Four former top-five ranked players along with rising American stars highlight the list of players granted wildcards into next week’s BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, CA. David Nalbandian, Tommy Robredo, Jakes Blake and Kimiko Date-Krumm have all at one point in their careers been ranked inside the top 5 in the world rankings. Up and coming Americans Tim Smyczek, Steve Johnson, Madison Keys, Maria Sanchez, Melanie Oudin and Taylor Townsend will all have their chance to take down some of the world’s best as well with guaranteed admittance into the main draw. Rounding out the wildcards on the women’s side are Shahar Peer, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Kristina Mladenovic.
“This year’s main draw wildcards span from seasoned veterans, to rising American and international stars to those returning from injury,” said tournament direction Steve Simon in a recent press release. “Awarding wildcards to players like David Nalbandian, James Blake, Madison Keys and Taylor Townsend add to the allure of early-round matches for fans and provide the potential for these deserving athletes to break through and make a move up their respective Tour’s rankings.”
Some notables among the players awarded wildcards into the qualifying draw are former top-ten player Andrea Petkovic, UCLA standout Dennis Novikov and up and coming Americans Christian Harrison, Jack Sock, Rhyne Williams and Grace Min.
Players begin battling in the qualifying draw Monday, March 4 for a berth in the main draw that begins on Thursday the 7th. The BNP Paribas Open is the largest ATP World Tour and WTA combined two-week event in the world, offering more than $12 million in prize money.
Thanks for reading!
Get ready for a revolution from Dunlop! In October 2012, Dunlop will be releasing their new line of racquets. But these aren’t the same racquets that we are used to seeing from Dunlop. Instead, they’ve completely redesigned their frames to better suit the modern game. With the help of some new technology, Dunlop’s trying to make a new identity for themselves in the world of racquets.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the SIX NEW RACQUETS in the Dunlop line…
Biomimetic F 3.0 Tour:
-the racquet of choice for touring pros Jurgen Melzer and Tim Smyzcek
-98 sq. inch head size, 11.5 oz strung, 6 pts HL balance, 319 swingweight, 22 mm beam width, 64 stiffness, 18×20 string pattern
-replaces the Biomimetic 300 Tour
Biomimetic M 3.0:
-racquet of choice for touring pros Fernando Verdasco and Heather Watson
-98 sq. inch head size, 11 oz strung, 2 pts HL balance, 318 swingweight, 22 mm beam width, 66 stiffness, 16×19 string pattern
-replaces the Biomimetic 300
Biomimetic M 6.0:
-racquet of choice for touring pro Tommy Robredo
-102 sq. inch head size, 10.6 oz strung, 2 pts HL balance, 312 swingweight, 25 mm bead width, 70 stiffness, 16×19 string pattern
-replaces the Biomimetic 600
Biomimetic S 3.0 Lite:
-98 sq. inch head size, 10 oz strung, 2 pts HH balance, 300 swingweight, 22 mm bead width, 65 stiffness, 16×19 string pattern
-replaces the Aerogel 4D 300 Lite
Biomimetic S 6.0 Lite:
-racquet of choice for touring pro Dominika Cibulkova
-105 sq. inch head size, 1/4″ longer than standard length, 10.1 oz strung, 2 pts HL balance, 295 swingweight, 26 mm beam width, 69 stiffness, 16×19 string pattern
-replaces the Biomimetic 600 Lite
Biomimetic S 8.0 Lite:
-115 sq. inch head size, 1/2″ longer than standard length, 9.7 oz strung, 8 pts HH balance, 333 swingweight, 30 mm beam width, 70 stiffness, 16×19 string pattern
-replaces the Aerogel 800
Dunlop is introducing some new Biomimetic (inspired by nature) technologies in order to make their racquets lighter, faster, and more powerful. First, they’ve incorporated Biofibre, which is made from the stem skin of plants, and according to Dunlop is lighter than carbon and stronger than steel. It’s used in the throat of the frame to absorb shock and give it 18% greater feel and control.
Next, a state of the art grommet system was introduced made from a substance called MoS2. It’s designed to mimic the surface of snake skin, which is supposed to be more durable and also reduce friction between the frame and the string. It is designed to reduce string friction for 27% greater power and increase abrasion resistance for 40% greater durability.
Finally, the third new technology Dunlop has integrated into the racquet is called Aeroskin CX. It’s an upgrade on their previous Aeroskin technology, which is inspired by shark skin, and looks like little bubbles on the racquet at the 12, 4, and 8 o’clock positions. It’s intended to make the racquet more aerodynamic, dramatically reducing drag and allowing the player to generate much more racquet speed. In numbers, this reduces drag by up to 36%, an 11% increase from the older technology, resulting in a faster racquet speed for more power, maneuverability and reaction time.
All in all, Dunlop is moving away from their lower-powered, control-oriented frames. They even look way different and more modern. The beam is designed in more of an aerodynamic shape (think Babolat AeroPro Drive) as opposed to the classic box beam we have grown accustomed to from Dunlop. The grommets are sunken into the racquets instead of having the string sit above the frame, and the throat is deeper and longer to make the racquet easier to swing. Last but not least, maybe the most immediately noticeable difference in the shape of the head, which is much more of a tear drop shape, narrower towards the throat and flaring out towards the tip.
With their new look and new technologies, Dunlop is also introducing a new naming system to the whole series of racquets. The new racquets are labeled with a smaller number and a decimal (ex. 3.0, 6.0, 9.0 etc.), but people familiar with the old racquets rest assured that they pretty much align with their predecessors (3.0 = 300, 6.0 = 600, etc.). In addition, one of three letters that represents the swing style that best suits the racquet:
F = Full/fast swings
M = Medium/moderate swings
S = Short/slow swings