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A review of the Prince Textreme Warrior 100 Tennis Racquet

The Prince Textreme Warrior 100 was a pretty easy racquet for me to review as it is my normal racquet that I play with.

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Serve

I find serving with this racquet to be quite easy. With its 10.6-ounce weight and head light balance it is a very manouverable racquet that you can easily snap up at the ball with. On the first serve this allows you to generate lots of pace. I found on the second serve I could reliably kick the ball in. The open 16x18 string pattern of the Warrior 100 helps in this regard too. This really allows you to start off the point on the right foot.

Return

I found the racquet to be very effective on the return of serve. On harder hit balls where I was on the defensive I found I could block the ball and still get it back deep in the court. Even when returning harder hit balls, I found the racquet to be stable. On a serve that I could attack I found that I could take a good rip at it due to its head light balance and was able to keep the ball in due to the availability of spin. Being able to hit out at the ball confidently allowed me to push my opponent back.

Ground Strokes

This is where I found the Prince Warrior 100 really excelled. The Warrior is a very stable racquet and is very solid on contact even against heavy balls, which is terrific given that it is a sub 11-ounce racquet. This is in large part due to the Textreme material used in the racquet. The 16 x 18 string pattern on a 100 sq in. head gives you plenty of access to spin. I found that the racquet had a good balance between power and control. I could take a good rip at the ball and the spin I was able to generate would help drive the ball down and keep it in the court. If the ball was sitting up a bit I could flatten the shot out to try and put it away.

Volley

The manoeuvrability of the Warrior 100 due its head light balance make the Warrior 100 a real winner at the net. I found it was exceptional on punch volleys due to its solid yet responsive feel. For softer drop volleys I generally like a racquet with a thinner beam and a bit more flex but the Warrior did still provide enough feel to play a softer drop volley.

Overall Impression

I really enjoying hitting with the Prince Textreme Warrior 100. I find it to be a very versatile racquet that works well from every area of the court. On the serve its head light balance and ample spin potential work very well. On ground strokes and serve returns its solid yet responsive feel is excellent. Its manoeuvrability really helps here too as well as on the volley. For the player looking for a good all court racquet that can stand up to the big hitters but wants to stay under an 11-ounce weight this is an excellent choice.

If you want to see all of the specifications of the racquet, or purchase one please click on the View in Store button below the picture of the racquet.

A Review of the Babolat Pure Drive Tennis Racquet

Babolat Pure Drive Sale

I have been play testing the Babolat Pure Drive for a couple of weeks now and have enjoyed hitting with it. Over the 2-weeks I have had a good chance to test it in all aspects of play.

Babolat Pure DriveServe

This racquet has a huge amount of power on the serve. It is heavier than the racquet I play with regularly so that helped in producing the extra pop on the serve. Not only did it have a great deal of power it had a lot of bite on my slice serves and more spin on my kick serves. This gave me a lot of options on the serve to keep my opponent off balance. As it is heavier and stiffer than I am used to playing with I did notice my arm being a bit more tired than usual.

Return

The Pure Drive felt great on the return with my slice return. It also felt great when I took the ball on the rise and came over it with top spin. It really felt like I was coming through the ball nicely. One thing I did notice was that I had to be careful when I tried to flatten out and attack a weaker return due to how much power it had. When I got it right I put a great deal of pressure on my opponent but I had to watch that I did not hit it long.

Ground Strokes

I really like the stiff feel of the Pure Drive when hitting ground strokes. It worked very well for my on my slice backhand. I was putting a lot of pressure on my opponent and force a short weak return. Like on the serve return though I did have to watch that I did not overpower the ball when hitting out at it. It would take some time to adjust to that.

Volley

The racquet is very stiff so while I could volley okay with it did not have that soft feel I am looking for when up at the net. On my forehand side, it felt very stiff when volleying. I would require more practice on the forehand volley to get a better feel of it. I could get the backhand volley working more naturally once I had the angle of my racquet set.

