The 7 Deadly Sins – Tips for playing doubles tennis

What are the 7 Deadly Sins? Well, they are the capital vices or, as some like to refer to them, the cardinal sins of life. And, due to my sole useful ability being that I am able to apply everything in this world to tennis, I’ve applied these on court, too. The following seven sins are doubles mistakes that challenge us on court with our partners.

Screen shot 2013-03-01 at 4.14.50 AM1. Lust – “Intense desire”

Lust signifies wanting the glory shot – the drop shot you shouldn’t go for, the blazing winner past the volleyer, or (my personal favorite) the down-the-line shot-when-you-really-should-have-hit-it-crosscourt-again. Yes, that shot (you know what I’m talking about) – that you want so badly, but you usually don’t make. To that I say, have some discipline. Sure, the feeling you’ll get when you make it is phenomenal (and you’ll look magnificent), but it’s better to wait for the right moment. Don’t go for the wild flaming winner because the percentages of you making it regularly are very low. Take your time, build your points and resist temptation. Do it when you’re actually supposed to. You don’t want to look good hitting a single awesome forehand once a set. You want to look good by winning.

If Venus is smart

Instead of going for too much, Venus gets the low volley back to join her sister in at net

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Cause and effect of tennis injuries: Injury culture

As far as tennis goes, we all know injuries come with the territory.

Sharapova had shoulder surgery. (Photo courtesy of Cynthia Lum)

Sharapova had shoulder surgery. (Photo courtesy of Cynthia Lum)

Tennis is a year-round sport. There is no “off season,” and high performance and athletic prowess are not only required for years upon years by the athletes themselves, but also demanded by their fans.

With my personal experience (which, granted has been worst than most) I find the culture surrounding injuries in modern tennis interesting. In a sport that puts the human body under extreme strain, injuries are prevalent, yet the response from the world is usually less than understanding. This is not always the case, but often: If you’re playing injured you’re criticized for mentioning it because it’s seen as creating an excuse for poor performance or loss. If you’re playing injured and don’t mention it, then have a bad performance because of that injury, you’re criticized for playing horrible tennis. If you’re not playing because you’re injured, it’s common to get criticized about whether you’re not being tough enough or why your recovery is taking so long.

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Success! Head players win tournaments in early 2013

If Head’s New Year’s Resolutions for 2013 were along the lines of “Immediately win two individual tournaments and a team tournament,” then the year as started out as a great success. With three Head players, Andy Murray, Richard Gasquet and Anabel Medina Garrigues, subsequently adding a title under their belts, the sponsored players of the sports company are doing remarkably well for so early in the year.

Andy Murray defending his title at the Brisbane International. Photo courtesy of HEAD Penn Racquet Sports.

Andy Murray defending his title at the Brisbane International. Photo courtesy of HEAD Penn Racquet Sports.

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Tennis advice to my younger self… Top 5

As more time goes by and as I get older, I sometimes reminisce about the good ol’ days. This is something I do about life and about tennis, and it makes me wonder what I could have done differently that would have made me better at tennis  — not career changing decisions necessarily but words of advice for my younger self.

The natural progression through life comes with an increase in knowledge and the things I have now learned, and it got me thinking… If I could give advice to my younger tennis-playing-self, I would say?

Babolat Pro Hurricane 16 String

Babolat Pro Hurricane 16 String, the string I grew up using

1. Know your strings. Growing up, I had a partial Babolat sponsorship, so I used a Babolat Pro Hurricane string. Great string, but to be honest, I have no idea why I was playing with that particular string. My point? It wasn’t that that this string was bad; in fact I play with it sometimes now and I love it, but when I was younger, I didn’t do much research into what string was the best for me at that time. Getting advice or doing some research can make life a lot better when it comes to reducing the risk of stress being placed on your arm, feeling the ball better, hitting with more power, getting more spin… The list goes on.

String Finder on our website allows you to choose strings easily – it’s a great tool to pick strings through different categories. Also, don’t hesitate to ask the playtesters any string questions!

