Wilson launches power-packed, sleek burn racket

Wilson Sporting Goods Co., announced today the introduction of the BURN family of rackets. This new line is built specifically for performance tennis players seeking a bold, sleek racket that accelerates power from the baseline. The BURN is the first Baseliner-focused product to emerge from the Company’s new PlayerID system, which categorizes three key types of tennis playing styles: Baseliner, Attacker and All Courter. The system helps athletes better select products that speak to their playing style and enhance their overall performance on the court.Burn-One-Sheet

“We are very excited to launch the BURN. This is a racket that has been designed specifically for athletes, particularly juniors, who are looking for booming power and an aggressive frame,” said Hans-Martin Reh, General Manager, Racquet Sports. “This line symbolizes our deep understanding of performance tennis, our constant evaluation of how the game is evolving and what players truly need on an individual performance basis.”

The BURN line consists of five rackets, each with a headsize of 100 square inches. Each BURN racket is constructed with High Performance Carbon Fiber, which increases frame stiffness for explosive power on groundstrokes. And the BURN comes with the X2 Shaft, a longer handle that allows for increased feel and leverage on two-handed backhands, and an optimal shaft shape to enable quick grip changes for extreme grips. The rackets also feature Parallel Drilling, which dramatically increase their sweet spot, while providing a forgiving feel.

In addition, the BURN 100S, BURN 100LS, and BURN 100ULS rackets are equipped with the Company’s Spin Effect technology and differ in weight, allowing juniors to work their way up within the BURN family of rackets as they grow.

Current top-ten players and Wilson Advisory Staff members Kei Nishikori and Simona Halep will be two of the first athletes to play competitively with the new BURN during the 2015 Australian Open in Melbourne.

Wilson Sporting Goods Co., announced today the introduction of the BURN family of rackets. This new line is built specifically for performance tennis players seeking a bold, sleek racket that accelerates power from the baseline. The BURN is the first Baseliner-focused product to emerge from the Company’s new PlayerID system, which categorizes three key types of tennis playing styles: Baseliner, Attacker and All Courter. The system helps athletes better select products that speak to their playing style and enhance their overall performance on the court.

“We are very excited to launch the BURN. This is a racket that has been designed specifically for athletes, particularly juniors, who are looking for booming power and an aggressive frame,” said Hans-Martin Reh, General Manager, Racquet Sports. “This line symbolizes our deep understanding of performance tennis, our constant evaluation of how the game is evolving and what players truly need on an individual performance basis.”

The BURN line consists of five rackets, each with a headsize of 100 square inches. Each BURN racket is constructed with High Performance Carbon Fiber, which increases frame stiffness for explosive power on groundstrokes. And the BURN comes with the X2 Shaft, a longer handle that allows for increased feel and leverage on two-handed backhands, and an optimal shaft shape to enable quick grip changes for extreme grips. The rackets also feature Parallel Drilling, which dramatically increase their sweet spot, while providing a forgiving feel.

In addition, the BURN 100S, BURN 100LS, and BURN 100ULS rackets are equipped with the Company’s Spin Effect technology and differ in weight, allowing juniors to work their way up within the BURN family of rackets as they grow.

Current top-ten players and Wilson Advisory Staff members Kei Nishikori and Simona Halep will be two of the first athletes to play competitively with the new BURN during the 2015 Australian Open in Melbourne. Consumers are invited to visit www.wilson.com/burn for more information on the BURN family of rackets and to register for pre-sale notification. Pre-sale for the BURN 100S and BURN 100ULS begins February 2, and for the BURN100LS and the BURN 100 on March 2. Pre-sales will be available on www.wilson.com/burn and major tennis retailer websites. The BURN will retail for $199. The BURN racket will be in retail stores in mid-February.

ABOUT WILSON’S PLAYERID SYSTEM

The BURN is the first Baseliner-focused product to emerge from the Company’s innovative PlayerID system, which allows tennis players to easily identify the appropriate Wilson racket model based on individual play style.

Through extensive player research, Wilson identified three core playing styles in relation to the modern tennis game:

  • Baseliner – the player who battles from the baseline with consistency and speed
  • Attacker – the player who attacks the ball early to dictate play inside the baseline
  • All-Courter – a versatile player, who hits from all corners of the court

After identifying which playing style they belong to, athletes can quickly narrow their racket search by model type and weight. Every racket for Wilson will correspond with one of the three playing style segments, streamlining the racket selection process and ensuring a player’s equipment is best suited for his or her style of play.

