Wilson Launches Ultra Aces Program to Benefit USTA Foundation

Ultra Aces

I’m a little late to the party on this one, but I wanted to let you know about a very cool initiative from Wilson that’s continuing through the US Open Singles events this year.

In conjunction with the 2017 US Open Tournament, Wilson Sporting Goods Co., has partnered with the USTA Foundation to launch the “Ultra Aces” program to help fuel the Foundation’s efforts to grow the game of tennis in the U.S. The program has been created to demonstrate the powerful difference the tennis community can make when it works together to make the sport more accessible.

PROGRAM FACTS:

  • The “Ultra Aces” program will kick off with the first round of the 2017 US Open Tournament and will conclude following the Men’s and Women’s Singles championship matches.
  • For every ace recorded by a Wilson-sponsored Men’s and Women’s Singles player that takes the court with the brand’s new 2017 Ultra high performance tennis racket, Wilson will donate $200 and a new Ultra Racket directly to the USTA Foundation.
  • Wilson and the USTA Foundation will direct all donated funds generated by this program towards rebuilding tennis in the communities affected by Hurricane Harvey.
  • Donated rackets will go towards the Foundation’s Excellence Team Program, which empowers under-resourced youth interested in playing tennis at a high performance level throughout the U.S.
  • Official social hashtag of the program is #TogetherWeArePowerful.
  • The 2017 Ultra performance tennis racket line is designed for singles and doubles players who seek a racket that can provide effortless power on every shot, while enhancing the effectiveness of their play.

You can follow the “Ultra Aces” program on social media through Wilson Tennis and the USTA Foundation profiles on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @WilsonTennis and @usta (on each social media network).

The program is off to a great start, despite the almost-total rainout on Day 2! Wilson is tweeting daily updates, and I saw this yesterday morning:

Ultra Aces

After yesterday’s 87 singles matches (!), I suspect that “50” will be a much bigger number once Wilson reports its update today!

While this current initiative is seated in philanthropy, I would be remiss if I didn’t Ultramention that I’ve been playing with the new Wilson Ultra racquet for the past 6 weeks or so, and I LOVE it!  “Our 2017 Ultra line is by far the most comprehensive and versatile collection we’ve created to date, said Hans-Martin Reh, General Manager of Wilson Racquet Sports. “We have high expectations for this racket as it delivers on what we have heard from a wide range of professional, avid and amateur players – ‘I want more power without losing feel’. Ultra reflects a unique blend of modern design and novel technologies that expand the hottest part of the racket’s sweetspot by 15 percent. This translates into a racket that gives more power and force where and when it is needed while enhancing feel.”

Now, I’m just a 4.5 player – certainly no Madison Keys or Gael Monfils (!) – but I can absolutely feel the difference in the amount of power and control I get with this new stick. And the new paint job is pretty slick, too: navy and bright blue accent colors, matte finishes, and velvety paint make the Ultra look and feel amazing!

In its release on the new racquet, Wilson tells us that the 2017 Ultra line has been designed to enhance the performance of a wide range of players. It consists of six models: the Ultra 100 Countervail® (CV), Ultra 100L, Ultra 100UL, Ultra 105S CV, Ultra 110 and Ultra Tour. Each model has been developed to reflect differences in athlete age, size, and ability, and varying head sizes, weights, technologies and string patterns allow players to select a model that is right for them based on their individual needs and style of play.

The Ultra 100L and Ultra 100UL are two maneuverable, lightweight options ideal for juniors and smaller adults. Each 2017 Ultra model is compatible with the brand’s X2 Ergo handle technology, which is a customizable handle shape for the top hand of two-handed backhands to create optimal feel for the modern two-hander. This provides players with more power, versatility and leverage.

And, even though Roger Federer isn’t using the new Ultra – he uses the Wilson Pro Staff – here’s a little behind-the-scenes look at how his racquets get strung during the US Open, courtesy of ESPN Sports – Enjoy!

An in-depth look at how Federer’s rackets get made – ESPN Video

 

 

Exclusive “Historic Limited Edition” Pro Staff RF97 Roger Federer Autograph Racket

Roger FedererI just received the following from Wilson Tennis and thought I’d pass it along in case one or two of you happen to be Roger Federer fans!

Tennis history has been made again. Wilson Advisory Staff Member Roger Federer set two new Grand Slam records at this year’s Wimbledon Championships. As the only player to achieve eight Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Singles titles and 19 Men’s Singles Champion Grand Slam victories, Roger Federer continues to rewrite the tennis record-books and excite players and fans on the 2017 ATP World Tour.

