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► Maria Sharapova’s Favorite Drills ► New Products ► Industry News ► French Open ► Power Horse WTC 2012






Features 4 My Serve 6 Industry News 16 New Products 19 Maria Sharapova 26 French Open 28 Power Horse  WTC

Industry News Prince Files Chapter 11 TIA AGM at Wimbledon TIA Tennis Book ATP Says No To Blue Clay Penn Sues Dunlop New Shorts Prince Wins at the French



RACQUETTECH EUROPE European Racquet Stringers Association

Director Mark Maslowski

Office Manager Sanda Maslowski

ERSA Australia Anthony Aley

ERSA UK Manager Jamie Pethick ERSA UK Tester Roger Dalton

ERSA Spain Manager Richard Parnell

ERSA France Manager Jean Baviera

ERSA Italy Manager Marco Rosanni

ERSA Netherlands Manager Mark Verschoor

ERSA Greece Manager Petros Biris ERSA Greece Workshop Manager George Pahiokas

ERSA Czech Republic & Slovakia Vaclav Smat

FOUNDING MEMBERS Ashaway Babolat Head Isospeed Kirschbaum Luxilon Pacific Wilson

CORPORATE MEMBERS Ashaway Head Prince Isospeed GOSEN Tecnifibre

STRING SUPPLIER MEMBERS Apollo Leisure Bow Brand Kirschbaum Signum Pro


My Serve I am sure everyone is very busy in the middle of the summer tennis season. We just finished the last Power Horse World Team Cup. The ERSA had a five year contract for the stringing service which was great as it is 100 meters from our office. Unfortunately, after 34 years, the tournament has come to an end. All the great players have played there since the beginning, Borg, McEnroe, Agassi, Sampras, Becker, Ivanisevic, only to name a few. The organizers have found it difficult to sell this format to sponsors and television. They have announced they are cancelling it directly after the tournament, and looking to organize an ATP Tournament. I have had hundreds of enquiries about what is happening with Prince. Please read the 2 press releases in the Industry News section of this magazine for more details. Basically, they are reorganizing the company after losses the last 2 years. They found a company to buy their debt and are licensing the name Prince to a company for north and south America. We have not heard how this affects Prince Europe and Prince Asia yet but they are running normally at this time. One of the ERSA goals for the last decade was to improve the stringing services on the pro tour. Babolat has gone to great lengths to do this with their new Babolab stringing service at Roland Garros. I was invited to fly over after the Power Horse World Team Cup and visit the stringing service and meet up with the management of Babolat to discuss their directions for the future. I hope many of you interested in tour stringing have an opportunity to visit their stringing facility, which has implemented most of the changes we were pushing all of the stringing service to make over the last decade. Welcome to Carsten Borstel, who is our new Sales/ Marketing Manager for Germany/Austria/Switzerland starting in July.


European Racquet Stringers Association Lenaustr. 38 40470 D端seldorf DE Germany Phone/Fax +49(0)211-87511548


Best wishes Mark Maslowski

ERSA now offers certification for different levels of stringers, from beginners to the top professional stringers in the world. The first level is ERSA Stringer is for new stringers to show they have completed a stringing course and learned to string correctly. Certified Stringer is for stringing services, such as coaches, club stringers, shop stringers, after passing a day of practical and written tests. Master Racquet Technician is for shop stringers and owners who can tune racquets, string at a high level and have a broad knowledge of products for their customers. Pro Tour Stringer certification is for MRTs who are stringing at ATP and WTA tournaments. There are 3 levels for this certification, Level 1, Level 2 and Master Pro Tour Stringer. The highest level, Master PTS is only given to stringers who have proven themselves at professional tournaments for over 10 years.

Congratulations to: Pro Tour Stringer - Level 1 Chris Jenkins (England) Master Racquet Technician - Juan Marquez (Spain) ERSA - Pro Tour Stringer




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NEWS Prince Files Chapter 11 - Debt Sold to Authentic Brands Prince Sports, Inc. and its U.S. affiliates announced that they have filed voluntary petitions for Chapter 11 reorganization in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. “After considering several business options, the Board of Directors and the senior management team firmly believe that the Chapter 11 filing is not only a necessary step but also the right thing to do to ensure a secure future for Prince” Prince made its filing after reaching a deal to be acquired by Authentic Brands Group LLC. The brand-development firm, which has licensing rights for Marilyn Monroe, recently bought Prince’s debt. Prince has a book value of $54.2 million and is about $65 million in debt to Authentic, plus $12 million in debt to vendors and others, Prince’s filing said. Despite economic constraints, consumer demand for Prince products and interest in the brand remains strong worldwide. Prince continues to be globally recognized as a leader in its category. Prince plans to continue to pay employee wages and benefits and service customers during the Chapter 11 process. Subsidiaries outside of the U.S. (such as Prince Europe, Prince Italy, Prince France, Prince Benelux, Prince Taiwan and Prince China) are not subject to the proceedings and are expected to operate in ordinary course.

