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

Wilson 2015 Blade Tennis Racquets

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One of the most played racquets on the ATP and WTA Tours, Wilson will update the Blade family in January 2015 with what looks to be the best version yet. In keeping with the stealth look of its predecessor, Wilson has added a striking green foil graphic at several points around the frame, no doubt for a bit more visual impact on court.

Technology updates include Parallel Drilled grommets for a more consistent response from the stringbed, as well as Braided Graphite + Basalt frame construction. Early playtests suggest that this remains the Blade you know and love, albeit with a bit more of a “cupping” effect where the ball feels like it remains on the frame a split second longer. Excellent feel and control remain, as do the specifications from the 98 (16×19, 98 (18×20), 104, and 98S (18×16) versions of this update.

Expect the Wilson Blade 2015 to have a strong presence on tour, as well as on courts everywhere, as the previous version has been very tough to come by in the latter part of 2014. Fortunately the Blade has continued its evolution from what was already an outstanding racquet to a world class performer that looks as good as it plays.

Barricade 2015 Tennis Shoe

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For those looking forward to the adidas Barricade 9, you will be met with a shoe that not only has a welcome surprise with its name, adidas Barricade 2015, but also with the amount of out of the box comfort and response. With a striking black and red colorway, this Barricade is visually attention grabbing and marks a departure from the plasticky upper found in the Barricade 8 and 8+. With a new Barricade chassis design, stability is not compromised, yet break in and response feel are much improved. Ballistic mesh and welded TPU upper for the most breathable Barricade yet. From a cushioning standpoint, adidas continues the use of adiprene and adiprene + for outstanding cushioning and propulsion. And what would the Barricade 2015 be with a 6 month durability warranty on the ADIWEAR 6 outsole! Durablity and stability have been hallmarks of the Barricade tennis shoe line for over a decade. Add comfort and improved flexibility in the Barricade 2015 to those defining features that have kept tennis players coming back!

The adidas Barricade 2015 will be available to ship on Thursday, December 4th!

Serena Williams first Western & Southern title

Serena Williams takes home her first career title at the 2014 Western & Southern Open. Williams defeated Ana Ivanovic 6-4, 6-1. The match took 1 hour & 2 minutes. Serena had 12 aces to Ivanovic’s 1 ace. Williams will now attempt to ride this momentum into the U.S. Open in New York City.

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Robredo stuns the tennis world

Tommy Robredo shocked the tennis world on Thursday, upsetting the World No.1 Novak Djokovic 7-5, 7-6 to advance to the Quarterfinals of the Western & Southern Open. This was Robredo’s 2nd career victory over a No.1 ranked player. Robredo defeated Lleyton Hewitt back in 2003 at the French Open.  When asked where this victory personally ranked for Robredo, he replied, “Well, obviously only two times (beating world. no.1) in 13, 14 years of career, so i think that i have to be very, very happy. Obviously right now I’m still in the tournament and I’m focused.”

Robredo will take on David Ferrer for a spot in the semifinals against Julien Benneteau.

Photo Credit: Elise Speeg

Photo Credit: Elise Speeg