Sony Tennis Sensor

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Will Sony have the answer to the next generation of tennis racquet connectivity? We will finally get a chance to see tomorrow with the introduction of the Sony Tennis Sensor to the tennis industry marketplace. This sensor is compatible/interchangeable with newer racquets from Wilson, Head, Prince and Yonex and seamlessly records swing speed, ball speed, ball impact spot, stroke type, and amount of spin. Recorded data is stored on your smartphone and sorted by shot type. Reports are automatically created so that you can review and analyze your performance. Features not unlike Babolat’s PLAY technology, but unlike Babolat, your shot data is recorded and displayed in real-time, in sync with video. Various playback features are available that give players instant feedback on their play. Leave it to a non-tennis company such as Sony to put their years of AV expertise to work in this device.

Other features include Share Your Play which allows the player to share your play result in a visual format via social media. Also Sequence Photo using Motionshot: The Smart Tennis Sensor App will integrate Sony’s free Motionshot app to create sequence photos to see a frame by frame image of a shot. Slow Motion Playback: Videos can be played back in 1/10 speed, allowing plays and coaches to view details such as footwork, position of contact, etc. No Apple Watch (sorry!) but there is Compatibility with Android Wear Devices.

Early testing suggests that the installation and interchangeable nature of the Sony Sensor offers a leg up on Babolat PLAY in that there are many more racquet options to which the sensor can be affixed. However, only relatively new frames from Wilson, Head, Prince, and Yonex are compatible at this time. By the time you factor in the cost of the Sony Sensor ($200 MSRP) in addition to one of the newer frames from the aforementioned brands, the total gets close to $400 for the combination. There will also no doubt be those who hold the racquet near the end of the handle that may feel the sensor, as well as the small change in weight (~10g or so) due to the sensor.

Interpretation of the data remains up to the user (and/or the coach), but the Sony Sensor looks to evolve the interactive future of tennis – until the next device comes along!

New era for New Balance

For decades, New Balance decided against endorsing major professional athletes. The Boston based company, which is the only athletic shoe company that manufactures their footwear in the U.S., decided years ago that they would just sign runners to smaller contracts, and would not even feature those runners in any advertisements.

 

Well, the times caught up to New Balance, and in 2009, New Balance decided that they would jump into the endorsement game and start representing professional athletes.  The one stipulation with these potential clients of New Balance was that the athletes would have to commit time and effort towards a charity of their choice. In return, New Balance would provide financial backing towards that particular charity.

 

New Balance started representing Major League Baseball players, now over 350 players of the league wear New Balance cleats. Shortly after diving into professional baseball, New Balance decided that they would embark on the sport of tennis.

 

On January 3rd, 2013, New Balance announced that they would sign then 21-year-old, Canadian Tennis player, Milos Raonic to a multi-year contract to become the face of New Balance tennis.  Raonic now in his 2nd year with New Balance, is very involved with the inspiration aspect of the shoes & apparel in which Raonic wears on the court.

 

Diving deeper into the gear worn on court by Raonic, the 6th ranked player on the ATP circuit wears New Balance’s new shoe, the 996v2 tennis shoe. This shoe is the ideal volley between form & function. Raonic’s shoe of choice offers supreme flexibility to go along with lightweight durability.  This top-flight tennis shoe will help keep you fast and stable during and after a match.

 

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Babolat’s AeroPro Drive Lite Pink

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Babolat introduces the Aeropro Drive Lite Pink edition tennis racquet. This frame is used by, WTA’s newest rising star, Genie Bouchard. This frame updates the legendary Aeropro racquet line with a stunning new pink cosmetic graphic.

The AeroPro Lite features a refined cortex dampening system interface for even better feel. The specs on this racquet are identical to that of the AeroPro Drive Lite. This frame is the ideal frame for a younger player transitioning to a frame with a lightweight feel at 10.0 ounces as a more maneuverable alternative to the standard Aeropro Drive GT. Slightly more flexible, spin-friendly alternative to the Pure Drive.

Racquet Specifications

  • Headsize: 100 sq. in.
  • Length: 27.00 in.
  • Weight (strung): 10.0 oz.
  • Stiffness (Babolat RDC): 70
  • Balance: 14.00 in. Head Heavy (4 pts)
  • Cross Section: 23mm Head/26mm Throat
  • Swingweight: 308 kg*sq. cm
  • String Pattern: 16×19
  • Grip: Babolat Syntec

Serena Williams Announces Return to Indian Wells

Serena Williams will return to the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, CA for the first time since 2001. William has won the tournament twice in her career, but had not played in 14 years due to an ugly incident that happened back in 2001.

