Thanksgiving is here…and GOAT is on the table!

Another year in the ATP is in the books. Four majors have been played, 3 separate men have captured those titles. The pros are busy preparing for the year to come. So, who can we crown the GOAT of 2013? Rafa? Nole? Murray? The discussion is on the table!

IMG_1016

our Tennis Warehouse GOAT

Rafael Nadal. After receiving the “Legend Award” this week in Spain, Nadal proves to be possibly the GOAT of 2013…and possibly of all time. With his domination on most surfaces he competes on and his all-out physical game, we have seen Rafa take a new approach to tennis this year with taking chunks of time off to properly train and rehab. With the French Open and US Open titles under his belt plus 8 other titles, it’s an impressive feat indeed. But can we really give the GOAT award to a player with an early 1st round exit from Wimbledon?
Continue reading

First Look (Sneak Peek!) — Babolat Pure Strike!

It’s no secret around here that my favorite racquet brand is Babolat (I’ve been playing with some form of the Babolat Pure Drive since 2001). So when we got the new Pure Strikes in, I couldn’t contain my eagerness (to say the least) to get one of the new Babolat Pure Strikes in my hand and on the court! The racquets sat patiently behind me for a week, unstrung…taunting me with its bright pops of flourescent red and black matte paint…until finally, they were strung up and ready to go!

babolat pure strike

Where Babolat already has the power game dialed in with their Pure Drive Series, and then the spin-monster with the AeroPro Drive family of racquets – the name of the game is crisp control with the new line of Pure Strikes.

Check out our initial specs:

Babolat Pure Strike:                                                  Babolat Pure Strike Tour:  
Pattern: 18×20                                                              Pattern: 18×20
Length: 27″                                                                   Length: 27″
Balance: 5HL                                                               Balance: 6HL
Strung Weight: 11.4 oz                                                 Strung Weight: 12
Flex: 66                                                                         Flex: 65
Swingweight: 324                                                        Swingweight: 330

New Technology!

  • Response Woofer: Babolat adds even more power with the addition of a new material called PEBAX which increases energy return
  • X-Sider: new frame shape which expands the sweetspot by 10% and creates a more forgiving response off-center
  • Stabilizer Technology: A sturdier frame construction adds more torsional stability, keeping the racquet more stable upon impact

Continue reading

Keeping Up with the Playtesters…US Open Picks!

The US Open is just days away (I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait!). Working at TW is always fun during the tournaments because we all have our favorites and are glued to the matches, so of course I wanted to know who the playtesters were picking to win it all this year! Check out their answers and let us know who you pick to win it all this year at Flushing Meadows!

“Who are your picks to win the 2013 US Open?”

Granville: “It’s not going to be pretty – Djokovic and Radwanska (Aggie).”
Continue reading

Men’s Semifinals of French

What a great 2 semifinals are awaiting us!
Nadal vs Djokovic
nad:nol
Last year’s final between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will be the semis of this year!
Rafa has been absolutely dominating the clay court season, besides his loss in Monte Carlo against Novak Djokovic, after having won there eight consecutive times before! He will be on fire and ready to play Novak for a spot in the RG finals. But at the same he has a lot of respect for how Novak has been playing. I predict it will be a brutally long match with long exhausting rallies and great points!

 

Tsonga vs Ferrer

 

fer:tsoThis is the first French Open semifinal for both of these players and one of them will go through to the finals. Tsonga, who hasn’t lost a set yet (even when playing Roger!), is definitely on a roll! His on court performance has impressed me a lot and I am looking forward to seeing him play today. And how many sets has David lost so far? Take a guess. Correct…none! They both seem to have conserved a lot of energy out there and this will be another great match to look forward to!

 

Enjoy this day of great Tennis!

 

Mats
@matsmerkel

French Open Today

FotoThe sun is out…or should I say, it is not raining today but is partly cloudy!

Anyway, it is a great day for tennis and a great day for the spectators to finally see some matches in a row!

Maria Sharapova is on Court Philippe Chatrier right now playing Jie Zheng.
A great schedule today for the spectators with access to centre court. They will get to see Nadal vs Fognini and Djokovic vs Dimitrov later on.

High level tennis all day!

Have fun!

Mats
@matsmerkel

New King of Monte Carlo

After beginning the week not even sure if he would be able to compete, Novak Djokovic and his Head YOUTEK Graphene Speed Pro have dethroned 8 time back to back champion Rafael Nadal to take the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters Title.

