US Open Gear Check: Caroline Wozniacki

Caroline Wozniacki is going into the US Open this year in top form. She clinched her first round match against Ying-Ying Duan 6-2, 7-5 and next up for Caroline is Chanelle Scheepers. Let’s take a look at what Caroline’s gear is for the US Open this year.

Caroline Wozniacki  in action during the US Open  - photo by Cynthia Lum

Caroline Wozniacki in action during the US Open – photo by Cynthia Lum

Her look: Caroline is looking sharp in hues of blue in her adidas Stella McCartney Fall Ink Dress. Her Stella Barricade 8s (in navy) match perfectly — these durable, stylish shoes are quick on the court and provide great traction combined with stability. They received high marks in our playtest and we love the look of these! She tops off her look with an adidas visor to help shield the NY sun.

Her equipment: Controversy has swirled around Caroline’s current racquet of choice as she is playing with a blacked out frame at the moment — if you take a closer look, I think you can figure out what 16×19 frame she has decided to use as her weapon of choice this year at the Open. Her blacked out frame is accessorized with Yonex Super Grap over grip in white and pink Yonex dampeners. Since she is not with a current racquet sponsor, she is sure to be seen toting around all of her gear in the Stella McCartney Bag.

Hope you are enjoying all of the tennis and if you want a closer look at any of the player’s gear — be sure to let us know!

Play with heart,

Michelle, TW

Hello from Paris!

Hello from Paris!

I got here yesterday and it is a very cold and partly cloudy today. We have been at a club offsite (approximately 15 minutes walking distance from Roland Garros). Due to the qualification matches on site, the players go to other clubs in order to get some practice hours in on court. Thiemo De Bakker practiced with Grigor Dimitrov this morning. Other players such as Laura Robson, Ashley Barty, Caroline Wozniacki, Marin Cilic and

rgwozi many others are here as well.

There are several clubs where players go and train on their days off during the tournament and I will give you some more information over the coming two weeks.
It’s not an easy day for the players with all the rain. But dealing with it is part of the job!

Mats Merkel
@matsmerkel

Week 2 FDL Results and Interview

We’re off and running in the TW Friday Doubles League with two more matches just completed last Friday afternoon. In the first match, Team Johnson & O’Leary (Andy/Spencer) and Team Leftovers (Troy/Mark) went back and forth early on, with long deuce games. After a tough hold by Troy to get the match to 3-4, Andy and Spencer won 11 of the next 12 points to help them secure an 8-3 victory. (Click here for some video footage of last week’s matches!)

Brittany and Michelle (Team Blonde) put up a strong 8-3 victory this week over Team Air Cooled.

Brittany and Michelle (Team Blonde) put up a strong 8-3 victory this week over Team Air Cooled.

In the second match, Team Blonde (Michelle/Brittany) came out with an excellent gameplan and executed to perfection against Team Air Cooled (Granville/Chris). The girls jumped out to an early lead, held off a fierce comeback attempt, and finished strong for an 8-3 victory.

“Since we have played them several times before we knew what to expect – serve and volley, solid volleys, and lots of slice,” Brittany said following the match.  ”We wanted to play consistent, smart tennis and then when we had the opportunity to be aggressive to take advantage of that.  We were aiming for a high percentage of first serves and returns to start the point, then solid groundstrokes with a lot of shots down the middle. Lastly, we were ready to hit one more volley than we were used to because both of them have great hands.”

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Day 8 from Sony Open 2013

Wozniacki works on her clay court game with Mats.

Wozniacki works on her clay court game in Florida.

Hello all,

Today I went off site on the clay courts with Caroline Wozniacki and her team. Since most of the players will start playing clay court tournaments, we looked for courts in Key Biscayne. Caroline was working on getting used to sliding again. My colleague Sven Groeneveld did some exercises with her. We had two sessions with her. Doing drills, hitting lots of balls, 2 on 1s with Jean Rene Lisnard and me.

Movement on clay is very important, and the better you move the better you get in position to hit a good shot. Therefore it’s crucial to work on this important part of your game.

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Action, weather start to heat up at 2013 BNP Paribas Open

Good day, tennis fans!

The heat is coming slowly but steadily. By mid-next week it will certainly get close to the 100s.

Most of the morning we spent off site at La Quinta. If the players want to get away from the busy tennis venue, they go to hit at the courts at La Quinta.