Overall Impression

My overall impression of the racquet performance wise was that it was very powerful on my ground strokes and serves. If I was in a bit of trouble I could easily use my slice backhand to get myself out of it. Overall it is great racquet although as noted a little heavier and stiffer than I would normally use. This is not a pusher’s racquet. You do need to hit trough the ball. It had a great mix of power and I could mix it up on both sides which has been always a very important part of my game plan.

Salming Viper 2.0 Indoor Court Shoes Clearance Sale

The Salming Viper 2.0 have a been a tremendous selling shoe for us. They have sold so well because they are an extremely comfortable, high performance pair of indoor court shoes. The Viper feature less cushioning in the forefoot than the Race series which aids in the player feeling really connected to the court. The RollBar technology on inner edge of the shoe helps with pushing off aiding the player to get to the ball quicker. The ExoSkeleton structure provides the strength that the shoes need to keep your foot in place while changing directions. It really works well. The LMS+ unit provides excellent lateral support and helps prevent ankle roll. Overall a great pair of shoes. Salming has also strengthened the toe drag area to provide a bit more protection to the shoe for those who drag our back foot on the lunge.


Salming Viper 2.0 Gecko Green Indoor Court Shoes
$149.99

Salming Viper 2.0 White Indoor Court Shoes




Salming Viper 2.0 White Indoor Court Shoes
$149.99
Salming Viper 2.0 Indoor White Indoor Court Shoes

Ramy Ashour Signs with Salming

This is very exciting news to say the least. Ramy Ashour, "The Artist" has signed a sponsorship agreement with Salming. Ramy will be using Salming shoes and wearing Salming's terrific line of apparel. I checked today to see if I could find an image of him wearing the shoes at the Al-Ahram Squash Open and found one on Twitter. He was wearing a pair of Salming R9's.

Salming Ramy Ashour 

Ramy had this to say about the signing:

"I am very excited to partner with the Salming brand and endorse their products. They are a very forward looking Company and innovators in the squash world. The fact I let go of another huge brand to use the Salmings products is proof of the quality and excellence of their products."

From Salming:

Tomas Solin, CEO Salming Sports AB ”At Salming we’re excited and proud to embark on this journey with Ramy, from the first time we spoke it is clear that this will be a very special relationship. Ramy's way of playing the game in combination with his vibrant personality on an off court appearance fits our brand like a hand in the glove and we cannot wait to kick this off”. ”The momentum of the Salming brand in squash has been building up the last couple of seasons and 1617 is no exception - we are still the new progressive kid on the block who likes to do things differently, with teammates like Ramy we are determined to succeed and to continue developing no nonsense products for no nonsense people”.

Adrian Grant, Global Brand Manager Salming Sports AB and former No.8 in the world.
”During my years on the tour I have been fortunate to witness Ramy’s raise through the ranks along with his long list of impressive titles. He is one of those phenomenon’s in there chosen sport that only come around once in a lifetime. With his infectious style on and off the court he is adored around the globe. This is why our partnership simply fits perfectly with such a unique player. We look forward to our partnership with Ramy and welcome him to the Salming family with open arms."

The Salming Kobra are available in 2 different colour schemes for men and 1 women's colour option.

Salming Race R9 2.0 Indoor Court Shoes

Salming Race R9 2.0 Indoor Court Shoes

My 2015 Rogers Cup Experience

I got the opportunity to go watch the day session of the semifinals of the Rogers CUP in Toronto where the women are playing. I watched two matches the first being Sara Errani versus Simona Halep and the second being the doubles match featuring Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Lucie Safarova versus Kristina Mladenovic/Karolina Pliskova. Both matches were terrific to watch and while they both ended 2-0 they were good competitive matches.

Rogers Cup Logo

The first match we watched, the singles match between Simona Halep and Sara Errani was the match I was most excited to watch. Simona Halep is the #2 seed at the event and as Errani is the #15 seed she was definitely favoured to win. I was hoping for a Simona Halep win I thought should would have the best chance in the finals. She was the last player to beat Serena Williams on a hard court so a Halep vs Williams final I thought would be really exciting. Errani though had other thoughts and got off to quick 2-0 lead. Simona Halep though responded nicely and leveled the match and then moved ahead. My overall observations of the match was that both women had excellent ground games. Errani’s serve though while reliable enough was not putting any pressure on Halep and Halep was often even able to put Errani on the defensive with her return; even off the 1st serve.

