Coinciding with London Olympics, Designed to Win explores the various ways in which design has shaped the sporting world.
The exhibition, created in association with Oakley, celebrates design in sport, focusing on the the relationship between design and performance and function, looking at how new materials, fashions and technologies have transformed sporting equipment.
Film clips, photography and models are shown alongside interactive displays, sporting equipment and timelines.

“Designed to Win” is split up into several different themes. The section on speed, power and performance features a selection of bicycles including a track bike, a downhill bike, a time-trial bike and a racing BMX to take a look at how the needs of different cyclists lead to highly specialised, technologically amazing bicycles. This part of the exhibition also features Bradley Wiggins’ recent Tour de France winning bicycle.

Also featured: Speedo’s controversial line of swimming suits, launched at Beijing 2008 Olympics, where 94 per cent of all races were won by athletes donning the LZR Racer. By August 2009, 93 world records had been broken by swimmers wearing it, prompting major investigations and allegations of “technological doping”. The suits were banned in 2010.

The exhibition also looks at safety equipment. There’s a selection of cricket helmets showing how their design and the materials used changed through time as they moved from steel to plastic to Kevlar protective shells. You can also see F1 racing helmets worn over the last three decades including Lewis Hamilton’s.

The final room is all about sporting controversies, and features in particular Ilie Nastase‘s spaghetti racquet.
The double-strung tennis racquet was first sighted in 1977, but was soon banned due to the excessive spin it generated. Ilie Nastase used what became known as the ‘spaghetti-strung’ racquet to end the 57-match claycourt winning streak of Guillermo Vilas.

More pics on Notcot

Designed To Win, Design Museum, until November 18. £10
designmuseum.org

All French Open 2012 posts are tagged French Open and are listed up below:

2012 French Open Rafael Nadal outfit

Roland Garros stadium:

Get behind the scenes at Roland Garros – part 1
Get behind the scenes at Roland Garros – part 2
Take a seat: court Suzanne Lenglen
Take a seat: court Philippe Chatrier
Today at Roland Garros: Court Philippe Chatrier

Recap and analysis:

Day 2 recap, part 1: Harrison, Haas, Hewitt…
Day 2 recap, part 2: Tomic, Raonic and Pennetta…
Ryan Harrison practice session
Day 3 recap, part 1: Young, Dulko, Suarez and Stosur…
Sam Stosur practice session
Flavia Pennetta and Maria Kirilenko practice session
Day 3 recap, part 2: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Julia Goerges, Sloane Stephens…
Pics of Sam Stosur and Julia Goerges first round doubles match
Day 5 recap, part 1: PHM, Clément, Li Na…
Tommy Haas practice session
Li Na practice session
Day 5 recap, part 2: Pavlyuchenkova, Llodra, Querrey, Chardy …
Julia Goerges practice session on Day 5
Day 6 recap: Sharapova, Federer, Stosur, Azarenka, Del Potro, Tsonga…
Maria Sharapova practice session
Roger Federer practice session
Sam Stosur practice session on Day 6
Juan Martin Del Potro practice session on Day 6
Maria Sharapova completes the career Grand Slam
2012 French Open recap: the Good, the Bad, the King

Fashion and gear:

Fernando Verdasco’s adidas outfits for 2012
Nike Zoom Vapor Tour 9 SL – Roger Federer Roland Garros 2012
Nike Air Max Courtballistec 4.3 – Rafael Nadal Roland Garros 2012
Caroline Wozniacki adidas outfit for Roland Garros 2012
Rafael Nadal Nike outfit
Roger Federer Nike outfit
Maria Sharapova Nike dress and shoes
Victoria Azarenka Nike dress
Li Na Nike outfit
Serena Williams Nike dress and shoes
Novak Djokovic Roland Garros 2012 outfit
Ana Ivanovic adidas dress
Andy Murray adidas outfit
Gilles Simon adidas outfit
Andrea Petkovic adidas outfit
Arantxa Rus adidas outfit

A trip down memory lane:

1982: At the request of Monsieur Wilander
1982: first Grand Slam for Mats Wilander
1984 French Open: Ivan Lendl defeats John McEnroe
1985 French Open: Chris Evert defeats Martina Navratilova
1990 French Open: Opposites attract, Gomez defeats Agassi
1991 French Open final: Jim Courier defeats Andre Agassi
Steffi Graf – Martina Hingis Roland Garros 1999
1999 French Open: Agassi-Graf, two days, one destiny
A look back at Roland Garros 2011

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Mats Wilander, Roland Garros 1982

By Barry Newcombe, Tennis World, July 1982

The first Sunday in June had become a routine operation for Lennart Bergelin, coach to Bjorn Borg. No-one would rise too early, they would practise for about an hour, and then Bjorn would go off and win the French title at Stade Roland Garros. That happened six times.
Everyone knew it could not happen this year. When the French championships began, Borg was handling the controls of a boat he had rented to sail among the Greek islands rather than a tennis racket, and somehow the 128 contenders left in the hunt for the French title knew that things would not be the same.