Battle Sports Science Licenses Prince Americas The Omaha company best known for its impact-detecting chin strap has expanded its reach in the sports merchandising world. Battle Sports Science, formed in 2009, has joined forces with the Waitt Co. of Omaha to acquire the operating assets and exclusive rights to Prince, Ektelon and Viking brands throughout North and South America. Battle Sports previously had focused on safety equipment for traditional sports such as football, baseball, basketball, soccer and hockey. The acquisition brings new sports to the table. Prince is a leading brand of tennis equipment and clothing. Ektelon makes racquetball equipment, and Viking specializes in paddle tennis gear. Circo declined to say what was paid to the New York-based Authentic Brands Group. The Battle Sports-Waitt partnership formed a new umbrella company, Active Brands Co., to be led by Circo as chief executive officer. He said the parent company will have two wholly owned subsidiaries: Battle Sports Science and sister firm Prince Americas, which will manage operations for Prince, Ektelon and Viking brands. Waitt — an Omaha-based diversified investment company with an emphasis on investing in private companies with established management teams — is a majority owner. Circo said he has known Waitt CEO Dana Bradford for years and will rely on Waitt for tactical and other guidance. Operations, production and distribution of the Prince, Ektelon and Viking brands will continue at an existing production facility in Bordentown, N.J., said Court Irish, Battle Sports Science spokesman. Now headquartered at 168th and Pacific Streets, Battle Sports Science plans no immediate changes to its staff of 12 local employees and nearly 40 sales representatives, Irish said. However, Circo said, there may be growth possibilities in the future.



NEWS Battle Sports is perhaps best known for its “Impact Indicator,” a technology-packed chin strap that helps signal when an athlete has suffered a hit with enough force to cause a concussion. Also popular is the company's TapouT mouthguard and BattleHelmet and BattleShield for baseball and softball athletes. The addition of tennis, racquetball and paddle tennis sports merchandise adds depth to the overall company — and should spread revenue flow throughout all seasons, Circo said.

Clarion call to TIA UK Members at AGM The fourteenth Annual General Meeting of the Tennis Industry Association UK was held at Wimbledon on Thursday and over 30 representatives attended, representing half the total current total membership. It marked a turning point for the trade body of tennis business as it was the first formal appearance of Brett Watson, the association's newly appointed Executive Director, who laid out his vision for the future. "My approach to my new role is to ensure that the TIA is well respected and is listened to," he said. "I will ensure we are a trade Association that Members value and that becomes, over time, a shining example of best practice. "The TIA will be a success. I won't allow anything less. The only debate is around how quickly that success arrives and how large it proves to be." Watson went on to outline ways that Members can contribute towards the effort to build the TIA UK into a valuable and credible organisation that will attract and serve all tennis businesses. While the newly elected Council and the streamlined Board of Directors will help create the conditions for success, Mr Watson called for assistance from each and every Member to participate in ‘a joined up Governing body and Industry working together' initiative to ‘benefit business and participation in tennis'. The remarks were part of the formal agenda that included full reports on the activities of the past year, adoption of the annual accounts and the election of Steven Matthews as Chairman for a two-year term and the Council for the coming year. "It is a year ago that we signalled our intent to come to a partnering agreement with the LTA and we now have our Executive Director ensconced in the TIA's own office at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton," said Ian Peacock, OBE, and President of the TIA UK. "We are finally at the heart of British tennis where we can be of value and assistance." The meeting also approved the minutes of the General Meeting held in December to adopt new Articles of Association in compliance with the Companies Act of 2006 and to re-structure management ahead of the new appointment. "We are very excited about our future, and we hope you will be too," continued Mr Peacock. In his Chairman's address to the AGM, Steve Matthews, who also serves as an LTA Councillor, said: "Four years ago we launched The Tennis Book and this action helped to lay the foundations for our new relationship. "It has become our flagship product, followed by Tennis Outlook and Tennis Force, all of which have helped to establish the TIA's presence.



NEWS "We are regarded as a serious and credible organisation, well supported by Members, and now that we have Brett leading our cause, we will surely grow in influence and effect. "The TIA UK has finally entered its new era." In closing, the meeting acknowledged the outstanding dedication of Robert Fuller (The Silver Tennis Collection), who stepped down from the Council after 11 years of service. He was presented with the first Special Award for Services to the TIA UK in recognition and appreciation of his contribution to the association as a Member, Director and Councillor since 2001.