Simona Halep

The other part of the match that seemed to play a big part was the crowd. There were a lot of Romanian flags in the crowd and a great deal of very vocal supporters of Simona Halep. At points it felt more like what I would expect of being at a European football game than a tennis match. Errani seemed a bit perturbed at points with the very vocal crown and the chair umpire had to ask for the Halep supporters to be quiet during play several times. There were times when the crowd was a bit interruptive of play but overall it was pretty exciting to be at an event where the crowd were so in to the match. While a bit over exuberant perhaps everything was in good spirit, a very vocal positive response to Halep and nothing negative towards Errani. In the end Simona Halep proved too strong for Sara Errani to overcome. The second set was back and forth near the end and featured a break by Errani near the end of the match to give herself a chance to level up on serve but was not able to hold her own serve. Simona Halep won the match 6-4 and 6-4. That put her in to the final where she would face the winner of the Belinda Bencic versus Serena Williams match.

Simona Halep plays with the  Wilson Burn 100 Tennis Racquet

Sara Errani plays with the Babalot Pure Drive Plus Racquet.

After the singles match I decided to go for a walk as it was extremely hot and sunny and I needed to get out of the heat. I took a walk through the different booths that our vendors had set up at the event. I stopped in to talk with the  WilsonHeadYonexAsics, and Babalot rep's to see how they were making out at the event. They all had nice setups of course and I was left dreaming of perhaps in the future the tent being a Control the ‘T’ Sports tent.

I picked the doubles match up near the end of the first set. The doubles team of Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova took the first set 6-4. The second set was well played and enjoyable to watch. The team of Kristina Mladenovic and Karolina Pliskova had tremendous serves. Both of them are quite tall and used their height to allow them to hit a flatter harder serve and they were keeping a lot of pressure on Mattek-Sands and Safarova. I was quite amazed at the reflexes of all 4 women. There were some incredible volley exchanges. Interestingly I think overall the team of Mattek-Sands/Sararova ended up winning as they played what I would call the scrappy points a bit better and they were a bit better on ground strokes. Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova won the match 6-4 and 6-4.

That ended my day at the 2015 Rogers Cup and I had a great time there. Belinda Bencic ended up defeating Serena Williams in a hard found 2-1 encounter in the night session. It was quite and upset and gives us a Simona Halep verus Belinda Bencic final. Simona Halep making the final is not a surprise but picking at Bencic to make the final at the beginning of the week would certainly have been a long shot. She beat the #4, #5 and #1 seeds to get there. We now have the last two players to beat Serena Williams on a hard court playing each other. I expect it will be an amazing final!

Belinda Bencic plays with the Yonex EZONE Ai 100.

Head Graphene Cyano 115 and Cyano 135 Clearance Sale

The Head Graphene Cyano 115 and 135 Clearance Sale

Head Graphene Cyano 115 Squash Racquet Clearance Sale Head Graphene Cyano 135 Squash Racquet Clearance Sale

The Head Graphene Cyano series has been a tremendous seller for us but it is time to clear them out to make room for the new  Grapehene XT Cyano series. 

Head Graphene Cyano 115 Squash Racquet

The Head Graphene Cyano 115 is a terrific new racquet that benefits from Head's new Graphene technology. The Cyano series has been popular from quite some time but the addition of the Graphene technology is revolutionary. Graphene allows Head to move the weight of the racquet away from the shaft to the ends of the racquets where it is needed more. If you are looking for a light, powerful racquet the Graphene Cyano 115 is your choice from Head. It has a head heavy balance which complements its light weight.

Head Graphene Cyano 135 Squash Racquet

The Head Graphene Cyano 135 Squash Racquet is a 135 gram racquet with a slightly head light balance. The balance being slightly head light really works well with the overall 135 gram weight of the racquet. The racquet has enough mass to assist with generating power yet the balance helps make it quicker on the volley which is a good combination.

