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.





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.”


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.


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.


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.


14115070_331410673860060_7610644223125533679_oI don’t even know where to begin in writing about this past weekend’s Sol Schwartz #SaveCollegeTennis All-In tournament . . . aka #TheSol. I find myself at a loss for words as I attempt to describe exactly what transpired in Pikesville, MD at the Suburban Club. It was a junior tennis tournament, yes, but I feel as though we experienced something way beyond your typical weekend of matches.

I’m not going to re-tell my Sol stories here – y’all can read my previous posts and listen to my podcasts to get a feel for who Sol Schwartz was and why we wanted to create a tournament in his honor. I guess the best thing to do is simply to recount the weekend to the best of my ability and hope that those who were present will chime in with Comments to add depth of meaning to what was surely the most special tournament I’ve ever attended.

I arrived in Baltimore on Friday afternoon, and Melanie Rubin, who was part of the planning committee, picked me up on her drive in from Long Island, NY. We went directly to the Suburban Club to check out the space and figure out how best to set up for the weekend. After hanging our tournament and sponsor banners, we grabbed a quick (albeit very late!) lunch at Panera (how appropriate given the hundreds if not thousands of meals I ate there during my son’s junior tennis years!) before meeting Sol’s sisters-in-law, Laurie and Sherri, back at Suburban to complete the player goody bags and figure out our strategy for the next morning’s tournament check-in. player tableMelanie and I had our stuff spread out all over the pro shop but finally got organized to the point where we felt comfortable leaving for the night. We stopped by our hotel to check in and unpack, grabbed dinner at a local sushi spot, then both fell asleep to the sights and sounds of the Olympics on tv.

The next morning we got up early to dress, eat breakfast in the hotel lobby, and get to Suburban before the players started to arrive. When we got to the club, there were already a few players warming up on the courts, and Sol’s mother-in-law, Ina, was waiting for us outside the pro shop. Once Eric, the staffer on duty, arrived to open up, we got to work with tournament director Salman Bader from UTR organizing the draws, player credentials, goody bags, t-shirts, and check indrinks. As each player checked in, Ina was in charge of handing out their credentials, I checked them off the player list, and Melanie handed them their goody bag and tournament shirt. They were then free to go warm up or just hang out and wait to be called for their first match.

Let me talk about the player goody bags for a moment . . .

These were NOT your usual junior tournament player gift! Here’s what every player got – inside of a racket-sized nylon backpack from Holabird Sports:14067925_331410630526731_5562744538765482222_o

  • Full-color player book
  • Under Armour socks
  • $10 Holabird gift card
  • Packet of Genesis string
  • ArrowBar
  • Bryan Brothers poster
  • Autographed photo of Noah Rubin
  • Travel umbrella
  • Player patch from 10sBalls.com
  • Magnets from Holabird and Kassimir Physical Therapy
  • Miscellaneous other items such as pens and stickers

At promptly 9am, the first matches were sent on court amid blue cloudless skies. The weather couldn’t have been any more perfect. Sol was working his magic from above! With 32 players, we had 12 matches at 9, another 4 at 10:30, and then a nice break to enjoy the delicious lunch provided by Steve’s Deli. lunch

During lunch, it was amazing to walk around the club and see kids sitting together, parents sitting together, and Sol’s friends and family taking it all in. In most tournaments once your child’s match is finished, you’re rushing off to find them something to eat so you can get them back for the next round. Not so at #TheSol! We wanted to honor Sol’s commitment to creating a sense of community around junior tennis, and providing lunch on site was just one way we accomplished that goal.

Round 2 took place in 2 shifts after lunch, and Day 1 finished around 2:30. Many of the players hung around to hit a little more, but most went their separate ways as Melanie, Salman, and I cleaned up and got everything ready for Day 2. That included going back to the hotel (and my laptop!) to set up a Facebook page (click here) for the event and get the gazillion photos (click here and here) Melanie had taken uploaded! That night, Sol’s wife, Ilene, and her sister, Sherri, took us to dinner at one of their favorite Italian restaurants. Let me just say that the wine and brownie sundae were especially delicious!

