Marin Cilic Claims 1st Career Major Title

It is amazing what 365 days can do for one’s career. This time last year, Marin Cilic, was suspended for 9 months due to a doping violation. That 9 month suspension would later be decreased to 4 months, but it still left a stain on a potential bright career.

Cilic, tested positive for a substance known as nikeathamide, a stimulant which is banned by the I.F.T. Cilic would later quote, “I wish to emphasize, that I have never knowingly or deliberately taken any banned substance in my life and that I am opposed to any use of performance-enhancing substances in sport.”

Maybe that break worked out for the best. Recently Cilic was asked what if that break may have been a blessing in disguise.

Q. You’re talking about the physicality of your game and it improving. I’m wondering if that break at the end of last year and having to be home, was it an intense training block in a lot of ways to catch up, get faster, stronger, maybe a blessing in disguise?

MARIN CILIC: Absolutely. Yeah, I had maybe seven or ten days off in four, four-and-a-half months, and I was working all the time. That, you know, helped me to build up my strength and to also heal some of the injuries I had before with my knee. Now I’m feeling really good on the court. So I used that time, you know, the best I could. It’s paying off.

The 25 year old, Cilic, is now a Grand Slam Champion. What an amazing ride the last year has been for the Croatian.

Photo Credit: JOSHAL 2012 Flickr

Photo Credit: JOSHAL 2012 Flickr

Andy Murray “It’s a pretty good ticket”

Q: It’s A sold-out crowd here today and a lot of people are talking about what a great lineup it is. Do these Masters 1000s feel different than slams? It’s a smaller event, but the fans still get to see sort of a blockbuster lineup all day.

Andy Murray: Yeah, I think if I was coming to watch as a fan, coming like to the Wednesday of a Masters Series, especially a combined one, yeah, is pretty much the best ticket you can get really.
You know, if I could buy one ticket, I would probably want to go and watch a slam final. But, you know, if you want to see all of the players, you can watch them practice, you can see obviously men and the women here. Yeah, it’s a pretty good ticket.

Q: You’d buy one of those tickets?

Andy Murray: I don’t know how much they are. (Laughter.) I’d think about it though.

Shop Andy’s gear: http://bit.ly/1p6RJHD

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Day 4 Western & Southern Results

Western & Southern Open Main Draw Results

August 12th, 2014

ATP 1st & 2nd Round Main Draw Results

(1) Novak Djokovic d Gilles Simon 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 (Djokovic advances to the 3rd round)
(3) Stan Wawrinka d Benjamin Becker 6-3, 7-6 (Wawrinka advances to the 3rd round)
(9) Ernests Gulbis d Ivan Dodig 7-6, 7-6
Mikhail Youzhny d (12) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-1, 6-4
(13) Rberto Bautista Agut d Martin Klizan 6-2, 4-6, 7-5
(15) Marin Cilic d Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-4
Vasek Popisil d Radek Stepanek 5-7, 6-1, 7-6
James Ward d Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-2, 3-6, 6-1
Julien Benneteau d Blaz Rola 6-7, 6-3, 7-6
Steve Johnson d Benoit Paire 6-4, 6-1
Andreas Seppi d Santiago Giraldo 4-6, 6-7, 6-3

WTA 1st & 2nd Round Main Draw Results

(2) Simona Halep d Kirsten Flipkens
(5) Maria Sharapova d Madison Keys 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 (Sharapova advances to the 3rd round)
(12) Caroline Wozniacki d Shaui Khang 6-2, 6-2 (Wozniacki advances to the 3rd round)
(14) Sara Errani d Yanina Wickmayer 7-5, 3-6, 7-6
(15) Carla Suarez Navarro d Tsvetana Pironkova 6-3, 1-6, 7-6
(16) Lucie Safarova d Venus Williams 6-7, 6-3, 6-4
Sabine Lisicki d Roberta Vinci 6-3, 2-6, 6-2
Sloane Stephens d Andrea Petkovic 6-3, 6-3
Christina McHale d Nicole Gibbs 4-6, 6-3, 6-1
Kurumi Nara d Romina Opradi 6-0, 6-2
Zarina Diyas d Irina-Camelia Begu 7-6, 7-6
Annika Beck d Garbine Muguruza 6-3, 2-6, 6-3
Ekaterina Makarova d Daniela Hantuchova 6-2, 6-2

Stan Wawrinka digs deep for a ball at his feet during his match against Benjamin Becker

Stan Wawrinka digs deep for a ball at his feet during his match against Benjamin Becker

