roger “the betterer” federer shows his new wilson pro staff racket

For months Roger Federer’s stealthy, matte black racket has been the source of conjecture and debate amongst tennis fans. Wins in Dubai and Halle, along with several finals appearances amplified the buzz surrounding his new secret weapon. After three years of development and dozens of prototypes, Roger Federer and Wilson officially announced the new Wilson Pro Staff line of rackets, which they collaborated in developing.

The new Wilson Pro Staff RF 97 Autograph* delivers the precise feel Federer demands with a larger sweet spot and more power in comparison to the Wilson rackets he has used throughout his storied career. The Wilson Pro Staff line will feature rackets suited for a variety of attack-style players: from avid players to youth striving to improve their game. The Wilson Pro Staff rackets provide more power without compromising the classic feel long associated with the Pro Staff line. The final graphics package will be unveiled closer to the projected October 1, 2014 in-store date.

“I grew up idolizing the legends of the game, so it was natural for me to play with Wilson Pro Staff 85-inch rackets,” said Federer. “I love the feel a smaller head provides, and larger rackets couldn’t deliver the feedback I needed to be successful. This new Wilson Pro Staff racket has been a long time coming, but I finally have the feel I need in a 97-inch head.”

The iconic Pro Staff line has spanned 31 years and is steeped in history, tradition, and Grand Slam victories. The Wilson Pro Staff line has delivered uncompromising feel for players of all skill levels and the latest products preserve the consistent feel while introducing a 97-inch head in three of the four models. The re-engineered Pro Staff models feature a 26 percent wider racket beam providing for a significant boost in power. Compared to Federer’s previous racket, the Wilson Pro Staff RF 97 Autograph is seven percent larger, resulting in a 10 percent larger sweet spot that consistently produces more power for Federer and for tennis enthusiasts. Wilson’s use of braided graphite and Kevlar maintain the consistent feel that players have come to know in the Pro Staff line.

“When it comes to his tennis career, Roger is a chess master, always thinking several moves ahead,” said Mike Dowse, Wilson Sporting Goods Co. President. “So when we broached the subject of developing a more powerful racket that would still fit his needs for responsive ‘feel’ and attacking style, we jumped at the chance to collaborate with him. This racket represents the most extensive collaboration between an elite player of Roger’s caliber and Wilson. The result is a groundbreaking racket that will benefit tennis players worldwide.”

Wilson has produced an episodic series of videos that highlight the unique relationship they share with the tennis legend. They can be viewed along with additional information on the racket at www.wilson.com/betterer.

Federer’s collaboration with Wilson actually goes back decades. He won the Wimbledon Juniors crown in 1998 playing with a Wilson Pro Staff 85 racket. He turned pro shortly after that victory and began working with Wilson to find the 90-inch racket that, with updates, has been his weapon of choice throughout his incredible career.

The new Pro Staff line includes four models to address different kinds of players:

Wilson Pro Staff

put a new spin to your game with the HEAD Graphene Extreme

Head  Extreme MP 0206

HEAD announced today the launch of the next installment in the Extreme racket series, now infused with Graphene technology: the HEAD Graphene Extreme.

The new generation of the Extreme racquet series now combines the best features of the Extreme series with Graphene, the world’s strongest and lightest material, making this the final HEAD racquet series to feature the Graphene technology. The special construction of the racquet spreads the weight evenly from grip to tip, allowing for greater playability and lethal levels of spin. The Graphene Extreme racquet series is designed for the aggression of the modern game, allowing players to generate massive amounts of power without sacrificing spin or superior handling. With the new Head Graphene Extreme, giving your opponents a hard time has never been easier!

The design of the next generation of this celebrated racquet family embodies the aggressive nature of the product. The contrast between the vibrant hues of neon green and robust sections of black is representative of the dynamism and versatility of the Graphene Extreme racquet series. This high performance racquet isn’t only for HEAD’s top professional players, but for all players who value the ideal combination of power, spin and elite maneuverability. While the Graphene Extreme Pro is the top model and most powerful, the Extreme series also includes the Extreme MP and the Extreme Lite. All Graphene Extreme racquet models will retail for $190.

