The love of my tennis life…the Yonex mids

Back in high school, my personal coach was sponsored by Yonex and tried for years to get me to make the switch to Yonex racquets. More specifically, he wanted me to switch to his racquet of choice, the 90 square inch RDX 500. “There’s no way I can play with a 90 square inch head, that’s too small!” I would tell him constantly. I had a wristy western grip forehand and had never played with a racquet smaller than 95 square inches. I always thought I needed the 95-100 square inch headsize for forgiveness on off-center hits. “Just trust me,” my coach would always say.

Me, my freshman year at the University of Washington, rocking the RDX 500 Mid

After months of persuasion from my coach, I finally caved in, but I wanted to try the midplus (98 square inch) first, still feeling unsure about the smaller midsize.

“You won’t like it,” my coach said. “It’s a completely different racquet than the 90. The midplus plays nothing like the midsize, and it doesn’t quite feel as good.”

My coach was right. I hit with the midplus and didn’t really like it that much. It didn’t feel that solid, and I didn’t like how the racquet was weighted. It wasn’t very maneuverable, and it wasn’t very stable on the off-center hits. With reluctance, I finally tried the midsize.

My life was changed! My racquet preference was altered forever! I instantly fell in love with the midsize. The best way to describe it was that it felt like a magic wand in my hand. The weighting was perfect, it had unbelievable maneuverability, and I felt like I could hit any shot I wanted with it. It was unbelievably solid on groundstrokes and volleys, super maneuverable on the return of serve, and explosive on the serve. The racquet gave me exceptional control but still provided me with adequate pop and incredible feel. I was sold!

The new Yonex VCore Tour 89

I switched to the RDX 500 Mid, and other than a brief stint in college I’ve been playing with Yonex mids ever since. After the RDX was the RDS 001, then the RDiS 100, and now I’m loving the newest addition to the line, the VCore Tour 89. For those of you who are intimidated by the smaller headsize like I was, fear not, as the unique Yonex Isometric head shape makes the racquet play larger than it actually is. The head is slightly wider than normal, but not quite as long as other racquets. I found that when I hit the ball off-center, most of my hits were wide of the sweet spot, as opposed to close to the throat or tip of the frame. The unique Yonex design actually gave me more forgiveness on these hits than other 90 square inch racquets did, which made the racquet feel larger. In addition, the Isometric technology makes the sweet spot larger than other standard-shaped racquets, reducing the amount of off-center hits, and once again making the racquet feel larger than it actually is.

However, you don’t have to take my word for it. Instead, just take a look at the number of pros playing with Yonex and you might be surprised at how many there are. On the men’s side, former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt, Juan Monaco, David Nalbandian, Bernard Tomic, and Stanislas Wawrinka all play with Yonex. As for women, Yonex has Ana Ivanovic, Maria Kirilenko and recent world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, among others, with their frames. Furthermore, looking back, Yonex has had some stars of the game, like Martina Hingis, Monica Seles and Richard Krijicek, sporting its racquets.

Lleyton Hewitt sporting his Yonex racquet and gear

So, for all you haters of the square-looking Isometric frames, I think you all need to get over it and give the new VCore Tour 89 a try. And remember, this isn’t going to play as small as other racquets around its size. Compared to the Wilson BLX Pro Staff Six.One 90 and even the YOUTEK IG Prestige Mid, the VCore Tour 89 will have a bigger sweet spot and have more room for your off-center hits near the middle of the racquet, making it feel larger and more playable. With awesome maneuverability, excellent pop and incredible feel, I’ve become a huge fan of the Yonex mid-sized racquets. The newest creation from Yonex, the VCore Tour 89, is yet another great racquet in this line, and is a must-try for any advanced level player. Give it a try…I’m confident you won’t be disappointed!

Thanks for reading,

Andy G.

Fitness freak

With summer here and Wimbledon on TV, I get inspired to be active. There’s nothing like getting into the gym and working up a sweat. It makes you feel good, look good, increases your endorphines, gets your blood pumping, helps your tennis..

Our team here at work is a very active bunch. We play tennis like it’s going out of fashion, we run, we hike, we bike, you name it. One of my favorite parts is that some of us that are avid gym goers. Working out with the web team here is one of the most rewarding forms of exercise I have ever experienced. They bust it out so hard in the gym, give their all, and everyone finishes the workout in a sweat. If you’re struggling, someone will toss an encouraging comment your way and you know that even though they’re hurting bad, you’re all working towards the common goal.

We’re all about interval training right now; short, intense and tough. It includes weight lifting, body-weight exercises like pull ups, burpees and push-ups, plyometrics, core, and so much more. The best part? We don’t even need a gym. Most of the stuff we do, can be done at home, and with the help of some nifty gadgets, you can basically have a home gym! I put together some products that will help you out in the gym, at home, or on the court to get fitter, faster, and better at tennis.

Dome Cone Court Target

Dome Cone Court Target

Strange fact about Siobhan: I LOVE court sprints. Nothing like increasing your speed and improving direction changes with the help of some targets. These Dome Cone Targets have so many functions, and are perfect for on or off court training. Not only can they be used for sprints and footwork drills, but they are also perfect hitting targets too. Increase your accuracy, consistency and focus by drilling with them on the practice court.

