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One swing at a time

Posted on April 8, 2011 in Health & Nutrition Racquets

I’ve hit only twice since my last blog entry. To me that’s shockingly infrequent as someone who played five times a week pre-baby. I thought that once I was back at work, it would be much easier to find the time to play. Like many notions about life with baby that I had while I was pregnant, I’m discovering that Mom Reality has different plans.

I usually try to workout or playtest during lunchtime, but before baby, I didn’t need those lunch hours to run errands. Technically, I guess, I don’t have to run my errands during lunch now, but as a mom who works full time, I want to spend as many off hours with my daughter as possible and make those hours count. For me that means not running errands like going to the grocery store and post office after work and instead trying to do them during the day while she is at day care. As I see it, I am not only relearning my balance on the tennis court, but also learning to balance my new life.

Those two times I did get out on court, though, I have noticed marked improvement. I am feeling much less alien on the court and have worked out my spacing and timing. I don’t feel like I’m on my heels as much as I was those first couple of times out, but I’m still not getting down and don’t feel like I’m committing enough on my groundstrokes. I feel like I might have picked up a habit from when I was playing pregnant by playing too upright and being overly cautious. So during a hitting session with Spencer earlier this week, we worked on cross court forehands and backhands. I used this opportunity to work on bending my knees and stepping into the ball. We finished up our hour doing the cross court and down-the-line control drills at net with volleys, and I know how much fitness work I have to do because my quads were burning from those net drills.

I feel like I’m regaining some feel with racquets as well. I restrung the Yonex V Core 100 S at mid tension with a new WeissCANNON string that we’ll be carrying. It’s called 6StarString Supercharged. It’s a unique mono-multifilament, according to WeissCANNON. Monofilaments and multifilaments are twisted together to form the string. While stringing it showed some nice elasticity, but not quite as much as some multifilaments I’ve strung. On court, I enjoyed the comfort most of all. I didn’t find loads of spin, but I’m not much of a spin player. This change in string setup is just what I needed for the racquet, too. The V Core 100 is delivering me a softer feel that I enjoy, and I’m glad Yonex has brought back that feel. I prefer it to the crisper response I felt I got from the RDiS series. I’m working to sharpen my strokes right now, and I’ve noticed I’m catching the leading edge of the 24.5mm beam of the V Core. I’ve also been playtesting the Volkl Organix 10 295g, which has a thinner 20mm beam, and haven’t had this problem. I didn’t have this problem before, so it means more time drilling those groundstrokes.

I’m playing Jason today, and this weekend my husband wants to play some tennis, so I’ll bring home the playtest racquets. We’ll wheel the baby out there in her stroller and hit some balls. Maybe that’s the ticket to more court time: making tennis a family affair!

Happy Hitting!
Tiffani, TW

My Quest For A New Racquet

Posted on April 7, 2011 in Racquets

Me Playtesting the Yonex VCORE 100 S

Throughout my tennis career, I never really paid much attention to which racquet I was using. I just would choose a racquet and take two weeks to adjust to it. My racquets in the past 10 years have been the Babolat Pure Drive, Prince O3 Speedport Black and lastly the Prince EXO3 Black.

Since being at Tennis Warehouse, I have playtested a wide variety of racquets and brands, and it has opened my eyes to all the possibilities. One of the benefits of being a playtester is having the opportunity to pick out the exact specs to fit my game. I have determined these specs to be  around 11-11.1 ounces in weight, around 5-6 points headlight, swingweight of approximately 310 and mid 60s in stiffness.  Over the past eight months, I have been searching for a racquet that met my criteria. Some racquets that had made my list included Wilson BLX Tour Ltd, Donnay X-Red 94, Yonex E-Zone 100 and Dunlop Biomimetic 200 Lite.

Then two months ago, I found it. And after hitting with it for 30 minutes, I knew it was meant to be. The Yonex V Core 100 S, is the racquet of choice for WTA pro Caroline Wozniacki and now it’s my choice, too.

Why did I fall in love with this racquet? For the most part, it is the perfect match to my game.  I am an aggressive baseliner, and the open string pattern supplies plenty of power along with just the right amount of spin. I love the feel of the large sweetspot, and I could swing through with ease. Even with all the power, the head light balance gives me the control and feel I felt was lacking in some past racquets.

To see my new racquet and me in action, check out our YouTube channel for Gotta Want It Season 3 where I am preparing to play in the BNP Paribas Pre-Qualifier.

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