If you want to know more, please go to  Facebook.com/headtennis or follow @Head_Tennis on Twitter.

 

iberostar renews partnership with toni nadal

Iberostar
IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts and Toni Nadal recently renewed their partnership agreement, which originated in 2009, further reinforcing their link within the world of sports.

Toni Nadal, who is also the coach and uncle of tennis star, Rafa Nadal, will continue to be the company’s ambassador on all of the world’s tennis courts for three more seasons. His support and commitment to the brand is displayed at every tennis match with Tony sporting his favorite IBEROSTAR hat.

“At IBEROSTAR, we want to reaffirm our passion for sports,” said Luis Hérault, Chief Marketing Officer of GRUPO IBEROSTAR. “This agreement is further evidence of our commitment to one of the values, which we assume as our own. We are delighted that Toni Nadal will continue to be an ambassador for our brand.”

“We have been working together for many years and I hope to continue for many more,” remarked Toni Nadal. “IBEROSTAR is a company which has always shown its support for sports and particularly for tennis.”

IBEROSTAR furthers this growth by promoting and encouraging sporting activities as it is considered a fundamental pillar of the brand. Most recently, IBEROSTAR announced the sponsorship of the 2014 Majorca Padel Tennis World Championship, where the winner will receive the IBEROSTAR Trophy; the sponsorship renewal of the IBEROSTAR Stadium; and its support for the sport of basketball as official sponsor of the C. B Canarias team.

About IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts

IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts is a family-owned Spanish hospitality company with more than 50 years of experience in the travel industry. IBEROSTAR provides unique vacation experiences, rooted in superior customer service and quality, in the world’s most popular vacation destinations. With around 100 hotels in 13 countries, IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts is committed to offering excellence in quality and service and providing personal attention to each guest. For more information, please visit iberostar.com.

new espn/atp agreement expands coverage for iw, miami, and world tour finals

PRESS RELEASE

ESPN expands of ATP coverage for Indian Wells, Miami, and ATP World Tour Finals

TV Schedule for Miami Now includes Both Finals; ESPN3 to Deliver More Action from Every ATP World Tour Masters 1000 & 500 Event

ESPN and the ATP World Tour have finalized a long-term agreement that will expand coverage of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif.; Sony Open Tennis in Miami; and the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals currently played in London. More than 44 hours will be aired, including, for the first time, both the women’s and men’s championships from the South Florida event. Also, more live action from every ATP World Tour Masters 1000 and 500 tournament will be on ESPN3 – totaling up to 1,200 hours annually.

“ESPN is thrilled to expand coverage of three of the biggest events outside the Major Championships – Indian Wells, Miami and the ATP World Tour season finale,” said Jason Bernstein, ESPN senior director, programming & acquisitions who oversees both ESPN3 and ESPN’s tennis business. “ESPN3 presents more live tennis action than any other U.S. outlet year-round, with multiple simultaneous matches available on broadband and via WatchESPN no matter where you are.”

Mark Young, CEO ATP Americas and Chief Media Officer, said, “We’re delighted to sign this extended agreement with ESPN, paving the way for even greater TV coverage and viewership in the US of our biggest events. ESPN is a terrific broadcast partner for the ATP and, with more fans tuning into ATP World Tour events than ever before, it’s a very exciting time to be a part of the Tour.”

ESPN3 is ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network, a 24/7 destination that delivers thousands of global sports events annually via WatchESPN. It is available to 85 million homes at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider. The network is also available at no cost to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers connected to on-campus educational networks and on-base military networks.

ESPN – All Four Slams, All In One Place
Tennis has been part of ESPN since its first week on the air and provided many memorable moments, but it has never been as important as today, with the US Open joining the lineup in 2009, giving ESPN all four Grand Slam events, something no other U.S. network has ever done, let alone in one year. ESPN has presented the Australian Open since 1984, the French Open since 2002 (plus 1986 – 1993), and Wimbledon since 2003, with exclusivity for live television with all other rights extended in a 12-year agreement starting in 2012. Exclusivity for the US Open in an 11-year agreement begins in 2015.