The New Sony Smart Tennis Sensor

Sony Smart Tennis SensorThe new Sony Smart Tennis Sensor has arrived to help you analyze and improve your game. Compatible with most current Wilson, Head, Prince, and Yonex racquets, it is easy to connect to your smartphone through Bluetooth and start using all its amazing features. Without a doubt an amazing coaching tool, with the Sony smart sensor you can record and analyze your game, save your day’s worth of training data and review it later, check all the statistics from every single shot you hit, put up some goals to improve your game, and share all your progress with your friends!

Use Live Mode to display all your shot data real-time on your screen. Have someone record you and for every shot they will be able to see your swing type (forehand, backhand, topspin, slice, volley, etc.), ball speed, swing speed, ball spin, where on the racquet the ball was hit, and the total number of shots hit up to that moment. Tag any shot in order to review it and all of its statistics later. Also, you can tap on the shot counter to view a line chart displaying information for your ball spin, ball speed, and swing speed. This feature is incredibly helpful for coaching as your coach will be able to analyze all the data in real-time, and show you recordings and information on your training.

Play Report is the application’s feature designed to analyze your game in-depth. Play reports are automatically created after every session and all the data is stored in your smartphone and sorted by shot type. You will see a timeline of every day you used the app displaying the number of shots, the duration of your practice, a picture of you, and the amount of calories burned. This can also be seen for the current year so you can see the cumulative progress you have made. For each day, check how many serves, volleys, forehands, etc. you made and whether you hit topspin or slice on them. You can as well, for every shot, look at a heat map giving you information on the behavior of the ball as it hit your racquet plus statistics of your ball speed, ball spin, and swing speed. A timeline can be used to go through all the data for every single shot you hit that day. Make notes on any shot you want to tell yourself what you did well and what you did wrong and help yourself keep your game up to date. Furthermore, you can watch a video playback of every shot and watch a recording of yourself hitting any given shot on any given day. If your smartphone has a compatible camera, the Slow Motion feature can be used to play your recordings in slow motion to carefully analyze your movements as you hit your shots.

Sony Smart Sensor Live Video Mode

As you analyze your shot statistics use the Progress Chart to set goals for the future. For example, you can look at the average ball speed you generated on a given day and set a goal for the actual amount of ball speed you want; if, for instance, your average ball speed on a day was 81 km/h you can set a goal for 100 km/h and keep progress of how you improve in order to reach your goal.

If you forgot your phone in your locker or at home, or if you don’t want to use the last bit of battery using the sensor, that is no problem at all. You can use the smart sensor on Memory Mode, i.e. while it is not connected to your smartphone. Its internal memory can store the data of up to 12,000 shots! Once you connect the sensor to your phone again, the data will be uploaded and a play report will be generated automatically. Also, the batter lasts longer while on memory mode giving you more play time with it. Also, if you have a smart watch (Android Wear ready) you can connect it to the sensor and see the data for each shot in real-time with vibration feedback. Basically, analyze your shots and improve your game as you play!

Finally, use Share Mode to share all your data on multiple social media websites so your friends can literally see how your game is improving. Share pictures of you with the data of your shots displayed on them. Boost your motivation and morale, and communicate your tennis in a whole new way with photos and stats.

This little gadget will help you analyze and improve your game. Whether you do it by yourself, with a friend, or with a coach, the Sony Smart Tennis Sensor will definitely help you improve your game. Displaying detailed information and statistics you can study your game in numbers and pictures to see in-depth what you are exactly doing. Get your hands on this amazing device and the only way your tennis game will go is up!

Also, you can download the app for free on your smartphone and look at a set of sample data from the app. You do not need to own the smart sensor in order to download the app; this is so you can try it out beforehand. Just look up “Smart Tennis Sensor” by Sony Corporation on your phone’s app store, download it, and check out some of the stuff you can do!

For more information on compatibility and product specifications you can look at the sensor on our online store by clicking on the View in Store link below.

