Tuesday, September 22, 2015

New Tennis Rackets for Spring 2016!

Katelyn Caniford | Towpath Tennis Pro

With the start of a new year, comes a new line of rackets from some of the most popular dealers from around the world! Starting with the new Babolat Pure Aero line all the way to the club exclusive Wilson Ultra XP’s, these rackets are sure to enhance the level of play for anyone who is serious about their game! Check out these rackets that are available for sale online at towpathtennisshop.com or straight from our pro shop!

Babolat Pure Aero

Headsize: 100 sq. in.
Length: 27"
Beam Width: 23/26/23mm
Weight Strung: 315g/(11 oz.)
Racquet/Player Type: Advanced
Color(s): Black/Florescent Yellow
Composition/Construction: Graphite
String Pattern (Mains X Crosses): 16 x 19
Recommended String Tension: 50-59 lbs
Balance: 32cm/ (12.6 in.)
Stiffness/Flex: 72 RA
Grommet Technology: FSI Spin
Frame Technology: Aeromodular 2
Grip Type: Syntec Pro
Swing Weight: 290 kgcm
Swing Type: Fast, Long
Towpath Recommended String: Babolat RPM Blast

What’s so great about it?
Coming straight from Babolat’s previous generation of Aero Rackets, the new Pure Aero Line offers an aerodynamic frame which enables the racket head to move much faster, therefore increasing ball speed. This is due to the combination of woofer and cortex technologies that have been integrated into the racket. The brand new redesigned grommets allow the string bed to move freely which optimizes the lift on the ball. The pure aero comes in the original Pure Aero, the Pure Aero Team, and the Pure Aero Lite. The Pure Aero Play, Pure Aero +, Pure Aero Tour, and the junior rackets will also be available in November 2015!

Why do we like it?
The spin! The new Pure Aero, compared to the older models of Aero rackets, has more interaction between the ball and the strings which increases the amount of spin being generated. Players are able to maximize their spin on the ball without losing any power in their swing. It's perfect for the players who want optimum spin and have more aggressive play styles. Not only is this racket made up of the latest in tennis technology, but with the matte fluorescent yellow finish, it looks great!

Headsize: 97 sq. in.
Length: 27"
Beam Width: 23mm Flat Beam
Weight Strung: 285g/ (10 oz.)
Color(s): Black/Red
Composition/Construction: Braided Graphite + Kevlar
String Pattern (Mains X Crosses): 18 x 16 (S.E.T.)
Recommended String Tension: 50-60 lbs.
Balance: 32.5cm/ (12.8 in.)
Grommet Technology: Spin Effect Technology
Grip Type: Sublime Grip
Swing Type: Moderate to Full
Towpath Recommended String: Luxilon Big Banger

What’s so great about it?
Not only does this racket have better maneuverability compared to its heavier pro-staff counterpart (donned by Roger Federer), but it is a great ultra-lightweight alternative that is able to generate lots of power as well! With the new 18x16 Spin Effect Technology, players are able to generate spin by placing a tighter grip on the ball. With this latest model, you also don’t have to worry about sacrificing power for control because the ULS offers players the perfect combination of power, spin, speed, and control!

Why do we like it?
The lighter weight! This racket is a great choice for players who love the control of the original pro staff, but need a lighter weight frame. It's also perfect for beginner or intermediate level players who are learning to generate their own spin and power. This racket is a great alternative for players that love to hit lots of balls from the baseline. The extreme maneuverability is also excellent for controlling the rackets speed and angle through contact with the ball.

Wilson “Club Exclusive” Ultra XP 
Specs (Ultra XP 100S)                                                      
Headsize: 100 sq. inches
Length: 27.25”
Weight Strung: 290 g/ (10.2 oz)
Racquet/Player Type: beginner
Color(s): black/blue/grey
String Pattern (Mains X Crosses): 16 x 15
Recommended String Tension: 50-60 lbs (53)
Balance: 33 cm/ 5 pts HL
Grip Type: Wilson Sublime
Swing Type: Fast, Long
Towpath Recommended String: Wilson Sensation 16

What’s so great about it?
Not only is this racket modeled after the classic Wilson Profile, but it is very versatile and easy to use. The new technology in this racket makes controlling the ball an easy task especially for beginner and older players who need a racket that is not only lightweight, but has a bigger head size for better ball control. The new technology also allows for easier access to good power without having to exert too much effort.

Why do we like it?
Head size and ease! This racket is obviously a great choice for players that are a fan of the classic Wilson Profile.  Not only is this racket a popular choice among beginners and 55+ players, but it's incredibly maneuverable and easy to swing with. It's also a nice alternative for tennis pros who are looking for an easy racket that can feed balls quickly and with lots of depth.

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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Was Venus and Serena's US Open match staged?

Katelyn Caniford | Towpath Tennis Pro
Rolling Stone

The story could not have been written better. One of America’s favorite sibling athlete-duos squaring up against each other in the quarter-finals of the biggest tennis tournaments in the country, the US Open. On Tuesday September 8th, 2015, Venus and Serena Williams faced off against each other for the 27th time at Arthur Ashe Stadium in NYC. After 98 minutes of back and forth tennis culminating in a somewhat close third set, Serena took the victory 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 to put her just two matches short of not only winning the US Open, but also achieving a calendar-year Grand Slam. If Serena wins her next few matches, she will become one of only a few women to ever win all four major singles titles in a season.                                                                                       
The importance of this tournament for Serena is huge--so huge in fact that one might ask the question as to whether or not this match, or at least some parts of it, could have potentially been predetermined. Now I will say that I’m a fan of both of the Williams sisters and think that they are two of the greatest women’s players of all time, however, after witnessing their match Tuesday night I had a hard time believing that 100% of everything that I was watching was not staged in some sense. From the over the top reactions from Serena, to the absolute dominance of Venus in the second set, I think there might have been some talks between the two beforehand as to how they wanted their match to go. It was so tightly contested that it almost seemed too good to be true. Serena dominating the first, Venus dominating the second, and then Venus creeping up slightly near the end of the third--it was textbook perfection! Not to mention, I’m sure that Venus absolutely would not have wanted to be the one to take away her sister’s chance of becoming one of the few women to ever achieve all four Major singles wins in a season.
To me, what seemed like a dead giveaway to what was potentially going on were the strong reactions from Serena when she would miss her shots. Don’t get me wrong, I tend to react strongly when I’m not playing well too, but it almost seemed that in this match she was forcing herself to react that way for drama-sake. And then to do so against her sister of all people? It’s almost like she had to tell herself to freak out for the crowd.
This then made me think of what other majoring sporting events that have possibly been predetermined beforehand, because it’s no shocker it’s been done before (Hellooo 2014’s World Cup, 2002’s NBA Playoff scandal, or the WWE!) Now granted, I'm not undermining professional athletes or the hard work they put into their sport, but I do think that when it comes to “Cinderella stories” or huge moments in the world of sports (or whatever will draw big ratings), there is a possibility that some, if not all, parts of them are predetermined or at least discussed beforehand by the participants/officials. Who knows, maybe this is just all speculation but I am curious to hear thoughts from others about this match, as well as thoughts on the potential of fixed results in all sports today.

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