Best Tennis Practices: Racquet Maintenance

Cold weather generally correlates to less outdoor activity.  The seasons are changing across the states & many of the non-indoor tennis players may be wondering, “how do I best preserve my tennis racquet during the down-time of the season.”

Well, Midwest Sports has some answers for you!

Your racquet is one of the most important tools in your game and  maintaining every aspect of it is essential. Here are five tips for maintaining your racquet.

 RacquetAnatomy1. Do not expose your racquet in any types of extreme heat or cold weather. It is vital to keep your racquet safe and secure in your racquet bag or in a ideal spot in one’s home. Very hot conditions can soften parts of the racquet, which could result in the loss of tension or even damaging the string.  Cold weather causes strings to become brittle and hard, try playing tennis with very hard/stiff strings, it is not good for one’s elbow.

2.  Before playing, inspect your frame. It is critical to understand the anatomy of your racquet. If you do your own personal stringing of your racquet,  don’t string a cracked, warped or otherwise defective frame.

3. Get your racquet restrung every 3-4 months if you are an active tennis player.   Many players do not realize that their tennis strings  are either dead or too loose.  Having either of those two situations could easily deteriorate one’s game.

4. Inspect the grommet strip and bumperguard of your racquet before playing. If the bumperguard is worn significantly and if it’s worn through to the frame replace it before restringing. Chances are the grommet strip will also have to be replaced.

5. Replace your grip twice a year. Your grip is the ultimate tool for one’s comfort on the racquet, if one does not take care of their particular grip, bacteria can form & the grip will deteriorate.

Those were just 5 easy tips of racquet maintenance! Now get your racquet that necessary tune up and hit the court!

Racquet tune up post 10302014

 

 

New Fall Apparel Lines

Tail Slam Event Post 09162014

Win big with the confidence of looking great in this Tail tennis tank, features include color block details, mesh inserts for ventilation, and performance jersey fabrics to keep you comfortable on the court.

Bolle Uptown Girl Post 09152014
Bolle high performance tennis tank will keep you performing your best on the court. Features include a square neckline, contrast fabric stripe detail across the front, and Bolle logo at the left front hem. The Bolle High Performance tennis collection offers a tapered athletic fit, and is made with wicking fabric that is UV protective, anti-bacterial and anti-static. Sweet, sporty and made to look great on everyone; this Bolle skirt features pleats, contrast binding at hem, and attached undershorts for added comfort and coverage in contrasting color.

Tonic Iris Orchid Post
This Tonic feminine and stylish tennis dress will have you looking great and feeling cool on the court. Dress features a scoop neck, racer back, and a built-in shelf bra with removable cups. Dress also has a fitted bodice with a pleated skirt, and is made with moisture wicking fabrics for the ultimate in comfort.

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

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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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

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

Petra Kvitova advances to her 2nd Wimbledon Finals

The 2011 Wimbledon Champion, Petra Kvitova, advanced to her 2nd career Wimbledon finals after defeating Lucie Safarova in the semifinals 7-6, 6-1. Kvitova will face the winner of the Simona Halep / Genie Bouchard match. Kvitova owns a 1-0 record vs. Bouchard, but she is 0-2 in her career vs. Halep.

Kvitova returns to the finals as the only player born in the 1990’s to have won a major tournament. Kvitova plays her best tennis on the grass surface & proved that today after defeating Safarova for the 15th consecutive time. The Czech Republic ladies have had a superb tournament having 3 players reach the quarterfinals. By reaching the Wimbledon final, Kvitova will move to No. 4 in the WTA World Rankings.

New Inphorm Womens Tennis Apparel Line

Staff’s picks!

Lisa’s pick
The piece of tennis apparel I would love to own is the Inphorm Block Tennis Dress. This is a fantastic dress to be worn by any lady, young or old, competing on the tennis court. This dress is also available in a Champagne/Tubro Orange color. One would need this dress due to the excellent style and feel of the fabric. The higher neckline is very flattering and protects you from too much sun exposure on your chest. The Inphorm line which is new to Midwest Sports is an eco-friendly line. When you feel good…you play well!!

 

Inphorm Post