“I walked out onto the court, the crowd immediately started jeering and booing. In my last match, the semifinals, I was set to play my sister, but Venus had tendinitis and had to pull out. Apparently that angered many fans. Throughout my whole career, integrity has been everything to me. It is also everything and more to Venus. The false allegations that our matches were fixed hurt, cut and ripped into us deeply. The under­current of racism was painful, confusing and unfair. In a game I loved with all my heart, at one of my most cherished tournaments, I suddenly felt unwelcome, alone and afraid.” – Serena Williams

4 Year Old Tennis Star

 4 year old, Maki Otmo, may be a future WTA star down the road!

Head Graphene XT Tennis Racquets

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Novak Djokovic and Maria Sharapova have been at the top of professional tennis for years with the help of Head tennis racquets. Well,  a new era of Head’s famous graphene technology has arrived. Could these players perform even better in 2015? We’ll have to wait and see what’s in-store for these two top pro’s, but we do know one thing, the new Head Graphene XT Instinct & Speed Pro racquets have arrived for pre-order!

World #1 Novak Djokovic has changed from his customary weapon of choice, the Head Graphene Speed Pro to the updated 2015 version, Graphene XT Speed Pro. Novak’s new frame features re-engineered Graphene technology, Graphene XT, which are made to be 30% stronger providing an optimized weight distribution for a faster swing and more power. The Graphene XT Speed Pro is the heaviest XT racquet in the new Head Graphene XT speed racquet line. Novak’s racquet, with a high swingweight provides outstanding maneuverability, precision and power on every shot. The Graphene XT Speed Pro features a 100 square inch head, straight 22mm beam, 11.7 oz. strung weight, this combination of specifications adds up to a nicely controlled frame for advanced players with established strokes and a very aggressive game.

World #2 Maria Sharapova, had a every successful 2014 campaign, capturing 4 titles including her 2nd career French Open. Maria posted a superb 48-13 record for 2014. As scucessful as 2014 was, change was required for Maria. Sharapova will be using a new racquet for the upcoming 2015 season, the new Head Graphene XT Instinct MP. Maria’s new frame is now in a striking blue and orange graphic! Thanks to Head’s new Graphene XT technology, the Instinct MP provides the perfect combination of increased power and superior handling with a softer feel and fewer vibrations. The Graphene XT Instinct MP features a 100 square inch head, tapered 23/25/21mm beam, 11.2 oz. strung weight. The Instinct MP remains a more forgiving option to the Prestige and Radical. More open 16×19 string pattern for a bit more forgiveness and more spin potential.

Step onto the court & start playing like the pro’s with these great new Head Tennis racquets!

Wilson 2015 Blade Tennis Racquets

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One of the most played racquets on the ATP and WTA Tours, Wilson will update the Blade family in January 2015 with what looks to be the best version yet. In keeping with the stealth look of its predecessor, Wilson has added a striking green foil graphic at several points around the frame, no doubt for a bit more visual impact on court.

Technology updates include Parallel Drilled grommets for a more consistent response from the stringbed, as well as Braided Graphite + Basalt frame construction. Early playtests suggest that this remains the Blade you know and love, albeit with a bit more of a “cupping” effect where the ball feels like it remains on the frame a split second longer. Excellent feel and control remain, as do the specifications from the 98 (16×19, 98 (18×20), 104, and 98S (18×16) versions of this update.

Expect the Wilson Blade 2015 to have a strong presence on tour, as well as on courts everywhere, as the previous version has been very tough to come by in the latter part of 2014. Fortunately the Blade has continued its evolution from what was already an outstanding racquet to a world class performer that looks as good as it plays.

Babolat 2015 Pure Drive Tennis Racquets

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The new Babolat Pure Drive tennis racquets have arrived in stock! With its power and versatility the Babolat Pure Drive is perfectly adapted to punchers and their play style. The new 2015 Pure Drive is engineered to let players dominate the game by taking power + control to the next level. The new Pure Drive’s are updated with Babolat’s new frame to string interaction technology with a redefined sweetspot. Babolat’s Pure Drive impact zone is located higher than the traditional center of the racquet.

Not only are these racquets efficient in terms of harnessing power plus control, but they also have a new bold design! Babolat has added touches of white for the first time, bringing a new sleek look the Pure Drive frames. Shop the new Pure Drive racquets now!