Djokovic_Monte Carlo_2

Image courtesy of HEAD

In defiance of the bad ankle injury he endured at Davis Cup just two weeks ago, Nole took to Facebook last Tuesday to assure fans that he would be competing at Monte Carlo and was sure he was ready to get back on the court. Despite dropping the first sets of his first two matches, Nole looked to be moving and playing just fine by the quarterfinals. Watching the finals, it became clear that there isn’t anyone on the ATP Tour right now that can consistently go toe to toe with Nole and his solid groundstrokes. Nadal’s reign ended and his streak was laid to rest as Nole blasted balls from the baseline exposing Nadal’s weakness. Coming away with a 6-2, 7-6 victory, Nole couldn’t have been happier to win the elusive Monte Carlo title.

“If somebody told me 10 days ago I’d be winning the trophy, I wouldn’t think it’s so realistic, to be honest. I went through pain, I went through a big challenge, mentally, physically, emotionally, and in the end it was getting better as the tournament was going on. It was a high mountain to climb for me, and I knew that. It was the biggest challenge that you can have on clay. But I managed to overcome it. I was ready to accept that challenge. I made the decision to play – and it was the best decision I’ve made in my life.”

- Novak Djokovic

Djokovic only seems to continue to improve steadily while collecting titles on his way. His groundstrokes are so clean, crisp and consistent — he’s finding so much success while using his Head YOUTEK Graphene Speed Pro, which begs the obvious question, why aren’t more touring players choosing the Head YOUTEK Graphene Speed Pro Racquet as their racquet of choice? (I personally can say, it’s currently one of my top 3 favorite racquets and I love it from the baseline.) But back to the topic at hand, what can we expect from Nole next? With a couple weeks of rest and practice before Roland Garros, only time will tell who will be named the King of the Clay in 2013!

Play with heart,

Michelle

Juniors, suit up!

Spring break is just wrapping up here in San Luis Obispo, and that signals summer vacation is just around the corner. When the final bell of the school year rings, kids will have a lot more time to hit the courts.

Kids seems to grow 2 inches when you blink, so it might be time to check out what’s in the closet or dresser for tennis and sort through what the kiddo has outgrown. Let’s take a quick look at what’s out there for boys first.

Apparel for boys

Nike, adidas and Fila lead the way for boys with full lines of performance apparel. For those guys who are fans of Rafa, the Summer Athlete Crew and Contemporary Athlete Short can be put together for a look similar to the Spaniard’s French Open look. The Clay Action T-Shirt is also a cool way to get into the spirit and support Nadal, whose clay court dominance doesn’t seem to be waning.

adidas also has athlete-inspired designs for junior boys. For guys who like the flashy personalities and games styles of Verdasco and Tsonga, the adiZero Polo and adiZero Short create looks similar to those of the pros. Andy Murray fans should check out the Barricade Polo for juniors.

Moms and dads can get plenty of bang for their buck with boys apparel from Fila and Wilson. All made of performance apparel, there are lots of great easy to mix-and-match items like the Fila Colorblock Crew and Wilson Junior Straight Sets Crew. The Straight Sets Crew is especially impressive because the bamboo fabric construction simply feels fabulous against the skin. The Fila Reversible Short can get twice the action with a solid side and a youthful plaid side.

Apparel for girls

There are a lot of options for junior girls. Even though my daughter is only 4 months old, I can’t help but pick out my favs. The junior version of Maria Sharapova’s tank makes a super cute outfit when paired with the Nike Athlete Skort. Growing up, I think I would have favored wearing the Ribbed Tank and Phantom Short, though, because I had to wear dresses or my school’s uniform (navy/white plaid jumper) every day.

adidas, Wilson and Fila also have really cute performance pieces to play with — and play in — but I want to take a look at a new brand we’re carrying for junior girls. Lucky In Love has some cleverly named and ultra fun pieces. I doubt many junior girls these days know who Gabriela Sabatini is, but that doesn’t matter. The Ms. Saba-tiny Tank is adorable either way. The tulle mesh is a perfect match with the Ms. Navata-luv-ya Skort. If that’s too frilly for her, there are the traditional pleats in the Ms. Will-i-am Skirt and lots of solid tops to choose from. Offered in basic black in white and super bright fun colors, the seamless offerings from Lucky in Love are great because they’re one size. With this super stretch material, the tanks, shorties and leggings can fit a girl as she grows. There are even bra tops from this brand for girls as they grow a bit older.

Be sure to check out the boy’s and girl’s liquidation apparel pages for some great deals, too.

Next time, we’ll take a look at junior shoes. If you have any specific questions, let me know and I’ll try to answer them.