Online editions of Tennis Outlook and The Tennis Book go live The Tennis Industry Association UK's publications have gone live and are now available to all on its website at, having initially been distributed to controlled circulations in print form. Both the spring edition of Tennis Outlook and the annual Tennis Book can be viewed online on most devices, including PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone and other smart phones. Tennis Outlook, the TIA UK's broadsheet newspaper, is a compelling publication for aficionados, providing a completely new perspective on the game in this country and offering a rare insight into the business of our sport. The Tennis Book is now in its fourth year and is the unique directory of TIA UK member products and services. Published in print form in May, The Tennis Book is the must-have resource for those needing guidance and assistance with all tennis-related requirements ranging from court surfaces to netting and equipment to fan ware. Only TIA UK members are automatically included in The Tennis Book, which also carries editorial features, case studies and company profiles. The TIA UK brings together collaboration among normally competitive businesses willing to pool resources to help improve British tennis, all of which comply with the trade body's Code of Practice. Founded in 1998, the TIA UK is the only legally recognised trade association solely for tennis and the industry voice for tennis business. Members range from multi-million pound corporations to individual entrepreneurs, all of whom have a real commitment to growing tennis and to foster tennis industry growth. Recently the TIA UK appointed a full-time Executive Director, Brett Watson, who is based at the association's new office at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton, South London. "The on-line versions of these two Industry leading publications ensure even greater accessibility to their wealth of content," said Mr Watson. "Whether you wish to stay informed or to purchase tennis related products and services, the TIA has the perfect solution for you with Tennis Outlook and the Tennis Book." Founded in 1998, the Tennis Industry Association UK Ltd is a notfor-profit trade body solely for tennis comprised of all leading UK companies and organisations with tennis interests seeking professional benefits, resources and to influence British Tennis through a collective voice. It is the trade organisation driving business in support of the governing body and other organisations' efforts to grow the game and to foster economic vitality, while providing an authorative voice on behalf of tennis commerce.



NEWS ATP says No to blue clay At a meeting of the ATP Board of Directors in London on Saturday, ATP Executive Chairman & President Brad Drewett announced that blue clay courts will not be permitted at ATP World Tour events in 2013. "After careful consideration, I have decided that blue clay courts will not be allowed next year," said Drewett in a statement. "I very much believe in innovation and exploring ways to enhance our sport. While the blue clay may have offered better visibility on television, there were clearly issues with the quality of the courts in Madrid this year, which were not acceptable at an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament, one of our top events worldwide. "Regardless of colour, we must first ensure that courts are safe and fair for players." The courts caused huge controversy at the Masters Series tournament in May, with clay court maestro Rafael Nadal and world number one Novak Djokovic particularly vociferous in their opposition. The courts were criticised for being slippery and too different from the traditional red clay courts on which all other tournaments, including the French Open, are played. The colour change was the brainchild of tournament owner Ion Tiriac, a former top 100 player, but he will now have to revert to red clay for next year's event. "I know that Ion Tiriac was also disappointed with the court quality in Madrid this year," continued Drewett. "Ion has been a great supporter of the game for many years and I continue to encourage his ideas, including the testing of blue clay at non-ATP World Tour events. "At this time, however, it's clear that further development is required before it can be considered for use at the ATP World Tour level." In 2011, the ATP granted permission to the Mutua Madrid Open to use blue clay courts at its 2012 event only,

Tennis Ball Maker Penn sues Dunlop over False Advertising claim According to an Associated Press article, tennis ball maker Penn and Head USA Inc., filed a claim of false advertising in U.S. District Court in Connecticut on Monday. The lawsuit claims that Dunlop International Ltd. and Dunlop Sports Group Americas Inc. have been misleading the public by labeling Dunlop balls as the “World’s No. 1 Ball” and boasting that it has a 70 percent share of the global tennis ball market. Penn argues Dunlop doesn’t have the largest worldwide share and shouldn’t be allowed to use the No. 1 claim. The lawsuit says Dunlop agreed to stop using that word but hasn’t.