Caroline Wozniacki was on court for two hours.

Wozniacki practicing off site

Wozniacki practicing off site

Next to her was American Jack Sock having an extensive practice, too.

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Ivanovic, Cirstea prep for their matches at BNP Paribas Open

The main stadium at Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

The main stadium at Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

What a stadium!

All players love to be here and love to play in the main stadium in front of a special crowd here at Indian Wells.

It was another early day that began with Sorana Cirstea. My colleague Sven Groeneveld and I were on court with her together with her full-time coach Victor Ionita.

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Best new gear at the 2013 Australian Open

As the first week of the 2013 Australian Open comes to a close, I want to spotlight some of the great new gear we have seen introduced at the tournament. There’s tons of new racquets, shoes and apparel being released at the beginning of the year, so I want to dish out some awards to the best introductions of new swag at the first Grand Slam of 2013…

LMSGLC-WYE-1

Best men’s outfit (shirt/shorts only, no shoes):  Lotto

I’m going with a surprise in this category, but I think the new Lotto outfit is awesome. The bright yellow design is super eye-catching on TV, and they have quite a few guys still going in the draw, like Kevin Anderson, Nicolas Almagro, and David Ferrer. They are wearing the Lotto Men’s Spring Graphic LED Crew and the Spring LED Short (and Bermuda Short).  Look for this gear to become available from TW next month.

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Watch for more adidas by Stella McCartney on court

adidas by Stella McCartney barricade

adidas has just released its spring/summer collection, and to kick off the season the color palette is a refreshing combination of yellow and white. Look for some blues coming in March.

adidas has given its top-of-the-line barricade collection a more high fashion twist this year by turning the design reins over to Stella McCartney. Prices have come down with this move, too, making the line more affordable to a broader range of fashionable tennis players.

This year the adidas by Stella McCartney collection will have some new faces. Joining Caroline Wozniacki in the Stella McCartney-designed apparel will be Andrea Petkovic and Laura Robson.

Wozniacki is expected to wear her signature dress. The Stella McCartney Spring Dress is based on another of the designer’s most famous dresses. Followers of celeb fashion will remember the so-called Miracle Dress worn by Kate Winslet and so many other stars. The colorblocking on the dress is incredibly slimming, earning the dress the Miracle Dress moniker. The tennis version of this dress is slim fitting and also comes paired with the matching ball shortie.

The separates, scheduled to be worn by Petkovic and Robson, are high on style and performance as well. The tank is especially cute with its wide (and adjustable!) tank straps and zig-zag finishing stitches. A good built-in bra and plenty of mesh for ventilation keep this one ready for the court. They’ll pair that with the fitted skort, which has the zig-zag stitching to tie in nicely with the tank.

Watch for your favorite pros Down Under as they prep for the Australian Open…

Happy Hitting!
Tiffani, TW

WTA Blog: 2012 Year End Power Rankings

Serena Williams dominated the WTA Tour in 2012.

With the 2012 WTA campaign coming to an end, I wanted to post my end of the year Power Rankings. Just like in football and basketball, these don’t exactly follow the official rankings, but are reflective of who I feel is playing the best tennis to close the year and head into 2013. Without further ado, I give you…

2012 Year End WTA Power Rankings
Power Ranking. Name (WTA Ranking)

1. Serena Williams (3)
When she’s at her best, there’s no woman in the world that can beat her, and for the last half of the year she’s been on fire! Since her first round loss at the French Open, she’s 32-1, winning Wimbledon, the Olympics, the US Open, and the year end WTA Championships (among other titles). There’s no question she’s the best in the world as the year comes to a close.

Victoria Azarenka finishes 2012 with 69 match wins, the highest total on tour this year.

2. Victoria Azarenka (1)
There’s no debate who the second best player in the world is. Vika has dominated the rest of the tour, with a 69-5 record on the year against players that aren’t named Serena. The feisty 23-year-old from Belarus reached two Grand Slam finals this year and won one of them (Australian). Look for her to build on her best year as a pro in 2013.

3. Maria Sharapova (2)
Maria has quietly put together a very nice year, with a 60-11 record and a French Open title to complete her career Grand Slam. She also reached the finals at 7 other major tournaments this year and beat Vika Azarenka twice, the only player other than Serena to do that this year.