Sony Smart Tennis Sensor available at Control the 'T' Sports

New Head Speed Tennis Racquets now in stock!

We are very excited to have received Head's new Graphene XT versions of their Speed line of racquets. Check out Head's video on the Graphene XT Speed Series.

Head has designed the Speed series for today's tennis game which is faster and more aggressive than ever. Racquet head speed is imperative and that is where the name of this series came from. Graphene XT is a real advancement in the racquet manufacturing process as it allows Head to distribute the weight of the racquet to where it is needed most. Graphene XT is so strong that it allows Head to lighten up the middle, throat area of the racquet and move more of the weight up to the head so more of the mass is behind the ball. Balance is achieved by distributing weight back down to the handle.

Here is a video from Head describing how Graphene, and Graphene XT help in the design of a racquet.

Here are the Head Graphene XT Speed tennis racquets that we have in stock.

Head Graphene Speed XT Pro Tennis Racquet

Head Graphene XT Speed Pro Tennis Racquet

Head Graphene XT Speed Pro is the racquet of Novak Djokovic. It is designed for the player serious about control. Its dense 18 x 20 string pattern allows the aggressive player to take a full swing at the ball confidently. The dense string pattern promotes a flatter more penetrating shot than some of the more open string patterns do. The Graphene XT Speed Pro is quite head light making it very maneuverable. For a racquet that is under 12oz in weight it is also a very stable racquet. This racquet is ideal for the aggressive player looking for a racquet they can trust.

Head Graphene Speed MP A Tennis Racquet

Head Graphene XT Speed MP A Tennis Racquet

Head Graphene XT Speed MP A is a versatile racquet. The racquet is pre drilled for two different string patterns and includes grommets for both. The first option is an open 16 x 19 stringing pattern. The second option is a really open 16 x 16 stringing pattern. The grommet and stringing pattern can only be changed when the racquet is unstrung. Even with the 16x19 stringing pattern used this racquet can produce good spin. With the 16x16 stringing pattern it produces even more spin. Having more spin allows you aim higher over the net and have the ball drive down to still stay in the court. A more open string pattern also help produce extra power. Its unstrung weight of 300g/10.6oz is not terribly heavy and coupled with its head light balance this racquet is pretty easy to play with and is very maneuverable.

Head Graphene Speed Lite Tennis Racquet

Head Graphene XT Speed Lite Tennis Racquet

The  Head Graphene XT Speed Lite Tennis Racquet is designed for the player with a less powerful swing that needs a lighter racquet to be able to generate racquet head speed. At 9.2oz unstring the Graphene XT Speed Lite, is just that light. It also features a thicker beam than the other Speed models which helps with stability which is needed in a lighter racquet. Its 100 sq. inch head with 16x19 string pattern assist with power generation and with generating spin. This is a great racquet for fans of the Speed series that need a lighter easier to play with racquet than either the Pro or MP/MPA model.

Virtual Fitness Coach: Polar Loop Fitness Tracking

With the holiday season having just finished many of us will be resolving to shed the extra pounds gained over the holiday. The Polar Loop Fitness Tracker is a great way to support your fitness goals and help you lose weight. 

 

The Polar Loop Fitness Tracker is a nice elegant bracelet that counts your steps, measures sleep time as well as the activity time with its intensity levels, and also connects to a separate heart rate strap providing you with heart-rate based calorie information for activities. This changes the landscape from existing activity trackers that provides a complete guesstimate for calorie burn while exercising. The To-Go feature tells you how long you need to walk or jog to reach your goal. It can go 20 feet underwater, it works with Android devices and i Apple's iPhone  and its app is intuitive and fun to use.

Using the Loop is really as simple as just wearing it but before that you just need to install the software in your computer. The Polar Loop is the smarter 24/7 activity tracker that provides guidance and motivational feedback to help you increase your daily activity. The Polar Loop could turn into your virtual fitness coach that will shape your life at an affordable price.  