To celebrate Roger Federer’s incredible achievements, Wilson Sporting Goods has created an exclusive “Historic Limited Edition” Pro Staff RF97 Autograph racket. Only eight of these commemorative rackets have been created, each individually numbered (one through eight) and authenticated by Roger Federer following his championship win today.

Each commemorative racket features the following elements:

  • A pure white matte paint with a gloss finish on the inside of the racket hoop and throat, which highlights the details surrounding this remarkable accomplishment.
  • A specially designed “8” logo featuring an image of Roger Federer’s face.
  • Roger Federer’s signature in silver.
  • Matching white and silver grommet medallions, as well as a white and sliver “W” butt cap.

The eight “Historic Limited Edition” rackets were autographed by Roger Federer after his Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Singles Championship win. They will be offered on www.rogerfederer.com.  One hundred percent of the proceeds from the sale of the rackets will go to the Roger Federer Foundation.

How to Save Money on Racket Stringing

Racket StringingI’m a big believer in young tennis players learning how to do all of the things necessary to be ready to step on the court and compete. From learning how to tie their own shoes to carrying their own tennis bag and water bottle, these skills are part and parcel of being a competitive junior player. They need to learn how to keep score. They need to learn the rules in Friend At Court. They need to learn how to wrap an overgrip. And they need to learn how to string a tennis racket.

We all read and talk about the expense of developing a junior tennis player – and I’m not here to try and convince you otherwise – but there are definitely some things you can do to help offset that expense. Having your child string his/her own rackets is a big step in the right direction.

Want to know how much you spend a year on stringing? Click here for a calculator.

Now, doesn’t it make sense to purchase a stringing machine and make sure your child learns how to use it? When my son was in middle school, we purchased an electronic stringer. We set it up in my son’s room, and he strung rackets for himself and others (a nice way for him to earn a little money!). It worked great, but we still had to pay for stringing when we traveled to tournaments. After about 6 months, though, the machine started losing tension and causing major stress. After trying to work with the manufacturer and distributor to no avail, we sold the stringer and went back to paying $20/racket. Grrrr!

I recently came across a new stringing machine that is not only affordable but is also portable. That means no more paying inflated stringing fees when you’re away from home!

The Platinum Pro Stringer is the brainchild of tour player Rubin Statham. On tour Rubin saw players paying racket stringers at each and every tennis event. These tournament stringers had a variety of stringing methods and stringing machines, which meant the players were getting inconsistent tensions in their string bed leading to impaired performance on the court. When the tension wasn’t just right, the racket would have to be restrung, adding an enormous financial cost throughout the year. Rubin and his twin brother spent over $17,000 on restringing labor alone in their first year on tour.

Like many players, to save money and to attain consistent string tensions, they resorted to travelling with a “portable” machine that was the size of a large suitcase. The machine weighed over 45lbs (not sure why they called it portable) and was ineffective at producing consistent string tensions.

Rubin, who is currently playing in the ITF Pro Circuit Futures event in Pittsburgh, tapped into his entrepreneurial side and put together a team of engineers from the US and Korea to design a truly portable stringing machine that was accurate and affordable. After 5 years of R&D and 3 years of testing on both the ATP and WTA tours, Rubin decided his machine was ready for public consumption and is now selling it and supporting it with individualized customer service.

The Platinum Pro Stringer weighs only 4.4 pounds! Fully-packed in its case withstringer the necessary tools, it weighs only 8.8 pounds.  And it comes complete with table clamp, mounting bracket, frame retainers, butterfly screws, flying clamps, power supply and cables, universal power adapter, string cutter, string pliers, and a padded carrying case with room for your string. Oh, and every Platinum Pro Stringer machine comes with one year of hardware repair coverage through its limited warranty and one year of complimentary support.

Luckily for all of you, Rubin and I connected between his matches, and he graciously offered a very nice discount to the ParentingAces community! The Platinum Pro Stringer retails for $790.00 (plus shipping). But, if you buy it through the special web page set up exclusively for ParentingAces, you will only pay $690.00 (plus shipping)! Make sure to enter the special promo code “ACES100” during checkout to get your special ParentingAces discount of $100 off!

Note: ParentingAces is NOT a paid endorser nor do we receive any compensation if you buy this product.

I will be doing an episode of the ParentingAces Podcast with Rubin in a few weeks, so if you have any questions about the Platinum Pro or life on the tour, please feel free to send them to me.

