Introducing Babolat Y — Passion Into Obsession
Let your passion become an obsession. Introducing Babolat Y, the first line of oversize racquets designed specifically for club players and their need for both power and precision.
Four key technologies make the Babolat Y line worthy of your obsession: 1) Side Drivers extend the yoke to create a stiffer construction and deliver maximum power. By connecting to the head at three o’clock and nine o’clock, they also result in less torque for greater precision. 2) Dual-Graphite Construction puts a stiffer graphite in the yoke for increased power while an exclusive crystal graphite in the head increases precision. 3) The Cellular Grommet System combines a hard internal part with a soft external part, which means more balanced energy absorption at ball impact and more comfort for you. 4) With its ergonomic design, the Babolat Smart Grip creates a natural extension of the arm for a more relaxed and fluid game. With its combination of stunning design and breakthrough technology, the Babolat Y line is built to elevate the game of club players everywhere.
No more compromises. No more excuses. Power and precision are now available with the Babolat Y. Find your nearest dealer at www.babolatobsession.com today!
Is the One-Handed Backhand a Thing of the Past?
David W. Smith, Senior Editor TennisOne
One needs only to head out to the Southern California desert area of Indian Wells to see how a major transformation in tennis has become nearly complete. This significant change is the proliferation of the two-handed backhand among nearly all men and women on the pro tours.
Few sports have gone through such significant evolutionary change as tennis: from equipment to playing strategies, from player physical development to stroke technique and methodology change, tennis has arguably changed more in the last thirty-five years than in the previous 100 years of the sport.
But, the most noteworthy change from the conventional has to be the development of the two-handed backhand over the last thirty years. (Is the two-handed forehand far behind? More and more players are using this stroke and now it’s on the rise even at the professional level.)
Consider that tennis had been played competitively for almost 100 years before the two-handed backhand began making significant inroads! What makes it even more extraordinary is that many other sports that have been around for essentially the same amount of time use two-handed swing patterns, like cricket, baseball, golf, and hockey. So, it strikes me as odd that so few of the top players emerged using two-handed strokes during that era.
Federer and Mauresmo, the last of a dying breed of
Historically, we can surmise why the stroke did not make its appearance for so long. While I will discuss this aspect further later on, we can look at the predominant style of play that prevailed back in the day — serve and volley. And, the slice backhand was the stroke of choice for almost all players, both from the baseline and as an approach shot.
As a young player, I remember the two-handed backhand as a shot thought of as weak and limiting. Paul Fein, in his book “Tennis Confidential,” reported that after Bjorn Borg won the 1974 French Open, reporters would frequently ask him when he was going to start using a one-handed backhand. Jack Kramer wrote in 1949: “The use of two hands not only weakens your strokes but robs you of confidence and gives your opponent a psychological advantage.” With such a distinguished opponent of the shot, it is little wonder why so few explored hitting—or considered teaching—the two-handed backhand!
Consider, too, that from 1884 to 1996, over 110 years, only one woman player using a two-handed backhand ever won a Wimbledon singles title (Chris Evert). How much dominance has the two-handed backhand established on the women’s tour since then? Well, since 1997, only one women’s Wimbledon title has been won by a single-handed backhand player (Amélie Mauresmo, 2006).
Not everyone, however, avoided the two-handed backhand in the early years. In the 1930’s and 1940’s there were two Australians, John Bromwich and Geoff Brown, both champions of the sport, who used the two-hander. After seeing these two play the game, renowned Aussie Davis Cup Captain Harry Hopman glimpsed the future when he was reported saying in 1951, “I believe that we have not seen the last of the two-handed players.”
And, of course, Mr. Hopman was so right!
The Two-Handed Backhand: A Nearly Complete Transformation
Consider that prior to 1968, not one professional, man or woman, ranked in the top 50 used a two-handed backhand. Of today’s top ten men, nine use two-handed backhands (Federer being the lone one-hander). On the women’s side, only one woman in the top-30 uses a one-handed backhand, Mauresmo, ranked at 25. These statistics reveal the extent of this remarkable revolution. Perhaps the only other sport I can think of that has witnessed such a radical and nearly complete transformation is the high jump, where with one giant leap, so to speak, Dick Fosbury literally turned the sport upside-down in 1968 by going over the bar backwards and taking the Olympic Medal and the entire sport with him.
As we continue to watch the game of tennis evolve, it will be interesting to see if the one-handed backhand makes a significant comeback, or if it will become the true ‘exception to the rule’ much as the two-handed backhand was prior to 1970.
I am not going too far out on a limb here but I predict there will be less than a total of three combined one-handed backhanders on the men’s and women’s tour that make the quarter finals at Indian Wells this year. That is three out of 16. And, even though it might be a stretch, I’ll bet there will be less than five one-handers through to the round of 16 of the combined 32 players in both draws.
In about eight days, we will find out!
Go to tennismastery.net for exciting excerpts from Dave Smith's Tennis Mastery book and a host of tennis information!
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Complex Training for the Serve
There are literally hundreds of exercises for you to choose from and therefore millions of combinations of exercises you could perform, so selecting the right exercises as a tennis player is of paramount importance. To make this program more specific to tennis Ian Barstow incorporated a training technique known as complex training. Complex training pairs a traditional resistance exercise with a specific on court movement and you don't need any special equipment to do it. So there is no excuse not to improve your serve!
Rising Star Caroline Wozniacki
We know most of the names that make their way into the BNP Paribas Open’s stadium court. But for Joel Drucker, one of the real joys of this event is the chance to wander the grounds and watch everything from practice to smaller courts where it's possible to see rising stars – players who soon enough likely won’t be assigned to those intimate spots. One such diamond is the impressive Dane, 18-year-old Caroline Wozniacki.
ProStrokes 2.0 - Vera Zvonareva's Serve
Vera Zvonareva turned pro in 2000, and so far this 26 year old Russian has amassed over $5 million in prize money, eight tour titles, an impressive 12 wins and 2 losses in the 2009 campaign, and presently a ranking of 6th in singles, and 4th in the WTA race. in the recent Australian Open she had wins over Petrova and Bartoli, losing to Safina in the semifinals. In 2008 she held wins over Sharapova, Safina, Jankovic, Dementieva, and Kuznetsova. Vera is a tested and true tour veteran, looking for a breakout result on the Grand Slam stage - 2009 might just be the year. New this issue, Vera Zvonareva's serve.
The Etcheberry Experience DVD
For more than twenty years Pat Etcheberry has been providing athletes from around the world with the winning edge. We call this the Etcheberry Experience, and players with an Etcheberry experience have hoisted Championship Trophies at over one hundred major championships, including 28 Australian Opens, 18 Wimbledons, 22 UP Opens, 22 French Opens and 15 Olympic medals.
And now it's your turn! This is your chance to experience the same drills, exercises and words of tennis wisdom that Pat gave to Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Jennifer Capriati, Martina Hingis, Jim Courier, Justine Henin-Hardenne, and others, that helped launch them on their incredible careers. For the first time, Pat Etcheberry shares his training secrets in a series of DVDs for players of all ages, their coaches, and trainers.
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