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Wilson Tennis Racquets
The modern Wilson Sporting Goods Co. came to life in 1947, when Jack Kramer joined the Wilson Advisory Staff. Known as the Father of Modern Tennis, Kramer helped catapult the company into the world's eye with the introduction of the Kramer Autograph Racquet in 1949. Made of the finest materials and with the most efficient, modern design, the racquet was only a sign of things to come.
Today, some of the world's top tennis players insist on Wilson tennis racquets for the same reasons that they did in 1949 - top-notch engineering and the highest quality materials. The company's pedigree is such that stars like Roger Federer, Venus and Serena Williams, and Novak Djokovic consider Wilson to be part of their championship strategy.
Federer's current weapon of choice is the Wilson (K)Factor Racquet, a member of the Wilson (K) factor racquet line, which is well known for its stability against even the most hard-hitting opponents. Wilson's use of nano-technology makes the nSix-One 90 more than 20 percent more powerful than other racquets by using nano-sized silicone crystals to fill the spaces between the carbon fibers used to create the frame of this powerful instrument.
The Wilson KSix-One 95 is similar to the KSix-One 90 in that it boasts the bright red-and-white paint that is the line's signature. Used by several hard hitting pros, this tennis racquet is well suited for an all-court style of play. The nSix-One 95 offers a strong frame, combined with stability and power. While it has a traditional head light balance, it also has the modern edge of nano-technology. Along with its color scheme, it shares the same silicone-based construction as its cousin, the KSix-One 90 favored by Federer.
If you are looking for a racquet suited to a heavy slice on serve or off the ground, the KSix-One 95 (18x20) used by Jonas Bjorkman and Max Mirnyi is best suited to your game. This model of the K Factor series has the same construction as the KSix-One 95, but with a tighter stringbed. This makes for more control and a firmer feel.
The Wilson nCode technology is not limited to men's tennis. Women's tennis star Venus uses the Wilson KBlade Team, which hit the market in July 2006. Drawing on Williams' unmistakable style, the W5 Divine Iris's graphics are inspired by her favorite artist, Gustav Klimt.
However, the beauty of this racquet is definitely not skin-deep. Using the same nano-technology that lends power to the game of Federer, Neiminen and Djokovic, the W5 Divine Iris and all the tennis racquets of the Wilson W racquet series, has stability, strength and power and is suitable for all levels of play.
Being that they are sisters, it is apropos that Serena Williams uses the new Wilson W3 Gypsy Rose. Again, this racquet is appropriate for all levels of play. With its silicone-and-carbon construction and free-spirited design (based on Serena's own unique pop sensibility) it would make any player stand out on the court.
The W Line also features the Wilson Triad technology. Triad technology reduces the vibrations normally associated with a racquet designed for power. The tennis racquet is made in three separate pieces - the head, the handle and a thin layer of Iso-Zorb, which is similar to the materials used in a shoe insole. This layer of Iso-Zorb can reduce the amount of vibration in a racquet by upwards of 60 percent. Thus, players no longer need sacrifice their comfort for power.
Evoloution of the Wilson Tennis Racquet
In 1874, when Major Walter C. Wingfield registered his patent in London for equipment and rules of an outdoor lawn tennis, he created what most experts consider the first version of what we call "tennis" today. For the next 100 years, wooden tennis racquets would dominate the sport. The wooden racquet was usually composed of sandwiched wood, and sported a headsize usually much smaller then 85 sq. inches. Although wooden racquets did evolve, with improvements in laminating (layers of wood glued together) technology and in strings, they remained heavy, and had small headsizes.
The evolution of the wilson tennis racquet took a giant leap forward with the introduction of the metal racquet. Although these commodities were around as early as the late 1800's, they were never widely used. It was not until the introduction of Wilson's T2000 that players began to accept and utilize this technology. Wilson's T2000 tennis racquets were lighter and stronger than any wooden racquet, and its long neck, steel frame would soon become a smashing hit. Popularly endorsed by professional, Jimmy Connors, the T2000 would become a hallmark and usher in an age of metal. Jimmy Connors would continue to use the T2000 for most of the 1970's and would use its power to win Grand Slam after Grand Slam.
