Recently, I raved about the potential of the Donnay Formula 100 racquet becoming a new favorite of mine (but I also noted having issues with the depth on my backhand). Move over Donnay, the Dunlop Biomimetric F5.0 Tour has quickly moved into that second spot behind my Babolat Pure Drive GT.
I strung up the F5.0 Tour with some Black Shark at 60 pounds (yes, I like tight poly strings!) and had an absolute blast hitting with this racquet. I found I could swing freely and had great access to spin and power. Balls that I thought I was missing by a couple inches were landing in. And my backhand was not a problem as I could swing fast and free through my backhand. I could control the ball and play consistent or rip the ball and flatten out or even access some heavy spin for defense.
I challenge Tennis Warehouse on a daily basis to find a racquet that I will love as much as my Babolat Pure Drive GT (I just can’t imagine loving anything more). I’ve been trying my hand at several different frames (Wilson 99 S, Head Graphene Speed Pro, Wilson Juice 100, Babolat Aero Pro Drive, etc.), a lot that I can understand why people gravitate toward, but nothing that I have to have, or better yet, nothing that has elevated my game…yet. Finally, I found something I can possibly entertain as a new favorite racquet, the Donnay Formula 100.
Spec wise, this racquet could be the long lost twin to my Pure Drive GT. Most of our playtesters even seem to favor this Donnay over the ever so popular Pure Drive. Dare I say, it may even outshine the Pure Drive in one area – the net. My volleys feel so precise and crisp with this racquet no matter whom I am hitting against. I often struggle on my backhand volley to keep my racquet out in front and end up hitting a bit of an inside-out backhand chip volley, which while it is very effective, it is frustrating since it’s caused by late preparation. With this maneuverable Donnay in my hands, suddenly the issue has disappeared.
Not only is there great tennis going on at the French with all those upsets on the women’s side and those five-setters on men’s, but we’ve also got plenty arriving at the warehouse so we can all get out to create our own on-court drama.
First up we have new colors for the men’s and women’s Asics Gel Resolution 4. Those who love colorful shoes will love these new additions to the Gel Resolution lineup. Both are grey based with pops of orange, but with the women’s orange taking on more of a coral hue. The Gel Resolution 4 is a great blend of comfort, stability and stylish good looks. The shoes also come with a six-month outsole durability guarantee. Cost: $114.95.
Donnay expands its 2012 racquet line by offering slightly different specs on existing frames. One of the most popular racquets in the 2012 playtest schedule was the Formula 100 for its power and comfort. Now that racquet is available in a more maneuverable package with the Donnay Formula Lite 100 (Cost: $178), weighing in at a very manageable 10 ounces strung. Another addition to the Formula line is the Formula OS Extended (Cost: $198). This version packs an even bigger punch with a slightly longer length (27.25 inches) for added leverage and reach as well as a bigger oversize head at 110 square inches. There are also two new Pro One options. We just finished up the Pro One 16×19 review. Our testers loved the stable, solid feel paired with power and spin. Now fans of tighter string patterns can get in on the fun with the Pro One 18×20. The Pro One also now comes in a package that also more accessible to intermediate and beginners. The Pro One OS Ext offers loads of comfort and added power from its 27.5 inch length and larger 105 square inch headsize. It’s also a manageable 10.6 ounces strung.
If you like fashion and tennis, we have new styles of Jet bags. The totes are great for those want a tennis bag that can double as a carry-all, too. The Silver Snake and Wild Safari totes have a nice sheen to them, while the Paisley Aqua a matte finish with a feminine pattern (Tote Cost: $63.99). There’s also new patterns available in the sling styles. For the most storage go for the Large Sling Bag Sand Pebbles (Cost: $67.99), but if you’re looking for a smaller bag, go for the Small Sling. The latest style there is the Silver Giraffe (Cost: $67.99), featuring a giraffe print in a shiny fabric. Both styles are loaded with features, including a slot for your water bottle or can of balls and specialized racquet compartment.
It’s so fun to try to put together new outfits, on court or off, so it’s a good thing that the women’s tennis fashions just keep on coming! Be sure to check out our Outfit Builder feature where you can mix and match your tops and bottoms. It’s great if you’re shopping as a league team or just trying to figure out your favorite outfit. The Tail Top Spin Group carries some drama with its deep purple color base, and the lime pops keep it sporty.
Also new to the women’s apparel pages is the latest offerings from Wilson. The Timeless collection’s styles are suitable for the grass season and clubs with restrictions on color as most of the pieces are available in predominantly white options. If you love argyle, you’ll love this collection. The pattern is subtle, but there is an geometric design on back. The mesh design is also functional, offering ventilation and additional stretch that’s needed for tennis strokes.
Sofibella is back, too, with two new collections. We have the Adore Group, a mix of pink and dark grey with floral print. This one gives off an air of romance, especially with the ruffle on the Bella Skort. Another great group for those who play at tennis clubs that call for mostly white apparel is the Pure Group. These pieces are primarily white with hits of dark grey. If you like to mix and match, this is a great opportunity because the Pure Group’s grey is a great match with the Adore Group as well. For something a little different, you might want to take a look at the Sincere Skort. We haven’t seen an asymmetrical hemline on a skirt. This one offers a bit of a flirty feel because of its dramatic cut. It’s 15″ long on one side, coming up to 11″ on the other.
That wraps it up for this week. Hope you can get some court time this week!