The Many Rackets Of Roger Federer

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The beloved Swiss Maestro with his trusty 90 square inch Wilson ProStaff

They say a bad workman blames his tools, but yet when a good workman, say 17-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer wins, not one person mentions the racquet which has guided him to victory.

Since turning pro in 1998, the Swiss legend has remained firmly loyal to Wilson, the manufacturer of his racquet, and has certainly inspired many more to use the US brand. But how much have they evolved over the years Federer has been a pro?

Well, a considerable amount.

The brand are now one of the biggest brands in tennis, with not only Federer, but also the Williams sisters and Kei Nishikori use the brand, and have become some of the best equipment in the sport.

And with the 2015 season underway, we look at Federer’s racquets throughout the years as he looks to add to his Grand Slam collection, and finish the year back in the number one spot.

The Pro Staff 85 6.0 Mid-Production Chinese

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Quite possibly the most recognizable tennis racquet ever…Wilson ProStaff 6.0 85

Roger Federer is 10/3 to win a Grand Slam this year with Sky Bet, however back in 1998 when he was using the Pro Staff 85, the odds would have been stacked against the young man from Basel.

His first racquet was used between his debut as a pro until 2001, when he beat Pete Sampras knocking the legend out in the Quarter Final of Wimbledon. Ironically, Sampras was using the same piece of kit at the time.

Hyper Pro Staff 6.1

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The lesser known Wilson, Hyper ProStaff

Federer only used this racket in the early stages of 2002 and was the move to a bigger head than 85 inch square. He only used it at one Grand Slam, the Australian Open, which he got to the fourth round.

Later in the year he changed to the 90 square inch 6.0, the head size he’s stayed with ever since. Read the rest of this entry

WRT7254_Burn_100_S_Front

New Wilson Burn 100S Due Out 2/16/2015

Wilson Sporting Goods Co., announced today the introduction of the BURN family of rackets. This new line is built specifically for performance tennis players seeking a bold, sleek racket that accelerates power from the baseline. The BURN is the first Baseliner-focused product to emerge from the Company’s new PlayerID system, which categorizes three key types of tennis playing styles: Baseliner, Attacker and All Courter. The system helps athletes better select products that speak to their playing style and enhance their overall performance on the court.

Wilson Burn 100S tennis racquet review read here

“We are very excited to launch the BURN. This is a racket that has been designed specifically for athletes, particularly juniors, who are looking for booming power and an aggressive frame,” said Hans-Martin Reh, General Manager, Racquet Sports. “This line symbolizes our deep understanding of performance tennis, our constant evaluation of how the game is evolving and what players truly need on an individual performance basis.”

The BURN line consists of five rackets, each with a headsize of 100 square inches. Each BURN racket is constructed with High Performance Carbon Fiber, which increases frame stiffness for explosive power on groundstrokes.  And the BURN comes with the X2 Shaft, a longer handle that allows for increased feel and leverage on two-handed backhands, and an optimal shaft shape to enable quick grip changes for extreme grips. The rackets also feature Parallel Drilling, which dramatically increase their sweet spot, while providing a forgiving feel.

2015 Wilson Burn tennis racquets

Players using Wilson Burn

In addition, the BURN 100S, BURN 100LS, and BURN 100ULS rackets are equipped with the Company’s Spin Effect technology and differ in weight, allowing juniors to work their way up within the BURN family of rackets as they grow.

Current top-ten players and Wilson Advisory Staff members Kei Nishikori and Simona Halep will be two of the first athletes to play competitively with the new BURN during the 2015 Australian Open in Melbourne.

Consumers are invited to visit www.wilson.com/burn for more information on the BURN family of rackets and to register for pre-sale notification. Pre-sale for the BURN 100S and BURN 100ULS begins February 2, and for the BURN100LS and the BURN 100 on March 2. Pre-sales will be available on www.wilson.com/burn and major tennis retailer websites. The BURN will retail for $199. The BURN racket will be in retail stores in mid-February.

ABOUT WILSON’S PLAYERID SYSTEM Read the rest of this entry

Nadal Looking to Make a Mark

Having missed a significant amount of tennis in recent months, firstly with a wrist injury picked up after Wimbledon, then with appendicitis, which he developed after making an unconvincing comeback, Rafa Nadal is once again looking to get back to his best. Despite apparently still having not fully recovered from his appendix surgery, the 28 year old is in Melbourne and is preparing to step out at the forthcoming Australian Open.

Having won the Australian Open back in 2009, and made it to the final of last year’s event, only to be beaten by Stan Wawrinka, the Spaniard’s seeding of 3 seems fair, and he will be well fancied by online punters and users of the Betfair sports app to win his 15th Grand Slam. Can he really hope to make such a swift comeback though? What are his chances of starting 2015 off with another Grand Slam win?

Rafa Nadal is nothing if not durable and he has proven in the past how well he can recover from serious injury- the man from Mallorca famously overcame a potentially career-ending knee injury in 2012 to comeback and win the French and US Open titles in 2013. He is willing to work hard to recover his fitness and to go through the pain barrier to keep playing at the highest level, but he also knows when to take a step back. His absence from the 2012 Olympics and US Open, as well as the 2013 Australian Open show that he will not rush back if he is not in a position to compete.

With Nadal having publicised his return and publicly shown off his fitness in exhibition matches against Mark Philippoussis, Fernando Verdasco and Andy Murray in Australia, he clearly thinks that he is more or less ready. Nadal may accept that he is not 100% fit, but even if he is at 90%, he will still be more than a match for most of the field at the Australian Open.

