Nike Zoom Vapor 9 Tour

“I asked Tinker (Hatfield) to design something that would give give me the comfort and breathability of a running shoe, but was closer to the ground to benefit tennis players” that was the original insight from Roger Federer to Tinker Hatfield the VP of Creative Design at NIKE.
The result of that collaboration between athlete and designer was the NIKE Zoom Vapor 9 Tour. First debuting during the hard-court season in early 2012 the shoe immediately joined Hatfield’s long list of iconic athlete-specific designs.

Whilst the original design was created with a mesh upper and used during the hard-court season, the latest update is adapted for the clay court season and will debut in Paris this May. Replacing the mesh that adorned the shoe earlier this is a a synthetic leather that will perform ideally on clay.

Nike Zoom Vapor 9 Tour

Nike Zoom Vapor 9 Tour

Nike Zoom Vapor 9 Tour

Nike Zoom Vapor 9 Tour

By Cara Newman

Most tennis fans are preparing for one of the biggest tennis tournaments of the year: the 2012 French Open. Fans all over the world are discussing the odds of who will win; they’re examining the pros and cons of Nadal, Djokovic and Federer, but what about the people behind the scenes? The men and women who work hard to make sure the professionals have what they need to play their best. I’m talking about the racquet technicians. After all, nothing happens in a vacuum, not even winning a major tennis tournament.
I was curious to hear about these unsung heroes. These people whose time, talent and effort go into making sure these tournaments go off without a hitch.
Luckily, I live in Baltimore, MD, home of Holabird Sports, a running and racquet specialty store which employs many U.S.R.S.A. Racquet Technicians, including Jim Downes, who recently strung at the Sony Ericsson Open.
Jim Downes has worked at Holabird Sports since 1988. In 1994, he was recognized by the United States Racquet Stringers Association as a “Master Racquet Technician” — the highest level of achievement the U.S.R.S.A offers. Jim is also a member of the prestigious Wilson Stringing Team which comprises the exclusive on-site stringers at the U.S. Open, Australian Open, and Sony Ericsson Open in Miami.
If that wasn’t enough, Jim is recognized as one of the fastest racquet stringers in the world. He finished 2nd in the 2007 Las Vegas Speed Stringing Contest and in 2010 he won the Prince Speed Stringing event in Orlando, Florida. Jim can string a racquet in seven minutes flat.

While speaking to Jim about stringing at the last Sony Ericsson Open, he told me that, “Stringing at a major tournament is an honor and a challenge. Players that have risen to that level require and expect the highest standards for their equipment. After all, a lot of money can be on the line for a single match.”

It follows that qualifying for the Wilson Stringing Team is extremely challenging. According to Jim, “The first requirement is to be able to string a racquet fast (usually under 15 minutes), to achieve this under any circumstance means that the stringer has a lot of experience. The second and most important challenge is to be able to string many racquets fast, all day, with zero mistakes. There are many fast stringers out there and many technically precise stringers. But very few that can be fast and precise at the same time. The current team is composed of some of the best stringers from all over the world. A few of them travel almost full time to service many of the current top 20 ranked men’s and women’s players at international events.”

Hard work and talent are a given in almost every profession. But if you want to become a professional stringer, take Jim’s advice: “Just be passionate about providing the best level of service in every frame you string. The learning never stops no matter how many years or racquets you’ve completed.”

To get your tennis racquet strung by one of the best stringers in the business visit www.holabirdsports.com.

Photo by Dustin Webb

Caroline Wozniacki outfit designed by Stella McCartney:

Caroline Wozniacki

Caroline Wozniacki

Caroline Wozniacki

The French Open starts in about two months, and the French Federation of Tennis unveiled this year’s poster, designed by artist Hervé Di Rosa.
The artist chose to highlight the tennis ball because it’s « the main object of attention on a court, more than players. We watch players when they are in contact with the ball ».

Well, all I see is those disgusting big mouthes, UGLY! What do you think of it ?

Fernando Verdasco published on his Facebook page some pics of the adidas outfits he will wear at the Australian Open and Roland Garros next year:

Orange adiZero set for the Australian Open:
Fernando Verdasco adidas outfit, Australian Open 2012

Green set for the French Open:
Fernando Verdasco adidas outfit, French Open 2012

Fernando Verdasco adidas outfit, French Open 2012