TW Playtester Chris’ Pick of the Week – Traditional polyester tennis strings

Chris prefers the classic, old-school feel of the traditional polyester string

Chris prefers the classic, old-school feel of the traditional polyester string

When it comes to polys, I like ‘em old-school!

One of the perks of being an avid tennis player working at TW is getting to test all of the new products. We test many, many strings (some that never make it to market and others we test from prototype through to production), but my love for traditional-feeling poly strings has yet to be diminished.

Modern co-poly strings blend additives to the polyester to ‘improve’ performance. Various additives are used to make the string play softer, hold tension better and provide improved snap back etc. These additives are the ‘co’ part of the co-poly name. However, I prefer to nix the ‘co’ and let my poly fly solo.

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Keeping Up With the Playtesters

I always get a bit bummed the couple days after a Grand Slam ends. For two weeks straight I had hours on end of awesome tennis to watch (good thing Davis Cup is back in action this weekend), and now football is the only thing I see when I turn on the TV (which, isn’t a bad thing, go Niners, it just isn’t tennis!). Anyway, to recap our US Open picks, my picks were knocked out by the 4th or 5th day of the US Open, while Karly and Jason were the only two playtesters who called the US Open 2013 Champions — and Tiffani was oh, so close with her Gasquet pick! This week, since I don’t have any live tennis to watch today, I decided to bug my fellow playtesters and ask them,

“Who from the WTA or ATP would play doubles with? (We already answered the mixed doubles question, so stay within your gender on this one!)”

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Tennis Warehouse FDL Championship Match

The TW Friday Doubles League

The TW Friday Doubles League

The finals of the TW Friday Doubles League pitted the aptly-named Team Air Cooled, who caught fire in the playoffs after some tough losses during the regular season, against Team Johnson and O’Leary, looking to complete the whole season unbeaten. Could Chris and Granville continue their hot streak, or would Andy and Spencer have enough left in the tank for one more hard fought victory?

WATCH HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE MATCH HERE!

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Keeping Up With the Playtesters…round 2!

This week’s question is a fun one. As you may or may not know, our playtesters are a competitive bunch, so check out how they answered when asked,

If you could pick anyone from the ATP/WTA to play MIXED doubles with, who would you pick and why?!

photos courtesy of Cynthia Lum

photos courtesy of Cynthia Lum

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Keeping Up with the Playtesters!

Welcome to the first installment of Keeping Up with the Playtesters!

Everything you ever wanted to know (and more) from our team of playtesters at Tennis Warehouse. Feel free to email in any questions (feedbacktw@tennis-warehouse.com) you have and want answered, whether it be about equipment, apparel, court rituals, tennis, etc.!

So let’s get to it!

Question: What is your favorite pump-up/pre-match song?
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Week 1 FDL Results

 

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The Friday Doubles League kicked off last Friday with a close battle between Team Johnson & O’Leary (Andy and Spencer) and Team Blonde (Brittany and Michelle). After a number of deuce games that went back and forth to start the match, Andy and Spencer were able to nudge their noses into the lead and stay there, hanging on for an 8-5 victory.

In the second match, Team Air Cooled (Chris and Granville) came out on fire against Team Leftovers (Troy and Mark). They never took their foot of the gas pedal and cruised to a 8-0 victory.

Chris and Granville got off to a hot start in Week 1 with an 8-0 victory.

Chris and Granville got off to a hot start in Week 1 with an 8-0 victory.

“We came out strong and just kept getting stronger,” Chris said. “We wanted to send a message to the rest of the league,” Granville added.

Week 1 Results:
Team Johnson & O’Leary def. Team Blonde…8-5
Team Air Cooled def. Team Leftovers…8-0

Week 2 Schedule (both matches scheduled for Friday):
Team Johnson & O’Leary vs. Team Leftovers
Team Blonde vs. Team Air Cooled

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Here’s a few more questions I got to ask Chris and Granville today after their match:

Q: Both of you have playtested for a while here at TW…what are currently a couple of your go-to racquet/string setups?

Chris“I’d have to say the Volkl C10 Pro, Babolat Pure Drive Roddick and Volkl Organix 7 295 are my favorite racquets right now.  My favorite string is still Volkl Cyclone, but I also really enjoyed our recent Kirschbaum Super Smash Spiky playtest.”

Gran: “Today was my first match with my old Six.One since my shoulder surgery, and it felt great. I strung it up with Babolat XCel 16g at 52 pounds. The ultimate though is the Pro Staff 6.0 Classic strung up with natural gut, the way I used to do it back in the day.”

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Q: If you could sit down and have a meal with one current pro tennis player, who would it be and why?

Chris“I’d have to say Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.  I interviewed him in Indian Wells and he seemed like a really nice guy, so I think it would be a fun dinner.”

Gran:Julia Goerges, for obvious reasons…”IMG_8759 copy

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Q: Picks for the French Open coming up?

Chris: “Rafa and Serena.”

Gran: “Rafa and Victoria Azarenka.”

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Stay tuned for this week’s results and more interviews! Thanks for reading.

AG

The TW Friday Doubles League (FDL)!

 

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As the weather heats up, so has the competition amongst our playtesters here at the Warehouse. We are starting a Friday Doubles League, starting this week. Over the next two months, we will play a round robin format, and then finish the league with a playoff seeded off the results of the “regular season”.

There will be four teams:
-Chris/Granville (Team Air Cooled)
-Michelle/Brittany (Team Blonde)
-Troy/Mark (Team Leftovers)
-Andy/Spencer (Team Johnson & O’Leary)

Each team will play one match per week and play every team twice over the course of the next six weeks. At the end of the six weeks, we will do a playoff with the seeding based off the results of the six weeks. After two more weeks, we will have a champion!

The format of the matches will be 8-game pro sets, and the matches will be played on Fridays unless there is a scheduling conflict for the players. We will be posting pictures and videos of the matches, so let us know the matchups you want to see and we’ll try to put together some highlights of the most requested matches.

For Week 1 (May 6-10), the matchups are:

Brittany/Michelle vs. Andy/Spencer
Troy/Mark vs. Chris/Granville (next Tuesday, due to a scheduling conflict)

Stay tuned for updates following the first week of matchups!

AG

An inside look at Wilson’s new Spin racquets and Spin Effect technology

The newest spin monster from Wilson, the Steam 99 S

The newest spin monster from Wilson, the Steam 99 S

If you thought sliced bread was big, you have to check out Wilson’s newest racquet technology that is changing the game of tennis. Earlier this year, Wilson unveiled its new Spin Effect technology in its Steam line of racquets. With an extremely open 16×15 string pattern, the new Steam S racquets can produce upwards of 200 to 300 more RPMs on each one of your shots.

Every time you make contact with the ball during one of your shots, the racquet’s strings slide on each other and snap back into place. When this happens, it creates the topspin or slice on your shot. With Spin Effect technology, there are fewer cross strings than main strings in the stringbed of a racquet as opposed to the traditional string patterns (like 16×18 or 18×20) where the opposite is true and there are more cross strings than mains. With the 16×15 string pattern, the stringbed of the racquet is more open, creating more space for the strings to slide on each other. With more room for the strings to slide, you can produce significantly more spin compared with racquets with traditional string patterns.
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