Davis Cup Quarterfinals

Davis Cup kicks off some exciting rubbers in the Quarterfinal Rounds for the World Group today.

Davis Cup Quarterfinals

Led by Jim Courier, Team USA begins play today on home soil this round on an indoor court in Boise, Idaho and will take on Serbia. Having met just one time before, Team USA comes up against the only World Team to have the highest ranked player on the ATP on their active roster, number one in the world, Novak Djokovic. Djokovic teams up with Viktor Troicki, Ilija Bozoljac, and Nenad Zimonjic to take on our team of Sam Querrey, John Isner, and The Bryan Brothers. Despite having powerhouse Nole on their team (who has proven to be human over the past couple months and has taken a loss or two), I am hoping to see the US take full advantage of the crisp, clean (and high altitude) Boise air and use the home court advantage to pull off the upset over Serbia.
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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

Milos Raonic – The biggest server on tour

Milos Raonic's explosive game has catapulted him to a career high ranking of #14 this week.

All you tennis fans out there better get ready to welcome a new face into the ATP top 10 really soon. 21-year-old Milos Raonic is taking his game to new levels, reaching a career high ranking of #14 in the world this week, led by a world class serve, the likes of which is one of the best that we’ve seen in a long time.

The 6’5″ Canadian has had the best year of his career to date, moving from outside the top 30 at the end of last year to his current ranking of #14. He’s won two titles already and reached two more finals, doubling his  2011 efforts. Most importantly, he’s been good against the game’s elite. He’s 2-1 against Andy Murray this year, and even though he’s 0-3 against Roger Federer, the losses were 7-6 in the third, 7-6 in the third, and 6-4 in the third.

More impressive, however, is his service game and the statistics that he’s been putting up this year. He’s holding serve 93% of the time, which is tied for second highest holding percentage for a year since the ATP starting keeping these statistics in 1991. He’s the tour leader in aces with 921, which is already nearly 300 more than he had all of last year. He’s also won 83% of the points when he gets his 1st serve in, which also leads the tour,

In the infamous words of my former college coach Matt Anger at the University of Washington, “all tennis is is holding serve and breaking serve.” Raonic has turned into the most dominant server on the pro tour, which is putting more and more pressure on his opponents to hold their own serve. As Milos’ game continues to develop, I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t become even more dominant on serve, as well as utilizing his explosive game to become even better on his return game.  If he starts breaking even more, he’ll become an extremely dangerous player.

So what can we expect from the big serving Canadian? He’s got very few ranking points to defend through the rest of the year, and the rest of the season is going to be indoor hard court tournaments, which happens to be the conditions he’s most effective in. He had a long week in Japan, which resulted in an early exit in Shanghai, but look for him to use the extra rest this week to recharge the batteries for the rest of the year. I like his chances to crack the top 10 and maybe even make an appearance in the year end championships in London.

He’s got a ways to go before being a top 5 player, but as long as Milos Raonic stays healthy, he’ll be a staple in the top 10 for a good long while.

Click here to see Milos Raonic’s gear!

Thanks for reading!

Andy G.