As like evolution in general, the next step in the advancement of the Wilson tennis racquet would come in the face of adversity. Although the Wilson T2000 was a popular hit, it faced serious competition against Prince's newly introduced Prince Classic and Pro. The Wilson T2000 was a great innovation in racquet technology, but it still featured a small headsize, which made it difficult for beginning and intermediate level players to fully utilize its advantages.
Prince offered an aluminum frame racquet with a string area more than 50 percent larger than then standard wooden and Wilson T2000 racquet. These lightweight racquets offered a huge sweet spot and greatly increased power, making tennis much more player friendly. This created a dilemma as wooden racquets were much stiffer, which made shots easily read and predicted by opponents, while the new, lighter aluminum racquets gave too much flexibility and power resulting in unpredictable and out of control shots. With aluminum racquets shots hit off center distorted the frame, and changed the string direction causing balls to ricochet in an undesired target.
The answer to this dilemma came with the introduction of the Graphite racquet. Graphite racquets were the answer for advanced players who needed a stiffer frame material. Graphite proved to be the next step in tennis racquet evolution as the mixture of carbon fibers and plastic resin binding material proved worthy. During this time, Wilson released its Wilson Prostaff 6.0, which immediately became a success. The modernized Prostaff was used by such pros as Pete Sampras, and the original continues to serve as a blueprint for new and modern tennis racquets. However while Graphite enabled stiffness, the weight was quite heavy and offered little vibration dampening. Over the next few years and well into today's modern tennis era, the question has been how to add stiffness without adding weight and how to offering optimal comfort.
The next innovation of racquet technology would come in 1987, with the introduction of Wilson's Profile. Wilson increased racquet stiffness without finding a stiffer material, by utilizing their "widebody" concept. It increased the thickness of the frame along the direction in which it is needed to resist the impact of the ball. Although the Profile had a huge frame (about 39 mm wide at the middle of the head), it enjoyed a brief period of popularity. However, by the mid 1990s, such extreme widths had become unruly. Yet the widebody innovation has had its affect on the evolution of tennis racquets as today's frames are wider than the standard pre-widebody.
Over the course of the next few years, Wilson would continue to introduce top of the line racquets with innovative technology. Notable among these are the Wilson's Stretch and Hammer technology Wilson's patented Hammer Racquet Technology focused the greater portion of the racquet's weight in the head while simultaneously removing unnecessary weight from the handle and throat area of the racquet. It produced a lightweight frame with great maneuverability with the added benefits of superior power and stability. Wilson Stretch increased the racquets length, allowing for greater reach and offered more power. Coupled, these two technologies fueled an ongoing revolution of improving racquets. Another breakthrough was the introduction of the Triad, which with its tri-component design maximized power, control, and comfort.
In 1998, Wilson introduced its Hyper Carbon technology which allowed racquets to be ultra-light, powerful, and offered vibration dampening. Hyper Carbon was 4 times stronger and stiffer then standardized graphite racquets, and coupled with Wilson's sweet-spot technology began a revolution for new racquet materials. Continually improving their racquets, Wilson followed up their Hyper Carbon innovation with Double Braided technology. This featured layers of Graphite and Kevlar brand fibers fused to deliver exceptional feel and performance quality touch. Braided Hyper Carbon/Graphite provided additional strength to the frame, while providing constant flexibility to the racquet providing greater control.
More recently, in 2004 Wilson introduced its newest line of nCode racquets. These racquets featured an exclusive nanotechnology process which manipulated a racquet's structure to improve the performance of the frame itself on a molecular level. This Wilson nanotechnology filled in voids in carbon fiber strands with silicone dioxide to eliminate weak points. Improving this, Wilson released its newest K Factor series early in 2007.
With four proprietary Wilson technologies, the K Factor improves current nCode technology, and introduces a breakthrough structure created when bonding Carbon Black, Graphite, and SiO2 together at a nano level. All K Factor tennis racquets utilize Wilson's proprietary next-generation Karophite Black structure which adds additional bonds between the SiO2 and graphite molecules on a nanoscopic scale, resulting in more feel and a stronger, more stable racquet.
The evolution of the tennis racquet has come quite a distance from the wooden racquets used by our tennis playing predecessors. From changing materials, to altering existing ones on a nanoscopic level, tennis racquets are continually being tweaked for today's modern tennis players. As new and innovative ideas are constantly being experimented, tennis racquets will continue being changed for superior comfort, feel, and stability, allowing for brilliant matches to be played in the not so distant future.