About the BNP Paribas Open
The BNP Paribas Open is the largest ATP World Tour and WTA combined two-week event in the world, offers more than $12,000,000 in prize money, and is the only event to provide the Hawkeye line challenge system on all match courts. In 2013, more than 380,000 people attended the event. Visit www.bnpparibasopen.com for more information, including tickets and hotel vacation packages Indian Wells Tennis Garden Box Office, 800-999-1585 or 760-200-8000, 78-200 Miles Avenue, Indian Wells, CA, 92210.

About Sony Open Tennis
The 2014 Sony Open will be played March 17-30 at the Crandon Tennis Center in Miami. The two-week combined event is owned and operated by IMG. The Sony Open is one of nine ATP Masters 1000 Series events on the ATP calendar, a Premier Mandatory event on the WTA calendar, and features the top men’s and women’s tennis players in the world. The event’s international fan base, exotic location, and celebrity appeal give it an energy and excitement unlike any other event on tour. In 2013 Andy Murray defeated David Ferrer for his second Sony Open title, while Serena Williams knocked off Maria Sharapova to capture her record sixth title in Miami. For ticket information, call (305) 442-3367 or visit the website at www.SonyOpenTennis.com.

About the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals
The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals is the year-end climax to the men’s professional tennis season, featuring only the world’s best eight qualified singles players and doubles teams as they battle it out for the last title of the season. Players compete for Emirates ATP Rankings points throughout the season in a bid to earn one of the eight coveted berths and a chance to win the $1.92m prize money on offer for the winner. Played using a round-robin format, each player plays three matches as they compete for a berth in the knockout semi-finals and beyond. The prestigious tournament has been contested in major cities around the world with a rich history dating back to the birth of The Masters in 1970 in Tokyo. Since 2000 the event has taken place in cities such as Lisbon, Sydney, and Shanghai. In 2009 the tournament was moved to London, where it will be played through 2015.

wta 40 love: martina passes $1 million in season prize money

The WTA has released the third episode in their series WTA 40 LOVE Story presented by Xerox, a 10-part video series showcasing the history and growth of the women’s tennis tour. Entitled “1982: Navratilova Passes $1 Million in Season Prize Money,” the third episode highlights Martina Navratilova‘s 1982 season when she became the first woman in tennis history to surpass the $1 million dollar prize money mark in a season.

Watch: “1982: Navratilova Passes $1 Million in Season Prize Money”, WTA 40 Love Story presented by Xerox.

davis cup: semifinal coverage by tennis channel

Davis Cup logo

Tennis Channel will provide exclusive, live “bounce style” coverage from both Davis Cup semifinals in Belgrade, Serbia, and Prague, Czech Republic, this weekend, with live and same-day, “Instant Encore” replays Friday through Sunday, as telecast windows overlap. Serbia will host Canada while the Czech Republic will welcome Argentina. Top-ranked Canadian Milos Raonic and 2013 US Open finalist and World No. 1 Novak Djokovic have never faced each other in competitive play, nor have the two nations met in Davis Cup competition. Tennis Channel’s coverage gets underway at 9 a.m. ET, Friday, Sept. 13; 8:30 a.m. ET, Saturday, Sept. 14; and 8 a.m. ET, Sunday, Sept. 15.

Live, “bounce style” coverage from Belgrade Arena in Belgrade, Serbia, and O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic (all times ET):

Friday, Sept. 13:
9 a.m. – Live Singles #1 Czech Republic vs. Argentina (Serbia vs. Canada underway at 10 a.m.)
1 p.m. – Live Singles #2 Czech Republic vs. Argentina and Canada vs. Serbia
{8 p.m. – Instant Encore Singles #1 Czech Republic vs. Argentina and Canada vs. Serbia}
{12 a.m. – Instant Encore Singles #2 Czech Republic vs. Argentina and Canada vs. Serbia}

Saturday, Sept. 14:
8:30 a.m. – Live Doubles Czech Republic vs. Argentina (Serbia vs. Canada underway at 10 a.m.)