I wish this machine had been around when my son was in the juniors. It would have saved us thousands of dollars over the course of his developmental years! I hope you’ll take a look at the website here, watch the videos, read the testimonials, then use the special ParentingAces link to give this little gem a try.  You can thank me later! 🙂

 

Tennis Trunk Revisited – Take A Look!

Tennis TrunkY’all may remember my article last year about a new monthly delivery service, Tennis Trunk. Well, yesterday, I received my latest box, and I thought it might be a good time to remind y’all of what Tennis Trunk is all about!

With Tennis Trunk you’ll get a box of carefully selected tennis gear and equipment every month. You’ll always get the essentials for the courts like tennisTennis Trunk contents balls, overgrips, and energy bars. And, each month’s Tennis Trunk will also have some fun extras . . . this month, my box contained a great pair of Zensah tennis socks and Tourna Rx Grip Enhancer plus some adorable Tennis Trunk vibration dampeners. The box it comes in is awfully fun, too!

Tennis Trunk makes a great gift for the Tennis Lovers in your life, including your junior players, but it’s also a great service to set up for yourself. I don’t know about you, but I’m always scrambling to find balls for my matches, and with Tennis Trunk, I know I’ll have 2 fresh cans on hand every month. The fact that this month’s box has the grip enhancer was the icing on the cake for me – do you know how hot and humid it gets in Atlanta in the summer?!?!?!?

I hope you’ll check out the Tennis Trunk website and get signed up for your monthly delivery. If you select the 6-month prepay option, it comes out to only $29.95 a month. You know you’re already spending at least that much on balls and grips anyway!

Take a look at their website and enjoy the goodies!

 

 

WILSON SPORTING GOODS NEW BURN RACKETS

 

 

 

I am a big fan of Wilson rackets. I’ve been playing with them since I was a little girl, starting with the Chris Evert Autograph (yes, I’m that old!). Now, my son plays with them, too. Here is the latest iteration of the Burn series via release from Wilson:

Wilson Sporting Goods Co., announced today the introduction of its new 2017 Burn high performance racket line featuring Countervail® (CV) technology. CV is a one-of-a-kind, layered composite material that reduces the amount of vibration transferred to a tennis player while playing. In a recent study, athletes playing with a Wilson racket with CV, experienced up to 30 percent less vibrational energy from the racket, leading to 10 percent less fatigue when playing. With greater energy, these players had 40 percent more control over their shots, without compromising feel.*

Wilson Advisory Staff Member and ATP ranked #5 Kei Nishikori will play with his new 2017 Burn 95 racket with CV on tour starting in January in Australia.

“When I play-tested my new Burn racket with Countervail, I could feel that my arm reacted better to it,” said Kei Nishikori. “I feel I recover faster after practice and my arm and shoulder don’t feel as tired while I am training. Best of all, it didn’t change the feel of racket, which is really important to me. I am excited to use it on tour.”

“Countervail can help a player maximize every single swing in a way not possible before,” said Hans-Martin Reh, General Manager of Wilson Racquet Sports. “This technology, coupled with our new, sleek racket design elements, creates a power-forward racket for a player like Kei – one who excels at playing from the baseline.”

ABOUT COUNTERVAIL (CV) TECHNOLOGY

CV technology was originally designed for the aerospace industry to dissipate vibrational energy in airplanes and space vehicles. Wilson LABSTM, the innovation hub at Wilson, worked with CV’s creator, Materials Sciences Corporation, to evaluate how the technology could be used to help tennis players battle the compounding physical effects of the faster, harder-hitting modern game of tennis and the rigorous training athletes undergo to prepare for match-level play.

Wilson LABS engineers have strategically placed precise amounts of CV material at specific locations in the Burn racket frame to significantly reduce vibration without changing the power or feel of the racket.

To better understand how CV technology could aid performance tennis players, Wilson collaborated with the University of Minnesota’s School of Kinesiology. The School conducted a study with competitive collegiate players, men and women, to determine if playing with a Wilson racket with CV delivered meaningful benefits. Study results showed that athletes playing with a Wilson tennis racket with CV experienced less muscle fatigue and more energy, particularly in late sets or long training sessions, and as a result, showed improved control over their shots, and quicker recovery after training and matches.

Wilson Advisory Staff Members and ATP ranked #3 Milos Raonic, ATP ranked #5 Kei Nishikori and WTA ranked #2 Serena Williams, among others, will play with Wilson rackets with CV technology during the 2017 season.

