Fun. Fit. Fabulous. 10 Nike Tennis Spring Pieces worn on court and everywhere in between!

If you are anything like me or my tennis friends, your life is busy and you are usually juggling your outfits with your daily activities — from the gym, to work, to the court, to running errands, etc.! So we wanted to help you out and grabbed 10 super cute pieces from Nike and made several different outfits perfect for all areas of your day — from sporty to sassy to strong looks — we’ve got you covered!

OutfitCollageBannerLike the professional athletes of our sport, today’s tennis players don’t just play tennis anymore to get their exercise in — you can find them in the gym, running, hiking, taking barre classes, kickboxing, cross-fitting, etc. Which is why this blog is a shout out to those dynamic ladies out there who find themselves on the court, off the court, in the gym and every where in between on a daily basis. These are the looks the active, athletic tennis ladies live in.
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2014 Coaching/Player Relationships on the ATP and WTA

I don’t know about you guys, but I am ready for tennis season to be back in full force! I am counting down the days until the Australian Open! But until then, let’s discuss some player/coach relationships as it seems like lately there has been an influx of new relationships being formed.

It’s not new to see former pros on the coaching end of things, but it seems like lately, all of our favorite players from the past have made their way back to the circuit via coaching. Brad Gilbert has worked with the best of them — everyone from Agassi, Roddick, Andy Murray to Nishikori and even Sam Querrey. Some of those relationships blossomed in chemistry, and some were duds. In 2013, we saw Sharapova hire, and quickly fire, Jimmy Connors — but let’s be honest, there wasn’t enough room on the court for those two superstars. Then there was Martina Hingis’ stint in coaching Anastasia Pavlyuchnkova…until Martina realized how much she missed the limelight and competition.

So, who do we have paired up in 2014?

fededb

Federer and Edberg are working together in 2014 — photos by Cynthia Lum

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Fashion + Function = New Bags from HEAD

HEAD Tennis has been on top of the trends lately creating some of the newest, freshest styles of tennis bags over the past year making sure that each of their players are carrying their racquets to the courts in style.

Maria Sharapova HEAD BagHEAD launches some functional and fashion-forward new bags. Maria Sharapova designed these bags to be elegant and dynamic for the tennis player that is looking for style when carrying their gear to the court. There are two bags available in this collection, the Maria Sharapova Tennis Court Bag and the Maria Sharapova Tennis Racquet Bag Combi. These bags are black with pops of neon lime and purple accents. Complete with accessory bags and lots of pockets, these bags are perfect for any tennis fashionista!

 
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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

aHEAD of the Game

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.

Sony Open 2013

Andy Murray using his HEAD Youtek Radical Pro in Miami at the Sony Open – Photo by Cynthia Lum

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.

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Sharapova back in top form

Maria Sharapova in her 2012 Roland Garros Nike outfit, and Head racquet

Maria Sharapova in her 2012 Roland Garros Nike outfit with her Head racquet

Winning all four Grand Slams is not an easy feat, but this week Maria Sharapova became the 10th woman to joined the elite group of women who have achieved this. Hold the applause please! Masha just won Roland Garros in straight sets against Sara Errani and took back her position as world No. 1. After making a comeback after shoulder surgery, she added Paris to her major titles at Wimbledon 2004, the US Open 2006 and the Australian Open four years ago. Her weapon of choice? The Head YOUTEK IG Instinct, a racquet that offers a solid response with plenty of spin and power. Like Masha, you’ll notice fast feel with control from the baseline, along with easy maneuverability at net.

Head YOUTEK IG Instinct

Head YOUTEK IG Instinct

Sharapova said in a press release, “This is such an incredible moment. I’ve worked so hard to get to this stage. There were so many emotions when I won the last point.”

Describing her emotions, Sharapova explained, “This is a magnificent moment of my career. I’m speechless. It’s been such a journey to get to this stage. I have so many people to thank, especially my wonderful team.”

Not only does she play enviable tennis, but she has her look down too. The Nike Feather Light Visor is Nike’s best selling visor and provides everything you need on court. The bill is comfortable and black to reduce glare, as well as there being mesh insets to encourage airflow to keep your head cool. The Dri-FIT head band removes sweat and the quick adjust closure makes its easy to adjust sizing. With a gold Swoosh on the front completes it — making it the perfect visor not only for Masha and but for you!

To match her visor, she has her Nike Women’s Maria Statement Dress. It’s sleek, it’s stylish and it’s perfect to give you that little extra on the court. It’s Dri-FIT so will wick away sweat and I love the paneling design on the bodice.

Nike Women's Maria Statement Set Dress

Nike Women's Maria Statement Set Dress

Nike Women's Summer Feather Light Visor Black/Gold

Nike Women's Summer Feather Light Visor Black/Gold

With all that sliding on the clay, Sharapova needed something to keep her footwork quick and agile. In our review of the Nike Lunar Speed 3, the playtesters found it lightweight, with excellent traction, good support, good durability, exciting cosmetics (I love the Scarlet Fire), and with the fit being a noticeable improvement from the older Lunar Speed models.