Two Young Americans Shine in Cincy

Cincinnati, Ohio

Two young female American players, Madison Keys & Taylor Townsend are advancing to the 2nd round of the Western & Southern Open with a lot of confidence.  The 19 year old, Keys, dismantled the 23rd ranked player in the world, Alize Cornet 6-2, 6-4 . When asked if Key’s thought the day went as well as anticipated, Keys quoted, “I don’t have many complaints about today. Definitely played pretty well & stayed in my game for the most part.”  By advancing to the 2nd round, Keys will face Maria Sharapova for the first time in her young career. Keys & Sharapova both share the arguably the most powerful agent in women’s tennis,  Max Eisenbud. Key’s is surely excited for the challenge against the 5 time major winner.  “Well, I have already had an e-mail from Max. He’s happy he’s not here this week. But you know, obviously she’s an amazing player & I have never played her before. I’m excited. You know, going in and no pressure.”

Townsend on the other hand, had to face some pressure just to earn her a spot into the main draw. Townsend defeated fellow American Alison Riske & Spainard Silvia Soler-Espinosa to qualify for her spot in the main draw. Townsend went into her match with versus Klara Koukalova looking for some revenge. Koukalova ended Townsend’s 2014 Wimbledon campaign in the 1st round. Townsend had to work hard for her victory today. When asked if winning three set matches was a good thing, Townsend replied, “I think you’ve got ot do what you gotta do to win. Really, that’s what I’m proving to myself.” Townsend learned a lot from her experiences today, “I really tried to fight as hard as I could. I tried to stay in every single point and not give her too many free points.” Townsend will face the winner of Chanelle Scheepers — Flavia Pennetta match.

 

Keys d Cornet 6-2, 6-4 (Photo Credit: Western & Southern Open FB Page)

Keys d Cornet 6-2, 6-4 (Photo Credit: Western & Southern Open FB Page)

Midwest Sports at the 2014 Western & Southern Open

Join Midwest Sports this week at the 2014 Western & Southern Open. Our 12,000 sq. ft. satellite store has great new updates from last year’s edition! The store itself will feature a comprehensive selection of tennis racquets, tennis apparel, tennis shoes & much more from over 25 different brands. Shop all of the latest fashions from the ATP & WTA tour’s with us at Midwest Sports.

Each year at the Western & Southern Open, we try to go a step further to ensure the Midwest Sports retail tent is a unique experience for all of the tournament goers who choose to pay us a visit. We hope this year we will be able to achieve that unique experience for our patrons. Midwest Sports is a platinum sponsor of the Western & Southern Open. This will be our 12th year at this wonderful tournament located in Mason, Ohio.

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If you are unable to make it out to the tournament this year, no need to worry, we have you covered!

Check out all of the official gear of the Western & Southern Open here:  http://bit.ly/1ozm5TB

Day 1 Western & Southern Open Results

Western & Southern Open Qualifying Results

August 9th, 2014

ATP 1st Round Qualifying Results

(1) Benjamin Becker d Tatsuma Ito 7-5, 6-1
(2) Marinko Matosevic d Ante Pavic 6-4, 5-7, 6-4
(3) Teymuraz Gabashvili d Jimmy Wang 5-7, 6-4, 1-0 (retired)
(4) Nick Kyrgios Withdrew, Michael Llodra replaced him — Chase Buchanan d Michael Llorda 6-1, 6-3
(5) Bernard Tomic d Farrukh Dustov 7-5, 6-3
ALT James Ward d (6) Tobias Kamke 6-4, 6-4
(7) Blaz Rola d Evgeny Donskoy 7-6, 7-6
(8) Adrian Mannarino d Marcos Giron 6-3, 7-5
(9) Paul-Henri Mathieu d Devin McCarthy 6-1, 2-6, 6-3
(10) Matthew Ebden d Mackenzie McDonald 6-2, 6-1
(11) Benoit Paire d Alexander Zverev 6-1, 6-3
(12) Alejando Gonzalez d Peter Polansky 7-6, 6-1
(13) Malek Jaziri d Michael Russell 6-4, 2-6, 7-6
(14) Tim Smyczek d Somdev Devvarman 6-1, 6-3

 

