Will history repeat itself at the 2015 US Open?

Is history going to repeat itself when Novak Djokovic bids to win the US Open for only the second time in his career?

NDThe only previous time Djokovic was the champion at Flushing Meadows was in 2011 when he beat Rafael Nadal in four sets. That is also the only year when he has won the Australian Open and Wimbledon in the same year – something he has achieved already in 2015.

His record this year is tremendous as, after losing to Ivo Karlovic in Qatar in his first tournament of the year, Djokovic has reached the final in all subsequent 10 tournaments he has played in.

However, he heads into the US Open in the unusual position of losing his two most recent finals. He was beaten by Andy Murray in the final of the Rogers Cup in three sets in a pulsating game and he was then beaten in straight sets by Roger Federer in the final in Cincinnati.

It’s not quite the same build-up Djokovic had in 2011 as he beat Mardy Fish in the final of theRogers Cup before losing to Murray in the final in Cincinnati. Still, despite Djokovic having consistently shown he is the best player in the world this year, his two recent defeats have lefta slight air of vulnerability hanging over the Serb.

RFFederer and Murray clearly rate as the biggest dangers to Djokovic in New York, but it shouldn’t be forgotten that he suffered a surprise defeat by Kei Nishikori in the semi-finals a year ago. He had reached the final in the previous four years, losing twice to Nadal, in addition to beating the Spaniard, and also losing to Murray in five sets in 2012 after he had drawn level from two sets down.

Murray’s first win over Djokovic since the Wimbledon final of 2013 will have given the Scot the confidence he needs to think he can win another Grand Slam, whether he is drawn to meethim in the semi-finals or the final.

Likewise, Federer will take great heart from the fact he has beaten Djokovic twice in finals this year, in addition to losing three, as the 34-year-old bids for only his second Grand Slam title since winning the Australian Open in 2010, and his first since Wimbledon 2012.

You can watch live tennis streaming online at playlivestream.com and the fortnight of the US Open promises to be fascinating viewing judged on the quality of tennis played at the recent Masters events.

History suggests Djokovic can win his third Grand Slam title of the year and it would be a brave man to back against him reaching the final at the very least. But Federer and Murray have raised their game a notch in the past month and will push the world number one all the way.

Wilson Sporting Goods Co., announced today the launch of three new high performance, next generation tennis products designed for today’s modern game.  The new products include the Pro Staff 97S, which was developed in collaboration with Wilson Advisory Staff Member Grigor Dimitrov, a line of extreme power rackets called ULTRA XP, and Element string. Wilson and Luxilon developed Element to achieve optimum power and comfort, while offering increased spin potential.

“At the heart of our Wilson Labs innovation program, is the modern tennis player.  We are hyper-focused on designing new product concepts that are built against player insights and give our athletes a performance edge,” said Hans-Martin Reh, General Manager, Racquet Sports. “We are a player’s brand. In that spirit, we want to create new ways to help every kind and type of player excel on the court and increase their enjoyment of the game.”

ABOUT THE PRO STAFF 97S

Wilson Labs, the innovation hub at Wilson, and recently re-signed Wilson Advisory Staff member Grigor Dimitrov, worked collaboratively for 24 months to develop a new Pro Staff racket to round out the highly popular Pro Staff franchise.  The result is the new Pro Staff 97S, which is a high performance racket designed for the competitive attacking-style, or “Attacker,” player, per the Wilson PlayerID system. The racket offers hallmark features of the Pro Staff franchise including pure, classic, and consistent feel. In addition, the Pro Staff 97S features the Company’s patented Spin Effect Technology. This technology allows players to produce significantly more spin without changing their swing.

The Pro Staff 97S will be available at specialty retailers and via www.wilson.com on October 1, 2015.

 ABOUT THE ULTRA XP

The UTLRA XP line of rackets is the most powerful available to players today*. The franchise is comprised of four rackets, the ULTRA XP 100S, 100LS, 110S, and 125. All four rackets are loaded with technologies and constructed with a lightweight design that allow players to hit more powerful and explosive shots with more spin.

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Murray wins the Rogers Cup in Montreal

Andy Murray keeps the eye on the ball on his way to the 2015 Rogers Cup title.

