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.
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.
Rising 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.