Petra in Purple in Instanbul!

I’m really loving a bunch of the pieces in the Nike Winter group that we have right now. We are seeing a lot of purple from several brands right now and the Purple Dynasty from Nike is really standing out as a great seasonal color. My favorite WTA player, Petra Kvitova, has one of my favorite looks at the moment.

pppThe big serving lefty from the Czech Republic is wearing the Nike Winter Printed Knit Top, (which is similar to the top Li Na wore at the US Open, which I also loved). Despite the chill in the air, some of us will continue to benefit from the SPF protection (UV 40+) this top offers while playing outside, while everyone else that moves indoors for the fall/winter season will enjoy how lightweight this top is so it won’t weigh you down on the court.

 

She pairs it with the Nike Winter Woven Pleated Skort in purple dynasty. I love this skort because of it the fit, but also that line toward the middle that looks like a ribbon encircling the skort. Her shoe of choice is the Nike Zoom Vapor Tour 9s in the White, Pink, Purple colorway. I love the the swoosh on this shoe because it has a sparkly pop of that purple dynasty to tie the whole look together.

 

Hope you all are enjoying the great tennis in Instanbul at the BNP Paribas WTA Championships!

 

Play with heart,
Michelle

US Open 2013 gear check: Petra Kvitova

Petra Kvitiva wins her first round match at the 2013 US Open. Photo by Cynthia Lum.

Petra Kvitiva wins her first round match at the 2013 US Open. Photo by Cynthia Lum.

Petra Kvitova finished up her first round match, taking out Misaki Doi 6-2, 3-6, 6-1. She cruised the first and last sets, making it an easier win than the scoreline might indicate. Let’s take a quick look at her current gear.

Her look: Nike’s Pure Short Sleeve Top in Fusion Red. We’ve also seen Li Na and others, including American Jamie Hampton, sport this flattering full coverage top. Kvitova paired her top with the Nike Flounce Knit Skort in Cool Grey. This is skirt is a great mix-and-match piece, especially in this color. On her feet, she’s sporting the Nike Lunar Vapor 9 Tour, at TW playtester favorite, in Atomic Pink. She accessorized with matching wristbands and head tie.

Her equipment: To hit her punishing groundstrokes, she makes the Wilson Steam 99 her racquet of choice. There’s loads of power coming from this one. She also uses a Wilson Pro Feel Dampener and a Wilson Pro Overgrip in white.

Happy US Open Watching!
Tiffani, TW

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).”
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Week 2 FDL Results and Interview

We’re off and running in the TW Friday Doubles League with two more matches just completed last Friday afternoon. In the first match, Team Johnson & O’Leary (Andy/Spencer) and Team Leftovers (Troy/Mark) went back and forth early on, with long deuce games. After a tough hold by Troy to get the match to 3-4, Andy and Spencer won 11 of the next 12 points to help them secure an 8-3 victory. (Click here for some video footage of last week’s matches!)

Brittany and Michelle (Team Blonde) put up a strong 8-3 victory this week over Team Air Cooled.

Brittany and Michelle (Team Blonde) put up a strong 8-3 victory this week over Team Air Cooled.

In the second match, Team Blonde (Michelle/Brittany) came out with an excellent gameplan and executed to perfection against Team Air Cooled (Granville/Chris). The girls jumped out to an early lead, held off a fierce comeback attempt, and finished strong for an 8-3 victory.

“Since we have played them several times before we knew what to expect – serve and volley, solid volleys, and lots of slice,” Brittany said following the match.  ”We wanted to play consistent, smart tennis and then when we had the opportunity to be aggressive to take advantage of that.  We were aiming for a high percentage of first serves and returns to start the point, then solid groundstrokes with a lot of shots down the middle. Lastly, we were ready to hit one more volley than we were used to because both of them have great hands.”

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Meet the Playtesters- Michelle Heidbrink

We are back!

I have a special blog on the newest member of our TW Playtesting Team, Michelle Heidbrink! Michelle played college tennis at the University of New Mexico and followed that up with an Assistant Coaching position there. Michelle is currently an Assistant Web Editor here at Tennis Warehouse. She has just started playtesting racquets, strings, and shoes so keep an eye out for her on reviews. You can find her first video appearance in our LoveMatch video. Check out her interview below.

Click Here to View Video

Click Here to View Video

How long have you been a playtester: 2013
Racquet of Choice: Babolat Pure Drive
String of Choice: Kirschbaum Spiky Black Shark 16
Shoe of Choice: Babolat Propulse 4
Apparel of Choice: Nike

When/Why did you start playing tennis?
I started playing tennis when I was 5. My parents had just bought a weekend condo in Palm Springs and decided to take up tennis, so they got an hour lesson with the local pro, they took the first 30 minutes, while I got the second half of the lesson. The rest is history! I started tournaments at age 8 and have loved it ever since!

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WTA Year end championships kick off in Turkey

World #1 Victoria Azarenka leads the pack into the WTA year end championships in Istanbul, Turkey

The WTA year end championships begins today in Istanbul, Turkey, with the top 8 players competing in a round robin format.  There are two groups (Red and White) of four players each, with the top two from each group moving into the semifinals.  The Red Group is loaded up with world #1 Victoria Azarenka, red hot Serena Williams, Angelique Kerber (the tour’s leader in match wins this year), and Na Li.  In the White Group, Maria Sharapova headlines with Agnieszka Radwanska, Petra Kvitova and Sara Errani.

In other news…

Venus Williams won her first WTA title this past weekend since the beginning of 2010.

-Venus Williams won her first title since February of 2010, defeating Monica Niculescu in the Luxembourg final 6-2 6-3 this past weekend.  It’s her 44th career title, the second-most among active players behind only her sister Serena.

