Now available for pre-sale: New Wilson Blades for 2013!


We think the new Wilson Blades for 2013 are the best yet! Get a demo and give them a try for yourself!

The highly anticipated new Wilson Blade racquets are here, and now available for pre-sale!

Wilson has built upon the success of the Blade line and re-engineered the racquets to make them more solid and more comfortable than ever. The new versions include Wilson’s Amplifeel technology, a handle system designed to provide a clean, more enhanced feel for the player upon ball contact. In addition, the frame has been re-designed with a new construction, making it more stable on impact and off-center hits.

When Wilson presented these new racquets, we were told these were the best Blades ever. We took them to the court, and sure enough, our playtest team felt these were a huge improvement upon previous generations. The improvements that Wilson set out to make were exactly that – noticeable improvements!

The biggest difference we noticed was in the construction, where the new Blades significantly outplayed the previous ones. The new Blade 93 offers superior comfort, feel and a larger sweetspot compared to the BLX Blade Tour it replaces.

In the 98s, the new Blades are rock solid! The Amplifeel in the handle is an improvement, making them softer and more comfortable, providing a better connection between the ball and the player. Furthermore, we were excited to see the open (16×19) string pattern being offered in the 98 square inch version. We found it to have a much livelier feel than the 18×20 version, offering both more power and spin.

All in all, these new Blades are everything they are hyped up to be. The improvements Wilson set out to make are real, and our whole playtesting team loved hitting the new sticks. Be sure to check out our full written and video reviews by clicking on the review links on the product pages for each new Blade.

Here is some additional info and in-house specs about each racquet in the new Blade line:

Blade 93 (click to see our TW review): 

  • 93 sq.in head, 18×20 string pattern, 6.5 pts HL, 12 oz strung, 68 stiffness, 333 SW, 21mm beam
  • Terrific precision weapon for the advanced player
  • Replaces the BLX Blade Tour

 

Blade 98 16×19 (click to see our TW review):

  • 98 sq. in. head, 16×19 string pattern, 1 pt HL, 11.2 oz strung, 66 stiffness, 331 SW, 21.5mm beam
  • Open string pattern for added power and spin
  • Control for the modern, aggressive game

 

 

Blade 98 18×20 (click to see our TW review):

  • 98 sq. in head, 18×20 string pattern, 2 pts HL, 11.2 oz strung, 65 stiffness, 328 SW, 21.5mm beam
  • Racquet of choice for touring pro Milos Raonic and Gael Monfils
  • Replaces the BLX Blade 98

 

Blade 104 (click to see our TW review):

  • 104 sq. in  head, 18×19 string pattern, 3.5 pts HL, 10.7 oz strung, 60 stiffness, 308 SW, 22mm beam, 27.5″ extended length
  • Racquet of choice for Grand Slam champions Serena and Venus Williams
  • Replaces the BLX Blade Team

Thanks for reading!

-AG

WTA: Which brands dominated the 2012 U.S. Open?

Wow. Have you been watching the U.S. Open? In the first three-set women’s final in 17 years, Serena captured her 4th U.S. Open title yesterday 6-2, 2-6, 7-5.

Serena with her trophy. Photo courtesy of Cynthia Lum

Since the French Open, Serena is 26-1, Wimbledon Champion, Olympic gold medalist, and now, U.S. Open Champion (and still only No. 4 in the world?). She’s also the first woman in her 30s to win the U.S. Open since Navratilova in 1987. Serena also holds the record for the longest span of success in the professional era at the same Grand Slam, with 13 years between her first win at 17 in 1999 and now 30 in 2012.

Afterward, Serena said, “I never give up. I never, never quit. I have come back so many times in so many matches.” She also said, “This is the first year […] in a long time, [that] I haven’t lost my cool.” And it paid off. Usually good at giving people ammo to throw at her in regards to her on-court actions, Serena remained mature and professional.

Azarenka was a tough opponent to demolish, having gone 32-2 this 2012 hard court season, with no three-set losses (she was 12-0!) until her loss to Serena in the final.  Azarenka was as close as two points from winning the championship at 5-3 in the third.

Azarenka's fighting spirit wasn't enough this tournament against the powerful Serena. Photo courtesy of Cynthia Lum

But a knight can’t ride without his steed, so what brands got our champions through the tournament this year? Which apparel and racquet company won the tournament this year?

The quarterfinals saw an array of brands that supported the players throughout the tournament, but semis was an all Nike affair in apparel. All four of the women were Swoosh athletes, and Tiff actually wrote a blog about the two finalists, so check out their apparel here on her blog!

Racquets had the 10.9oz strung weight and the 5pt HL balance of the Head YOUTEK IG Instinct in the hand of Sharapova, which is a great racquet for the intermediate through advanced player looking for spin, maneuverability, power and comfort. Azarenka got to the finals with her Wilson BLX Juice 100; a racquet for aggressive players who want a little extra zip and spin on their shots. This fast playing racquet is a must try for intermediate players and up with its 100sq in headsize and 11.3oz strung weight.  Each fiber of the 5’4″ Errani needed all the help she could get against 5’9″ Serena, with her Babolat Pure Drive Plus 2012. The longer, 27.5-inch length racquet has a stiffness rating of 70 (phew, high! But I love it!) along with a strung weight of 11.2oz. It brings even more spin and power to every shot over the standard length version. Improved feel allowed Errani to feel extremely dialed in…. To no avail! Serena dominated with her (and everyone else) with her Wilson BLX Blade Team. It gave her an incredible combination of pace and precision, and is perfect for the 3.5+ player seeking power and maneuverability. It has a 104sq in head size combined with its 10.7oz strung weight and 3pt HL balance.

Serena at the Open. Photo courtesy of Cynthia Lum

After seeing for yourself, there is no need for justification for the winners. Wilson and Nike are the indisputable champions of the 2012 U.S. Open. Make sure to check out all our offerings online and see if they have any gear to help you out on court. Although the women have finished up their battle, the men will be battling at 4 pm EST for the men’s final between Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.

Over and out!

Siobhan