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NEWS ITF announces entries for Olympic Tennis Event The International Tennis Federation today announced the full list of entries for the London 2012 Olympic Tennis Event at the All England Club, Wimbledon from 28 July until 5 August. Forty-five (45) countries will compete in this year's event. Three of the four gold medallists from 2008 Beijing will return to defend their titles: Rafael Nadal (ESP), Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI), and two-time champions Venus and Serena Williams (USA). Women's singles champion Elena Dementieva (RUS) has since retired. This is the strongest ever Olympic singles entry, led by the two world No 1s, Beijing bronze medallist Novak Djokovic of Serbia and Russia's Maria Sharapova.Nineteen of the current world's top 20 will contest both the men's and women's events, with the exceptions being Mardy Fish (USA) and Marion Bartoli (FRA).Sixty-four players will contest both the men's and women's singles.In the men's singles, there are 56 direct acceptances and eight ITF Places; while in the women's singles, there are 56 direct acceptances, six ITF Places and two Tripartite Commission Invitation Places. All players must have received an official nomination from their National Olympic Committee and have met the qualification criteria set by the ITF and approved by the International Olympic Committee.Direct acceptances were based on the singles world rankings of 11 June 2012, with a limit of four singles players per gender per country.Nations were also able to nominate up to two doubles teams per event, with a maximum of six players per gender per country in total. Thirty-two teams will contest both the men's and women's doubles, with 24 direct acceptances and eight ITF Places in both events.Direct acceptances were based on the combined world rankings of each team on 11 June, with each player using the better of their singles and doubles world ranking. Any player ranked in the doubles Top 10 on 11 June was eligible for direct acceptance with a partner of any ranking. Mixed doubles will be included in the 2012 Olympic Tennis Event for the first time since 1924.Entries for the 16-team event will be determined on site from those players already participating in singles or doubles.Teams have to be nominated by their National Olympic Committee by 31 July.There will be 12 direct acceptances based on the combined world rankings of each team on 11 June, and four ITF Places. Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) is included in the direct acceptance list having qualified under the ITF's entry criteria, approved by the International Olympic Committee. However her entry has not yet been confirmed by the Swiss Olympic Committee.The ITF believes that all qualified players should be allowed to compete in the Olympic Games, and will continue to do everything in its power to convince the Swiss Olympic Committee to respect the ITF's qualification criteria and enter Bacsinszky into the 2012 Olympic Tennis Event.  The ITF Olympic Committee determined that Tamira Paszek (AUT) is ineligible to contest the Olympic Tennis Event having not met the minimum participation requirements in Fed Cup. ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: "We are delighted to see the strongest ever field in the history of the Olympic Tennis Event."Since tennis's return to the Olympics in 1988, the event has continued to grow at each Games, with the current generation of players all embracing this unique opportunity to represent their country in individual competition."The All England Club will provide an iconic backdrop for the event and we expect that the competition in each discipline will be fierce."Tennis was a part of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.The first woman to win an Olympic medal in any sport was tennis player Charlotte Cooper (GBR) at the 1900 Olympic Games in Paris.After the 1924 Paris Games, tennis withdrew from the Olympics but returned as a demonstration event at



NEWS 1984 Los Angeles and as a full medal sport at 1988 Seoul. The All England Club previously staged the Olympic Tennis Event in 1908 at its old site in Worple Road.This is the first event to be held on grass since tennis's return as a full-medal sport.

Prince Successful at this year’s French Open Prince had a very successful French Open this year. Not only with Annika Beck (TourTeam 100) winning the girl’s tournament and 15 year old Antonia Lottner (Tour ESP) making it to the semifinals, Begium junior Kimmer Copperjans, won the boy’s tournament with his Rebel 95. Prince player Daria Gavrilova won the girl’s doubles.



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Shorts The Tennis Show 2012

Last August, Hurricane Irene forced the cancellation of the inaugural Tennis Show in New York City just before the US Open. The show will take place August 24 from 15:00 to 21:00 featuring 35 exhibitors along with a demo court. The next day starts the USTA Tennis Teachers Conference.

42nd Annual USTA Tennis Teachers Conference

The annual 3 day tennis teachers conference takes place at the Grand Hyatt New York from August 25 – 27, 2012. Hundreds of coaches come every year to hear World Class speakers offering educational opportunities. Contact:

Head/Penn Signs Paola Longoria

World’s Number 1 Women’s Racquetball player, Paola Longoria, 22, from Mexico signs a multiyear contract with Head/Penn.

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will play an exhibition match July 14

in Madrid to raise money for RealMadrid Foundation and the Rafa Nadal Foundation. Their goal is to break the record for a single tennis match attendance. The current record is for a match in Belgium in July 2010 with 35,681 attending between Serena Williams and Kim Clisters. The match will be played in Bernabeau Stadium with a seating capacity of 80,000.

Sunglasses manufacturer Maui Jim has signed contracts with David Ferrer of Spain and 18 year old British pro Oliver Golding.