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TW’s current Bosworth racquets

A little while ago I did some blogs on the Bosworth collection, (check it out here) and covered some of the racquets we had available at the time. This stuff sells quick and they’re usually not racquets that you’ll see around for sale very often. As I mentioned in that first blog, as a general rule, once something is online and gets sold, that’s the last you’ll ever see of it.

To re-explain: The Bosworth custom racquets come from the late Warren Bosworth, who specialized in customizing racquets to help professionals optimize their performance. He thought that racquets in stock form were limiting — racquets produced for the masses weren’t always what different pros needed, so he decided to provide unique setups to suit each player’s specific requirements. Every player is different and desires a different customization for their racquet, so Bosworth explored that idea by watching, coaching, listening, experimenting and working with different pros to create setups and specs that would help each play his or her best tennis.

As per usual, our inventory has changed and I wanted to let you all know some of the cool and very unique racquets that we currently have available in our vintage racquet collection.

 

Bosworth Head Director Racquet

Bosworth Head Director

Manufactured in the US in 1982, the Head Director is a unique racquet with an interesting elongated head shape. It features an extruded aluminum frame and provides a wonderful snapshot of the era just before graphite. It provides a comfortable and solid on court.

Specs: Contains original leather grip. Grip size 4. Specs include 100 square inch head size, an unstrung weight of approximately 12.3 ounces, an 18×19 string pattern, standard length, and has a bumper-less grommet system.

 

 

 

Bosworth-ProKennex Comp Destiny Rac

Bosworth-ProKennex Comp Destiny 

If you think this racquet shape looks familiar, then you are right. The Pro Kennex Composite Destiny is the predecessor to the Babolat Pure Drive model with its rounded shaft and aero head. Also features original blue Pro Kennex leather grip still in the plastic and original blue working grommets. Made in Taiwan.

Specs: It features Destiny Performance System (DPS) technology, a 95 square inch headsize, weighs in at 12.5 ounces strung, a 16 x 19 string pattern, and is standard length.

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Almagro and Lotto: Spain and Italy pairing for success

Lotto Sports Italia, the king of Italian manufacturing and distributing sports footwear, apparel and accessories, announced their partnership with world no. 11 and Spanish prodigy, Nicholas Almagro.  With this being an important and prestigious pairing for both parties involved, Almagro and Lotto are excited with the new sponsorship.

A right-handed Spaniard and a master of clay, Almagro has won 12 titles on clay courts, although he has been making strong appearances on all surfaces. Among his more recent trophies is the Nice Open last May, repeating his success on the same court in 2011. He hit a current career high ranking of no. 9 in the world earlier in 2011, and is hoping to crack the top 10 again in the coming year.

Nicolas Almagro

Nicolas Almagro

Signing to a three year sponsorship, Almagro will be sporting the Lotto logo during tournaments and training, starting January 2013. With the new Lotto technology in the fabric of the apparel, the clothing allows for the highest performance on court, perfect for Almagro when he trains and competes under the hot European sun this summer.  He’ll also be sporting the new Raptor Ultra IV on his feet, equipped with the exclusive ReactiveArch technology, the first concave dynamic sole that flexes according to the natural movement of the foot. This shoe is going to offer maximum cushioning during impact forces, stability when planting the foot and reactivity during thrust.

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Treat yourself to some new tennis strings!

Now that the end of the year is coming, I fully endorse treating yourself for working so hard. My personal recommendation for all tennis addicts like myself is to try some new strings to see if there is something you like. Buy a present in the giv

ing season and give something to yourself: strings. Here are some new videos, highlighting some of the strings that we have here at the Warehouse. If you don’t see anything you like, make sure to check out our String Finder or to ask any of the playtesters any questions about string via the Talk Tennis Forum or our YouTube account.

Ashaway Monogut String

Mantis Comfort Synthetic String

Solinco Barb Wire String

Weiss Cannon Black 5 Edge String

Over and out!