Andy Murray sealed his 35th career title in three sets on Sunday, as he ended his dire drought against Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic to win the Rogers Cup in Montreal.

Murray had lost eight matches straight against the world number one, but his victory saw a two-year losing streak with Novak end.

The first set belonged to the Scot, as he won 6-4 – before Djokovic hit back, taking the second 6-4. Murray then sealed the Championship in the final set as he took the Serb down 6-3.

The Scot will now rise to number two in the new ATP rankings for the first since 2013, as he takes Roger Federer’s spot.

Murray told the media after yesterdays victory: “Things can better very quickly and they can get worse very quickly in sport. It’s important for me to analyse this week and work on areas to improve on before the US Open starts.

“I need to make sure I recover well from this and get ready and hopefully play a good tournament in Cincinnati. This match will be good physically and mentally for the build up for sure.” 

Known for his good sportsmanship, it was no surprise that fans favourite Djokovic was graceful in defeat, as he said, “I lost to a better player today. I lost to Andy, who I know very well. I did fight till the last point and did try my best. That’s something that I take as a positive from this week.”

The Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati began on Monday, but Murray and Djokovic both received Byes into the second round. Murray will face the winner of Victor Troicki and Mardy Fish, whilst Djokovic will play either Gilles Muller or Benoit Paire.

The Championship in Cincinnati works as a good warm up before the big one begins Monday August 31st. Yes, we’re talking about the start of the US Open Championship 2015.

Despite his loss to Murray on Sunday, Djokovic is of course still the bookies favourite to take the title win with odds as short as 11/10. Murray is a respectable 10/3 whilst Federer is 15/2, despite reaching the final of Wimbledon a little over a month ago. Rafa Nadal continues to lose his reputation as one of the greatest in tennis at the moment, but punters can back him at a long shot of 11/1.

Murray won his first Grand Slam title at the US Open back in 2012, and having defeated Djok for the first time in two years going into this years Open, you can be sure the Scot will be full of confidence, and hoping for a repeat of 2012.

Grigor Dimitrov re-signs with Wilson Tennis

CHICAGO, August 17, 2015 – Wilson Sporting Goods Co., announced today it has re-signed Grigor Dimitrov, one of the youngest ATP World Tour players currently in the Top 20 world rankings, to its Wilson Advisory Staff. Wilson Labs, the innovation hub of Wilson, and Dimitrov worked collaboratively over the past two years on a new Pro Staff racket designed to enhance the performance of his aggressive, attacking-style of play. The result of this work is the Pro Staff 97S, which will debut at tennis retailers worldwide in October.

“We have enjoyed a long relationship with Grigor and are very pleased he will continue to be a part of our prolific Advisory Staff,” said Hans-Martin Reh, General Manager of Wilson Racquet Sports. “Grigor has extreme natural talent, and we worked with him to develop a racket that would enhance that talent on court, while matching his dedication, work ethic and ambition. We believe the Pro Staff 97S offers the best combination of precision and spin – lethal attributes for an attacking player.”

“Wilson really listened to me as we developed this racket. The team studied how I play and talked with me about what I need from my racket,” said Dimitrov. “I appreciate the commitment the Wilson team had to making the racket perfect, precise to my needs, and my style. This is what makes them a great partner. I couldn’t be prouder of this racket and to continue my relationship with the brand.”

Dimitrov climbed as high as eighth in the world rankings shortly after reaching the semifinals of Wimbledon in 2014. As the most successful male tennis player to come out of Bulgaria, Dimitrov has claimed four titles in his young career.

Dimitrov debuted his new Pro Staff 97S at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. on August 3.

ABOUT THE PRO STAFF 97S

The Wilson Pro Staff 97S is designed for the competitive attacking-style, or “Attacker,” player, per the Wilson Player ID system. The racket offers hallmark features of the Pro Staff franchise, including pure, classic, and consistent feel, and fuses them with the best spin technology available to players today, the Company’s patented Spin Effect Technology. This technology allows players to produce significantly more spin without changing their swing. Additionally, the racket’s braided construction dampens vibration and enhances touch and control.

The Pro Staff franchise is one of the most popular in the tennis industry and has been played in 200+ Grand Slam victories. In 2014, Wilson introduced an evolved set of Pro Staff rackets that were reimagined by Wilson Labs with the insight and help of 17-time Grand Slam champion and long-time Wilson Advisory Staff Member Roger Federer.