Dunlop was the official ball for the US vs. France Davis Cup tie held in Monte Carlo in April.

Babolat has 4 of the 5 top places in Racquet Sales in Specialty Stores in the US, with the Aero Pro Drive GT and Pure Drive GT 2012 holding the top 2 spots.

Prince T22 still holding the top spot in the US tennis shoe sales at specialty stores and Synthetic Gut DF still the number one in string sales in units with Wilson NXT now number 2.

Wilson has 3 of the top 5 spots for Hot New Racquets in the US with the BLX Juice, BLX Pro Staff 6.1 90 and BLX Pro Staff 6.1 95.

The GSS Symposium Celebrates It’s Sixth Year

The GSS Symposium will take place again in Saddlebrook, Florida from September 22-26. Three days of courses and certification testing will take place. For the first time the ERSA Pro Tour Stringer Certification will be offered. Richard Parnell, Master Pro Tour Stringer, will conduct Level 1 certification tests during the Symposium. 14


PRODUCTS BABOLAT PLAY & CONNECT The “Babolat Play & Connect” is a major innovation with nearly infinite potential. Welcome to the tennis of the future!

Babolat presented the prototype of the first interactive racquet with organized demonstrations featuring amateur players and professional players from Team Babolat including Rafael Nadal (SPA) and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) at the French Open. With “Babolat Play & Connect”,the specialized racquet sports brand takes tennis into a new era. “It’s a major innovation that will create a before and after reference point. ‘Babolat Play& Connect’ is taking on the challenge of changing the way tennis lovers playand live the game of tennis. This is a connected and communicating racquet that will give players information they can use to improve performance orjust have fun sharing with other passionate tennis players,” explained Eric, Babolat Chairman and CEO.

“Babolat Play& Connect’ is taking on the challenge of changing the way tennis lovers play and live the game of tennis.”


“In 2004, Babolat developed the Aeropro Drive racquet specifically for the type of game I play. The Babolat Play & Connect racquet is a tremendous tool. Having this new technology to capture information from my matches will mean a new way of


all tennis players whether they are beginners, advanced or professional. Players will be able to use “Babolat Play & Connect” to obtain concrete information about their game. Three major features of “Babolat Play & Connect” include:


INFORM: “Babolat Play & Connect” permits tennis players to obtain pertinent information for analyzing their game. For example, the qualification of strokes (forehand, backhand, serve), ball spin, the position of the ball on the string bed, power during play and service speed are among the types of information that the sen-

sors will relay. Information regarding the duration of the session, the length of play and the intensity of play will also be available. The range of possible data collection is very large.


IMPROVE: Players can set goals, follow and compare data daily, weekly and monthly. The raw data and data points are a new source of information for coaches or instructors and also for players who will be able to analyze their game. Further developments could include: storing the best results and performances (for staying motivated!), receiving tips from a coach or having advice about equipment, etc.


SHARE: The advantage of having a connected racquet is that players can post data on a social network either for challenging their own performance, playing just for fun or for sharing information with friends and other players. There is a whole online community that will be able to show, challenge, advise and compare themselves to others within the community and even to the pro players of Team Babolat.




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NEW Zo Verve 16 / TNT 2 16 Hybrid Another new hybrid string that combines the massive spin generating copolyZo Verve with the Gamma Processed TNT 16 . The result is a hybrid that offers control and tons of spin with the added comfort of the softer TNT cross strings. Sets - Hybrid Mains: Zo Verve 16 / 1.23 mm - 22 feet / 6.7 meters color - black/white Crosses: TNT 16 /1.32 mm - 20 feet / 6.1 meters / color - black Product Code: GVTNT Availability: At Once 18

