To honor the 110th anniversary of the brand, FILA will release the commemorative “110 Year Collection,” which will be worn on court at the US Open by No. 1 Ash Barty, John Isner, Reilly Opelka and Sam Querrey among others. The collection features designs inspired by styles found in the FILA archives. This limited edition offering combines the vintage styles of the brand’s rich tennis heritage with modern lifestyle silhouettes in performance fabrics.

The collection offers a variety of FILA’s most popular styles, with the Racerback Tank, Short Sleeve Polo, timeless 110 Year Dress, a classic Short Sleeve Crew or the similarly-styled Short Sleeve Polo. Both the men and women will round out the 110 Year Collection with the iconic FILA French Terry jacket, paying homage to FILA’s role as a pioneer and an innovator in tennis fashion.

 

 

 

WILL NEURO TENNIS CHANGE THE GAME? Scandanavian icon Mats Wilander didn’t beat you with a Thor-like serve. Rather it was his groundies, plus one other secret ingredient, that led him to No. 1 and eight Slam titles – his smarts. The ATP’s Jay Berger said, “The biggest weapon in tennis is Mats Wilander’s brain.”

Since then the Swede has used his insights to become a celebrated Euro Sport broadcaster. And now he’s joined a Florida-based group to launch the Neuro Tennis teaching tool. Long in the making, and one of the most intriguing aids since a groundbreaking pro in Texas dragged a traffic cone out onto a court decades ago, Neuro Tennis is an innovative device you simply put on your wrist and, voila! You have your own coach. No, Neuro Tennis doesn’t replace your local certified instructor. But, in the moment and based on your strokes, the lightweight device provides critical prompts: step in, bend lower, hit earlier. Plus, with its app featuring an easy-to-use design, you can program over 40 prompts and 7 lessons. Reasonably priced, Neuro Tennis is a worthwhile investment for anyone who wants to improve. The device is best used in tandem, one on your wrist and the other on your partner, as Neuro tennis can track when your partner makes contact with the ball and provide instruction accordingly. One aspect of a coach’s job is to reinforce good habits and with Neuro Tennis the insightful, Slam champ Wilander does just that. A courtside coach can be expensive, sometimes $100 per hour. Neuro Tennis offers a portable coach, ready wherever and whenever, that will lead you through any number of drills, providing feedback based specifically on your strokes, court positioning and more. It acts as a great supplement to an in-person coach, allowing you to learn more and grow. For info on this trailblazing product visit neurotennis.com

A NEW SLINGER’S IN TOWN: The pandemic hits hard, but amid the devastation there are silver linings. Recreational tennis has plenty of social distancing. More people are taking up the game and ball machines are an appealing alternative, they spread challenging balls, not the virus, around the court. All of which brings us to the new, much talked about Slinger ball machine that has already drawn significant attention. Essentially, it’s a ball machine combined with a tennis bag, and has many handy pockets for rackets, gear, phone and chargers – nice. Plus Slingers are on wheels and are about as portable as a big suitcase. Slinger CEO Mike Ballarde, who used to head Prince, notes that most avid golfers toss their clubs in the trunks of their car so they always have access to them. Slinger replicates this. The lightweight, versatile ball machine that comes with its own supply of balls allows for a “have-ball-machine-can-practice” mindset. And it’s surprisingly affordable. So, if you know an active tennis player who’d like to safely groove his or her groundies, you might consider slinging a Slinger under a loved one’s (or your own) Christmas tree. For info go to www.slingerbag.com   

VINTAGE – Getting Down to Basics for 40 decades

For four decades, Vintage Contractors has gotten down to basics. They’ve put in high quality courts throughout California and Hawaii. A leader in sport, recreation and industrial material installation since 1981, Vintage specializes in a process called Slipsheet Overlay, allowing them to repair severely damaged asphalt courts without having to tear them out. Whether you are looking to repair, replace or build for the first time, Vintage has experience and expertise in a wide range of projects relating to court construction, surfacing and maintenance having worked with top California colleges and clubs like Stanford, UC Berkeley, The Olympic Club, Harbor Point, California Tennis Club, Google Campus, The Claremont, Berkeley Tennis Club and more.

For more information, an estimate, or to learn more about the many successful projects Vintage Contractors has worked on in its 40 years, visit vintagecontractors.com


The FILA Heritage

The tennis industry and tennis fashion are constantly shifting. Brands come, brands go. Trends emerge, then fade – goodbye. There are few constants. 

