Thanksgiving Roundup: 20 Favorite Tennis Bloggers of 2013

Here at Midwest Sports, we’re lucky enough to come into contact with the most amazing customers, athletes, tennis fans and a fantastic online tennis community. With Thanksgiving around the corner, we wanted to recognize this community as we take a look at our 20 Favorite Tennis Blogs of 2013.

While some of these blogs are long-time favorites, others came through via recommendation from friends, customers and other bloggers. We have really enjoyed looking at each and every blog and learning about the amazing people that dedicate their time to making them great. While this is by no means a conclusive list, we hope that you’ll find something you enjoy.

If we missed a blog on your list, we’d love to hear about it. Leave us a comment and tell us your favorites!

1.       The Tennis Space

The Tennis Space is the product of an all-star team of sports journalists with amazing backgrounds in tennis coverage. Headed up by Editors Mark Hodgkinson and Simon Cambers, with writing support by Contributing Editor Alexandra Willis and world-class tennis photographer Ella Ling, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more qualified team of tennis aficionados.

2.       FuzzyYellowBalls

FuzzyYellowBalls is a popular tennis instruction site with nearly 28K Facebook fans. With expert advice from tennis coaches, it’s worth a visit to check out the archives and brush up on your skills.

3.       Heavy TopSpin

If you’re a stats junkie, Heavy TopSpin is the place to go! Detailed coverage of matches, stats, charts and all of the tennis data you can handle, all in one place. Updated regularly with great content. We loved the recent piece on court surface speed in 2013.

4.       The Slice

The Slice’s frequent postings (nearly daily) feature a broad range of tennis topics focusing primarily on tennis culture. We love getting the off-the-court scoop as it happens.

5.       Tennis Connected

Tennis Connected is a great site that focuses on bringing video, photos and podcasts to the tennis blogging world, and are now the number one tennis podcast on iTunes with over 2000 listeners per show.

6.       Tennis Earth

Launched in 2009, Tennis Earth is now the 7th largest tennis website on the web. We love the up-to-the-minute content, including the great quick-reference score charts on the home page. It’s a great place to go and get your tennis fix on your coffee break.

7.       Sports Illustrated Tennis

Sports Illustrated has long been a great source of sports news and the tennis site is no exception. A great mix of hard-hitting tennis news, match recaps, tennis culture and behind the scenes fun.

8.       Women’s Tennis Blog

With a focus on women tennis players, you’ll find tournament coverage, fashion and tennis culture news with tons of photos and tweets from your favorite female tennis athletes.

9.      Tennis Panorama

Tennis Panorama works with AOL Huffington Post Media Group to provide a variety of tennis news coverage, from shared content to original posts.

10.  Tennis Now

The Tennis Now website is full of great content from up-to-date stats, scores, videos, podcasts, articles and more.

11.  Go To Tennis

Go To Tennis is great for its varied coverage of topics across the tennis world. We also really like the format of the site with its visual stream of content that makes it easy to find what you’re looking for mixed with things you didn’t even know you wanted.

12.  Down the Line

Striking whit and a focus on the tennis culture are what you’ll find at Down the Line. Blogger Rich Rodriguez has a great sense of humor that complement his pop-culture-based posts.

13.  On Court Advantage

Launched in 2009, On Court Advantage has grown to be chosen as an official Australian Open FanBassador for its useful analysis and commentary.

14.  Essential Tennis

Essential Tennis is a great tennis training and tips blog. Regularly updated, it features practical advice for improving your game through videos, podcasts and more. It also has a really active forum.

15.  The Changeover

We like The Changeover for its unique perspective on the game. The injection of humor and honesty into the posts and podcasts make this a worthwhile stop.

16.  Tennis Served Fresh

Fashion, lifestyle and business are all served up on this blog with a charismatic and unique voice. The Short Balls section, essentially an aggregate of all the great things going on in the tennis world, is our favorite.

17.  Tennis Buzz

Written by a team working from France, Italy and the UK, Tennis Buzz brings a unique, personal perspective to tennis reporting. The bloggers personally attend many of the matches and their reports reflect the excitement of witnessing the action in person.

18.  Tennis Grandstand

Tennis Grandstand is a great all-around tennis news source. With an archive dating back to 2008, we’ve found that there’s something here for everyone. We particularly liked their recent post on “10 Things You Always Wanted To Know About Tennis”.

19.  LOVE Tennis

Love Tennis blog features a ton of great video content. Our favorites are the players’ self-shot videos.

20.  peRFect Tennis

Do you love Roger Federer? The folks over at peRFect Tennis definitely do! The site passionately focuses on Federer, covering his matches and predictions on future competitions. If you’re looking to take your fandom to the next level, this is definitely the place to go.

20a.    The Outer Courts

Matt Jones & Drew Franklin of KSR (Kentucky Sports Radio) bring there bluegrass roots & team up with Tennis Channel during some of the bigger tournaments in the United States. They have a humorous unique perspective on the sport of tennis.

That wraps up our 20 Favorite Tennis Blogs of 2013. Thanks to all of these great bloggers for putting out such amazing content for all of us to enjoy. Be sure to let us know your favorite blog in the comments!