Getting back to playing Tennis

It is Canada, it is cold and squash season is in full swing but I have found myself getting back in to tennis. I am lucky that our store is located inside of Northfield Racquet and Fitness in Waterloo Ontario. The club has seven indoor tennis courts and I have been making pretty good use of them the past few weeks. I grew up playing tennis so getting back at it after a few years off has not proven to be too hard. There are a few things to work on of course. I found my groove fairly quickly when hitting the  Wilson Pro Staff 97LS and my strokes were fairly good and I was able to hit a lot of really good balls. Playing a match proved to be a bit more challenging for me. The first serve definitely needed some work, what to do when put on the defensive and how to attack were all things I realized pretty quickly I needed to work on technically. My confidence when it came to match play also needed some work. If you like me are just getting back to playing tennis you might suffer from some of the same very common issue and hopefully this blog post may help you deal with them.

Wilson Pro Staff 97 LS Tennis Racquet

The first few times I got back on court I was just hitting. We did not play any matches. I was hitting with one of the pros at the club and one of my colleagues both of whom are quite good tennis players. I was doing a good job of handling the varying balls that came at me and fairly quickly found my swing. That was a nice feeling. When I played my first match though the serve clearly needed some work. The whole first set I only got a handful of first serves in and my opponent, my colleague, was definitely picking on my second serve. By the second set I was starting to get more first serves in and my results improved which was good.

I haven’t really played much competitive tennis in a few years now. I have gone out to hit for fun but have not played a match in a while. When you are just hitting it is pretty easy to hit freely at the ball as it does not really matter if it goes in or out. Even when stretched out a bit you can take a good swing at the ball and in pretty short order you are making running forehands from out wide which feels great. This proved to be a bit tougher in match play for me. Looking back it there were a couple of reasons for it. A big one was my squash game I believe. In squash when under some pressure giving yourself some time to get back to the centre of the court, the ‘T’, is one of the best things you can do to get out of trouble. You can get back most shots if you can get yourself back to the ‘T’ and get ready to react to whatever your opponent hits. I found this to be pretty counterproductive at tennis. When under pressure I found myself hitting defensive shots to get myself back to the center of the court at the baseline. The problem was that I was leaving the ball short and covering a good players shots on a weak short ball, a sitter is not easy at all you almost have to guess. It is completely the opposite of squash where you need to not guess and just put yourself in a position to cover all four corners and then react to what the player actually hits not what you think or guess they will.

As most of my time on the tennis court since getting back at it was just hitting balls to get my swing back when it came to match play I was not attacking enough. I was hitting balls back without and real purpose. As such I was not putting my opponent under much pressure which resulted in me being under pressure a great deal. As the match progressed I was able to start picking up some points by moving my opponent around and then hitting a shot that he could not cover. My opponent was young and quite good so that was not an easy task. Looking back at the match and thinking about it off court I have figured out what was really going wrong and how I should have been attacking. I was leaving my balls a short and thus was under a fair bit of pressure myself. When I was more successful my shots were deeper and I was forcing my opponent back and he started to make some errors. The real key for me though should have been to try and force errors and weak, short returns. I was giving my opponent these when he put me under pressure but I was not trying to force them out of him. I really needed to hit with better depth on my shots and to try and figure out what was giving my opponent a hard time and forcing weak shots from him. That would have given me the opportunity to attack more and give me the upper hand in the match.

Roger Federer

Confidence, or a lack there of was an issue for me. I have not played a match in quite a while and I was playing someone that was quite good so my mindset was not positive. I was tentative and worried about how I would do. Looking back at it before I started playing I should have visualized how well I was hitting the ball when we were just rallying. I should have thought back to times when I have played competitively and played well and remembered what the strength of my game is. Believing in yourself and having that feeling of confidence when you step on court is really key to good results.

It is great to be getting back to playing tennis. I am enjoying it a great deal. When it comes to playing more matches I am going to remember how to better defend, better attack and get myself in a real positive mindset before even stepping on court. I am positive that is going to improve my results and will for others like me that are just getting back at it I am sure it will help them too. If you are in the Kitchener or Waterloo area and are looking for a place to play tennis northfieldclub.com is a great place to do it.