Quick review: Nike Women’s Lunar Ballistec tennis shoes

NWLBPK-1The much anticipated launch of the Nike Lunar Ballistec is here!  As a brand new shoe offering from Nike, this shoe combines the durability and support of a Nike Air Max Courtballistec (available for men) with the comfort and light weight of the  Nike Zoom Vapor 9 Tour.  The shoe will have some professional backing and will be worn on court by Victoria Azarenka.

Michelle and Brittany were lucky enough to get to playtest this shoe for a couple weeks, and they both unanimously agreed this is one of their favorite shoes to play in.  Some of the standout features included comfort, durability (and a six-month guarantee!), weight and cosmetics.  Here is some of their feedback:

Brittany on Comfort: “This shoe has some of the best comfort I have ever experienced. The cushioning was perfect throughout the shoe. It was very plush feeling especially under the heel.”

Michelle on Durability: “The typical balding under my big toe isn’t happening yet; yes, the sole has smoothed, but nothing that looks like the sole will become too slippery to move confidently in. These are holding up really well, which is great since I’m loving these shoes!”

Brittany on Weight: “It is one of the lightest shoes I have ever playtested (even lighter than the Vapor 9 Tour). While it feels light and quick on the court, it definitely does not feel flimsy. Nike did a great job of combining light weight, support and durability. ”

Michelle on Cosmetics: “Honestly, the fact that I was able to playtest the flouro pink colorway adds to my love of this shoe. So I love the color – every time I wore these I got comments about how bright and fun they look!”

NWLBPK-2

The two playtesters agreed that there was one small negative, the shoe wasn’t as ventilated as they would have liked.  Although, neither found that to be an issue as they continue to wear the shoes both on and off court.

Please visit the Tennis Warehouse website for more information as well as a full written review.

Ad Out,

Brittany

US Open 2013 Gear Check: Victoria Azarenka

Vika in action at Flushing Meadows -- photo by Cynthia Lum

Vika in action at Flushing Meadows — photo by Cynthia Lum

Vika always has a fun look on the court and this year’s US Open is no exception. Let’s take a look at her gear for the US Open 2013!

Her apparel: Vika is setting a style trend while wearing the Autumn High Waisted Skort from Nike which features a high waist, longer length, flouncy feathered knit skort. She pairs that with the Autumn Advantage Solid Tank that has a subtle v-neck, built-in bra, and fun racerback. Her look wouldn’t be complete without her Nike Dri-fit Head Tie and wristbands adding a few more splashes of color. On her feet, she sports the ever-so-comfortable and quick Nike Zoom Vapor 9 Tours in Atomic Pink and Grey.

Her equipment: Vika’s racquet of choice is the Wilson Juice 100 which offers her a dynamic blend of power and spin. She strings her Juice up with Luxilon ALU Power 16L strings which help her gain some control on her big groundstrokes. Throw on a Wilson Pro Feel Dampener and she is set. She carries her Wilson Tour 15 Pack Bag on court which is just big enough to hold her racquets, accessories, and extra gear.

Play with heart,

Michelle

Wild and Wacky Wednesday at Wimbledon!

I woke up early this morning excited to turn on Wimbledon and watch some live tennis. I quickly started hearing about all of the weird injuries and retirements of the day. Little did I know that the day to follow would quickly be one of the most epic days at Wimbledon and tennis history.

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Photos by Cynthia Lum

As Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” is playing in my head, let’s re-cap what actually happened today at the All England Club.
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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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Dimitrov defeats Djokovic (& more)

You may know him as Baby Fed, or Hollywood, or maybe by which WTA Diva he is currently dating, but yesterday, Grigor Dimitrov made sure people should know him strictly for his tennis, heart, and fight on the court.

Just 21 years old, the young Bulgarian defeated Novak Djokovic in the second round of Madrid in a battle 7-6 (6), 6-7 (8), 6-3. Nothing short of being a dramatic match, Dimitrov came out victorious, covered in red clay and bloody knees after he waded out the storm. The match was complete with Djokovic twisting an ankle, proceeded by taking a long injury time out, Dimitrov fought through body cramps, and the fans got behind the underdog and chanted his name until the end. After shaking hands, the Bulgarian was clearly proud, fought back tears and signed the camera by writing “I love you Dad.”

Grigor Dimitrov after beating Novak Djokovic

Grigor Dimitrov after beating Novak Djokovic photo by Mats Merkel

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Let the Madrid Madness Begin!

The French Open is on the horizon, but first, the WTA and ATP makes a stop in Madrid, Spain for the Mutua Madrid Open. The draws are packed full with the top players, the clay is back to red and the tennis is sure to heat up! So let’s take a quick look at what’s going on at the Mutua Madrid Open!

photos by Mats Merkel

photos by Mats Merkel

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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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Beginner’s guide to the BNP Paribas Open

Before you continue reading, answer these questions. Do you like tennis? Do you like to have fun? Do you like nice, warm weather? If you answered yes to all the above, then you should love the BNP Paribas Open! The unofficial 5th grand slam. Located in Indian Wells, CA, the BNP Paribas features the world’s best from the ATP and WTA (minus the Williams sisters) and now with a billionaire owner, Larry Ellison, it is only going to get better. See site expansion plans for 2014.

Stadium at the BNP Paribas Open

Stadium at the BNP Paribas Open

Some quick facts about this tournament:
- Features the 2nd largest tennis stadium in the world (2nd only to Arthur Ashe at the US Open)
- The most attended tennis event outside the 4 grand slams.
- Located about 125 miles east of Los Angeles
- Has Hawk Eye replay system technology on every match court. Not even the Grand Slams have that.

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Top 3 capris for tennis and working out

The trend of wearing capris on the court seems to have some (excuse the lame play on words) legs. Back in 2010, I spotted Kim Clijsters at the BNP Paribas Open wearing her Fila capris on the practice courts. Last year, Brittany spied Maria Kirilenko and Jelena Jankovic wearing them there as well. We even saw Victoria Azarenka wear them in the finals.

Victoria Azarenka celebrates her victory over Sharapova at the 2012 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, CA. Capris are so common on the court these days, you even see them in tournament finals! Photo by Cynthia Lum.

Victoria Azarenka celebrates her victory over Sharapova at the 2012 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, CA. Capris are so common on the court these days, you even see them in tournament finals! Photo by Cynthia Lum.

They’re worn on their own or beneath shorts or a skirt. The look is so popular, you can buy skirt-capri combos: skapris, anyone? Lucky In Love, Fila and Wilson (just to name a few) offer these pre-assembled skort-capri combos. The advantages of the combo are there’s only one piece of apparel to keep track of, price (usually cheaper) and some, like the Fila and Wilson versions, come with a built-in ball pocket.
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Victoria Azarenka’s 2013 Australian Open Gear

Victoria Azarenka Australia 2013Victoria Azarenka proved why she is the top ranked woman on the WTA Tour, defeating Li Na in three sets to win her second consecutive Australian Open title. Her tactics may be controversial, but no one can deny her heart and desire to win. Let’s take a look at what the champion was wearing during this year’s first Grand Slam.

WJ100-1
Vika uses the Wilson BLX Juice 100. It’s a stiff and powerful player’s frame with lots of access to power and spin, very similar to a Babolat AeroPro Drive. Our playtesters found this to be maneuverable and very forgiving, ideal for strong players looking for a little extra pop to add to their game.

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