wh), Jungle (DK Green/Brown/tan)


Flight Shorts
Really, these guys are made for racquetball, but I'm thinking they might be interesting. I like the look, I'm a fan of cargo designs. But...I'm not one to dive much anymore, so the dive padding that protects your hip and pelvic bones from floor impact, isn't really needed. But I think its a cool feature.

- Micropoly 100% Polyester
- 7" Inseam, 21" Outseam (L)
- Elastic Drawstring Waist
- Dive Pads for hip protection
- Embroidered Logo
- Color: Black, Navy
- Sizes: Medium (M), Large (L), Extra Large (XL), Extra Extra Large (XXL)


One-Shot Girlie Shorts
These look potentially very cool...a really sporty look for practice or serious play. But, the only place I could find them is on their website, which has few pics and no pics of the shorts on a real person, so its hard to tell.

- Embroidered Side Pocket
- 4 Different Colors
- Smooth and Durable Poly Microfiber
- Elastic Waistband and inside Drawstring

Visit the One-Shot Sports Website
Check out One-Shot products at Tennis Warehouse

Bob Wallace Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 6, 2007

Anna Kournikova in a bikini

We here at What's All The Racquet are nothing if not thorough reporters on the racquet sports scene. We would be remiss and downright irresponsible if we did not include occasional posts on tennis pros (or former pros) when they are in non-tennis apparel...like, say...a bikini.

That's all we have...Anna Kournikova in Miami. Is that so wrong?

Thanks Soup and Toast

Bob Wallace Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 5, 2007

VINTAGE TENNIS FRIDAYS - Tennis Bum Tshirt

We've all been called one...at least those of us who were around when the term was more in fashion (I remember it from the 70's). But I hadn't seen anything that took the term literally like in this tshirt. The vinyl decal is an authentic, vintage transfer, it is not a replica. And it can be applied to a plethora of tshirts - men's and women's, baseball shirts, you name it.

$19.95 at MadFlavour.com

Bob Wallace Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Wii Remote Controlled Tennis Racquet

We talked about Prince's foray into the world of Wii the other day. Well, the crack jounalistic team at What's All The Racquet has found a very cool video featuring a robot that reacts to Wii movements. Eventually, it just might be the only way to beat Federer...

Bob Wallace Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 4, 2007

Book Review - The Inner Game of Tennis

The Inner Game of Tennis, by W. Timothy Gallwey, as its name indicates, is about "The Mental Side of Peak Performance." Another classic from the 70's. Another book to attack the same issue - the mental game of tennis. Anxiety...self-doubt...these factors are as much the dangerous opponent as the person across the net. This book helps you beat those opponents. And like other mental books we've had on this site, the lessons go far beyond the tennis court.

The Inner Game of Tennis: The Mental Side of Peak Performance

Bob Wallace Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 3, 2007

Alabama Girl Hats...Huh?

Yesterday we talked about smaller, non-mainstream brands of apparel with Lily's of Beverly Hills. I guess for every great product line there's an awful product line. In this case, it is Alabama Girl Hats. I first came across them at Tennis Warehouse, so I Googled them and you can guess what comes up when you put in "Alabama Girl." I'd tell you but this is a family blog.

So...with no other real information, I'm left solely to my own assessment of these hats and visors. And that assessment is the following.

Ick.

These are gawdy, glittery hats in white, pink, red, black and purple. I'll let the pics speak for themselves. Someone needs to tell these folks that the old lady tourists at the Atlantic City boardwalk want their hats back.

Bob Wallace Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

October 2, 2007

Lily's of Beverly Hills 2008 Tennis Apparel Line

We're starting to spend more and more time trying to find interesting tennis items (esp. apparel) that are more for the club player, and aren't from the big brands. We found one in Lily's of Beverly Hills. The name makes it sound snooty, and maybe it is, but the clothes are very sharp and not your run of the mill Nike, adidas, etc.


According to their website they are currently sporting 11 lines in their 2008 collection - 8 LBH Tennis Collection and 3 Wimbledon Collection. The image above is the Margarita - a contemporary look for any club play. If separates aren't your style, check out the "Cool Breeze," a more classic one piece with a funkadelic, 60's-esque look to it. Very cool

From their Wimbledon line, we prefer the "White" line. Classic all white...classic cut...but with beautiful, subtle patterns.

