Babolat Wimbledon Collection

As the 2015 Wimbledon tournament kicked off yesterday at the All England Club, Babolat continues it’s second year of partnership with the All England Lawn Tennis Club as the official licensee of racquets, bags, footwear and accessories that bear the Wimbledon brand.

Rather than rolling out what could have been a stodgy white/gold line of products (as quite happens with other product lines “inspired by Wimbledon”) Babolat has taken a bolder approach in offering some exciting takes on the green, purple, black and white themes of Wimbledon. The advertising graphics for this line even take a cue from the London punk scene of the late 1970’s with its Sex Pistols inspired font and grass mohawk treatment of the Propulse and Pure Strike, just to let you know that this collections meant to have a bit of an edge to it.

The Pure Strike is updated with a flashy green and black graphic and continues to strike the perfect balance between response and precision for ones game. The Pure Drive Team offers a sleek cosmetic update to the legendary Babolat Pure Drive Series, with a brilliant white, black and green graphic inspired by elegant green grass at the All England Club. The Pure Strike bag collection also gets the black and green Wimbledon treatment in the 15 racquet bag and 6 pack tennis configurations.

Fans of the top of the line Propulse 4 shoe will be happy to know that there is another striking color in this shoe, with this black and green update with Wimbledon logo. The Limited Edition Babolat Propulse tennis shoe is packed with the most cutting edge technology, and is designed for players that are looking for durability and support.The kids have not been forgotten either, with a Pure Drive junior racquet and smaller version of the Propulse also being options in this line.

“Wimbledon is a legendary reference. Wimbledon and Babolat are intrinsically linked to both the origins of tennis, and also to its future, thanks to their tradition of ongoing innovation. Our shared ambition is to combine the best of our values and experience to foster the spirit of tennis all year long and all around the world for all types of tennis players,” says Eric Babolat, Chairman and CEO of Babolat.

Babolat’s Wimbledon collection still honors and respects the tradition of Wimbledon, but brings a fresh edge to this classic tournament. Cheers!

Shop the rest of our 2015 London Tennis Gear collection here.

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Legendary Performance, Timeless Value: Diadora Tennis

The word Diadora comes from the greek διὰ δωρέα “dia-dorea” Which means “to share gifts and honours”.

Quality and workmanship have been hallmarks for the Diadora tennis brand from the days of Borg, Vilas, and Cash in the 70’s and 80’s, Becker, Courier and Kuerten in the 90’s and 00’s, through today. For the discerning tennis player looking for a brand based on heritage and its use of high end materials, great colors and comfort, look no further than Diadora. (have pics of Borg, Vilas, Courier, and Kuerten saved in Diadora shoe folder.)

The Speed Star K model makes use of kangaroo leather for softness, comfort and sensitivity. Use of this material is more common in soccer, but lends itself well to the rigors of tennis, offering a supple, custom feeling fit to the upper. Double Action 2 and Axeler Heel Propulsion further add to the technology features of the Diadora Speed Star. Axeler Heel Propulsion is made from Pebax, a highly elastic memory material. Thanks to a specially contoured insert the Axeler Heel Propulsion ensures maximum shock absorption during impact with the ground. A 2015 Tennis Magazine top pick!

The Speed Pro EVO offers a lightweight option with excellent breathability thanks to the use of Supreltech Air mesh and Dia Shield. Socklike fit with unitongue construction. Also continues the use of Double Action 2 cushioning and Axeler Heel Propulsion. Incredible comfort with a great splash of color! Also highly rated in the 2015 Tennis Magazine shoe ratings issue!

In addition to the latest styles of Diadora, Midwest Sports offers a great selection of past generation models at discount prices. While supplies last!

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The King of Clay Dethroned

If Novak Djokovic ever wants to accomplish the career Grand Slam, step one of defeating the “King of Clay” at Roland Garros had to happen. Today the 8 time major champion, did what only one man (Roger Soderling) has ever done, beat Rafael Nadal on the red clay at Roland Garros.

Rafael Nadal entered Wednesday’s match against World #1 Novak Djokovic with 9 titles and a 70-1 record at Roland Garros. After 2 hours and 26 minutes, Djokovic on Rafa’s 29th Birthday, maintained his 27th straight match winning streak and dethroned the King of Clay 7-5, 6-3, 6-1.

Djokovic, who has won 40 of his 42 matches this season, clearly has his sights set on obtaining his first career title at Roland Garros. Novak knows that this was a huge win, but it only means his spot is secure in the semifinals of the French Open.

When asked about playing a familiar opponent Andy Murray in the semifinals Djokovic responded, “This is not the shadow of a doubt that he has made ​​great strides on clay. I looked a bit in Madrid and Rome too. I think he moves better than ever. It serves very well, he always has a very good ball control. It has a tennis background play absolutely outstanding, one of the best in this exercise. It is steeped in talent. Now I must advance. I just won a quarter-final but that was not the goal in itself. I’m here to win the title.”

Rafa whom was disappointment in his performance today, has hope for his future at Roland Garros, “I lost in 2009 and it’s not the end. I lost in 2015 and it’s not the end. I hope to be back here next year.” Djokovic ended Rafa’s 39 consecutive match winning streak at Roland Garros, and advanced to the semifinals where he will face Andy Murray who defeated David Ferrer 7-6 (4), 6-2, 5-7, 6-1.