ABOUT THE 2017 BURN RACKET LINE

The 2017 Burn rackets with CV are designed for a tennis player who predominately plays from the baseline and is looking for booming power and an aggressive frame. Current top-ranked players and Wilson Advisory Staff Members Kei Nishikori and Simona Halep play with the Burn on tour.

Three models of the new Burn racket line feature CV technology, including the Burn 100S CV (18×16; the “S” stands for the brand’s patented Spin Effect technology), the Burn 100 CV (16×19) and the Burn 95 CV (16×20). Each model has specific modifications designed to improve power, control, feel, and maneuverability based on an athlete’s needs and style of play. There are two additional models available without CV, which Wilson LABS created specifically for junior and up-and-coming tennis players, including the Burn 100LS (18×16) and Burn 100ULS (18×16). Both models deliver lighter weight power and are easier to maneuver and swing.

All 2017 Burn racket models are constructed with High Performance Carbon Fiber for increased frame stiffness and explosive power on groundstrokes. And all models feature the Company’s patent-pending X2 Ergo Handle technology, which allows a player to create a personalized, optimal feel on two-handed backhands for more power, versatility and feel. Parallel Drilling rounds out the technology package for the 2017 Burn line, which dramatically increases the rackets’ sweet spot, while providing a forgiving feel.

The look and feel of the 2017 Burn collection reflects the new design DNA for Wilson performance rackets. This aesthetic features simple, modern, clean lines and bold color accents, as well as matte finishes and textured paint, to symbolize the strength, power and ability of every player.

The 2017 Burn rackets (with and without CV technology) are available for pre-sale via tennis specialty retailers (in-store and online) and on www.wilson.com starting today. The full line will be available for purchase worldwide on January 5, 2017. The MRP for the new Burn CV models are $199.00 (US) and Burn models without CV are $179.00 (US). For more information on CV technology, visit www.wilson.com/countervail.

Countervail is a registered trademark of Materials Sciences Corporation.

*University of Minnesota School of Kinesiology study conducted in spring 2016 evaluated Wilson tennis rackets with CV technology vs. standard Wilson tennis rackets without CV technology.

Note: Pros often customize the racket they use. Racket specifications on endorsed consumer models may vary from the models used by pros for match-play.

ABOUT WILSON SPORTING GOODS CO.

Chicago-based Wilson Sporting Goods Co., a subsidiary of Amer Sports, is one of the world’s leading manufacturer of high performance sports equipment, apparel and accessories. Wilson is the global leader in performance tennis and uses player insights to develop products that push tennis equipment innovation into new territories. Through its dedication to creating products that enable athletes at every level to perform at their best, Wilson has earned its place as a leader in sporting goods for over a century.

The Perfect Gift: Tennis Trunk

img_0007I can’t believe it’s already December. This year has certainly flown by! I realized this morning that I’d better start thinking about holiday gifts for my friends and family, and so I wanted to share one idea that is perfect for the Tennis Lovers out there.

A couple of months ago, I read about a new product that had recently hit the market, Tennis Trunk. It’s a monthly subscription service sort of like the ones you see for pets or beauty products, only this one is focused solely on All Things Tennis!

I contacted the product’s creator, Andres, to find out more. We spoke about the “why” behind the products he chooses for the monthly boxes and how he could connect to other product manufacturers to expand his offerings. While on the phone with him, I heard a familiar passion for our beautiful sport and immediately knew he – and his product – was someone I wanted to support.

A few weeks later, my very own Tennis Trunk arrived in the mail. As you can see in the photo, img_0010it contained all sorts of goodies: a cap, roll of TournaGrip, 2 cans of Wilson balls, vibration dampener, energy bars, and cleansing wipes.

But Andres doesn’t just pack the box full of random stuff – he also includes a full-color pamphlet img_0071img_0008explaining each product and how best to use it, even adding coupon codes in case you want to order more of a specific item! Andres has really thought of everything!

My women’s team recently completed our Fall season. As we do every season, the team got together to give a gift to our captain and co-captain. We all agreed that Tennis Trunk would be the perfect choice. Liz and Nickie were so excited to get their box of surprises in the mail and have both signed up for extended subscriptions.

So, if you’re looking for the perfect holiday gift for your junior or coach, take a peek at TennisTrunk.com and put a check mark next to those names on your Nice List!santaslist1

Wilson Announces Launch of 4 New Blades

countervail_lineup_1920x855Via release from Wilson Tennis:

Wilson Sporting Goods Co. recently announced the introduction of four new high performance rackets to its Blade performance tennis franchise that feature Countervail technology. Countervail is a patented, one-of-a-kind, layered carbon fiber, originally designed for the aerospace industry to dissipate vibrational energy in airplanes and space vehicles. Wilson LABS, the innovation hub at Wilson, has strategically placed precise amounts of the technology into specific areas of each Blade racket frame to give tennis players meaningful and cumulative physiological benefits over time, including maximum energy, particularly in late sets or long matches, and less fatigue. As a result, athletes will have more control over his/her shots and recover from training and matches faster.