Nike Lunar Speed 3 White/Scarlet Women's Shoe

Nike Lunar Speed 3 White/Scarlet Women's Shoe

Sharapova’s entire look is available online here so check it what it takes to look like a champion. Love how hardwork and determination got Sharapova back to the top, showing  everyone that an injury doesn’t have to define your tennis.

Siobhan

 

 

French fashion, French Open that is

I love this time of year. The French Open is just around the corner, and that signifies to me the kick off to the summer. Shortly after will come Wimbledon, then the U.S. Open Series topped off by all the excitement in New York. Really it’s the only time I bother to turn on my TV.

Not only do we get to see our favorite pros play on three different surfaces in a relatively short period of time, but we also get to see them in new outfits. The majors are where we see the big splashes, and each of the majors possesses its own personality — and set of challenges — when it comes to dressing for the occasion.

The French Open is up first. (The main draw first round starts May 27 so set your VCR if you like to keep it old school, but more than likely set your DVR.) What are the challenges of dressing for Roland Garros? There’s the clay, for one. That terre battue gets on everything, it stains and it’s red. The last thing I want is to have to compete for attention with the color of the court. Then there’s the fact that it’s in Paris, quite possibly the most stylish city in the world. I’d think there’s quite a bit of pressure to step out in style.

Nike just launched its plans for its bevy of tennis stars. Let’s take a gander at what we can expect to see.

Rafael Nadal

Rafa will wear the Finals Crew and the Finals Short.

Rafa has obviously mastered playing on clay, so he has no fear when it comes to Roland Garros. He will face the clay court head on, dominating it by wearing the reddish hue Scarlet Fire on top and a white short. He will finish off the look with a Scarlet Fire bandana and matching Air Court Ballistec 4.3s. Just a quick aside on the actual function (it can’t all be about looking good!) on Rafa’s Finals Clay Crew. The shoulder seam sits farther forward than it does on most tops. Nike put in this feature to make the top more comfortable and to allow it to move more freely — because I’m not sure if you’ve seen Rafa’s forehand? But that guy can create insane racquet head speed and has a follow through that shouldn’t be humanly possible.

Roger Federer

Federer heads to Paris wearing all Anthracite grey.

Some of my favorite looks for Fed have been his night match U.S. Open ensembles. So, I must admit, the monochromatic look works for me. His solid Anthracite look will pop nicely against the red clay. He’ll be wearing the RF Smash Clay Polo with a short similar to the Match Woven Short with Cyber accents. To top it off, he has the a matching bandana and Vapor 9 Tour SLs. That SL stands for synthetic leather. For the clay season, the Vapor 9 has synthetic leather through the vamp which holds up better against the clay compared to mesh. Here’s a fun fact about Fed’s polo: If you’re a big fan, you may have already known about the no-sew seams for zero-abrasion comfort, but did you know that as a Dri-Fit UV piece that its sleeves are slightly longer than non-UV protective Nike tops? Yup. Extra length means extra coverage.’

Maria Sharapova

Masha will look sharp on court in her Statement Set Dress.

If any player knows about Paris Fashion Week, it has to be Masha. (She has her own Cole Haan shoe and handbag line.) She, like Fed, will step out in a darker color. Apparently the notion that every woman needs a little black dress also applies to tennis. The Cargo Khaki bodice of her Statement Set Dress sets off the black paneled skirt portion so nicely. This classy color combo isn’t overshadowed either any crazy designs and instead has subtle design touches such as the zig-zag stitching on the skirt. Sharapova finishes off the look with a signature Featherlight Visor and a pair of Lunar Speed 3s in White/Scarlet Fire.

Victoria Azarenka

Azarenka will be ready to leave opponents in the dust in her Tie Breaker Knit Dress.

You can’t ignore the newest WTA No. 1. She has only two singles losses, can you believe it? How dare she wear shorts at the Australian Open?! I kid, I kid. I loved that look and have a pair of those shorts myself. (Check them out in this season’s colors. So cute!) Vika’s back in a dress for the French, and like Rafa, she has the confidence to wear a color complementary to the red clay. Her Tie Breaker Knit Dress in Fruit Punch is the perfect color, too, to usher in summer, especially with its Orange Chalk accents. Unfortunately, that Nike headtie she’s making her signature look won’t be available to buy in Orange Chalk, but we can substitute a basic white one. She, too, finishes her look with the same Lunar Speed 3 shoes.

Serena Williams

Watch out for Serena in the Statement Rally Dress.

Never to be counted out of the running, Serena Williams always is a threat even when not considered among the top contenders. One of my favorite colors against the clay courts of Roland Garros is blue. Her Statement Rally Dress is a gorgeous mix of minty greens and a bluish green teal. Her Air Max Mirabella 3 shoes are a perfect match colorwise, and are some of the most comfortable tennis shoes out there. (Our testing team loved them, and I do mean love. It scored a 4.5 out of 5 overall. Read the review here.)