After the big win, Novak added, “Right now I’m aware that this is a big win which I will enjoy tonight but tomorrow is a new day and I will move on.”

Sony Tennis Sensor

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Will Sony have the answer to the next generation of tennis racquet connectivity? We will finally get a chance to see tomorrow with the introduction of the Sony Tennis Sensor to the tennis industry marketplace. This sensor is compatible/interchangeable with newer racquets from Wilson, Head, Prince and Yonex and seamlessly records swing speed, ball speed, ball impact spot, stroke type, and amount of spin. Recorded data is stored on your smartphone and sorted by shot type. Reports are automatically created so that you can review and analyze your performance. Features not unlike Babolat’s PLAY technology, but unlike Babolat, your shot data is recorded and displayed in real-time, in sync with video. Various playback features are available that give players instant feedback on their play. Leave it to a non-tennis company such as Sony to put their years of AV expertise to work in this device.

Other features include Share Your Play which allows the player to share your play result in a visual format via social media. Also Sequence Photo using Motionshot: The Smart Tennis Sensor App will integrate Sony’s free Motionshot app to create sequence photos to see a frame by frame image of a shot. Slow Motion Playback: Videos can be played back in 1/10 speed, allowing plays and coaches to view details such as footwork, position of contact, etc. No Apple Watch (sorry!) but there is Compatibility with Android Wear Devices.

Early testing suggests that the installation and interchangeable nature of the Sony Sensor offers a leg up on Babolat PLAY in that there are many more racquet options to which the sensor can be affixed. However, only relatively new frames from Wilson, Head, Prince, and Yonex are compatible at this time. By the time you factor in the cost of the Sony Sensor ($200 MSRP) in addition to one of the newer frames from the aforementioned brands, the total gets close to $400 for the combination. There will also no doubt be those who hold the racquet near the end of the handle that may feel the sensor, as well as the small change in weight (~10g or so) due to the sensor.

Interpretation of the data remains up to the user (and/or the coach), but the Sony Sensor looks to evolve the interactive future of tennis – until the next device comes along!

New era for New Balance

For decades, New Balance decided against endorsing major professional athletes. The Boston based company, which is the only athletic shoe company that manufactures their footwear in the U.S., decided years ago that they would just sign runners to smaller contracts, and would not even feature those runners in any advertisements.

 

Well, the times caught up to New Balance, and in 2009, New Balance decided that they would jump into the endorsement game and start representing professional athletes.  The one stipulation with these potential clients of New Balance was that the athletes would have to commit time and effort towards a charity of their choice. In return, New Balance would provide financial backing towards that particular charity.

 

New Balance started representing Major League Baseball players, now over 350 players of the league wear New Balance cleats. Shortly after diving into professional baseball, New Balance decided that they would embark on the sport of tennis.

 

On January 3rd, 2013, New Balance announced that they would sign then 21-year-old, Canadian Tennis player, Milos Raonic to a multi-year contract to become the face of New Balance tennis.  Raonic now in his 2nd year with New Balance, is very involved with the inspiration aspect of the shoes & apparel in which Raonic wears on the court.

 

Diving deeper into the gear worn on court by Raonic, the 6th ranked player on the ATP circuit wears New Balance’s new shoe, the 996v2 tennis shoe. This shoe is the ideal volley between form & function. Raonic’s shoe of choice offers supreme flexibility to go along with lightweight durability.  This top-flight tennis shoe will help keep you fast and stable during and after a match.

 

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Babolat’s AeroPro Drive Lite Pink

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Babolat introduces the Aeropro Drive Lite Pink edition tennis racquet. This frame is used by, WTA’s newest rising star, Genie Bouchard. This frame updates the legendary Aeropro racquet line with a stunning new pink cosmetic graphic.

The AeroPro Lite features a refined cortex dampening system interface for even better feel. The specs on this racquet are identical to that of the AeroPro Drive Lite. This frame is the ideal frame for a younger player transitioning to a frame with a lightweight feel at 10.0 ounces as a more maneuverable alternative to the standard Aeropro Drive GT. Slightly more flexible, spin-friendly alternative to the Pure Drive.

Racquet Specifications

  • Headsize: 100 sq. in.
  • Length: 27.00 in.
  • Weight (strung): 10.0 oz.
  • Stiffness (Babolat RDC): 70
  • Balance: 14.00 in. Head Heavy (4 pts)
  • Cross Section: 23mm Head/26mm Throat
  • Swingweight: 308 kg*sq. cm
  • String Pattern: 16×19
  • Grip: Babolat Syntec

Serena Williams Announces Return to Indian Wells

Serena Williams will return to the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, CA for the first time since 2001. William has won the tournament twice in her career, but had not played in 14 years due to an ugly incident that happened back in 2001.

“I walked out onto the court, the crowd immediately started jeering and booing. In my last match, the semifinals, I was set to play my sister, but Venus had tendinitis and had to pull out. Apparently that angered many fans. Throughout my whole career, integrity has been everything to me. It is also everything and more to Venus. The false allegations that our matches were fixed hurt, cut and ripped into us deeply. The under­current of racism was painful, confusing and unfair. In a game I loved with all my heart, at one of my most cherished tournaments, I suddenly felt unwelcome, alone and afraid.” – Serena Williams

4 Year Old Tennis Star

 4 year old, Maki Otmo, may be a future WTA star down the road!