We didn’t have to get quite as early a start for Day 2 since matches weren’t scheduled to begin until 9am. That said, when we arrived at Suburban, the courts were filled with players warming up, and the grounds were filled with parents, coaches, and spectators out to support this amazing event.

The weather forecast for Sunday was pretty iffy, but we got the matches started on time. Unfortunately, the rain came in right in the middle of our final round of singles, so we brought all the Facetiming with Noahkids into the pro shop for a special surprise: a FaceTime Q&A with Noah Rubin! He was gracious enough to take a little time away from his US Open Qualies preparation to chat with the players and answer their questions about how he trains, what he eats, what’s in his tennis bag, and balancing all the demands of a professional tennis player. The kids (and parents!) loved having the chance to talk with him!

As soon as the Q&A finished, Steve arrived with the day’s lunches, so we encouraged everyone tolunches go ahead and eat while we waited for the rain to clear out. The staff at Suburban went to work helping get the courts playable, and by 11:45 we had the kids back out there.

It didn’t take long to crown our first winner: Kaitlyn Chalker from Marietta, GA! She was smiling from ear to ear as she heard about her girls winnersprize from Wilson: 2 rackets, a pair of shoes, 6 sets of string, a 12-pack of overgrip, a racket bag, and 2 outfits of her choosing.

A bit later, the boys winner was decided: Ramanaidu Kotnana from Ellicott City, MD. Ram also got the same Wilson prize package and was so excited!Boys winners

But, we had 5 separate draws in this tournament, and the winner and runner-up for each draw received a prize. Our main draw runners-up got a $50 gift card from Holabird Sports (in addition to the $10 card in their goody bags). The winners of the other 3 draws each received a $20 Holabird gift card plus an additional small gift, and the runners-up received packets of string, hats, and socks. All of the awards were made possible through the sponsors we secured for the event.

We got a second bout of rain before the rest of the singles matches could finish. Thankfully, Suburban has a bubble with 4 courts, so we moved the rest of the matches indoors. By that point, the outdoor courts were sufficiently soaked, and we made the unfortunate decision to forego the afternoon’s doubles exhibition matches. The weather continued to worsen throughout the afternoon, so in retrospect it was a very good call.

All that was left was to clean up and get to the airport for my flight back to Atlanta. Sol’s family and the club staff helped out, and we left Suburban looking as though it had never been invaded by 32 players, their coaches and parents, and about 50 additional volunteers and spectators!

As I said, it’s difficult to put into words how this event felt. Even so, here are a few short (unedited – editing is outside my skillset!) interviews with some of the parents and players – as well as Sol’s wife, Ilene – to give you a better idea:

With massive amounts of help from Universal Tennis, I’m really hoping to make #TheSol into an annual event as well as to take it to other cities around the US. I think we have found a tournament formula that works! In all my years of schlepping to junior tournaments, I’ve never seen one where everyone just seemed happy to be there throughout the entire weekend. People were even smiling during the repeated rain delays. I’m not sure if it was allowing on-court coaching, the compass draw format, the player badges and goody bags, or what, but these kids had a great time and exhibited impeccable sportsmanship. And guess what? We had no officials other than our tournament director . . . nor did we need them!