Who to look out for in 2015

The tennis season is over! It’s been an eventful year as always. Novak Djokovic ended 2013 as number two in the ATP world rankings; he ends 2014 as number one. Meanwhile, in the women’s game, Serena Williams ended last year as world number one and still remains 12 months later. So, on the face of it, little has changed. But that does not tell the whole story.

Men’s game

Juan Martin del Potro won the US Open in 2009 but every Grand Slam since has been won by either Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer or Andy Murray. That was until this year’s Australian Open when Stan Wawrinka overturned the odds and beat Nadal in the final. That was followed by the US Open when Marin Cilic won, beating Kei Nishikori in the final. So, is the era of the “big four” coming to an end and, if so, who may replace them?

Grigor Dimitrov

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It’s too early to say if the “big four” era is in its downward spiral, but it would be no surprise to see other names rising up the rankings next year. Grigor Dimitrov ends 2014 just outside the world’s top 10 but has been as high as number eight and, having reached the semi-finals at this year’s Wimbledon, will be looking to go one better in 2015.

He became the first player of 2014 to win three titles on different surfaces (grass, clay and hard court) and certainly has the all-court game to survive at the top of men’s tennis. Previously known for being Maria Sharapova’s boyfriend, he should make the sporting headlines in his own right over the next 12 months. He will no-doubt rank amongst the favourites in the betting for the first Grand Slam of 2015, the Australian Open.

David Goffin

David Goffin ends the year just outside the world’s top 20 and at the age of 23, will hope to make progress up the rankings in 2015. His breakthrough year was 2012 when, as a lucky loser, he reached the fourth round of the French Open. He won his first ATP titles last season, winning the Austrian Open and the Moselle Open either side of Flushing Meadows. A run to the third round at the US Open also provides some hope that he will have a successful 2015.

Milos Raonic

Milos Raonic has been a rising star for a few years but finally appears to be on the verge of fulfilling his potential. He had by far his best Grand Slam year in 2014, reaching the semi-finals at Wimbledon and the last eight in Paris. Also aged 23, he has one of the fastest serves in the men’s game, always a crucial weapon and is another top player with an all-court game. Consistency has been his problem in the past but, if 2015 is to see another new Grand Slam champion, Raonic may well be a contender.

Women’s game

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Tennis Warehouse Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals 2014

Black Friday 2014 has arrived at Tennis Warehouse!

It’s that time again, the biggest shopping “holiday” the US has; Black Friday…a national tradition. Tennis Warehouse has always provided their customers the best deals on tennis gifts for the tennis fanatic on your Christmas list (it’s also just fine to buy great tennis gear for yourself…I won’t tell anybody).

tennis warehouse black friday sale 2014

Click here to access Tennis Warehouse 2014 Black Friday & Cyber Monday deals now!

Tennis Warehouse Black Friday 2014 is going to offer tons and tons of great deals on tennis racquets, tennis shoes, tennis string, tennis apparel; for men, women, and children. Some tennis gear even offers 25% to 80% off! Yeah, no joke. Check It Out

Bonus Tennis Warehouse Cyber Monday 2014

As an added bonus, Tennis Warehouse is also posting their 2014 Cyber Monday deals right now! I’m told more and more items will be added frequently over this weekend to get the Tennis Warehouse Cyber Monday fully fueled with awesome tennis offerings!

2014 US Open ESPN Coverage – A Rant

This article was provided by a media colleague and good friend from GroundsPass.net

Up until this point, my tennis coverage has featured exclusive video highlights, photos, and interviews. Editorializing is not what I am known for, however, if my goal is to entice more fans into the sport of tennis, some of my television production background expertise may be of some value.

I have yet to find anybody who is thrilled with the coverage and/or commentators for this years’ US Open Championships, here in the United States. Of course, we all know that you cannot please all of the people all of the time, but maybe, just maybe, there is a way to please most of the people, most of the time.

Despite the fact that it may adversely affect my opportunities to ever do any work for them, my criticism is of ESPN Networks, or more specifically, the channels ESPN and ESPN2. Why ESPN’s channels? Because they are on the basic tier of nearly EVERY cable system, whereas Tennis Channel is not. In fact, Tennis Channel is usually an add on, for an additional charge, and here at GroundsPass.net, we strive for the least expensive way to enjoy this sport.

Yes, there is the online streaming side, ESPN3.com, but not everyone has the luxury of high speed internet and/or handy devices to connect to it. Besides, when you are viewing a full-screen shot of the on court action, it is difficult to see the subtleties, and therefore less enjoyable to watch on a much smaller screen. You may as well just watch scores changing on a smartphone app.

Without getting into too many specifics of this past week’s coverage frustrations, I have come up with a formula for deciding what to cover during US Open television coverage on ESPN:

Criteria #1: Player popularity.
For some, it is clear that they are a popular player, for others, not so much. It is not necessarily based on their ranking. Sure Murray is #9, but instead of baseline tennis, wouldn’t you rather watch the athleticism and character of Tsonga(#10)? Monfils(#24)? Or, even Baghdatis(#86)?

Criteria #2: Nationality.
ESPN is predominantly a North American network. People in the Untied States want to see players from the United States. Featuring players from the United States inspires kids and adults from the United States to keep up with this sport. Are we getting this yet?
I commended ESPN for their decision to feature the entire second round match of upcoming junior CiCi Bellis. THAT was the correct decision. But when the evening broadcast began (continuous from day session) with talking people at the desk, instead of going straight to the Williams sister’s third set of doubles, I was left rubbing my smoothed out head in disbelief. Maybe I’m mistaken, but for North America, isn’t that a more desirable match to see than the first set of Andy Murray v. Matthias Bachinger?
Read the rest of this entry

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