The website is very short on information, and Tennis Warehouse was the only retailer we found carrying them. So my guess is they are wholesalers to clubs primarily. Not sure if Tennis Warehouse gets different products from them or not, or if these are just 2007's line, but the Bella Donna lines they are currently selling aren't on the LBH website. I like the ones on the corporate website much more than the Bella Donna. The black and white is too stark for me and look more like drapes than the cool styles on their website.

But...the prices are quite reasonable for these nicely designed, not-your-run-of-the-mill tennis clothes.

Bob Wallace Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Prince Announces Wii Tennis Racket Brackets


Wiimote add-ons and accessories are fast becoming a cottage industry, much like they have for iPods. Yesterday, one of the biggest tennis racquet manufacturers, Prince got into the game (literally). Prince teamed up with Hong Kong-based Qualtech Global to make the brackets. If you decide to go to this company's website, pack a a lunch b/c its slow.

The idea, obviously, is to make the game as realistic as possible for fans of Wii Sports Tennis.


The Prince controller brackets are scaled down from real tennis rackets for space and safety purposes - lamps, vases and parents around the world are breathing a sigh of relief.

The racket brackets will be available in three color combinations:

This will surely be on many holiday shopping lists - its scheduled to launch on November 15. And pparently exclusively though Circuit City. MSRP will be $14.99. We checked out Circuit City, it doesn't appear that they have any teasers yet.

Good for your real tennis game? I'd say not. Good for busting a hole in your drywall? Definitely.

Should we start a blog called "What's All the Bracket?"

Thanks to IGN

Bob Wallace Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 1, 2007

Why Overgrips are Important

I recommend this person check out What's All The Racquet's Grip section

Or how to choose the right tennis overgrip.

Bob Wallace Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

MONTHLY ROUNDUP - SEPTEMBER 2007

STRINGS
Making Sense of String Choices
2086 Professional Tension Head - Electronic Tennis Racquet Stringing

FOOTWEAR
Curves® for Women Leg Toning Sneaker
For true lovers of yellow felt...we give you, tennis ball shoes
The adidas Barricade

ACCESSORIES
Ame & Lulu tennis racquet bags make a statement on the court
The Best Tennis Accessory EVER!
KLIP Head Protection Tape
Vibration Dampeners

VINTAGE TENNIS FRIDAYS
Stan Smiths
Rod Lavers
The Fila Vintage Matchday Jacket

RANDOM TENNIS STUFF
The Agassi Graf Collection by Kreiss

RACQUETS
This Just Seems Wrong - A Double-strung Racquet?
Prince O3 Speedport Red
Wilson K-Zen
Head, Wilson, Prince...and Babolat?? Yes, indeed...Babolat!

NEWS
Diamond-studded Racquets are a Girls Best Friend
Those crazy Kiwi's and their tennis
Dubai Duty Free Announce Barclays as Title Sponsor of the Dubai Tennis Championships

PLAYER PROFILES
Maria Sharapova
Rafael Nadal
Justine Henin

TENNIS VIDEOS
Why racquetball is bad for you
Wilson Tennis Racquet Commercial circa 1973
How NOT to use your Prince racquet

GRIPS
Tips on choosing the right overgrip for you

APPAREL
Killer Serve T-Shirt
Under Armor Tennis Apparel
Racerback Tanks from Fila, Sergio Tacchini and Ellesse on Sale

PRODUCTS OF THE PROS
Lendl signs as tennis spokesman for Trion

BOOK REVIEWS
Tennis Shorts
Days of Grace

TENNIS FASHION
Tradition vs. Individual Style and the Evolution of Tennis Apparel
Would it kill the fashionistas to have a little history with their 2008 Lacoste product line?

TENNIS DEALS
DEEP DISCOUNTS ON RACQUETS & SHOES AT GOLFSMITH
DEMO SALE AT TENNISBOOM.COM
Closeout Deals on Tennis Equipment

U.S. OPEN 2007
Separated at Birth - Federer and...Minelli????
And the winners are...
BRANDS FOR THE US OPEN WOMEN'S SEMI'S
BRANDS FOR THE US OPEN MEN'S SEMI'S
Agnes Szavay's US Open Dress Designed By Marta Makany
2007 US Open Products - Day 14
US Open Products - Day 13
US Open Products - Day 12
US Open Products - Day 11
US Open Products - Day 10
US Open Products - Day 9
US Open Products - Day 8
US Open Products - Day 7
US Open Products - Day 6

Bob Wallace Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
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