Then there is FILA. The shoe and apparel company that was born over a century ago in the Italian Alps has style and sport in its DNA, but truly became synonymous with the sport of tennis in the 1970’s as Bjorn Borg rose to prominence. Wearing stylish FILA outfits and a distinctive headband, the Swede was tennis’ answer to the Beatles. 

But this was only the beginning for a singular brand whose distinctive styles have been a constant for decades. Guillermo Vilas, Evonne Goolagong, Boris Becker, Jennifer Capriati, Kim Clijsters, John Isner, Sam Querrey and Karolina Pliskova are just some of the stars who have sported FILA. Two of the four women who now hold Slams, Ash Barty and Sofia Kenin, wear FILA. 

Why all the success?

Drawing on Italian craftsmanship and imagination, using fine fabrics, and deeply committed to sports and performance, FILA is hardly a newcomer. Authenticity matters, consumers know. FILA has long separated itself from others.  Plus, few companies so eagerly support their athletes. And while tradition is in its bones, FILA is always looking to innovate. 

At this year’s US Open, their new aptly-named Heritage Line will be on display. With looks rooted in the brand’s rich tennis fashion history, the line combines contemporary style and strong performance features. Many of the outfits feature improvements that not only make players look good but contribute to on court success. The women’s Racerback Tank features a keyhole cutout to help breathability. The Full Coverage Tank has elastic trim at the neck for comfort and the Cami Tank has an adjustable criss-cross back strapping to ensure good fit.

FILA’s best-selling shoe, the Axilus 2 Energized, boosts performance. Lightweight, flexible and featuring updated outsoles and liners made of anti-slide nylon, it gives players stability without sacrificing comfort, support or style. And style and performance has been what this Italian-born outfit has been all about since a fellow named Bjorn took the sport by storm.

Tennis Warehouse presents RACKET REVIEW

By Chris Edwards

Players seeking a great blend of power and control will find the perfect partner in the Babolat Pure Strike 16×19. The racket offers the maneuverability and easy acceleration players enjoy in the Pure Drive and Pure Aero, but the Pure Strike features a lower stiffness level and boxier beam for control. The result is a racket delivering impressive power without sacrificing control and feel. In the Pure Strike 16×19 we feel Babolat has created a great option for the all-court player who likes to add some variety to today’s power game. Best suited to intermediate through advanced level players.

The iconic Babolat Pure Drive just keeps getting better and better. Huge spin and crushing power make this a popular choice with club players through to top pros. This updated Pure Drive features a retooled string bed. FSI Power Technology includes diamond-shaped grommet holes and wider string spacing for even more power and spin. The Cortex dampening system was updated to provide a more dampened feel at impact and mute the natural stiffness of the frame. Perfect for the modern aggressive baseliner who likes free power, our team also found great put-away potential at net for players who are forward-inclined.

Stronger beginners through intermediate players will enjoy a solid blend of power, access to spin and ample control in the Volkl V-Feel 4. The racket’s versatile nature makes it a great choice for all-court players and doubles specialists. At 27.6 inches in length, the V-Feel 4 provides some added leverage for more pace and spin. The 105-square-inch headsize offers a generous sweet spot while the open 16×19 string pattern grabs the ball for added spin and control. Volkl has also improved its handle technology to include a new material called REVA for greater shock absorption.

Volkl has completely revamped its 9 series racket with the Volkl V-Feel 9. This version is all about big power and big spin. A stiff beam construction teams up with an open string pattern to help players maximize big baseline hitting. At net the V-Feel 9 feels solid, with a direct and crisp response at impact. As from the baseline, stronger intermediate through advanced players will find lots of pace and spin available on serves. With its power and spin capabilities, the V-Feel 9 works just as well finishing off a point with a one-two punch as it does trading heavy shots from the baseline.

Known for its hallmark blend of controllable power and feel, the Wilson Blade 98 16×19 Countervail adds a dose of comfort to create a modern classic. Wilson’s Countervail technology is designed to reduce shock and muscle fatigue without sacrificing the feel Blade fans love. At the baseline our testers found access to the big spin and easy depth of modern tennis, but there was still plenty of versatility to allow all-court players to be creative. Players who prefer lighter rackets might find this one tougher to maneuver and should check out the lighter Blade 98S. We recommend this one to stronger players seeking a well-balanced racket with a comfortable response.