There was never really that much speculation about the winner. Ninety percent of the press room would probably have opted for Ivan Lendl to move from the runner-up role he occupied in 1981 into the role of champion. The feeling in the locker room may have been more or less the same.
There were considered to be two other strong contenders – Guillermo Vilas, on the basis that he was a past champion and was playing supremely well, and the top-seeded Jimmy Connors who could perhaps count this year as his last reasonable opportunity of a first win in the French.
But nobody mentioned Mats Wilander of Sweden. He had, after all, been a semi-finalist in Rome on the eve of the French championships and although those of us who had been there knew that his eye was sharp and his game in good order it was stretching credibility to expect him to make the last four in Paris. After all, he was not even seeded.

Yet at the end of two of the hottest weeks I can ever recall at Roland Garros, there was Wilander, 77 days short of his 18th birthday, climbing the stairs at the stadium to receive the trophy from Jean Borotra, now 82 years old, who had done it all 50 years previously.
At his home in Sweden, Bergelin had watched Wilander win the final over Vilas 1-6, 7-6, 6-0, 6-4 on television and could not believe it. “It is fantastic”, he would say. “Bjorn does not play and now we have another Swedish player as champion. It is so good for the game in our country. I would say to Mats “Remember the first title is the best.” Bjorn always said that.”

When any analysis of Wilander’s career is made, it is clear that one of the critical days came in the fourth round of the French championship when he faced Lendl. By the time this match had reached two sets all, Wilander knew he had already set up one new mark in his career. He had never played a five-set match in his life and his reaction to that task was to open up a 5-2 lead against leaden-legged Lendl whose forehand let him down in these crucial stages. “I did my best”, said Lendl. “I was practising hard, trying hard, and I was outplayed.”

After Lendl, Wilander played Vitas Gerulaitis, the most consistent of the American players on European clay, but not good enough to hold off the teenager with a target. Gerulaitis went in four sets and Wilander moved on to a semi-final against José-Luis Clerc, the fourth seed, who had struggled in Florence and Rome and appeared to be playing with more assurance.

But Wilander was beginning to create a sense of insecurity among the seeds. He broke Clerc’s serve in the very first game as he hoisted his victory flag and he was never in serious danger of losing this four-set semi-final until the second match point at 6-5 in the first set (he had missed an easier one, in terms of pressure, at 5-1). On the second, a forehand from Clerc was called out and the umpire called the match and left his chair. But Wilander went to the umpire and told him: “The ball was good, that’s not the way I want to win.” Both players agreed that the ball was correct so the umpire, Jacques Dorfmann, who is also the championship referee, caught the mood of the moment and ordered the point replayed. This time Clerc found the net with a backhand and it was firmly settled.

Vilas, meantime, was cruising. Round by round he was being fined $250 for an illegal headband but he was punishing all comers in a supreme display of his strength and ability. He reached the final without losing a set and having conceded 39 games. Surely this iron man who trained so hard would end the one-man assault on the top ten which Wilander had produced.

Another burning hot day was the setting for the final. After an hour, Vilas had won the first set 6-1 and I believe it was the time rather than the score which was significant at that stage. The rallies were long and arduous with 60-stroke exchanges commonplace.
By the time the two players had reached the tie break at the end of the second set, a further 90 minutes had elapsed and Wilander, having saved a set point with a top spin lob, took the tie-break by eight points to six. It was, of course, the first set Vilas had lost in the championships and he never won another.
Wilander, whose full fitness had been hampered by a heavy cold, did not lose a game in the third set which saw him accelerating mentally away from the left-handed Argentine. In the fourth, with cramp nagging at his racket hand, he broke through for 5-4 and served out in champion style for victory in four hours and 43 minutes. Ice-cool, like Borg, he had become the youngest winner in any of the Grand Slam titles.

John McEnroe, 1981 US Open champion

From John McEnroe‘s autobiography, Serious:

Borg and I split the first two sets, and he was ahead 4-2 in the third. He had broken me twice, and was serving to go up 5-2, but I hit two great topspin-lob winners over his head in that game, and after the second one I could have sworn I saw the air go out of him.

From there on in, it looked as if Bjorn was doing something I had never seen from him before: throwing in the towel. After having been down 2-4 in the third, I wound up winning that set 6-4 and cruising through the fourth, 6-2. In the last set, it looked to me as though he was barely trying.

“There are times – usually in exhibitions, but sometimes even in big tournaments – when you feel so bad physically or mentally that you’re simply not able to go all-out. It’s a tricky situation. You don’t want to lose by just missing every ball, so you hit a shot and leave a part of the court open.
At that point, your body language clearly says “I’m not going to cover that – just hit it there, it’ll be a winner, and the people will think, “Look, he was too good”. That’s what happened with Sampras when he played Lleyton Hewitt in the final of the 2001 Open: Pete had just run out of gas – he looked as if he had glue on his feet.
And that’s what happened with Borg in 81 – except that it did’t look physical to me.”
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ellesse Heritage logo tee with wrap over skirt – ideal for an on/off court look

ellesse Heritage SS11

Knee cotton skirt worn with a nautical stripe t-shirt

ellesse Heritage SS11

ellesse Heritage tennis skirt teamed with a ‘New York’ inspired varsity jacket

ellesse Heritage SS11

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