Maria Sharapova’s Favorite Drills M

aria�������������������������������������������� came to our academy in Florida with her father, Yuri, when she was nine years old. The rest of her family stayed in her home country of Russia. At that early age, Maria already had the traits of a champion: strong walk, great work ethic, extreme discipline, hunger to learn, stong self steam and very high goals. The family made a lot of sacrifices and it was hard for Maria to be away from her mother. They did not have very much money and Yuri worked very hard doing any kind of jobs just to survive. On court Maria was a “little profesional” and took her training very seriously. During her first years in the USA, she worked in groups with girls her age who were also very talented. Some of those girls she trained with were, Tatiana Golovin, Jellena Jankovic, Vera Zvonereva, Jemea Jackson and others. Her daily training consisted of: one and half hour of drilling, one and a half hour of match play, and one hour of conditioning. After working in a group setting, she received one hour of “special help”, which is what we call the free lessons that we give to the talented students. During these first years, Yuri worked very hard so he did not see his daughter during practices as much. After a while, he started working more nights and was able to spend more time observing her work-outs. Maria is ambidextros and at the age of 11, Yuri decided that Maria was going to be a left handed player. Maria began doing every thing left handed- serves, ground-strokes, volleys, she practiced like this for about six months. At that time, the head coach of her group was Percy Melcy and he didn’t believe that Maria should be playing left handed. Ultimately, he was able to convince Yuri that Maria should be a right handed player and that all that time that they spent hitting left handed would help her with her two handed back-hand in the future. Yuri then agreed and Maria switched back to right handed play. When Maria was eleven years old she was very small and skiny. She had no power in her strokes but she was very smart playing points and the toughest competitor I have ever seen in my life. She had the main ingredient of a champion in that she played with no fear and if she had the opening, she went for her shot even if she was match point down. As Maria turned thirteen years old, she was showing great potential and thus, her work outs became more personalized������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ . Around the same time, Yuri became even more involved with her tennis. He was very demanding of her, her opponents and her coaches, but he always managed to be polite and a gentelman. I had to meet with him before every practice to organize her day. We planed every detail: the time, the length of the practice, the surface, the court number, the coach, the hitting partner and the goals for that particular practice. Maria did a lot of repetition, most of her practices were based on live ball hitting. Yuri expected the sparing partners to be like machines and he would get very upset if they missed just one ball. The same expectations were true for Maria also- she was not allowed to miss. Maria got very sturdy and little by little her ball speed improved tremendously. Around this time, Yuri started taking her to California for two week trips to work on her strokes with Robert Landsdorf. Maria was very loyal to the academy so at the beginning it was hard for her, every time she came back from California we would ask her what she had worked on and she would not know what or how to answer. I started calling Robert myself to find out what they and worked on so we could better coordinate her training. Maria felt more comfortable with the situation, but I still remember one of the first profesional tournaments that Maria played. She was in Sarasota, Robert came from California to watch her play. He sat in one side of the court and we sat on the opposite side. Maria was very uncomfortable and did not look up


to the stands during the entire match. She has always been very respectful to her team and did not want to upset anybody. Yuri played a very important role in her development. The relationship between him and his daughter was very good and as the coaches, we could never have filled that “father figure” role. They had a strong bond which gave Maria a very secure environment and a structured setting. I worked very proactively with him and relied on his input, especially for her mental support. From the beginning, we had the same goal, which was for her to become number one in the world. We also had very good communication between us, Yuri was responsible for his daughters value system, and without those values we could not have done our job. I never saw Yuri on the court feeding a ball, he relied on us, the coaches, to get the results he expected. He took her to different coaches trying to maximize our expertise. Yuri understood the value of the team but he had to control it; most of the time he was on the side lines talking to us. He expected 100% from the coaches, sparing partners and Maria. I also learned a lot from him especially the extensive preparation before practices, he did not accept any mistakes, the strokes had to be machine precise, he always treated her with respect, the practices were based on groundstrokes and the return of serves. Maria learned from her father how to fight and from her mother how to be elegant, sweet and compassionate. Maria’s practice matches were very ��������������������������������������������������������������������������� specific������������������������������������������������������������������� , 90% of the time, they were against boys. She did not like to compete against other girls but more than anything she hated to loose against them. Her match practice partners had to hit a good quality ball, strong and very consistant, they also had to be fast and could not give up. If the boys did not play up to their potential they were not invited to train with her again. Many girls are very competitive and they call the balls very close or they occasionally will change the score. Yuri would never let Maria argue a point, he would just tell her to play and to focus on the next point. During this practice matches she developed the routine that she still uses today. After winning a point, she closes her fist and yells come on. After every point, she goes to the base line or close to the back fence with her back to the opponent, takes her time and regroups then moves back to serve or return moving her feet to get her heart rate up, and gets ready to play one point at the time. Her style of play is agrressive base liner, she likes to dictate with the big groud strokes, her backhand is her best shot and she takes advantage of it, she also puts a lot of pressure on the opponents serve with a massive return. I personally worked on that return for years, half an hour per day. During practice matches she tried to push the opponent back with the return on every point to take control of the court. She also worked on attacking the opponents movement, making sure that they were hitting out of balance when returning her shots. After the practice matches, Yuri and I would ask her what she had learned from that match, she was a very smart player and always had the right answer. Maria is a great competitor, she is tough and sometimes even mean, a trait that has helped her become number one in the world. Some of my favorite stories that I remember about her are: We used to play a tournament, only for academy students. Aggassi, Courier, Sampras, all of them, participated in those tournaments- it was a mandatory event that the students had to play. Maria was only twelve years old and had no competition in the girls draw, so I made an exception and let her play in the mens draw. She played against a boy that was a senior in high school, ready to go to college and she beat him 6-0;6-0. She did this in front of his peers, never giving him a single break. This boy was destroyed and I had to give him two years of scholarship at the academy to get him back on track. Maria seldom practiced against girls but when she did, she played against older girls. Because she would beat them all, it was discouraging for those older girls. Some of them where eighteen years old and playing the profesional tour yet at thirteen, Maria would toy with them. I will never forget when she played Dia Evtimova and beat her. Dia could not believe that a thirteen year old junior girl could hit the ball with so much power, accuracy, and that Maria showed no respect for the older player. On another occasion, Maria was waiting for her court to practice since (as usual) she was thirty minutes early for her practice. The player practicing on that court was Mariana Lucic. She was eighteen years old and had just gotten back from Wimbledon where she had reach the semifinals. Maria was at the gate of the court yet for thirty minutes, she never looked at Mariana. She kept her back to the court the entire time and when Mariana finished her practice Maria just walked onto the court without even acknowledging the older player. When Maria was fourteen years old, Alisia Kleivanova was the number one junior in the world. Alisia and Ma-