Siobhan

 

Quick review: Wilson Pro Overgrip Perforated

Does it get better than the popular Wilson Pro Overgrip? Well.. It gets different. Think the high performance, super thin features of the Pro Overgrip, but with perforations. You have? The Wilson Pro Overgrip Perforated.

Wilson Pro Overgrip Perforated

The improvements? Not only is feel enhanced, but it also absorbs the moisture from your hands during play so you can get a better grip on your racquet. The perforations also mean that it dries faster, so any sweat that gets absorbed, then gets wicked away.

Wilson Pro Overgrip Perforated

Wilson Pro Overgrip Perforated in Pink

It comes in three colors: White, Green and Pink – my favorite is the pink because, guy or girl, it just gives a bit of brightness and attitude to your demeanor on court. There are three overgrips per pack, and they are worth the try.

Siobhan

Strings for the adventurous player!

Here’s another week’s worth of string! I like to do a range of strings; random picks, just to keep things spicy so you all may see some of the wonders we have here in the Warehouse! My favorite of these picks is Luxilon 4G, (we actually did a playtest on the 16L version of the string and also a written review), and I went on a mission to see if anyone else in the office liked it. Strangely enough, I didn’t have to look far.

Jason, who happens to sit right next to me (how lucky can I get, wit and sarcasm all within a one meter radius!?), loves Luxilon 4G right now. When I asked for reasons why he liked it, he said, “It has great ball pocketing, it feels good, it feels ‘right.’ ” He then followed with, “When you know, you know, right?!” Yes, well. Maybe, Jason. He also said, “It fits into the softer poly category, it doesnt hurt my arm so I can use it all day and night.” I had to agree with him. I also enjoy the poly qualities: how I can really rip the ball and have it still drop into the court, and how I am able to take full cuts with this string, and not have to lay off for fear of things flying long. Jason also continued to describe the string as a nice color (too far J, too far) and Chris chimed in saying, “It’s as good as gold!!” which I thought was clever until I realized he was quoting off the Luxilon packaging. ENOUGH! You should try it.

Babolat Hurricane Feel String

Luxilon 4G String

Gosen OG Sheep Micro String

Luxilon Big Banger XP String

Cheers!

Siobhan

Heather Watson: A great year for Great Britain!

With 2012 being a great year for Andy Murray and Britain, Heather Watson continues the success into the second half of the year this weekend. Celebrations all round for Watson, Britain and Dunlop after her stellar performance at the Japan Open, winning in a closely contested final against Taiwanese player Chang Kai-chen, 7-5, 5-7, 7-6.

Heather Watson kisses her champion's trophy. Photo courtesy of JIJI PRESS/AFP/GettyImages

Winning the tournament this weekend started a chain of events for Heather Watson, as not only did she become the number one British women’s tennis player, but she is Britain’s first winner of a WTA Tour singles title in 24 years. In a grinding final, Watson took three hours and 11 minutes to take the crown. Returning 4-5, 40-0 down, Watson managed to save four match points and then steal the tiebreak from her defeated opponent, 7-4.

Success for Heather Watson! Photo courtesy of JIJI PRESS/AFP/GettyImages

About her match, Watson said, “I’ve worked so hard for this moment. Britain has been breaking quite a few records recently, so I’m happy I could break another one today. I’m proud to do this for my country.”

Watson plays with the new Dunlop Biomimetic M 3.0 which we playtested recently here at Tennis Warehouse. This racquet is an update to Dunlop’s 300 series, with improved technologies for increased racquet head speed and better access to power. Comfort was really high, particularly on groundstrokes and serves. Touch and feel at net were also enjoyed by our entire playtesting team (check out the video here and the written review here). In the string department, Watson also reps Dunlop with her Black Widow string. One of our playtesters did a review on this string and found it to offer exceptional comfort, great power for a poly based string and excellent bite from it’s heptagonal shape (check out the video and the written review here).

With that great weekend, and a stunner of a year for Britain in 2012, let’s see what else they have for us in the upcoming months as the year comes to an end.

Cheers!

Siobhan