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Ana Ivanovic is one of the leaders on the WTA Tour in many categories. A major championship winner (2008 French Open), former world #1, and still one of the Tour’s top players and crowd pleasers, Ana draws attention wherever she goes. As a staple of the Yonex Tour Team, it was only a matter of time before she received her due and had a racquet named for her. In fact, Yonex has crafted a whole line of frames around Ivanovic in an attempt to please her large fan base. Utilizing a handful of new technologies, the Yonex EZONE Ai line for 2014 promises to have something for every Ana fan, regardless of age and ability.
The Tech Update: Yonex has introduced new technologies for the Ai line, and provided solid updates of 3 existing ones, as well. A New Aero Shape smooths the contours throughout the racquet head for less wind resistance and extra racquet speed. Yonex’s updated OPS (Oval Pressed Shaft) rounds off the shaft corners for a more ideal flex, and also widens the shaft face for increased stability, producing a longer dwell time (time ball spends on the string face) for increased spin and control. The New Isometric Technology updates Yonex’s original “square” head shape by varying the depths of the racquet’s grommets, placing deeper grooves at the sides and tip of the frame, and more narrow grooves at the 10 and 1 o’clock positions to improve ball pocketing and shot response, resulting in a 7% larger sweet spot over traditional round-headed frames. It also produces a stronger shot response on balls hit higher on the face, just where modern players tend to make contact. Yonex testing shows high off-center hits to have almost the same power level as shots hit in the sweet spot.
The new technologies promise to deliver power and comfort in spades. The Trans Weight System improves the bonding strength between the carbon fibers at the center and bottom of the frame by using a new nanometric material to increase racquet maneuverability. By reducing the weight at the frame’s tip, swing speed is increased by 5% for the fastest swing speed in Yonex history, something AI fans can use to great advantage (particularly women and junior girls). The Dual Shut System takes a two-pronged approach to reducing frame shock and vibration. Shockless Grommets at the throat reduce impact shock, and Quake Shut Gel is embedded in the grip to eliminate any more troublesome vibrations for a 50% reduction in vibration over conventional racquets for some of the most comfortable Yonex sticks ever.
Some of the new Yonex Ai frames get all the new tech, while others have specific need solved by strategic technology placements. Designed to the specs of WTA star and former world #1 Ana Ivanovic, the AI 98 gets the full treatment. Starting from a solid 10.9 oz. base, its 98 square inch head and head light balance, along with a control-focused 23/24/19mm beam taper provides great control for bigger swings. The new Aero Shape head, Trans Weight System, new Oval Pressed Shaft,Dual Shut System and New Isometric Technology produce a strong, comfortable frame for modern-style aggressive players. Or if you're looking for something a little more lightweight, try out the EZONE 98 Lite!
|The Yonex EZONE Ai 100 reduces weight while increasing power and comfort for all-court play. Reducing the weight to 10.6 oz. while increasing the beams to a solid 23/26/22mm taper, along with a slightly larger – and tweener-preferred – 100 square inch head size, provides solid power with maneuverability. The new Aero Shape head, Trans Weight System, new Oval Pressed Shaft, Dual Shut System and new Isometric Technology make for a solid and smooth ride for great all-round playability. It’s also available in a size “zero”, or 4-inch, grip for smaller women and juniors just starting out.|
|Players looking for a lightweight, comfortable stick will want to get their hands on the Yonex EZONE Ai Lite. Dropping the weight almost a full ounce form the Ai 100 while maintaining its 100 square inch head size and 23/26/22mm tapered beam, the Ai Lite will feel great in the hands of juniors and women alike, along with anyone seeking an easy-swinging racquet. It also comes in a size “zero”, or 4-inch, grip, making it a great choice for smaller-handed players. The new Aero Shape head combines with the new Trans Weight System to increase maneuverability and racquet speed, while the new Oval Pressed Shaft offers increased flex and stability for added spin and control. The Dual Shut System reduces shock by 50% over traditional frames, and New Isometric Technology provides a 7% larger sweet spot over traditional round-headed frames. It’s also available in 2 color combinations: black with lime and black with pink to please your fashion-conscious Ana fans.|
Beginning and intermediate level players love Ana Ivanovic as well, and Yonex hasn’t forgotten about them, either. The Ezone Ai 108 is an easy-swinging, powerful frame for players with less-powerful swings. A 108 square inch oversize head combines with a wide body 26/29/24mm tapered beam to provide power and stability, while a low 9 oz. weight lets you swing it effortlessly. An extra ¼ inch of length and open 16x18 pattern allow that little bit of extra leverage, power and spin. The new Aero Shape head and Trans Weight System increase maneuverability and racquet speed, while the new Oval Pressed Shaft offers increased flex and stability for added spin and control. The Dual Shut System reduces what little shock is left, while Yonex’s New Isometric Technology provides a larger sweet spot that is just the ticket for less-experienced players.
Juniors graduating to their first adult-size racquet will love the qualities of the new EZONE Ai Feel. Lightweight with comfort and speed potential, it’s a great choice for advancing players. The new Aero Shape head and Oval Pressed Shaft offer classic flex, feel, control and comfort, while Shockless Grommets and New Isometric Technology improve ball pocketing and shot response to a new level for aspiring juniors. The AI Feel is also available in two colors (black with lime or black with purple) to please almost any player’s color palette. The availability of a size “zero”, or 4-inch, grip makes it a great choice for smaller-handed players.
Value-conscious players looking for high-tech will adore the new EZONE Ai Rally. A sub-10 ounce weight and oversize head combine to give beginning to intermediate level players easy-swinging power and forgiveness while a 25.5/25/5/23mm beam taper provides power with just enough “give” for a solid-but-comfortable feel. Aero Shape head, Oval Pressed Shaft and Shockless Grommet System maintain the features the AI line is known for, while Yonex’s original Isometric square head shape does what it has for over 30 years: increase the number of main and cross strings that meet in the center of the racquet head to expand the sweet spot by 7% for increased power with less effort over conventional round frames. All this at a price that’ll knock your socks off.
Ana Ivanovic fans are legion, and a lot of them are kids. Yonex has a fine racquet for them in the new EZONE Ai 26. A full inch shorter than adult frames, the AI 26 is easier for youngsters to maneuver and control than grown-up sticks, and its 8.8 oz. weight is even easier to swing fast in a shorter frame. Graphite construction and a 26.5/23mm beam taper give aspiring stars tweener power and stability, and an open 16x19 pattern help them produce the spin they see the stars use
Ana Ivanovic has worldwide appeal, and Yonex has put her front and center in their racquet line with the introduction of the new Ai series. A varied line of frames designed to appeal to players of all levels combined with new and updated technologies promises something to please them all. Demo a Yonex Ai frame today and see if you agree!
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