Sunday, Sept. 15:
8 a.m. – Live Singles #1 Czech Republic vs. Argentina and Canada vs. Serbia
11 a.m. – Live Singles #2 Czech Republic vs. Argentina and Canada vs. Serbia

Canada and Serbia have never faced each other in Davis Cup play. Serbia defeated France 3-2 in the 2010 Davis Cup finals at Belgrade Arena to win its sole title. The Serbian team enters this weekend’s matchup after a 3-1 victory over the United States in Boise, Idaho. Serbia is captained by Bogdan Obradovic and features Djokovic, Janko Tipsarevic, Dusan Lajovic, and Nenad Zimonjic.

Canada enters this weekend after defeating Italy 3-1 to reach the semifinals for the first time since 1913 and only the second time in the nation’s history. The Canadian team achieved its best Davis Cup results to date by defeating both Spain and Italy and is bidding to win its first Davis Cup title. The squad is captained by Martin Laurendeau and features the same players who beat Italy in the quarterfinal: Raonic, Vasek Pospisil, Frank Dancevic, and Daniel Nestor.

The Czech Republic holds a 4-1 advantage over Argentina in Davis Cup competition, most recently winning last year’s semifinal 3-2 in Argentina. Argentina’s sole victory over the Czech Republic came in 2005 in Buenos Aires. The team enters this weekend’s match after defeating Kazakhstan 3-1 in the quarterfinals. The Czech Republic clinched its first Davis Cup trophy as an independent nation last year, when it defeated Spain 3-2 in Prague. In 1980,it captured its first Davis Cup title while competing under the flag of Czechoslovakia. Coached by Jaroslav Navratil, the team consists of Tomas Berdych, Radek Stepanek, Lukas Rosol, and Jiri Vesely.

Argentina has finished runner-up on four occasions: in 1981, 2006, 2008 and 2011. The Argentine team is captained by Martin Jaite and features Juan Monaco, Carlos Berlocq, Horacio Zeballos, and Leonardo Mayer.

mishit: mattek-sands and allaster ring nyse bell

Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Stacey Allaster ring NYSE bell 2013

 

Purple, like the logo: Not sure if Bethanie Mattek-Sands is the WTAer I’dve taken with me to the NYSE to ring the opening bell, Ms. Allaster. Is this the image we want to project to the world about who is playing tennis these days? I guess we can mix things up, seeing that Serena Williams and Vika Azarenka got a chance to thank SAP when that data partnership was announced in Cincinnati (Western & Southern Open).

(image via)

sharapova withdraws from the 2013 u.s. open with shoulder injury

Maria Sharapova - Nike - 2013 Australian Open

 

Blowing us a red-lipped kiss goodbye: 2006 U.S. Open Champion Maria Sharapova withdrew from this year’s Championship because of bursitis in her right shoulder. “Maria has informed us that she will be unable to compete at the U.S. Open this year due to a right shoulder bursitis and has withdrawn from the tournament,” U.S. Open tournament director David Brewer said in a statement. “We wish her a speedy recovery and look forward to her return to New York next year.”

Sharapova also released a statement through her own website, saying “”I just wanted to let you know that withdrawing from the US Open has been a really tough decision to make. I have done everything I could since Wimbledon to get myself ready, but it just wasn’t enough time. I have done many tests, received several opinions and it all comes down to taking the proper amount of time to heal my shoulder injury properly. It’s certainly not an easy decision to make ahead of one of my favorite tournaments, but I know it’s the right one that will get me back on the courts soon. I plan on taking the next few weeks off, receiving proper treatment and rehabilitation. I will miss being part of the US Open, but can’t wait for next year!”

Moving on up: Because of this withdrawal, Agnieszka Radwanska moves up to the No. 3 spot in the seedings previously held by Sharapova. All the other seeds move up, with Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova moving up to the take the No. 32 seeding. (See: 2013 U.S. Open Women’s Singles Seeds | Men’s Seeds)

(via USATpicture of Maria Sharapova from the 2013 Australian Open via Getty Images)