A player can usually base their success on how far they get in a tournament. And the larger the tournament and deeper into the draw they get, the more success that can be celebrated after grinding away for two weeks. So how would a brand measure their success? Seems like success could be measured with how many players the brand has using their product in the final rounds of each tournament. With that being said and with the quarterfinals and the semifinals set at the Sony Open in Miami this week, let’s take a gander at what racquets the players still in the draw are using.
HEAD currently has six out of the eight men that are in the quarterfinals of the Sony Open using their racquets (and in case you haven’t heard, Djokovic lost yesterday, so he isn’t in that count). This bunch of HEAD players includes Andy Murray, Tomas Berdych, Richard Gasquet, Marin Cilic, Gilles Simon and Tommy Haas.
On the women’s side, already into the semifinals is HEAD Youtek Graphene Instinct MP user Maria Sharapova and Roberta Vinci is currently playing her quarterfinal match this evening with her HEAD Youtek IG Extreme Pro 2.0.
What a great 2012 US Open thus far! Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, the two finalists for this evening’s match, have been playing incredible tennis throughout the tournament. Novak has only dropped one set, and has shown his unique ability to shot-make from every position on the court time and time again. Murray has faced some major adversity, being down a set and 1-5 in the quarterfinals to Marin Cilic and down a set again in the semis to the red-hot Tomas Berdych in crazy windy conditions, but each time he stepped up to the plate and delivered with some dominating performances to close out the matches.
Today, I want to feature some of the gear that these great champions are sporting. With so many racquet and apparel companies fighting for dominance, which ones reigned supreme at this year’s US Open?
When it comes to racquets, Head absolutely dominated, with both finalists and three of the four semifinalist using their frames. Novak Djokovic‘s hard-hitting game is complimented by his Head YOUTEK IG Speed 18×20 racquet. It’s a ball-striker’s racquet with its forgiving 100 square inch headsize, light swingweight, and super solid feel. Andy Murray‘s YOUTEK IG Radical Pro helps him utilize his creativity and supreme touch all over the court. It’s known for it’s excellent stability and soft feel, along with it’s super spin friendly 16×19 string pattern. The third Head racquet being featured in this year’s semifinals was Tomas Berdych‘s YOUTEK IG Instinct. The Instinct is a player’s frame with some unique specs, it features a strung weight of only 10.9 ounces and a high stiffness rating of 69. This provides the user with a super maneuverable racquet and a crisp, solid feel from all areas of the court.
While Head was dominant on the racquet side of things, the shoes and apparel battle was a little tougher to declare a winner in. With both players rocking their gear in the finals (with Murray head-to-toe and Djokovic in just the shoes), I have to give the edge to adidas in the clothing battle. Murray has been wearing the adidas Men’s Autumn adipower Barricade Crew and the Men’s Autumn adipower Barricade Bermuda short. Both Novak and Andy are sporting the barricade 7.0 men’s shoe. The barricade shoe line has been a favorite for recreational and elite tennis players for years because of their unmatched durability, stability, and support, and as you can see it still is a popular choice on the tour today.
Make sure to tune in at 4 pm EST tonight for the men’s final between Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. Both guys have been playing unbelievably well, showing resiliency under pressure and incredible shotmaking throughout the tournament. They have clearly been the two best players in the draw thus far. I’m going to give the slight edge to Novak in this one, toughing it out in a close 4 set battle.
It all began when a HEAD Tennis Facebook fan posted an old photograph on www.facebook.com/headtennis and asked: “Has anybody ever tried this?” In the black-and-white picture two dare-devil men can be seen playing tennis on the wings of a biplane. HEAD took up the dialogue with its Facebook community and promised to try the experiment with one of its tennis pros. Novak Djokovic agreed to do it: “I asked myself: ‘Is this really possible? Playing tennis on the wings of an airplane?’ And I decided to accept the challenge,” Novak said about his extraordinary stunt.
Here are the first four video clips:
Leading into the fifth and final video, HEAD racquet rebel Novak Djokovic and HEAD Tennis have produced a spectacular short film featuring the new YouTek™ IG Speed racquet played by the Australian Open and Davis Cup champion. Novak and his new chosen weapon go airborne to play tennis on the wings of a legendary Antonov II biplane to bring to life the concept of “Ultimate SPEED” in dramatic scenes.
Check out Novak Djokovic’s comments after his epic flight.
There is truly no shortage of powerful players and talents supporting HEAD in this endeavour: In addition to Novak Djokovic, Robin Söderling and Andy Murray are two other players in the ATP Top Ten under contract with HEAD. And only recently, sports and fashion icon Maria Sharapova joined the team of stars equipped with tennis racquets, bags and accessories by HEAD coming out later this year.
Here is a list of the different versions of the new YouTek Speed IG Series:
– YouTek IG Speed MP 16/19: The Speed MP 16/19 is the perfect combination of power and feel in a slightly longer version to accommodate a wide range of players.
– YouTek IG Speed MP 18/20: The Speed MP is Novak Djokovic’s racquet of choice. It comes with an 18×20 string pattern and appeals to a wide range of players with its perfect combination of power and feel.
– YouTek IG Speed 300: The Speed MP 300 is the lighter, yet more powerful MP version which makes your shots faster with less effort. With its weight of 300g, this racquet offers ultimate power and control.
– YouTek IG Speed Elite: A Tour Light version providing complete tour performance with greater manoeuvrability. The slightly wider beam gives it even more power.
– YouTek IG Speed Lite: This is the lightest racquet in the Speed series. A great tweener providing the perfect combination of power, maneuverability, control and feel. An excellent tour racquet for players with a moderate swing style.