WTA 1st Round Qualifying Results

Julia Glushko d (1) Bojana Jovanovski 7-5, 6-2
Pauline Parmentier d (3) Karolina Pliskova  7-6, 1-6, 7-6
(4) Mona Barthel d Yulia Putintseva 6-4, 6-2
Taylor Townsend d (5) Alison Riske 6-3, 6-4
(6) Vavara Lepchenko d Alexandra Dulgheru 6-4, 0-0 (retired)
Timea Babos d  (7) Caroline Garcia 6-4, 6-3
(8) Elena Vesnina d Sachia Vickery 6-4, 6-3
(9) Zarina Diyas d Monica Niculescu 6-4, 6-3
Nicole Gibbs d (10) Yaroslava Shvedova 7-6, 6-2
Julia Goerges d (11) Ajla Tomljanovic 6-0, 4-6, 6-4
(12) Heather Watson d Kristyna Pliskova 6-3, 6-4
(13) Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor d Kiki Bertens 6-4, 6-1
(14) Irina-Camelia Begu d Kimiko Date-Krumm 1-6, 6-2, 6-4
(15) Monica Niculescu d Donna Vekic 6-4, 6-3
(16) Yanina Wickmayer d Alison Van Utvanck 6-7, 7-6, 6-2
(17) Monica Puig d Tamira Paszek 6-4, 6-4
(18) Annika Beck d Melanie Oudin 6-1, 6-3
Anna Tatishvili d (19) Anna Schmiedlova 6-1, 6-2
(20) Polona Hercog d Paula Ormaechea 6-2, 3-6, 6-3
(21) Francesca Schiavone d Kristina Mladenovic 6-4, 6-2
(22) Silvia Soler-Espinsosa d Andrea Hlavackova 6-3, 6-2
(23) Chanelle Scheepers d Timea Bacsinszky 7-5, 6-2
Shahar Peer d (24) Marina Erakovic 4-6, 6-0, 6-4

Kid’s Day at the Western & Southern Open

The Western & Southern Open’s first day started with a very youthful punch as the annual “Kids Day” took place on the grounds of the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio.  Kids were admitted to the grounds free of charge as they were treated like rock stars.Midwest Sports opened for business at 8:00 AM & were greeted by a host of enthused young fans eager to get their hands on the giant Penn Western & Southern Open Jumbo Tennis Balls. Many of these youngsters would later roam the grounds, hopeful to catch their favorite pro’s for an autograph. The kids also had an opportunity to take the court & show off their skills in a variety of fun activities. Graeters Ice cream sponsored the event & lets just say no one left the event hungry! 

A racquet that adapts to you with the Dunlop iDapt.

Seeking to elevate their position in the crowded marketplace, Dunlop looks to make quite an entry with its latest offering – Dunlop iDapt (“individual aDaptable performance”). Taking cues from the customization that pros often employ with specific lengths, dampening feel, and weight, the iDapt line offers a level of personalized options not seen in the racquet arena until now.

BLOGiDapt_100S_BlkBlue_Head_AngledScaled.jpg
The visual impact upon first glance is remarkable. The head, handle, and dampening interface are displayed in separate pieces, with a total of 432 possible combinations.
BLOGiDapt_98_OranCarb_ExplodedScaled.jpg

There are 4 head configurations: 98, 100, 100S, and 105, all of which fall into what could be classified as ‘tweener specifications. The 98, 100, and 100S all weigh in slightly over 11 ounces strung, with head light balances and swingweights in the 310-330 range (balance and swingweight dependent on the length of handle installed.) In keeping with the current spin-friendly trend, the 100S offers a more open 14×18 (rather than 16×19 found in the 98 and 100) string pattern for added bite and string action. The 105 is the lightest and most forgiving option in the iDapt line, weighing in around 10.7 ounces strung and also offering the six grip size options from 4 inch to 4-5/8.

Depending on your preferred level of feedback and feel desired, the Shock Sleeve dampening interface offers firm, medium, and soft options which are also interchangeable.

All 4 frame models are offered in 3 colors each, from mild to wild, and will list for $199.99. Tinkering with grip size or overall racquet length is as simple as a $30 grip/handle change.

The iDapt frame, shock sleeve and handle is connected via an aircraft aluminum grade bolt connector inside the handle (accessed through the butt cap) and tightened to the proper torque specification with a proprietary torque wrench only available through Dunlop iDapt dealers. This connection is claimed to be many times stronger than a traditional racquet connection, according to Dunlop Product Developers.
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So how does it play? Dunlop conducted a blind playtest in July at their Greenville, SC headquarters with frames that were plain white, strung with either black Dunlop Silk multifilament or Black Widow polyester. We had no idea what exactly we were hitting with, other than the head size, length and visibly more open string pattern on the 100S. Response and feel on the frames was excellent, on par with the industry standard ‘tweener Babolat Pure Drive and Wilson Juice. Versatile from all points on the court, with notably more jump on your shots with the 100S. Even with the least damped option installed, the frames had a solid feel and offered as much touch as could be expected from a racquet with this beam dimension and strung with polyester. Bottom line is that you would never know that this racquet was not constructed in a traditional manner. Once we saw that the frame bolts together, it made the playtest that much more positive.

The iDapt line will be in stock and available August 15 from Midwest Sports.