So there you have it. Remember to set your VCR, wait DVR and get ready to see some great tennis.

Happy Hitting!
Tiffani, TW

Spring into action with a new tennis dress

Ahhhh … don’t you love spring? It’s January, you say? Technically it is still winter, but the big tennis apparel lines have just come out. Yay, it’s time to check out the latest fashions!

All our favorite pros are going to be donning dresses once again. Let’s take a quick look at some of them.

Caroline Wozniacki in adidas by Stella McCartney

I am so happy to see adidas by Stella McCartney pieces in a bright color. This reddish color on the spring Tennis Dress is gorgeous, and I find this dress silhouette much more universally flattering than last year’s ballerina-inspired skirt. This one has a sportier cut, but it remains ultra feminine with its use of a lacy mesh. This dress is not for the wallflower. The back has a semi-sheer mesh panel, so you might want to pick up the matching sports bra to go with it. There’s also a matching shortie. For those who like classic white tennis apparel or play at clubs with restrictions on color, there is an all white version of the dress, too.

Maria Sharapova in Nike

For the Australian Open, Maria will be keeping cool in a mostly white ensemble. Color pops come at the tank straps and the slits on the sides and back. I think the slashes give the dress a sporty, aggressive look and appear to me as if the dress has been sliced during combat so Maria will be ready — apparel-wise at least — for her on-court battles. Maria is sure to look fierce on court in this slim fitting dress.

Ana Ivanovic in adidas adizero

One of my favorite things about adidas dresses lately is that they’re three-piece sets. The spring adizero dress comes as a set with a matching bra and compression short. The dress is available in white and a light orange called Ultra Bright to start with more colors coming out later this year. The reddish hue you see on both dresses is called Core Energy and will be a color you’ll see throughout the year. The dress is also is easy to wear with its flowy silhouette.

Serena Williams in Nike

Serena will wear blue on the blue courts of the Australian Open if all goes according to plan. The Rally Statement Dress in Mega Blue is form fitting through the torso to show off your tennis figure. My favorite design feature of this dress is how the fitted torso opens up into a pleated skirt. I like how pleats add movement to skirts and dresses. They’re feminine but don’t take away from the overall sporty feel of the dress.

Happy Hitting,
Tiffani, TW

Wimbledon. Place your bets, Part Deux!

If I know my audience (and I think I do), you’ve all been on pins and needles waiting for my blog on the women’s picks for Wimbledon (starts Monday, June 22). Well, the wait is over. Here are my predictions: (Again, please don’t take these odds to Vegas.) If you missed Part I, click here.

WOMEN’S PICKS

Chris
Fav: Serena Williams. They say the only thing that can cut a diamond is another diamond. So it goes with Serena, the only person that can beat a Williams is another Williams. Odds: 6-1
DH: Agnieszka Radwanska. Lost to eventual champion Kuznetsova in the 4th at Roland Garros. This could be her coming out party. Odds: 84-1

Spencer
Fav: Svetlana Kuznetsova. Entering the Championships, she’s hotter than a stolen tamale. Made the win at the French finals look easy. Odds: 6-1
DH: Caroline Wozniacki. Dad’s a pro soccer player; mom’s a pro volleyball player. Mix those together, you get a pro tennis player?! Odds: 43-1

Tiffani
Fav: Victoria Azarenka. Admires Roger Federer, who’s not a bad person to admire when playing at Wimbledon. Odds: 15-1
DH: Maria Sharapova. This is the GDHOAT (Greatest Dark Horse of All Time). Odds on being the loudest shrieker: 2-1. Odds: 13-1

Jason
Fav: Venus Williams. 5 time champion. Her game was built for the green stuff. My “diamond” is going to cut Chris’ “diamond” in 3 sets in the final. Odds: 4-1
DH: Maria Kirilenko. Did you know she was in Sports Illustrated this year?! Oh, and she plays tennis too. Odds: 52-1

Kana
Fav: Dinara Safina. Questions, questions. The world #1 has a big game for the grass, but can she string together 7 matches to win her first Grand Slam? Can she shake off the let down at the French Open a few weeks ago? Can she finally go past the 3rd round? Is her brother really Marat Safin? Odds: 11-1
DH: Ana Ivanovic. Speaking of #1, the former world #1 has been disappointing so far in 2009. If her game and knee holds up, she can go far. I wouldn’t sleep on this sleeper. Odds: 27-1

So there you go, the picks have been made, my opinions, voiced. All that’s left to do now is watch and see who’s going to owe whom a beer.

Check back during the tournament for my thoughts on certain matches and anything else to do with The Championships.

Jason, TW

** Editors Note: Due to late breaking news that the #1 seed, and my pick to win, Rafael Nadal is not going to play due to tendonitis, I was forced to make a scramble pick.
New Fav: Andy Roddick. I’m digging the improvement he’s made to his game and it’s perfect for Wimbledon. His serve scares everyone not named Federer and he is moving a lot better. Chant it with me now, USA! USA! USA! Odds: 10-1.