For more information and product specifications on the full line of Wilson BURN rackets, log on to www.wilson.com/burnthebaseline.

djokovic ready for shot at fifth australian open crown

Novak Djokovic goes into the 2015 Australian Open, which begins later this week, as the favourite to win his fifth title in this event and start the year in the best possible manner.
The Serbian secured his maiden Grand Slam trophy in Melbourne in 2008 and has since gone on to bring that tally up to seven, while also securing the top spot in the men’s world rankings.Novak Djokovic

ATP World Tour Finals success

At the end of the 2014 campaign, Djokovic ended the year in the best possible way by winning his third straight ATP World Tour Finals crown in London. Unfortunately the crowd at the O2 Arena did not get treated to the final they were hoping for as Roger Federer pulled out on the game with a back injury, handing the world number one the trophy without having to face the Swiss player. Although Djokovic received a handover in the final, he did look in good form throughout the week and he was fancied to beat the 16-time Grand Slam winner.
The victory in London capped off a solid season for the 27-year-old. There was just one Grand Slam to his name, which came at Wimbledon, however, he ended the year at the top of the world rankings as he was the most consistent player on the men’s tour. That is a reason why the likes of betfair.com have him around 10/11 for success in Australia.

Preparation for Australian Open

However, Djokovic’s preparation for the 2015 Australian Open has not necessarily gone to plan. He withdrew from the Mubadala World Tennis Championship final in Abu Dhabi due to illness in his return to the court following the winter break. That came after he had defeated 2014 Australian Open winner Stanislas Wawrinka in the semi-final.
The Serbian then suffered a surprise defeat to Ivo Karlovic in the Qatar Open. All three sets in that game went to a tie breaker, with the Croatian winning two of them to advance into the semi-final of the competition in Doha. Before the upset, Djokovic defeated Dusan Lajovic and Sergiy Stakhovsky in straight sets, dropping just six games in those two ties.
However, despite a lack of success in either of his pre-Australian Open tournaments, Djokovic still got a good run of games under his belt, which would have been his priority.
Conditions in Melbourne are always straining on the players as the heat really does test the fitness in the opening Grand Slam of the year. By playing in Qatar in his two warm-up events, Djokovic has become accustomed to competing in such high temperatures once again which will be similar next week over a five-set format.

Question marks about rivals

All three of Djokovic’s main rivals going into the Australian Open have question marks hanging over their heads.
Federer finished 2014 with a back injury so it is unclear what his fitness is like ahead of a gruelling Grand Slam campaign.
The Swiss player did, though, take part in the Davis Cup final where he helped Switzerland defeat France to win the team competition for the first time in its history. He also recently won the Brisbane International where he beat Milos Raonic in the final. At the age of 33, however, Federer is looking for his first Grand Slam title since he lifted the Wimbledon trophy in 2012.

Rafael Nadal is on course for his return to the ATP in the Australian Open. He has been out of action since the back end of the 2014 season which forced him to miss the US Open and ATP World Tour Finals due to him needing an operation on his appendix. It is likely that Nadal will not be at his best for his first Grand Slam since Wimbledon 2014 as the five-set format may just come too soon for him.

Andy Murray also needs to prove that he is 100 per cent fit again and is ready to win another Grand Slam to add the US Open and Wimbledon titles in won in 2012 and 2013, respectively. His best run in 2014 was in the French Open where he eventually went out in the last four in Paris on what is considered his least favourite surface.

Previous success

Only Andre Agassi and Federer have won as many Australian Open titles in the modern Open era as Djokovic, but the Serbian is bidding to exceed that joint-record this year by winning the crown once again in order to stand alone with five tournament successes to his name.
Between 2011 and 2013, he avoided defeat in Melbourne and his run only came to an end last year when eventual champion Wawrinka beat him 9-7 in a fifth-set decider in the quarter-final of the 2014 competition.
In his last seven appearances in the Australian Open, Djokovic has reached the quarter-finals or better so he is a more than worthy contender.

australian gothic: wilson fetes vika azarenka’s australian open win

Victoria Azarenka wins the 2013 Australian Open using a Wilson Juice tennis racquet

Fight to the Finish: The road to the second consecutive Australian Open title for World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka was long and hard. Not only was everyone trying to topple her, they came close to doing so: Jamie Hampton pushed Vika to three sets in third round but eventually lost because of a back injurySloane Stephens couldn’t continue her momentum after Azarenka’s 10-minute medical timeout in the semis; and Li Na rolled both ankles and hit her head — enough for the 2011 finalist to lose any edge she might have had over Vika in the final. And add to that the already anti-Vika crowd who became rabid after that questionable timeout and was out for Schadenfreude and blood.

But these were all mere distractions which Azarenka’s “fighter” mentality swatted away. She ground out a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Li in Saturday’s final.

FYI, Azarenka’s playing a Juice racquet from sponsor Wilson. (Review: Tennis Now’s Robert Martin on the Juice 100 BLX.)

