Is it a Fling, or is it Love?

I was inspired to write this blog by the Talk Tennis thread “Yonex 110% Loyalty Tour.”

Since college, I’ve been honeymooning and breaking up with a plethora of racquets, but have had the strongest relationship with the Yonex RQ iS 1 Tour Light to date.


My timeline of racquets:

Racquet / Weight (strung) / Balance / TW Stiffness Rating / Time Used

Wilson Classic 6.1 / 12.8 oz / 11 pts HL / 72 / HS-College

Wilson KBlade Tour / 11.9 oz / 8 pts HL / 65 / Jan-Feb ’09

Head YOUTEK Speed 16×19 / 11.8 oz / 7.8 pts HL / 63 / April-May ’09

Volkl Power Bridge 10 Light / 11 oz / 5 pts HL / 62 / June-July ’09

Head YOUTEK Speed 18×20 / 11.8 oz / 7 pts HL / 65 / Aug-Sept ’09

Yonex RQ iS 1 Tour Light / 11 oz / 6 pts HL / 61 / Sept-current

After a month of heavy hitting in August, it took a toll on my right shoulder. Every time I hit, it felt what I could only describe as someone jabbing an ice pick into my front shoulder tendon and a ripping of muscles from my scapula. Icing and China Gel would only numb this agony for less than an hour, but I realized this was the worst my shoulder had felt since college.

Tennis hadn’t been fun with the pain, so I decided to recharge my mind and body. I took a full week off and finally started to recover. I started to lightly hit twice a week, but could still feel some pain. I began to test other racquets to see if I could find a light enough racquet that still felt like a player’s stick with just enough stiffness to have the control that I liked.

Standing in our racquet room, I scanned the brands trying to determine what I should hit with that day. My fellow co-worker stepped in saying that the Yonex RQ iS Tour Light felt forgiving when he hit it, so I tried it out. From the first hit I fell hard for this racquet. My groundstrokes were consistently deep with more topspin than I usually produced, the thwack of my shots sounded amazing, and my angle forehand seemed untouchable! After the love at first hit, I strung it up with an extremely soft-multi I was testing at 57 lbs and knew in that session that this could be it. This might be a racquet that I could see myself having a future with. My shoulder pain has dwindled, not all the way, but to a point where I’m comfortable, and my confidence has boosted back up again.

As in every relationship, racquet or life, one must compliment the other and bring a positive energy. So far, the positive energy along with the compliments I have been receiving about my game has been because of this racquet. Of course, I have gone through my doubts that this could only be a fling, but so far it’s a fling I’ve been looking forward to every time I play.

Peace Sign,
Kana

Wimbledon Wrap Up

Wimbledon 2009 is in the books and, it certainly did not disappoint. The tournament had a great blend of the expected, and unexpected which kept me glued to the television day after day.

There was a fortnight full of stories this year, some great matches. There was the epic Serena vs. Dementieva semi-final or the Murray vs. Wawrinka 5 setter in the 4th round. There were certainly some great headliners this tournament: the roof was used for the first time ever, the resurgence of Llyeton Hewitt and Tommy Haas, the coming out party for 17-year-old American Melanie Oudin. The list goes on and on, but let’s be serious, there was only one true headline that people will take away from this tournament: Men’s Final: Federer vs. Roddick.

To no one’s surprise, Roger Federer won Wimbledon. The surprise was the manner in which he won it. He was rolling through all his opponents leading up to the final. He was 18-2 versus Roddick. This was his surface and this was his tournament to lose. Most everyone expected a straight set trouncing. I know I did. Apparently, Roddick didn’t get the memo.

I was never a huge Andy Roddick fan. And after reading multiple posts on our Talk Tennis Message Board, it seemed like I wasn’t the only one.

7-6, 6-7, 6-7, 6-3, 14-16. 14-16?! 14-16?! 14-16?! OK, I think 3 repetitions is enough.

Combine that score with the gracious speech he gave afterward and I think he just earned himself some new fans. He showed me heart, drive, determination and skill that I’ve never seen before. Where did he get that running backhand passing shot? ebay? What about the serve and volleying or the touch volleys? Federer knows all too well what I’m talking about. Call me crazy, but if Roddick would’ve not missed that volley at 6-5 in the 2nd set tiebreaker, I think he would’ve won in 4 sets. That’s right, I said it.

I feel for him, he left it all out on the court and pushed the greatest player of his generation to the brink. He was broken only once, unfortunately, it was for championship point. No one could’ve predicted this scoreboard. Not even Roddick.

The US Open is just around the corner and after this epic performance he’ll have some new fans pulling for him. I know I will be.

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What about our office pool? Who won it? If you ask me, I won it, afterall, I had both Roddick and Venus. But, at the end of the day, we were picking champions, not finalists. Like Ricky Bobby says, “If you’re not first, you’re last.” So to the winners go the spoils, which means Chris and Kana have some adult beverages coming their way.

Till next time,

Jason, TW