A huge thank you to everyone involved! To our planning committee – Melanie Rubin (Tennis Parent), David Hirshfeld (Holabird Sports), Randy Jenks (Universal Tennis), and Rob Hubbard (Sam Houston State University Head Coach). To our sponsors – Presenting Sponsor Holabird Sports; Division I Sponsor Wilson Tennis; Division II Sponsors 10sBalls.com, Universal Tennis, Kassimir Physical Therapy, ParentingAces, Judie Schwartz, Rob & Robin Hubbard; Division III Sponsors Melanie Rubin & Family, Ilene Schwartz & Family, Michael Sellman & Family, Jason & Laurie Sklar & Family, Lisa & Matthew Stone & Family; In-Kind Sponsors ArrowBar, Genesis String, Lucy Prendeville, The Bryan Brothers, Steve’s Deli. To the staff at the Suburban Club – Ross Coleman, Jim, Brad, and Eric. To Sol’s family – Ilene Schwartz, Dori Schwartz, Evan Schwartz (thanks for Sol's familythe crabcakes!), Judie Schwartz, Cyndy Schwartz, Steve & Lisa Schwartz, Jake Schwartz, Josh Schwartz, Ina and Jeffrey Legum, Sherri & Gary Kassimir, Ali Kassimir, Laurie & Jason Sklar,  Skylar Sklar, Landon Sklar, and Dari Jo Sklar. To Sol’s friends who came out to support the tournament. And, most of all, to Sol for inspiring us to do better.

Finals match results (Name followed by Universal Tennis Rating):

Wilson-Williams Draw (8-player compass draw)

Kaitlyn Chalker (6.17) def Caroline Askew (5.39) 6-1 6-2

Wilson-Federer Draw (8-player compass draw)

Ramanaidu Kotnana (11.18) def Bear Lee (10.13) 7-5 6-3

Holabird Draw (8-player compass draw)

Tyler Mast (6.59) def Maxim Khurgel (6.46) 6-2 6-4

10sBalls.com Draw (4-player round robin draw)

Dessian Oula (4.00) overall winner

Daniel Polsky (4.00) runner-up

UTR Draw (4-player round robin draw)

Paige Sawyer (2.00) overall winner

Aleyah Abdullah (1.00) runner-up


Turn Your Game On!




Editor’s Note: I haven’t had a chance to test out this new product yet, but I am intrigued! The information presented below came via press release from Sony.

Tennis fans can now take advantage of recent innovations in smart, mobile technologies to help them reach their sporting goals. The Sony’s SSE-TN1W Smart Tennis Sensor will connect with your smart-device to make it easier than ever to track your tennis performance accurately. Analyse, review, share and compare your progress against concrete targets, keeping yourself motivated to continue your way towards your ace play.

The Ace up your sleeve

Sony partnered with top tennis manufacturer Wilson, as well as HEAD, Prince and YONEX to ensure a perfect fit of the smart tennis sensor with their sleek yet performance-driven rackets known to generations of players. Thanks to its sensing technologies and newly developed vibration analysis mechanics, it has never been easier to analyse your tennis performance. After charging the sensor, simply remove the racket logo cap, affix the attachment ring onto the grip end of the racket and place the tennis sensor onto the attachment ring. Turn on the sensor and start playing – the device will start recording a vast range of data such as number of shots, ball impact spot, swing type, swing speed, ball speed and ball spin.racket

At full charge, the SSE-TN1W will last 180 minutes[1] allowing you to analyse entire matches without having to recharge the device. You can review your shot data in real-time, or once your match has been concluded. Simply connect the tennis sensor to your smartphone or tablet[2] wirelessly to transfer and access the recorded data via the Smart Tennis Sensor app, which can be downloaded for free from the Google Play / App Store.  The app can record rallies and simultaneously display recorded video and shot metrics allowing you to associate the data to a specific part of your game or practice session.  You and your coach can also see your shot data live on a smart watch[3] as well as on your smartphone and tablet so you don’t have to leave the court to check it and get advice in real time.

Analyse, review and share your Game

The Smart Tennis Sensor app allows you to review recorded data in many ways. Look through your play overviews, analyse both current and historic data and set goals to track your progress over extensive periods of time.  By visualising the recorded data you will have a much better understanding of your strengths and points of improvement. You can even share your accomplishments with your friends by posting them onto social media services and show how fast you are improving your play!