The Wilson Ultra 100 lives up to its name, delivering ultra power and spin. A great option for strong beginners all the way to the pro tour ranks, this is a racket that can be fine-tuned by your string setup. Players seeking power and comfort will love the response of the Ultra 100 with a multifilament string like Wilson’s NXT. Add a co-poly string and the racquet becomes a spin monster with ample control for big-hitting advanced-level players. From the baseline to the net, the Ultra 100 feels fast and user-friendly, making it a great all-court option.

Players seeking a fast and easy-to-maneuver racket with solid baseline power will find a great partner in the Tecnifibre TFlash 300 PS. The PS in the racket’s name stands for Power Stab, a convex yoke designed to extend the length of the center main strings for more power, stability and comfort. Our play-testers agreed that the TFlash 300 PS delivered the goods. There was easy depth from the baseline, and the racquet was extremely user friendly. Some higher-level players would have liked a little more feel on volleys, but for other areas of the court the big power and easy access to spin was put to good use.

Yonex hits another ace with the release of the Yonex EZONE 100 (300g). An update to the EZONE DR 100, this racket is loaded with new technologies and offers a firmer, crisper feel. The result is a stable-feeling racket that delivers controllable power. Our testers found the racket easy to get into position even when up against hard-charging opponents. At net the racket delivers ample power for deep volleying while blending a solid feel with easy maneuverability. Touch players may favor the previous DR version, but those seeking power and spin will find this update a better fit.

The Yonex VCORE Pro 97 G builds on the popularity of the Duel G 97. While the two appear similar, a closer look reveals the Pro 97 G has dropped a cross-string (16×19 vs. 16×20) and offers a firmer flex. The subtle changes definitely sparked some magic on court. Better at withstanding big-hitting opponents, the Pro 97 G also provides more depth. Testers loved both the spin and the responsive feel from the racquet. Big hitters can step up to the heavier Pro 97 HG, which brings pro tour mass to every swing, but many intermediate through advanced players will find a great fit from this faster-swinging Pro 97 G.

Successful modern player’s rackets seamlessly combine spin, pace and control in an accessible package. The Dunlop Srixon Revo CV 3.0 does just that. From the baseline our testers immediately noticed the easy pace and spin they were getting. This racket features one technology to stiffen the frame, adding power and stability, while another, more flexible material softens the vibration for more comfort. All in all, the Srixon Revo CV 3.0 impressed our testers and is a great option for intermediate through advanced-level players who prefer user-friendly rackets.

Following a rich heritage of successful and beloved rackets, the Head Graphene Touch Radical MP is the newest stop on the Radical line. Don’t be fooled by the name, though, this newest Radical is loaded with spin and power thanks to a stiffer layup of graphite. That stiffness is complemented by Graphene Touch technology, which noticeably dampens the feel at impact for a plush and comfortable experience. Due to its power and spin potential, this racquet should suit a variety of playing styles and levels, but intermediate and advanced level players who like to take aggressive swings need to give this one a serious look.

The Head Graphene Touch Prestige Tour is an all-new offering in the Head Graphene Touch Prestige line. Weighing in on the lighter side of the Prestige family, the Tour is a user-friendly option and perhaps the easiest entry into swinging a Prestige. Many testers found control and maneuverability to be the racket’s main attributes. In true Prestige fashion, power generation is mostly left to the player. In the right hands (likely stronger intermediate through advanced-level players) the Graphene Touch Prestige Tour lets players swing aggressively and rely on the racket’s excellent control and stability to keep shots on target.

DH Distribution – Tennis Court Equipment & Playmate Tennis Products

Years of experience with Playmate products and a company you can trust. We are your Authorized Playmate Ball Machine Dealer for Northern California. DH Distribution is the Northern California authority in Playmate Ball Machine Parts, Repairs, Service, Sales, and Inventory. We are factory trained “Tech-Reps” and our facility in California is an Authorized Sales and Service Center. (ASSC) We have the most comprehensive selection of Playmate Ball Machine parts online. Our knowledge of past and present Playmate Ball Machines is only second to Playmate (Metaltek). We keep a wide selection of inventory stocked in our Half Moon Bay, Ca. warehouse. Our agents ship parts nationwide usually on the same day of order and can help you with installation and repair questions. Because we care, we can help with your Playmate Repairs. If you have any parts or ball machine repair questions whatsoever, do not hesitate to call. 650-563-9600