-Caroline Wozniacki won her 20th career title at the Kremlin Cup last week, defeating Samantha Stosur in a riveting final, 6-2 4-6 7-5.  Caroline built up a 6-2 4-3 lead, but the Aussie came storming back, winning five straight games, winning the second set and taking an early lead in the 3rd.  ‘Woz hung tough and battled back to take the deciding third set.

 

Caroline Wozniacki won her 2nd title of 2012 at the Kremlin Cup.

 

 

Stay tuned this week as the world’s best battle it out in Turkey for the year end championships!  Thanks for reading!

 

 

-AG

Get the Look of the Pros’ Practice Gear

Ever wonder what the pros wear when they practice?  Do they wear the basic tshirt and shorts? Well, here at the BNP Paribas Open the spectators are able to get up close and personal to the pros on the practice courts and see what they really wear.  You will find there is a wide range of workout gear from capris to tank tops.

Caroline Wozniacki

Caroline Wozniacki is normally sporting adidas by Stella McCartney dresses during her matches, but out on the practice court she likes to mix it up with other adidas essentials.  On top, Caroline is wearing the adidas Spring Sequential Racer Tank and on bottom the matching adidas Spring Sequential Short in black. To complete her look, try the adidas by Stella McCartney Sebellica shoes and the adidas by Stella McCartney Org Cotton Visor.

Petra Kvitova

In a more casual look, Petra Kvitova is sporting a tank top and spandex shorts out on the practice courts at the BNP Paribas Open.  You can get a similar look to hers in the Nike Spring Indy Tank in Tide Pool Blue and Nike Spring Pro 2.5 Print Short in Tide Pool Blue. Pull the look together with Nike Zoom Breathe 2K11 shoes in white/purple and a Nike New Basic Feather Lite Visor II in white.

Jelena Jankovic

Even in Indian Wells, the mornings are a little chilly.  Jelena Jankovic knows how to stay warm during her practice.  You can too with Fila apparel.  Get the super comfy Fila Supplex Tight Capri and pair it with the Fila Supplex Jacket for the perfect outfit to start the day.

Maria Kirilenko

Lastly, Maria Kirilenko knows how to practice in style.  Get a comparable look to hers by mixing and matching the adidas Spring adiPure Tank in ultra purple and the adidas Spring Sequential Capri Skort in black.   Finish the look with adidas Barricade 7 shoes in white/green  and adidas Grandslam II visor.
Look your best like the pros whether on center court or on the back court!
Ad Out,
Brittany

Two top singles players = a doubles team?

Petra Kvitova and Victoria Azarenka playing doubles at BNP Paribas Open

One of the matches I was most looking forward to on Thursday was a first round women’s doubles match featuring world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka and No. 3 Petra Kvitova, who are playing doubles for the first time together as wildcards.

As I eagerly awaited the arrival of the doubles partners, I waited patiently in the media room on center court for a men’s singles first round match to finish. Women’s doubles matches don’t usually garner a lot of attention, but with two top women’s singles players teaming up the crowd was slightly larger than I had expected with around 5,000 spectators. Over the loud speaker, the crowd was informed the match would be played as two no-ad sets. If the sets are split, a 10-point tiebreak determines the winner. I like this rule, and I think it will keep the doubles matches exciting and fast paced.

Around 3:30 p.m., both teams were announced and walked onto the court. First out were Natalie Grandin and Vladimira Uhilrova, and Azarenka and Kvitova followed. Azarenka was sporting her Wilson BLX Juice 100 racquet and Nike Lunar Speed 3 shoes. Kvitova was in similar fashion with a Wilson BLX Steam 100 racquet and Nike Zoom Breathe 2K11 shoes. During the warm-up, Kvitova took the duece side as a lefty and Vika took the ad side.

As the match started, the first thing I noticed was how aggressive the team of Azarenka/Kvitova was. They immediately attacked the return of serve and the net player was looking to poach. This aggression lead to a break of serve in the first game.

Azarenka/Kvitova jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead. I noticed both teams do not use signals and instead talk strategy before each point. The teams have similar strategies consisting of the baseline player hitting deep cross court with the net player looking to poach. Grandin/Uhilrova, who both have successful doubles careers, found their footing, broke Azarenka, and then held to make the score 3-2.

Petra Kvitova and Victoria Azarenka

From there on, Azarenka and Kvitova cruised to take the first set 6-2. The difference between the teams, I thought, was the world No. 1 and 3′s use of the down-the-line passing shot. They used this shot quite frequently to keep the other team “honest” and preventing their opponents from poaching as much.

The second set went the exact same way. Azarenka/Kvitova got up a quick 3-0 with Grandin/Uhilrova crawling back to 3-2 and then Azarenka/Kvitova closing out the match 6-2. Azarenka/Kvitova looked in complete control up at the net while the other team appeared to be scraping by to win points. Both Azarenka and Kvitova hung back when the other was returning bigger first serves from Grandin/Uhilorva. Azarenka stayed back at the baseline instead of playing at net, while Kvitova played a couple feet behind the service line.

I think Azarenka/Kvitova have a strong chance of going very deep in this draw, if not winning it. A couple keys to success, I think, will be to get their first serve percentage up a little higher to take advantage of their powerful serves and to use different set-ups such as the “I” formation to put even more pressure on their opponents’ return of serve.

To end the match, the crowd sang “Happy Birthday” to Kvitova, who turned 22. To answer to the question most people were thinking, How did you guys decide to play doubles?, Victoria replied, “My coach took Petra’s coach out for a beer, and it came up some time during the conversation.” That earned a good laugh from the crowd as they walked off the court.

Ad out,

Brittany