Archive for the 'Gear' Category

Ivanovic dumps Wilson for Yonex racket

Friday, January 11th, 2008

Ana Ivanovic has signed on for an equipment change…

The 20-year-old Serbian beauty will play the Australian Open–which begins Monday–with a Yonex racket in her hand. Ivanovic had played her entire career with Wilson rackets.

“Yonex presented us with an attractive offer, but the racket was really the most important thing,” said Gavin Versi, one of Ana’s representatives. “She had never tried any racket other than Wilson. She just grew up using one brand never knowing if it was the best one. But she tried Yonex and loved it.” CNBC



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Top Spin 3 - View Screenshots

Thursday, January 10th, 2008

This video game is still scheduled to be released in 2nd quarter 2008. I keep hearing it will be out on the Wii (in addition to PS3 and Xbox 360), and I will literally be the first in line to pick it up if this is the case.

Screenshots are XBox 360:

For more screenshots and much larger versions, check out this site.

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USTA Player to Player Advice

Tuesday, February 6th, 2007

Player to Player

Send Us Your Tips Today

This week’s question:

“I am considering buying a Prince O3 racquet and am
looking for advice from other players who have used
it. Does anyone have any thoughts?”

Please share your advice by emailing Player at USTA.com and include your name and hometown.

nCodes are indeed good

Saturday, May 27th, 2006

If you read my previous post about racket technologies and making rackets better at what they’re supposed to do, you’ll notice I gave favorable comments on Wilson’s general strategy of stiffening frames uniformly. Now, this was a preemptive statement just based on my readings and understandings of what is going on.

Well, I went to demo a Wilson nCode six one (95) and of course when I get to the store, they don’t have that racket at all, so the young buck on the phone clearly did not know what the racket was (he even went and checked). Nonetheless, I didn’t want to waste the trip so I demoed a nPro Open and nBlade (the only nCode line rackets they had).

These rackets are both much lighter than what I’m used to and I was not looking forward to that since it can seriously mess up your swing for a while, but I have to say, once I got out there and started serving, I didn’t have a problem at all (I’m used to playing with a 12.6 ounce racket and at a minimum, 12.2 with my Flexpoint Prestige). This is good since now I can actually comment on how they felt, and not just that I wasn’t used to them.

I did most of my hitting with the nBlade because the nPro Open was a bit to bulky for my tastes. I came away really impressed with certain shots in particular: one-handed backhands, slice backhands and volleys. Everything felt so solid, stable and precise, even backhand overhead slams felt good! The forehands and serves were stable and solid as well, but this is where I noticed the lighter weight. The latter two being my strongest strokes, I noticed the effort I actually had to put in to generate my normal pace because now I didn’t have as much weight from the racket doing the work.

Overall though, I am happy to report that I was correct in the uniformity of the response. The nCode technology just made the entire frame stiffer giving a more solid feel when hitting through the ball. I was actually pretty impressed with the technology (as I was with the original LiquidMetal technology from Head which stiffened the frame in the particular spots). I think anyone who has a Wilson racket and is looking to upgrade or just buy something that is not discontinued should at least give the “equivalent” to what yours is now a look.

With all of this said, I’m always going to hang on to my 9 year old Wilson ProStaff 6.1 Stretch because it has just the best balance of any racket I’ve hit with :)

P.S. - Speaking of hitting with nCode, check out Federer hitting with his nCode six-one Tour in slow motion

Racket Technologies

Wednesday, May 24th, 2006

One of the trends in the past few years has been to increase the rebound in a racket, or in other words, waste less energy when striking the ball. The claims are that this gives you more power with less energy, the sweetspot is bigger, and all sorts of things of other claims.

So who here uses a Babolat racket with their woofer technology? Most Babolat rackets from the past 5 years have this technology. What about the Head rackets that use Piezoelectric fibers? These fibers convert stress into energy, basically stiffening the frame and reducing the vibrations that get to the handle and again, transferring more of that energy to the ball.

I think these technologies are great and they do actually achieve what they claim to a certain degree, but my question is, what about consistency?!! I demoed the Babolat Pure Drive and Pure Control in 2003 and one of the first things I noticed was the “trampoline” effect from the woofer technology. The ball was always sailing long whenever I took a serious swing at the ball, and it’s not just because I hit the sweetspot, it’s because the harder I swing, the more the string bed gives (duh…), but the rebound effect is multiplied. That’s my point in all this, these technologies make the equation (i.e.) “how hard I hit the ball = how hard the ball leaves the racket” => “how hard I hit the ball => 1.5 * how hard the ball leaves the racket”. That’s not a linear equation, and exactly what it feels like.

I applaud Wilson for refraining from adding technologies that increase the rebound rate, and just stiffened the racket uniformly. I have not played with the nCodes yet, so I can’t make any claims, but I can say that I love the uniformity in my shot power of my old Wilson ProStaff 6.1 Stretch.

So next time you demo a racket, look at what technologies they’re marketing, what is the claim their making? Compare that to how you think the ball is coming off the strings and your current racket may stay your favorite. Just food for thought…