We also want to give a big thank you to our amazing customers. We enjoy getting to work with every one of you to help you find the perfect tennis gear for your game. We also love hearing from you on our blog and on our social media channels. Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to stay up-to-date on what’s happening at Midwest Sports. We hope that you, and your family, have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

                                                                                                                                       

** BLACK FRIDAY UPDATE **

As always, part of our Thanksgiving celebration is saying thanks to our customers with Black Friday deals. We’ll have new deals going up every day this week. Here’s a sneak peek:

Live Now:

•             Dunlop Tennis Racquet Markdown – Ends 12/3
•             Thorlo Buy 3 Get 1 FREE – Ends 1/4/14
•             Nike Latest Line selected items 25% OFF – Ends 11/30
•             Babolat MAP Price Reductions – Starts 11/25
•             Pure Storm Price Reductions – Starts 11/25
•             Asics Running Shoe Markdowns on Kayano 19, GT2000 and Women’s Noosa 8 – Starts 11/24
•             Yonex selected items price markdowns – 11/25
•             Head IG Radical racquet selected items price markdowns- 11/25
•             Prince racquet selected items price markdowns- 11/26
•             Adidas selected items up to 30% OFF – Starts 11/27
•             Wilson racquet selected items price markdowns – 11/27

Coming Soon:

•             Extra 15% off clearance items – Starts 11/29

New Yonex EZONE Ai Racquet Series

Available as of today (November 21st, 2013) Midwest Sports will be offering a new Yonex EZone “Air Impulse” tennis racquet series. These new frames were designed specifically to minimize wind resistance which helps produce an ultra-fast swing. The EZone Ai 98 tennis racquet will be used by Ana Ivanovic in 2014.

The Yonex Air Impulse racquet series features  “Isometric” technology with an improved shockless grommet system, expanding the sweet spot by 7% and reducing the frames overall vibration.  The “Isometric” head shape maximizes the head size allowing great swing speed and consistent power for the off-centered hits.

Yonex engineered new “Nanometric” material designed to improve the bonding strength between carbon fibers at the center & bottom of the frame, reducing the weight shift from the bottom to the top of the frame. This trans-weight system results in a racquet head that reacts faster for quicker maneuverability.

The racquet features “Dual Shut System” which improves the overall comfort and control of the racquet with every stroke. The shockless grommets at the bottom of the frame reduces the impact vibration. Yonex embedded “Quake Shut Gel” inside the grip, this gel removes even the most subtle discomfort from the frame.

This racquet series is a great choice from beginner players to more advanced players!

Purchase your EZONE Ai Racquet today!

Babolat Play Pure Drive Tennis Racquet

(Louisville, CO 11/7/13) Babolat Play introduced as the first “connected” tennis racquet, in the form of the Babolat Pure Drive. Does it live up to what is promises? After spending a full day engaging with the Babolat Play development team, and experiencing the Babolat Play racquet and app first hand on court, the answer is YES.

Upon first glance the Play looks like a Babolat Pure Drive with a black/orange cosmetic update, where the standard version is blue. A more detailed look at the butt cap reveals there is more beneath the hood than just a fresh paint scheme. LED’s flash in various colors to indicate power on/off, bluetooth connectivity, and session reset options. Opening the trap door reveals the USB charging port to recharge the battery contained in the handle which powers the diagnostic hardware. This USB can also be used to load your data onto a tablet or computer that does not have Bluetooth capability.

Amazingly, this is achieved without changing the specs of the frame from the Pure Drive we already know and love.

In a hitting session, the Play racquet records the type and number of strokes (forehand, backhand, serve, smash), spin level, ball impact location, total and effective play time, power, endurance, technique, consistency, energy, and rallies. Turn the racquet on, play as long as you like, then once you finish a hitting session, sync via Bluetooth to smartphone with Babolat Play app installed and load your session data in a matter of seconds. Use this information to challenge yourself, challenge your friends, and see how you stack up against other members of the global Play community!

The data generated can be used in a variety of ways:

1) “Pulse” is a dynamic interface that changes according to the power, technique, and endurance of your game. The idea is that gives you a baseline on which to challenge yourself to improve your game.

2) Analyze your game data to improve weaknesses, and hone strengths even further. Track this data to actually be able to chart your progress with quantifiable numbers. Go for improving a personal record or see how you stack up against the other members of the Babolat Play community, or even stats from the Top ATP Tour players.

3) The “Evolution” feature allows you to see how you have progressed from session to session.

4) For a developing player seeking to get to the next level, the Skills feature allows you to break down which strokes you favor, and which ones need work to become a more complete player. Implementing new strokes/stroke types into your game is crucial to achieving a high technique score in your overall “Pulse” rating.

5) “Versus” allows you to not only challenge your own inner opponent, but to compare how you stack up against other Play users, as well as on a one-to-one level with friends.

6) “Community” shows you where you stand in the global ranking and by category. You are also able to look into the profiles and levels of your friends, of Babolat Pro Players, and the rest of the Babolat Play user base.

Upon completion of the first on court experience with the Babolat Play racquet, some thoughts:

The set up and integration of the technology is very user friendly. You do not need to be incredibly technically gifted to set up the necessary steps to use Play. If you run into problems, your grade school child can probably set it up for you! As with most technology, the key is to immerse yourself in it and be hands on. No one wants to read an owners manual to learn their new iPhone, iPad, etc. Getting comfortable with Babolat Play is no different.

We were using the racquets strung with Babolat Xcel 16 strung in the upper 50’s, in addition to playing at high altitude in Boulder, CO with non-high altitude Babolat tennis balls. To say this was a lively combination would be an incredible understatement. Once you adapt to this combo, 15-20 minute down the line hitting sessions went smoothly to generate some session data that could be loaded into the app. Once at least 2 sessions were completed, loaded into the app, and validated, we were able to see our “Pulse”. Very enlightening to be able to see your stroke preferences, where you hit each type of shot on the racquet face, and how consistently (or not) you thought you were. Humbling, yes, but very powerful to actually see the numbers!

Players of all levels will gain insight from reading the data, and whether you utilize the information for friendly competition, game improvement, or for serious insight into taking your competitive tennis to the next level, Babolat Play is poised to be a revolutionary concept for all passionate tennis players.

For sale 12/12/2013