Australian Gothic: Meanwhile, this ad sent out by the Wilson folks after Vika’s win is creeping us out. What happened to her eyes? Full version of the tribute after the cut…

maria sharapova shares her style tips with vogue australia

Maria Sharapova discusses her fashion style with Vogue Australia

A Q&A between 2013 Australian Open semifinalist Maria Sharapova (she lost to Li Na) with Vogue Australia’s Carmen Hamilton. Our favorite tidbit: Maria loves working with Alexander McQueen‘s Sarah Burton (this red dress comes to mind). The Russian also shares fashion tips for tall women: wear your flats (gladiators), and rock those wide leg trousers like its your job.

Carmen Hamilton: How do you choose an outfit for a big event, both on and off court?

Maria Sharapova: Off court, it usually depends on the event. I’ve had a few Sugarpova launches in the last few months so a lot of the things I’ve worn have been quite colourful and fun to go with the personality of the candy. For an event during the evening, I would go towards something like Alexander McQueen. I love working with Sarah Burton. I think she’s incredible. It’s been really amazing to see her creations come alive. Overall, I usually try to go for something more feminine and elegant.

(Photo Credit: Maria Sharapova for Tag Heuer; via vogue.com.au)

victoria azarenka wants australian open title

Victoria Azarenka at the Australian Open 2013

Victoria Azarenka had a lot to endure in the past couple of days: she was overcome by nerves and blew five match points in her semifinal match against teen sensation Sloane Stephens. Criticasters booed her for that but Azarenka would like to use the Australian Open finale to shush the naysayers and gain back some of that goodwill.

That 10-minute timeout, which the World No. 1 took during the 5-4 changeover right after she lost her serve, was necessitated by an apparent rib injury. Vika denies that she took a medical timeout to get an extra break to recover from the match. (Was Azarenka right in taking the medical timeout at 5-4 for nerves? Tell us!)

Azarenka told the press that it wasn’t nice to read and hear the criticism revolving her timeout but added that there are sometimes things that we don’t have control over and that the best you can do is learn from it.  Azarenka further added that the most important thing for her is to put up a great finale versus Li Na.

Stats: Azarenka and Li have played each other 9 times so far in their careers. And head-to-head is 5-4 in Vika’s favor. Azarenka has won the last four encounters.

tv: australian open on espn (men’s SFs + champs weekend)

espn-logo

For your DVR: The semi between Roger Federer and  Andy Murray at the 2013 Australian Open will be broadcast on ESPN (that’s the main stage, my squirrels) tonight at 3:30 a.m. ET.

The winner of this match will face two-time defending champion Novak Djokovic, who reached the finals after a comfortable, straight-set win over David Ferrer. The men;s final will be broadcast on Sunday early morning, at 3 a.m. ET (12 a.m. PT).

The ladies’ championship, already set between former finalist Li Na and No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, will air on early Saturday morning, also at 3 a.m. ET.

Reruns: Both championship matches will receive two encore presentations on ESPN2, at 9 a.m. and in prime time. If you’d rather be off your couch and online, the matches will also stream on WatchESPN.com and via the WatchESPN app. More: Get all the info here.

fashion focus: sharapova’s blue stud earrings — tiffany?

Maria Sharapova - 2013 Australian Open - earrings

What say you about Maria Sharapova‘s blue stud earrings from the 2013 Australian Open? These look to us like Tiffany & Co. hardware — Elsa Peretti‘s Color by the Yard Earrings, $395.

Melbourne Miss: The World No. 2, also seeded No. 2 at the first Slam of 2013, charged through the draw Down Under, serving up two double bagels in her first two matches and dropping only nine games en route to the semis, where she lost 6-2, 6-2 to Li Na.

Li will face Victoria Azarenka in the final.

(Photo Credit: Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

shirtless: novak djokovic defeats wawrinka in melbourne

Novak Djokovic Shirtless

Part of the deal: What would the Australian Open be without a marathon match involving Novak Djokovic? The No. 1 seed got all tangled up in a five-setter against Stan Wawrinka, who saved two match points before going down 1-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-7(5), 12-10.

And what would a Djokovic post-match celebration be without the Serb tearin’ up his (Uniqlo) top?

(viaPhoto Credit: Getty Images)

kit count: australian open women’s QFs

Australian Open logo

The Women’s QF draw at the 2013 Australian Open: adidas (6), Nike (4), Lotto (2), and 1 each for Under ArmourFilaLacoste, and Qiaodan.

Breakdown: See the complete list after the cut…

maria sharapova sets up clash with venus williams at the australian open

sharapova-vs-williams

Maria Sharapova was careful not to show any disrespect to the two women she beat 6-0, 6-0 along the way to a third-round match against Venus Williams at the Australian Open.

As rare as it was, she said, an almost flawless start wasn’t entirely what she’d come to Melbourne to achieve.

The No. 2-ranked Sharapova overwhelmed Japan’s Misaki Doi in 47 minutes Wednesday, even less time than she’d needed to beat fellow Russian Olga Puchkova two days earlier in her first competitive match of 2013.