The Pro Staff 97S will be available at specialty retailers and on www.wilson.com on October 1, 2015.

2015 Babolat Pure Aero tennis racquet coming!

2015 babolat pure aero tennis racquet, nadal tennis racket 2015

New for 2015, Babolat Pure Aero tennis racquet

As you know, I try to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to tennis racquets and tennis strings; here we are again! I got some inside information regarding the latest Babolat line of tennis racquets, Babolat Pure Aero.

What’s new on the Babolat Pure Aero tennis racquet?

Well, obviously the first thing that you notice is the paint-job; it’s gone a bit more two tone with black and neon yellow, unlike the current version which is black, yellow, white, silver, and a little red.

Probably the biggest change on the Babolat Pure Aero tennis racquet is the lack of “Active Cortex System.” If you don’t remember your Active Cortex technology, it reduces shock and vibration, leaving the player with a cleaner feel at impact.

The lack of Active Cortex on the Babolat Pure Aero is a bit concerning because if it will have the same racquet stiffness as the current Aero Pro (RA 69), you’re going to have some arm issues playing this frame. The current version plays very stiff already, even with the Active Cortex; I can’t even imagine what it would feel like to play the Babolat Pure Aero without Active Cortex. Might have to pick up a few elbow braces!

I don’t have additional information on other technologies.

Babolat Pure Aero price and release dates?

So far as I was told, the Babolat Pure Aero will be released early September, and likely available for pre-order from Tennis-Warehouse a few weeks before that.

From what I saw, the MSRP for the Babolat Pure Aero will cost around $220 US with a PLAY version coming in at about $350. So nothing extraordinary coming from Babolat.

Will Rafael Nadal play with the Babolat Pure Aero tennis racquet?

I can only assume that Rafa will play with this frame. He’s been playing with the brand for the entirety of his career (played with Pure Drive as a junior), though I don’t imagine that the Babolat Pure Aero is going to be much different than what he currently hits with; he’s been using the first generation of Aero Pro (with custom weighting and painted Cortex system) since he picked up the racquet.

Sony Tennis Sensor packaging

Sony Tennis Sensor

Tennis fans can now take advantage of recent innovations in smart, mobile technologies to help them reach their sporting goals. The Sony’s SSE-TN1W Smart Tennis Sensor will connect with your smart-device to make it easier than ever to track your tennis performance accurately. Analyse, review, share and compare your progress against concrete targets, keeping yourself motivated to continue your way towards your ace play.

The Ace up your sleeve

Sony partnered with top tennis manufacturer Wilson, as well as HEAD, Prince and YONEX to ensure a perfect fit of the smart tennis sensor with their sleek yet performance-driven rackets known to generations of players. Thanks to its sensing technologies and newly developed vibration analysis mechanics, it has never been easier to analyse your tennis performance. After charging the sensor, simply remove the racket logo cap, affix the attachment ring onto the grip end of the racket and place the tennis sensor onto the attachment ring. Turn on the sensor and start playing – the device will start recording a vast range of data such as number of shots, ball impact spot, swing type, swing speed, ball speed and ball spin.

At full charge, the SSE-TN1W will last 180 minutes[1] allowing you to analyse entire matches without having to recharge the device. You can review your shot data in real-time, or once your match has been concluded. Simply connect the tennis sensor to your smartphone or tablet[2] wirelessly to transfer and access the recorded data via the Smart Tennis Sensor app, which can be downloaded for free from the Google Play / App Store.  The app can record rallies and simultaneously display recorded video and shot metrics allowing you to associate the data to a specific part of your game or practice session.  You and your coach can also see your shot data live on a smart watch[3] as well as on your smartphone and tablet so you don’t have to leave the court to check it and get advice in real time.

Analyse, review and share your Game

The Smart Tennis Sensor app allows you to review recorded data in many ways. Look through your play overviews, analyse both current and historic data and set goals to track your progress over extensive periods of time.  By visualising the recorded data you will have a much better understanding of your strengths and points of improvement. You can even share your accomplishments with your friends by posting them onto social media services and show how fast you are improving your play! Read the rest of this entry

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