Archive for the 'Tennis Rackets' Category
Two-handled tennis racquet developed

Two Headed tennis Racket

The racquet has two handles positioned at a right-angle to the head, allowing players to play two-handed open-stance forehand shots from both sides.

Its use is being permitted but it has raised eyebrows in the traditional sport.

Two American brothers, Dann and Brian Battistone, play with the innovative creations in competition.

One of them uses a volleyball-style jump serve, switching the racket from hand to hand mid-leap.

However, the racquet brothers take an International Tennis Federation (ITF) certificate to every game they play, proving that the racket, named ‘The Natural,’ is match-legal.

"We knew some people would be against the racket," said Brian, 29, from Las Vegas. "There’s a lot of tradition in tennis so this is quite radical."

The designer of the racket, Lionel Burt, said that it had been easy to convince the ITF to approve the racket: "Their basic position is, ‘If you can beat Roger Federer with a snow shovel of that dimension, go ahead and do it."

The double-hitter has already brought the brothers success. They had previously languished in the 800s in the world rankings and Brian had left tennis in 2000 to serve a mission for his Mormon faith. They have now risen to 206th and 207th in the doubles rankings using the racket, even beating world doubles number 11 pair Lukas Dlouhy and partner Tomas Zib.

Burt says that the racket took him 18 years to develop, and was inspired by his permanent back problems caused by always playing on one side. However, it is not the first time a racket of this type has been used and there are rumours linking ‘The Natural’ to a racket designed by a Florida-based mechanical engineer and over-50s player called Elie Boukheir.

Around five years ago, the ‘Logix’ racket was also developed, a two-handled racket where the second handle was used as a counterweight. The head was tilted at a 20 degree angle to the handle, supposedly allowing the player to hit a topspin shot by moving the racket parallel to the ground.

The most famous tilted-head rackets were designed by tennis company Snauwaert in the 1980s and were endorsed by former Wimbledon champion John McEnroe, a byword for tennis controversy. The Snauwaert rackets never caught on, but Burt says that now they have the financial backing and the players to make it happen.

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Adidas Cc Divine II Tennis Shoes

WOMEN
Price: $100
Weight: 12.5 oz.
Sizes: 5–11
Ideal Foot Types: Neutral

SALES PITCH:
A women’s shoe for serious players who want to combine performance with a sense of style.

OUR TAKE:
If you’re looking for a soft ride, you won’t find it here. The CC Divine II is about performance. Adidas wants to put your foot low to the ground for responsiveness. As a result, cushioning is moderate in the forefoot, which makes the shoe feel hard underfoot. The plastic reinforcement (dubbed the 3-D Torsion System) wraps around the heel and extends to the arch, providing support. The perforated synthetic upper is well-ventilated, but it’s also soft, which limits lateral stability. Overall, these kicks are best suited for players who are light on their feet and want a breathable shoe.

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Head Crossbow 6

Price: $250
Head Size: 112 sq. in.
Length: 27.3 in.
Weight: 9.8 oz.
Flexibility: Stiff
Balance: ½ in. head heavy
Ideal Swing: Medium
NTRP: 3.0-4.5

Sales Pitch: A powerful racquet with a manageable balance that will appeal to a large range of players.

Compare To: Head Metallix 6

How It Tested: The name of the racquet comes from Head’s new power technology in the bridge of the frame. The bridge, or CrossBow, is suspended and moves independently from the rest of the racquet (don’t worry, it won’t come out). When a ball hits the strings, the bridge stores energy and then releases it into the shot as the ball leaves the stringbed. Sort of like slingshot. Playtesters did find a good level of power, but you need proper timing to tame it. If you’re late on the ball it can take off on you. Otherwise control is not a problem and the racquet has a solid feel at impact, especially on volleys, thanks to the re-designed Head Stabilizer in the shaft (those metal wings). The Stabilizer moves in the opposite direction to the flex of the frame, serving as a counterbalance for more backbone. While the frame is stable, some playtesters did find it a bit rigid and challenging when hitting with touch or sharp angles. But the ones who prefer a stiffer frame and like driving the ball were highly impressed.

Bottom Line: Intermediate club players with a hankering for power will find this racquet to their liking.

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Head Airflow 3 with Crossbow

Price: $180
Head Size: 102 sq. in.
Length: 27 in.
Weight: 9.9 oz.
Balance: 1/2 in. head heavy
Flexibility: Stiff
Ideal Swing: Short
NTRP: 3.5–5.0

Sales Pitch: For women with longer, faster swings looking for controllable power in a lightweight frame.

Compare To: Head Airflow 3

How It Tested: With input from Steffi Graf, Head introduced Airflow two years ago. The line of racquets, designed specifi cally for women, had three basic elements: lightweight power, easy handling, and an ergonomic grip tailored to fit a woman’s hand. Those features, and Graf’s participation, continue in the updates. They also feature CrossBow, a suspended bridge at the bottom of the head that moves independently from the rest of the frame. When the ball hits the strings, energy is stored in the bridge and then transferred into the shot (picture a diving board) for added power. The Airfl ow 3 is heftier than its predecessor (and more head heavy), which gives the racquet improved pop and stability. Playtesters enjoyed the racquet’s manageable power on the baseline and responsiveness at net. Even though it’s meant for women, some of the highest compliments came from men. One male 5.0 all-courter summed it up: “It feels like a player’s racquet with the comfort of a recreational racquet.”

Bottom Line: Accomplished junior girls and all-court competitive women who liked the first Airflow 3 will enjoy this latest version.

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Williams, Zvonareva to meet in Doha final


DOHA, Qatar (AP)—Venus Williams advanced to the final of the Sony Ericsson Championships with a 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 win Saturday over top-ranked Jelena Jankovic.

Williams will face Vera Zvonareva, who defeated Olympic champion Elena Dementieva 7-6 (7), 3-6, 6-3 in the other semifinal at the WTA Tour’s season-ending event.

Williams saved five break points before winning a grueling service game in the third set to go up 4-2. That game also featured a 26-stroke rally, the longest of match. She went on to clinch the victory with a backhand crosscourt winner on her first match point.

The American dominated in the first set, but made more errors in the second as Jankovic dictated play with her aggression. She broke Williams to lead 4-2, and closed out the set with relative ease.

The eighth-ranked Williams improved her record against Jankovic to 4-5.

The ninth-ranked Zvonareva, the lowest-ranked player in the eight-woman field, improved to 2-4 against Dementieva and avenged her semifinal loss at the Beijing Olympics.

“I knew I had to start to play good every single game,” Zvonareva said.

Zvonareva frustrated Dementieva with solid groundstrokes in the final set and capitalized on a string of errors by her opponent to win the last game at love.

Zvonareva recovered from a 1-4 deficit in the first set. In the tiebreaker, Dementieva rallied from 5-1 down and lost a set point before hitting a backhand wide on Zvonareva’s second set point. The Russians broke each other four times in the first set.

Dementieva also had a 4-1 lead in the second set, and this time held it to even the match. She called Zvonareva a strong competitor.

“You have to put pressure all the time,” Dementieva said.

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