Nike Push-Up Grips Black

Nike Push-Up Grips Black

Want to work on back, chest, shoulders and arms? Push-ups. The Nike Push-Up Grips allow for a greater range of motion during push up exercises. They have an ergonomic design to relieve wrist stress typically felt during the standard push up motion, and this can be applied to all push-up exercises. Standard push-ups, military, and raised are just some of the exercises that the Push-Up Grips enhance, and they also allow you to go lower into the exercise than you normally would due to floor restrictions.

Nike Speed Rope

Nike Speed Rope

Get your heart rate up with the Nike Speed Rope. Cardiovascular health is so important and with this jump rope, you’re able to work on footwork and fitness. Conditioning is such an important part of tennis, and this rope is built to help with speed skipping. A skipping rope is easy to transport, versatile and effective in toning shoulders, legs and calves.

Resistance Tube - Medium

Resistance Tube - Medium

Use the Resistance Tube for warm up, cool down, strengthening and rehab exercises. It offers resistance that allows you to improve health, fitness and strength levels, and all with one little band because the variety of exercises you can do are endless. I’ve used one a lot before for a wrist injury and the benefits are obvious. It’s so easy to use, small enough to carry in your tennis or gym bag and it’s also available in two different resistance levels so can suit any athlete.

Nike Yoga Mat Medium Grey/Dark Grey

Nike Yoga Mat Medium Grey/Dark Grey

Need I say more? The Nike Yoga Mat is perfect for a yoga, pilates or stretching session. To make things a little more comfortable, enjoyable workout session. They are soft, non-slip and add stability to some exercises. They also provide you with physical and mental space from everything around you so you can zone out from the world, and zone into your own relaxation.

ATP Logo Players Towel

ATP Logo Players Towel

Yes, we’re a sweaty bunch, so items like this ATP Logo Players Towel can be used in the gym when you’re busting it out, at home doing your body weight exercises and ab workouts, or on the court when you’re grinding through a three-setter. A towel is a must-have for the sweat-friendly, gym-going athlete and this players’ towel hits the right spot.

Find the time in a busy work day to get a bit of exercise in, whether it’s a bike ride with friends, a jog on the beach or a sweaty gym session. And don’t forget to go and play some tennis, it’ll make you feel better, I promise.

Siobhan

 

Wimbledon Whites

Wimbledon is underway and for someone who is normally so untraditional, I save the little bit of tradition that I do have for Christmas and this tournament. The customs. The rules. The history. The British commentators’ accents. It’s about the colors: the depth of the green and the crispness of the white.

Ana Ivanovic at Wimbledon

Ana Ivanovic at Wimbledon

I played on grass courts a little bit when I was growing up (horribly kept and uneven, but grass regardless) and there is just something about playing on grass. It’s a whole mind set. The surface is different; it’s softer, more forgiving, and it commands respect. That’s why at Wimbledon I like the white clothing rule. It’s historical and claims prestige, so I put together some white ladies outfits that, regardless of the surface they are played on with, give you a clean, fresh, stylish, yet traditional look.

Nike is always one to offer something that fits into the grass season, and this year they do it well with the Nike Women’s Maria Slam Statement Dress, hitting all the marks for style and performance. Pair that with the Nike Women’s New Basic Feather Light Visor II to keep the sun off your face and your hair out of your eyes. On your feet put the Nike Zoom Courtlite 3 shoes (also available in other fun colors) for some lightweight stability as you race around court.

Nike Whites

Nike Whites - the Nike Women's New Basic Feather Light Visor II, the Nike Women's Maria Slam Statement Dress, and the the Nike Zoom Courtlite 3

adidas always steps right up with cute gear and they haven’t missed the bar this time. They have matched the white with some bright shades to add a little bit of glam and energy to the outfits, which I love. On top wear their adidas Women’s Lawn adizero Top that also comes in a tank version, and pair that with adidas Women’s Lawn adizero Skort for a matched and flowing fit. We don’t want your feet to miss out on all the fun, so check out the adidas adizero Tempaia II (it comes in two colors) and enjoy their women’s specific Micro-Fit.

adidas whites

adidas whites - the adidas Women's Lawn adizero Top, the adidas Women's Lawn adizero Skort, and the adidas adizero Tempaia II

Lacoste is such a classy brand that I associate with grass courts that I thought their whites deserved a mention. The Lacoste Women’s Spring Jersey Tank, looks so cute paired with the Lacoste Women’s Spring Pleated Tennis Skirt (look out for these in different colors too). The pleats are so old-school that I just love this whole look, and it’s really girly which is a nice mix-up from the more athletic-looking clothes that a lot of girls are rocking these days.

Lacoste White

Lacoste White - the Lacoste Women's Spring Jersey Tank and the Lacoste Women's Spring Pleated Tennis Skirt

I hope you’re following Wimbledon, and getting out on court and enjoying some tennis too. Rock the all white as a salute to the All England Club and it’s array of amazing players.

Cheerio!

Siobhan