Best of 2013: Tennis strings

List mania continues today with some of our playtesters weighing in on their favorite strings of 2013. In case you missed them, check out our picks for racquets and shoes.

Our TW playtesters sure love their poly strings, and it shows with their choices. Head was the runaway winner in this category with three people choosing Sonic Pro Edge.

Andy: “It’s crisp, lively response and exceptional spin potential is right up my alley for a co-poly string. It’s a great poly for a wide variety of users, from players looking to try a poly for the first time to longtime poly users who are looking for something softer and more responsive.”

Brittany: “I’m normally not picky when it comes to strings, so this category is tough for me. However, there is one string that was released this year that stood out to me: Head Sonic Pro Edge. When I put this string in my  more powerful racquets (like Babolat Pure Drive, Donnay Formula 100, Yonex VCORE 100 S), it gives me the perfect balance of power and control. I appreciated the extra bite I got on the ball from the string’s shape especially when going for sharper angles to pull my opponents off the court. I was also surprised with how comfortable the string was to play with.”

Karly: “With all the bite, control and comfort for a polyester, for me Sonic Pro was easily a top contender of 2013. I loved the grip pf the distinct edges on the string. I felt like I could control my type of shots well because of it. Then there was also the feel of the string. For a polyester the string was livelier and softer than most, which I was a big fan of.”

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Making a Case: Rafael Nadal as the 2013 AP Male Athlete of the Year (instead of Lebron)

Rafael Nadal with his 2 Grand Slam titles from the French Open and US Open

Rafael Nadal with his 2 Grand Slam titles from the French Open and US Open


The Associated Press recently named their Male Athlete of the Year award and it went to Lebron James. Peyton Manning came in 2nd and Jimmy Johnson came in 3rd.

Where was Rafael Nadal?

Sure, what Lebron did this past year was amazing. Lebron is a freak of an athlete at the top of his game. He won regular season MVP honors. His team, the Miami Heat won the 2nd of back-to-back championships and Lebron was named Finals MVP. Everyone remembers that clutch 3 Ray Allen hit in game 6 against the Spurs. Without it, the Heat would’ve lost the series. But do you remember who shot a 3 AND missed? Lebron James. Who rebounded that missed shot and passed it out to Ray? Lebron James? Nope. It was Chris Bosh. No rebound, no 3 pointer. No 3 pointer, no Championship. No championship, no MVP for Lebron.

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Best of 2013: Tennis shoes

We started with racquets, but the shoes we tennis players put on our feet are just as important as the racquets we put in our hands. So next up is our playtesters’ picks for their favorite shoes of 2013.

Ladies first. Hands down it looks like Nike ruled with the release of the Zoom Vapor 9 Tour. Three of our female playtesters chose this as their favorite shoe of 2013.

Women’s Nike Zoom Vapor 9 Tour

Brittany: “All I can say is … finally! I have been watching/listening to our male playtesters rave about Roger Federer’s shoe of choice for almost two years. And this year, I finally got to see what all the fuss was about. And, boy, I was definitely not disappointed. This shoe lived up to my expectations; it was lightweight, stable, stylish and comfortable. In my playtest review, I rated it my highest scoring shoe of all time. If I had to go play a tournament right now, this would be my shoe of choice.”

Karly: “This shoe blows the competition out of the water. The Vapor 9 Tour is easily the lightest shoe I’ve played in, but it’s not just the weight that makes it my favorite shoe. It’s the combination of durability and stability that puts it above the rest. Most of the time you can’t have a shoe that’s lightweight and durable or lightweight and supportive. Well this isn’t the case with this high performance shoe, no siree! Nike set the bar high with the Vapor 9 Tours by disproving that a lightweight shoe can’t be durable or supportive.”

Tiffani: “Easily my favorite shoe of the year, the Vapor 9 Tour is one of few shoes that have made me think women’s tennis footwear has taken a step forward. The Vapor 9 is low profile, light and supportive. I move better with this shoe than in any others in the current crop of shoes and am more confident on the court as a result. It doesn’t hurt that this is one of the best looking court shoes either. Now I can’t wait to try the Lunar Ballistecs in 2014!”

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