US Open Racquet Launch Extravaganza!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
At least stateside, the U. S. Open is the Super Bowl for tennis fans. The tennis world shifts its focus to Flushing, New York to see the world’s best duke it out for the last grand slam of the year. The top brands in the sport utilize the late August event as a showcase for some of their newest and biggest product launches. 2019 is no different, and a veritable smorgasbord of new racquets, strings, and grips will be hitting the market just prior to Labor Day. Here are some of highlight releases hitting market around the US Open.
Wilson Adds FeelFlex Technology to Blade v7 Racquets
Starting with the big red W, Wilson hopes for a long U.S. Open run for players like Serena Williams, Simona Halep, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and David Goffin. This group represent the Blade racquet line from Wilson, which is one of the most popular racquets in the world for professional and collegiate players. With version 7.0, the Blade gets an infusion of grey at the sides of the head, and the lime green shifts to the top. The changes aren’t simply cosmetic either as FeelFlex, borrowed from the successful Clash technology FreeFlex, promises to improve the feel and control of the Blade family. There will be 5 Blades at the outset: the Blade 98 18×20, Blade 98 16×19, Blade 100L, Blade 104, and the Serena Williams 104 Autograph. The 98 head size versions incorporate a thin, 20.6 mm beam, while the 104 and 100L feature a 22 mm cross section. Wilson has tightened up their manufacturing tolerances to ensure competitive players get better-than-ever quality control from racquet to racquet. They also tapered the shafts just above the racquet handles to allow for better grip and comfort for two handed backhand players. The frames are constructed of Braided Graphite + Basalt to create outstanding feel, flex, and a heightened emphasis on control.
Wilson is also launching the newest Clash frame, the Clash 100 Ultra-Light. It’s the most mobile Clash yet and should make an excellent choice for a player who places a premium on maneuverability and comfort, in a super lightweight racquet.
Wilson is also updating the popular multifilament string Sensation with a Blade-matching lime green color, and adding a special 60th anniversary Luxilon ALU Power in a 1.30 mm gauge.
Babolat Unveils Thiem’s 3rd Gen Pure Strike
Though we first saw the third generation Babolat Pure Strike in the hands of Dominic Thiem throughout his French open run, the complete line of racquets hit the market in late August. The Strikes incorporate a focus on two key features advanced players love: control and feel.
C2 Pure Feel, is the latest generation of Pure Feel technology. It filters the vibrations on the new Strike racquets and gives players optimal touch on each shot. The third generation Pure Strikes keep the 21/23/21 mm beam width but update the nomenclature from Hybrid Frame Technology, to Control Frame Technology. It refers to the combination of a control oriented square-beam-shape with a more dynamic elliptic shape to blend stability with a modern explosive response. There is a new Pure Strike Tour model for fans of a heavier weight. It is the most head-light of all the models and carries an 11.7 ounce strung weight. Also available in the 98 in2 head size are the lighter 18×20, and 16×19 options. The Strike 100 and Strike Team offer a more forgiving 100 in2 head and are more mobile options for players still needing extra power and forgiveness.
Babolat unveiled some newly re-engineered Pure Strike bags which include a new duffel style option, and some Pure Strike themed Jet Mach tennis shoes.
HEAD’s New Gravity Racquets Incorporate New Flip Design
Though HEAD was a little aHEAD of the game with their Gravity Racquet Launch, a whole new racquet line certainly needs to be included. The Gravities use a teardrop-shaped 100 square inch head, which makes the widest point of the hoop, slightly higher than the center. This shape creates an enlarged sweet spot higher in the head where competitive players hit most of their shots these days. HEAD incorporates Spiralfibers at the 5 and 7 o’clock position for phenomenal flex and a “clean impact feel”. The Pro version is endorsed by top ten player Alexander Zverev. The thin 20 mm beam and 18×20 string pattern will find a fast following among big hitters who need extra control. The MP, and MP lite get a thicker 22 mm beam and rarely seen 16×20 string pattern for precise yet more powerful performance. The last two Gravity racquets are the S and Lite.
They keep the same 16×20 string pattern but open up the “massive sweet spot” even more to a 104 in2 hitting surface.
HEAD built two duffle-style bags with customizable storage options in the six pack and 12 pack variety. The bags can hold tons of gear, and both offer separate shoe compartments as well. HEAD also added Prime Pro Overgrip which should quickly become a favorite for its tack and absorption.
Yonex VCORE Pros Go Green
The brand with the Isometric head shape strikes again with new iterations of the V-Core Pro tennis racquets. American star Francis Tiafoe plays the V-Core 97 (310 g) and 3 time grand slam champ Stan Wawrinka plays the V-Core 97 (330 g). As with the previous version, the Lock Booster grommet system enhances string contact for better energy transfer and power.
Namd, a special graphite material, is incorporated in the racquet throat to help maintain flex during fast swings. With the new V-Core Pros, Yonex wrapped the inside of the handle with a vibration dampening mesh to filter out unwanted vibrations, and improved the design of the throat by using a thinner beam, and longer shaft for more torque and spin potential. The V-Core Pro series again offers two 100 in2 versions to go along with the 97s, and a brand new V-Core Pro 97 HD. The 97 HD will weigh just under 12 ounces, and feature a tight 18×20 string pattern for an impressive amount of control.
Tecnifibre Celebrates 40 Years with TF40 Racquets
After announcing their partnership with Lacoste last year, Tecnifibre now has a top ten player in Daniil Medvedev. To celebrate the brands 40 year anniversary, Tecnifibre is launching the TF40 racquet series. These racquets are designed for expert level players and they place an emphasis on control and feel. The TF40 305 and TF40 315 feature 18×20 string patterns, 98 in2 and a new 21.7 mm beam. The entire hoop is composed of Tecnifibre’s Dynacore XTC material for better shock absorption. The weight difference between the TF40s is minor, the 315 has a more substantial head-light balance, while the 305 is closer to even-balance.
Tecnifibre is also refreshing their more powerful and explosive T-Flash racquet line. The racquets are a great choice for someone seeking lightweight power with stability. Though the T-Flashes are firmer than the company’s other racquet offerings, their handles feature a vibration-reducing HD Fuse Grip. The system includes an absorbent silicone material placed around the handle to improve comfort. The T-Flash lineup includes the 300, 285, and 270.
The makers of the world’s first synthetic string, aren’t resting on their laurels and have a new string segment called Hybrid 3D. A brand new string joins Duramix in the Hybrid 3D family and is called HDMX. The concept here is to bridge the gap between softer, more powerful multifilament strings, with the control and durability of polyester strings. HDMX is constructed with polyeurethane for comfort, polyester for control, and polyamides for power. If you have tried to make the jump to polyester, and your elbow didn’t handle it well, you are a perfect candidate for HDMX.
Volkl Completes V-Feel Line with V-Feel 3 and 7 Racquets
Volkl has rounded out their V-Feel racquet line with the new V-Feel 7, and V-Feel 3. The frames use Volkl’s V-Cell technology for better stability, and the Super G Grommet System for an enlarged sweet spot and more energy return.
V-Tex, a silicon polymer butt cap makes the V-Feel racquets more comfortable and reduce vibrations. The V-Feel 7 is an extended length racquet with slightly larger 104 in2 head size. With a spacious sweet spot and a maneuverable weight,
the V-Feel 7 offers more power and forgiveness than the heavier V-Feel 8 series.
Check for regular product updates and helpful articles from the Tennis Express Blog, and enjoy the U.S. Open!