ria were both my students and fierce rivals. Once, I had them practicing together and the practice only lasted five minutes Both of them would hit a winner from the first ball. I had to stop the practice because it was a waste of time. Their rivalry was so intense that they could not hit with each other. Another time, when Maria was already a profesional player and doing well, it was a rainy day so we moved the practice indoors. Maria was on the first court, Vaidisova was on the second and Jankovic on the third court. Every time the other two girls finished a point, they would look at the first court. Maria, on the other hand, never once looked at the other players. For two entire hours, she repeatedly looked at the side wall turning her back to the other players who. at the time, were also top ten WTA. She was not worried about everyone else, only her own game. When Maria was fifteen years old she played the Orange Bowl. She had a lot of fans even then. Maria had this charisma that wherever she played or practiced, no matter what court, people were always watching her. At the Orange Bowl, she played Bartoli infront of a lot of people and tv cameras. Maria was badly beaten. Bartoli returned every one of Maria’s serves from on top of the service line. Days later, at the academy, I asked her what she had learned from that match. She simply told me that she had to improve her return, continue working on her serve and that Bertoli would never beat her again. Maria was ahead of her time. The way she approached the practices was very special. She was always thirty minutes early and made sure that every thing was in place before she stepped onto the court. Her shoe laces were tight, fresh grips on the rackets, extra towels, water, and all the other necessities. If the practice was scheduled to start at 8am she made sure that she was hitting balls at that time. She had ownership of her own work-outs. She would tell me what she wanted and that the practices had to be fast, the information given to her was done in a short and clear manner and she would let us know if the practice was good or not. One day while she was very young, I told her to practice a certain shot that would be effective to beat the junior number one in the world. She told me explicitly that she was not practicing to beat the juniors. She said that every time she stepped on the court she would think that the practice was for her to be ready to beat Serena Williams, which was number one WTA at that time. When she went to Wimbledon at eighteen years of age, traveling with Mauricio Hadad, a coach that I had appointed to travel with her because of his experience and also his mild demeanor, Maria played Serena in the finals. After all those years on the court practicing and imagining playing against the number one player in the world, Maria got her wish. She took advantage of the opportunity by upsetting Serena and launching herself to tennis stardom. Today Maria is a super star, she has moulded her image after Anna Kournikova by being sexy and Mary Pierce by being elegant. She has a great presence, strong posture and always looks like a super star. She is a master with the microphone during interviews which is also an important component. Even as we trained her, we worked with her diligently on this media relations aspect. I understood the value of handling the press to be marketable so we used to bring her to the coaches meetings when she was very Young. She was asked questions while she was being filmed so this way she not only learned how to best answer the possible questions but also how she looked in camera. We discussed her eyes, hands, posture, etc, we used to tell her that she needed to look calm, in control and elegant no matter what question the press might ask of her. I remember during one of those training sessions we asked if she was goig to be the next Kournikova. Maria’s answer was very cold: “who is Kournikova?”. Anna was already a star making millions of dollars, from Maria’s same country and well known outside the tennis circle. Years later, in one of her first real interviews, the press asked that same question. Her elegant and very trained answer was: “no, I am the first Sharapova”. People loved that answer. Maria transcended the world of tennis. She is the highest female payed athlete in the history of professional sports. She now has millions of followers on her face book and web-site. She is worth millions of dollars and could retire tomorrow and be wealthy for the rest of her life. Yet, she is continuosly working on her game trying to improve, trying to be number one in the world. She continues to push herself for the love of the game. Maria is the best ambassador for the sport and we should appreciate and admire the effort and the fight that she has delighted us with every time she steps on the tennis court. She is a star and a champion!