4. Na Li (7)
She didn’t perform well at the majors this year, but Na Li has had a nice second half of the year and given the rest of the Top 10 fits. Since the start of the summer hard court season, she’s 6-2 against the rest of the Top 10 outside of the Top 3, and took the title in Cincinnati.

5. Agnieszka Radwanska (4)
The young Pole had an excellent start of the year, and after all is said and done, is finishing the year with 59 match wins, good for 4th best on tour. She’d be higher on the list if Na Li hadn’t beat her three times since August.

6. Sara Errani (6)
The 5’4″ Italian built on her surprise French Open finals appearance and turned in an even bigger surprise semifinal appearance at the US Open. She also took home 4 singles titles and 8 doubles titles this year, along with $3 million in prize money. Not a bad 2012!

7. Angelique Kerber (5)
She’s one of three players to reach the 60 win mark this year, and the only person to beat Serena in the second half of the year. However, she’s struggled for the most part against the best, with a 3-10 against the rest of the Top 10 since the start of Wimbledon. On the bright side, this is the first year the big hitting lefty will finish inside the Top 30.

8. Nadia Petrova (12)
Ever since losing close to Maria Sharapova at the US Open (6-4 in the third), she’s been on a tear, winning two titles and posting a 12-2 record to finish the year. She’s hot and one to watch for at the beginning of 2013.

Caroline Wozniacki looks to get back into the Top 5 in 2013.

9. Caroline Wozniacki (10)
She might be better known for being the First Lady of the PGA Tour this year rather than her on-court results, but Woz has quietly closed 2012 with a flurry. Since the US Open, she’s won two titles and reached the finals of the third tournament, and is gaining momentum going into 2013.

10. Marion Bartoli (11)
The French veteran has been streaky all year, but she had two of her best tournaments at the US Open and in Beijing to finish the year. She’s been hovering around the top 10 for years, and continues to be a threat if the best aren’t at the top of their games.

Thanks for reading!

-AG

The Ultimate Tennis Player: Female Edition

A few weeks ago, I got in the lab, put on my lab coat, took out the bunsen burners and created the perfect male tennis player. This week, I’m back with my ultimate female tennis player. She’s got a huge serve, a wicked forehand and wheels for legs. My only restriction was that no one player could be put in more than 2 categories. Without further ado, here she is.

The Ultimate Female Tennis Player

Categories

Serve: Serena Williams
Full disclosure: I originally had Sam Stosur here, but after Serena’s performance at Wimbledon, I had no choice but to put her in this category. She hit more aces at Wimbledon than any other player, and that’s for both the women AND men. ‘Nuff said.

Forehand: Kim Clijsters
When it’s on, it’s on! She hits this shot with pace, depth, spin, angle, while on the run, standing still, or doing the splits. What more could you ask for?

Backhand: Victoria Azarenka
This shot is probably the main reason why she’s as successful as she is.

Slice: Roberta Vinci
Well, considering she doesn’t hit a single flat or topspin backhand, her slice better be pretty good to be ranked as high as 18 in the world.

Volley: Cara Black

And perhaps even more impressive, here she is at 16 years old:

Return: Serena Williams
She hits her returns with so much aggression it’s almost angry-like. To add to the intimidation factor, she stands right on the baseline or inside of it. Hit it to her forehand, and this is what happens:

Speed: Caroline Wozniacki
To be a counter-puncher or defensive player is one thing, but to do it at a level where you eventually become the #1 player in the world means you’re getting to a hell of a lot of shots. Agneiska Radwanska would be 1A here.

Heart/Mental Toughness: Maria Sharapova
I was torn on who to pick but Tiffani made a great case for Sharapova. It takes a lot of mental toughness and heart to work your way back from shoulder surgery, to becoming once again, the #1 player in the world (after winning the French Open). It was 3 long years of struggling and rehab before she was fully back to her winning ways. Now that takes some mental fortitude.

Charm: Kim Clijsters
The sweetheart of the WTA tour. Is there anyone that doesn’t like Kim Clijsters?! We’ve had her come sign at our tent at the BNP Paribas Open a few times, and each and every time, she was the perfect role model. She smiled and interacted with all her fans, and even when her time was up and her agent is asking her to go, if there was still a line, she’d go overtime just to make sure everyone got an autograph that wanted one.

 

Do you agree with my picks? Build your own ultimate tennis player in the comments below.

 

Jason, TW