Countervail is unlike any racket material ever introduced in the tennis industry in the way it minimizes the effects of vibration. Importantly, this technology is undetectable by a player, which means the feel of the racket is maintained, while control and accuracy is maximized. ATP ranked #6 Milos Raonic transitioned to his new Blade racket with Countervail in January 2016, and is the first professional athlete to use the technology on tour.

“When Wilson shared this technology with me at the start of the season, I knew I had to have it,” said Milos Raonic. “I made the switch just three days before the Australian Open, which was a risk, but it has paid off. I’ve had the best season of my career, and as I train, practice and play nearly every day, I’ve found that my energy, shot placement and late match power have gotten much better. The best part though, is that my Blade feels the same in my hands. I honestly can’t tell Countervail is in there, but I can feel it working.”

“For years, we’ve heard from players, including Milos Raonic, about the compounding effects of rigorous training, playing and hitting on the body, specifically the hand, wrist, arm and shoulder,” said Hans-Martin Reh, General Manager of Wilson Racquet Sports. “Our Wilson LABS team has continually explored how we could best protect a player’s body from absorbing vibrational energy from every shot. When we discovered Countervail from Materials Sciences Corporation, we knew we had found something special and that was unlike anything in tennis today.”

To better understand how Countervail could aid performance tennis players, Wilson collaborated with the University of Minnesota’s School of Kinesiology. The School conducted a study with competitive collegiate players, men and women, to determine if playing with a Wilson racket with Countervail delivered meaningful benefits. In the study, athletes playing with a racket with Countervail, experienced up to 30 percent less vibrational energy in the racket, leading to 10 percent less fatigue when playing. With greater energy, these players had 40 percent more control over their shots, without compromising feel.*

ABOUT THE 2017 BLADE RACKET LINE WITH COUNTERVAIL

The 2017 Blade rackets with Countervail join the #1 Wilson racket franchise on tour. The Blade line is designed specifically for big- hitting, attacking-style players seeking aggressive control. Current top-ranked players and Wilson Advisory Staff Members Serena Williams, Milos Raonic, Gael Monfils, David Goffin and Madison Keys play with the Blade on tour.

The newest members of the Blade family with Countervail include the Blade 98 (18×20), Blade 98 (16×19) and Blade 98S (“S” stands for Spin Effect technology). Additional 2017 models without Countervail include the Blade 104, 101L, 98L, 98UL, which were specially developed for younger players to support proper technique and swing effort.

All 2017 Blade models are also compatible with the Company’s patent-pending X2 Ergo Handle, which allows a player to create a personalized, optimal feel on two-handed backhands for more power, versatility and feel. The rackets also incorporate Braided Graphite and Basalt construction and Parallel Drilling for enhanced feel and control and an expanded sweet spot for more power and forgiving feel, respectively.

The design of the 2017 Blade carries forward the new design DNA for Wilson performance rackets. This aesthetic features simple, modern, clean lines and bold color accents, matte finishes, a smooth velvety paint, and laser engraving to symbolize the strength, power and ability of every player.

The 2017 Blade rackets (with and without Countervail technology) are available for pre-sale via tennis specialty retailers (in-store and online) and on www.wilson.com starting today. The full line will be available for purchase worldwide, November 1. The MRP for the new Blade with Countervail models are $219.00 (US) and Blade models without Countervail are $199.00 (US).

* University of Minnesota School of Kinesiology study conducted in Spring 2016 evaluated Wilson tennis rackets with Countervail technology vs. standard Wilson tennis rackets without Countervail technology.

ABOUT WILSON SPORTING GOODS CO.

Chicago-based Wilson Sporting Goods Co., a subsidiary of Amer Sports, is one of the world’s leading manufacturer of high performance sports equipment, apparel and accessories. Wilson is the global leader in performance tennis and uses player insights to develop products that push tennis equipment innovation into new territories. Through its dedication to creating products that enable athletes at every level to perform at their best, Wilson has earned its place as a leader in sporting goods for over a century. 

Note: Pros often customize the racket they use. Racket specifications on endorsed consumer models may vary from the models used by pros for match-play.