By using Slow-motion playback and creating Motionshot sequence photos[4] you will be able to dissect your every movement into all its parts, allowing you to figure out in detail where you can improve your play.

SensorMarc DiPizzo, Sales and Marketing Europe said, “The Sony Smart Tennis Sensor is very simple to set up and doesn’t involve any distracting or uncomfortable equipment, so you can focus on what matters most in that moment – your match. After you have finished playing you can use the data and analysis to improve your technique for the next time.”

Sony’s Smart Tennis Sensor will be available through Wilson retailers http://www.wilson.com/en-gb/forms/finddealers/ (UK)

http://www.wilson.com/en-us/international/ (International) starting May 14th 2015.

Even when switching rackets, the sensor can be conveniently transferred any time, along with all recorded data to other compatible racket models making Sony’s Smart Tennis Sensor a long-lasting partner in the player’s sports development.

Sony’s Smart Tennis Sensor is officially approved by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for use in competitions.

[1] Without Bluetooth, assuming 500 hits/swings per hour

[2] Requirement: Android 4.1 or later; iOS6.1 or later

[3] Android Wear™ or later

[4] Requires external “MotionShot” app, which can be downloaded for free from the Android GooglePlay Store.


Testing Out New Technology



One of the perks of getting media credentials at an event like the US Open is that you might then be invited to some extra fun stuff like getting to test out the newest racquet technology before it hits the stores.IMG_6141

Wilson Tennis hosted one such event on my last day at the Open. I, along with several others, had the chance to hit with their newest line of racquets using their SpinEffect Technology. We were located inside the American Express Fan Experience at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on an indoor court. Wilson had set up Doppler radar to measure RPMs, ball speed, direction, angle, net clearance, and length of shot (the photo above is a screen-shot of my results). I tested two of the new racquets –


the Juice 100S and the Steam 99LS – and loved them both!

What amazed me was my ability to keep my pretty-flat forehand well within the confines of the baseline as well as my ability to hit corner to corner – not usually one of my strong suits! The secret, apparently (and I’m no Tennis Technician, I can assure you!), is Wilson’s new string pattern which can add over 200 RPMs of rotation on every shot leading to 2 inches more net clearance and allows the ball to drop quicker, giving you 12 inches more margin for error. All I can tell you is that balls that normally fly long for me were dropping well inside the baseline.

Several professional players are testing these new racquets, so you’ll probably start to see them more and more on the tour as the year progresses. One model, the Blade 98S Ripspin, is available to purchase now, but the other models will be out later this year.

IMG_6152Rising female star, Simona Halep, was at the event to show us up . . . I mean, to show us all how well she hits with a SpinEffect Technology stick! While my form and movement isn’t quite as beautiful as Simona’s, I can still tell that my game would benefit from one of these new racquets. As far as our junior players go, if your child has been considering a racquet change, I would definitely recommend having him/her test drive a couple of these.

What’s in YOUR Bag?


Show us what you’ve got . . . in your tennis bag, that is! We are partnering with Holabird Sports to bring you a fun contest during the 2013 US Open. Here’s the scoop:

  • Using Instagram, record a 15-second Bag Check video (click here for an example)
  • Post it using hashtags #usopenaces and #holabirdsports
  • Share the video to Twitter using hashtags #usopenaces and #holabirdsports

All video submissions will be entered into the drawing for the Grand Prize, a Wilson US Open tennis bag and Wilson tennis racquet of your choice, courtesy of Holabird.

The contest runs Monday, August 26, 2013 – Monday, September 9, 2013. The deadline for video submissions is September 9, 2013, 11:59pm Eastern Daylight Time. The winner will be announced on Monday, September 16, 2013.

The contest is open to entrants of all ages, so Tennis Parents, we hope you’ll get in on the fun, too!

And, if you see me or my sidekick, Melanie Rubin, around the grounds of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, please stop and say hi. We’ll be the ones sporting the ParentingAces gear!