Happy hitting!
Tiffani, TW

Double Vision

Rafael Nadal and Marc Lopez are pictured here playing doubles at the BNP Paribas Open. (Picture by Kana, TW)

Indian Wells, California — The biggest names in tennis took to the courts in the doubles draw at the BNP Paribas Open.

Rafael Nadal of Spain teamed up with countryman Marc Lopez for the second match of the day on Stadium Court 1. Roger Federer took to the courts with fellow Swiss player, Stanislas Wawrinka while Scotland’s Andy Murray once again partnered with his brother, Jamie Murray.

Nadal and Lopez are the defending champions here and they showed why with a tough 7-6 (5), 7-6 (2) win over the all Polish team of Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski.

Nadal showed great hands at net, successfully fending off fast reflex volleys throughout the match. Fyrstenberg and Matkowski played a more traditional style of doubles and controlled the net well when playing two-up. However, Nadal’s groundstrokes separated him from the rest as he hit blistering passing shots Fyrstenberg and Matkowski had no answer for. Nadal’s partner, Lopez, took note and upped the pace of his forehand in the second set, racking up some impressive winners of his own.

Andy Murray and brother Jamie Murray are pictured here in the doubles event at the BNP Paribas Open. (Picture by Kana, TW

The team of Federer and Wawrinka look almost unstoppable, even against a team of proven doubles veterans like Max (the Beast from the East) Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor. The Swiss pair rolled through both sets with a convincing 6-1, 6-2 win.

Federer’s serve gave Mirnyi and Nestor trouble, while Wawrinka continued to show the same impressive serve and volley form he displayed on occasion during his run to the semifinals of this year’s Australian Open.

Day turned to night while the Murray brothers battled it out on Stadium Court 2 against the Brazilian team of Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares. The Scott’s got off to a strong start, taking the first set 7-5. The Brazilian’s stepped up their level in the second set and closed it out 6-3. As the match progressed to the deciding tiebreak, the two teams battled closely until the score reached 5-5. It was then that the Murray’s put together a string of points and pulled out an insurmountable lead, finally closing out the breaker 10-6.

Novak Djokovic and Viktor Troicki are pictured here during doubles play at the BNP Paribas Open. (Picture by Kana, TW).

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic and Viktor Troicki also got off to a successful start in doubles with a 6-3, 7-5 win over the Argentinean team of Juan Ignacio Chela and Juan Monaco.

With so many big names in the doubles draw, it was great to see the stands packed again for doubles matches. For the players, it is a chance for them to secure a solid ranking with a fellow countryman in order to qualify for the 2012 Olympics in London, England.

Year End Awards……according to Jason

Also known as The T-Dubbys.

T-Dubby

Without further ado:

Most Valuable Player (MVP)
Nominees:
-       Roger Federer. Surpassed Sampras’ all time Grand Slam record and won that elusive French Open title. With his win at Roland Garros this year, he is, and it hurts me to type this, the greatest player of all time.

-       Andre Agassi. Got the whole nation to talk about tennis. Hey, like they say, any publicity is good publicity. With his book, Open,  he single-handedly placed tennis at the front of sporting news. Until some guy named Tiger ran into a fire hydrant.

-      Rafael Nadal. Came out of the gates of 2009 hot! Won the Australian Open in an epic match against Federer. Won again at the “5th Slam”, BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. Then, his knees decided enough was enough. Ended the year strong on his favorite surface, clay, helping Spain win the Davis Cup.

-       Serena Williams. Say what you will about her and her attitude, but she dominated 2009. Including her doubles record, Serena won 5 Grand Slams this year. 5! Plus, she put foot faulting on the map! Don’t tell me you weren’t constantly calling foot faults on your friends when you went out and played.
Winner: Roger Federer


Surprise Player of the Year (SPY)
Nominees:
-       Melanie Oudin. At the 2009 US Open, what did Elena Dementieva (4), Maria Sharapova (29), and Nadia Petrova (13) all have in common? They all lost to the 17-year-old American.  This might’ve been the first time you heard of her, but earlier, she upset Sybille Bammer (29) and Jelena Jankovic (6) at Wimbledon. USA! USA! USA!

-       Kim Clijsters. If I could borrow a line from Johnny Mac, “You cannot be serious!” How does one take two years off from tennis to have a baby, then, come back and in only her 3rd tournament, win the US Open?! She beat Venus Williams before beating Serena in the now, infamous Footgate incident.