Wilson Pro Staff RF 97

Slowly but surely Wilson is revealing more details on the racquet Roger Federer has been playtesting for 2014. What is this black Wilson Federer racquet you ask? Being a Wilson Pro Staff player his entire professional career, imagine what goes into a player of Federer’s caliber changing racquets at this stage of his career. Federer has been all but alone on the ATP World Tour in continuing to use a racquet 90 square inch headsize. As opponents have grown bigger, stronger, faster, and more spin-oriented, apparently the time has finally come for Roger to get with the times and update to a more contemporary 97 square inch frame size. The results so far in 2014 seem to indicate this is the right move, with Federer playing more competitive tennis than he has in years.

What does this mean for the average consumer? For starters, fans of Federer who want to play with the same racquet, can actually play with the same racquet! The Pro Staff 97RF Autograph is made to the exact same specification as Roger’s frame, down to the shape of the pallet on the handle, as well as the hefty 12.5 ounce strung weight. The 97 square inch headsize is likely more appropriate for the non-professional player as well, than the ultra control oriented 90 square inch model available for RF fans. Always wonder how many of those who bought the 90 could actually play with it? As of this post, the final cosmetic has not been released to the public, with Roger still using a blacked-out frame in his most recent tournaments. Rumor has it that the final cosmetic will be rolled out sometime prior to the US Open in August. A flat beam design remains consistent with previous generations of Pro Staff, albeit now in a wider 21.5mm thickness for added pop and forgiveness.

The Pro Staff line will also see updates in the way of a Pro Staff 97 which is about an ounce lighter than the RF97 Autograph. Wilson Spin Effect string patterns will also be options in the form of a Pro Staff 97LS and a Pro Staff 95S.

Stay tuned for updates as soon as they are available.

 

Wilson new RF racquet specs

Roger’s New Racquet

Tennis players like to have their own rituals & superstitions, rarely changing anything that comes in the way of what they do successfully. The best players in the sport like to keep “change”… minimal.

Change & Roger Federer are two things that are rarely heard together in the same sentence.  Back in 2013, at the start of Federer’s 15th season as a professional, Federer’s game started to dip at a level never seen before. His game started to look like most professionals. His game was professionally average. And change was looming. Federer was essentially at the first crossroad of his career, where to go now? Federer needed the change.

When you think of the word “change” in context to the sport of tennis, you often point to one of two things: a coaching change or an equipment change. Federer ultimately decided on both.

In July of 2013, 17 time major champion, Roger Federer took the plunge and made the switch from his customary Wilson Pro Staff Six One 90 (square-inched head) to a new unreleased blacked out racquet. All we knew about this “new” mystery racquet was that it featured a 97 or 98 square inched head size. Federer debuted this frame at a match versus the then 58th ranked Daniel Brands, at an ATP 250 event, the bet-at-home Open in Hamburg, Germany.

Federer, a winner of over 960 matches,  rarely plays in any of the lower ATP level events, therefore has the luxury to tinker and be experimental with his game at events like the bet-at-home Open.  Switching racquet frames isn’t the ideal methodology for professional tennis players. Players are often testing new models during practice time, but to fully commit and switch racquets, that is a huge step.

Federer was part of the 10% minority of players whom used frames less than 95 sq. inches.  Hey, Federer won 77 singles titles, 17 grand slams and reigned as the world No. 1 for over 300 weeks while using a 90 square inched frame. But one of the greatest tennis players ever knew that father time most notably an ailing back and technology were catching up to him.

After continuing to test and test the new 97 square inched frame at some of the lower tournaments, Federer decided to hang up the frame just before the 2013 Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. Federer switched back to his old frame, the Wilson Pro Staff Six One 90 and used that racquet through the U.S. Open. Federer finally decided that enough was enough and switched back to the 97 square inched frame on a permanent basis to begin the 2014 season.

Federer quoted in a press release, “I grew up idolizing legends of the game, so it was natural for me to play with Wilson Pro Staff 85 inch racquets. I love the feel a smaller head provides, and larger racquets couldn’t deliver the feedback I needed to be successful. This new Wilson Pro Staff racquet has been a long time coming, but I finally have the feel I need in a 97-inch head.”

Change was on! Roger wanted to get #Betterer

After three years of development, Wilson has announced that the next generation of Pro Staff racquets are ready to be released. Not so fast, no not today, pre-sale will happen in Mid-August, and the new Pro Staff racquets will go on sale at Midwest Sports tentatively, October 1st.

A whole generation of tennis players grew up with the original Wilson Pro Staff. For the next generation, the Pro Staff has been re-invented with the help of the greatest tennis player of all time – Roger Federer. A combination of an aggressive and youthful new look and re-engineered technology will inspire young players for generations to come.” -Wilson Sports

Wilson new RF racquet specs