-       Juan Martin Del Potro. As a major underdog, beat world #2 Rafael Nadal in the semis then beat defending champion Roger Federer in the finals at the US Open. He was down 2 sets and a break too. ‘Nuff said.
Winner: Juan Martin Del Potro


Best Supporting Player in a Loss (BSPL)
Nominees:
-       Fernando Verdasco @ Australian Open vs. Rafael Nadal. This was the longest match in Australian Open history. Unbelievable points, ridiculously long exchanges, a heavyweight slugfest, but in the end, Nadal was the victor. And it only took him 5 hours and 14 minutes. I wonder if he went for a run afterward to get some real exercise. Yes people, that was sarcasm.

-       Andy Roddick @ Wimbledon vs. Roger Federer. I’m not saying this was better than last year’s final, but this was one hell of an encore. Facing the pressure to hold or lose in the 5th set, Roddick held serve 11 times before getting broken for the match.
Winner: Andy Roddick


Best Point
Nominees: I’ll let the videos do the talking
-       Clijsters vs. Wozniacki. US Open Finals.
-       Federer vs. Djokovic. US Open Semi-Finals.
-       Nadal vs. Verdasco. Australian Open Semi-Finals.
-       Nadal vs. Federer. Australian Open Finals.
-       Monfils vs. Ferrero. Rogers Cup.
Winner: Nadal vs. Federer. Australian Open Finals


Biggest Upset
Nominees:
-       Soderling over Nadal @ The French Open. The King of Clay was going for his 5th straight French Open title. Just weeks before, he won two other clay tournaments. 32 straight matches won at Roland Garros. He never even lost a match in his career at Roland Garros. Ok, you get the picture. All that came to in end in the 4th round when Soderling beat him in 4 sets.

-       Del Potro over Federer @ The US Open. Rafa was only going for 5 straight titles at Roland Garros. Federer was going for 6 in a row. Down 2 sets and a break, Del Potro rallied all the way back with his 100+ MPH forehands and handed Federer his first loss since 2003. Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier!
Winner: Soderling over Nadal


Ms. Congeniality
Nominees:
-       Serena Williams. Come on! I had to give her a shout out. Pun intended.
Winner: Serena Williams


That’s it. 2009 is in the books. Do you have any nominees for these categories? Did I miss any obvious ones? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Here’s to a great 2010 season,

Jason, TW

Wimbledon. Place your bets!

Wimbledon is just around the corner (June 22) and here at Tennis Warehouse, we are getting in the mood by making picks on who’s going to be the last one standing. The office mates make 2 picks, their favorite and a dark horse. So, what’s at stake here? A trophy? Money? No, what’s a stake is more valuable than all of that, it is intangible and priceless: pride and office bragging rights. (Maybe a beer or two)

The rules are simple: pick 2 players, a favorite and a dark horse. The dark horse needs to be seeded out of the top 10. As I reveal each pick, I will share with you my thoughts on the player and give odds on them winning the championship. (Note: these odds are completely made up in my head; there is absolutely no scientific research behind this. Zip. Zero. None.)

MEN’S PICKS

Chris
Fav: Novak Djokovic. I think he has a damn good shot at winning. He has all the shots and he moves well. Plus, since it’s in England, heat shouldn’t be an issue. Odds: 8-1
DH: Mardy Fish. Made it to the QF at the Queens Club, so that’s a plus. But he gets minus points for beating my dark horse earlier this year. Odds: 93-1

Spencer
Fav: Juan Martin Del Potro. A big man with a big game. He’s the youngest player in the top 10, so he’s got age on his side. Odds: 11-1
DH: Ivan Lubijic. The man speaks 3 languages: Croatian, Italian and English. Odds: 95-1

Tiffani
Fav: Andy Murray. Coming off a win at the Queens Club, this guy is hot. The switch to the Head Youtek Radical racquet  might just give him the advantage he needs. Odds: 9-1
DH: Marin Cilic. He claims grass is one of his favorite surfaces, lucky for him, Wimbledon is on grass! Odds: 84-1

Jason
Fav: Rafael Nadal. Sure he has tendonitis in both knees, but after watching that epic Finals match in 2008, I’m not putting anything past him. He’s gotta be hungry after that French Open loss. Odds: 1-2 (Come on, he’s my pick, I had to give him the best odds)
DH: James Blake. OK, so I don’t really think he can win this, but he’s my favorite player. Big forehand, speed, shot making ability BUT so frustrating to watch. Odds: 90-1

Kana
Fav: Roger Federer. What grace, what elegance. Fred Astaire with a racquet. This guy’s not bad at tennis, huh? Odds: 4-1
DH: Tommy Robredo. Off to a great start in ’09 (32-11), but most of that was on clay. Let’s see what he can do on the lawn. Odds: 124-1

Next time, I’ll unveil the women’s picks. Here’s a small hint at my pick; it’s Venus Williams.

Jason, TW