Maria’s favorite drills > Consistency drills Objectives A) To hit every ball with good pace and deep without making errors B) Work on consistency and placement C) Concentration and discipline D) Aerobic and muscle endurance E) Confidence and feel

Execution A) 15 minutes down the middle B) 15 minutes of crosscourt forehands C) 15 minutes of crosscourt backhands

> Backhand acceleration Objectives A) To increase racket head speed on the two handed backhand B) Make the backhand ground stroke a weapon C) To use the left hand as the main focus while hitting the backhand Execution A) Using only the left hand hitting out of the basket B) Combining 10 balls with the left hand only and 10 balls with both hands putting the emphasis on the left hand C) Hitting from the base line as a warm up playing left handed only


> Using the backhand as a weapon Objectives A) To take advantage of her powerful backhand ground stroke B) Keeping the ball deep with power and control

Execution A) Live ball drilling B) Hitting two backhands cross-court deep and third ball down the line C) This combination is done for fifteen minutes D) Maria stayed in the backhand corner during the entire drill

> Return of serve Objectives A) Very aggressive return, “returns wins championships� B) Hit the return early and fast C) Take opponent’s time away D) Counter-attack right from the first ball E) Return hard and deep pushing the opponent back F) Place the opponent on defense

Execution A) Coach serves from the service line B) Student returns from behind but close to the baseline C) Serve balls first only to forehand side, then to backhand side D) Finish with the coach serving to random spots E) Student hits every return to the middle of the court, deep and hard



The Tennis Europe Junior Tour is the leading pan-European competitive forum for junior talent in any major sport. Jonathan Jobson reports


rom its earliest tournaments into the 1970s and its official creation in 1990, the Tennis Europe Junior Tour has come to be universally recognised as the best starting point for a successful career in tennis. A string of world #1s, from Ivan Lendl and Steffi Graf to Roger Federer and Justine Henin chose this path, alongside non-Europeans such as Lindsay Davenport, Lleyton Hewitt, David Nalbandian and Andy Roddick, all of who had an early taste of success on the courts of Europe’s premier junior events. The increasingly professional organisation of the tournaments has meant that the Tennis Europe Junior Tour effectively serves as a dress rehearsal for life as a professional tennis player, with

a cumulative ranking system, a seasonending Masters tournament, Player of the Year awards, online ranking information, calendars and the playing records of potential opponents. The Tour has expanded from 43 tournaments in its first year to over 300 annual events for players of age categories 12, 14 and 16 & under. Care is taken that the focus is not solely on performance, with sightseeing tours, players parties and educational events held in tandem, ensuring a social and informative aspect to tournaments which allows players to focus on more than just their tennis and provides an excellent opportunity to learn about anti-doping, nutrition and training patterns, to name just a few topics. Team events are some of the highlights of the season, as top players earn an early chance to

The Tennis Europe Junior Tour has proven to be a fruitful training ground for world-class players such as Novak Djokovic and Ana Ivanovic.


represent their country at prestigious championships such as the Tennis Europe Winter Cups by HEAD, the European Summer Cups and the Tennis Europe Nations Challenge by HEAD. July’s European Junior Championships is without doubt the most sought-after prize for individual players, as past champions such as Novak Djokovic, Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, Martina Hingis and Boris Becker can attest. As the tour goes from strength to strength, so does its appeal. Some 350,000 spectators attend Tennis Europe Junior Tour events each year to see around 10,000 young talents from over 100 countries take their first steps on the international tennis stage. Aside from extensive coverage at, reports about the Tour in over 780 newspapers and magazines and over 12,000 minutes of annual radio and TV airtime ensure that every day, people are learning about the latest players to follow in the footsteps of stars like Rafael Nadal, Andrew Murray, Ana Ivanovic and Maria Sharapova in celebrating some of their earliest successes on the Tennis Europe Junior Tour.






12 & UNDER l 14 & UNDER l 16 & UNDER


Open Babolab


Babolat’s new stringing service at Roland Garros, Babolab, may be the most advanced stringing service on the pro tour. The best looking, for sure. Babolat took over the stringing service last year for the first time since 1987. In 2011 they strung over 3,200 rackets and will surpass that this year. Sixteen stringers and sixteen Babolat Sensor stringing machines fill a large part of the area up. With this number of stringers there is no need for 40+ racquets a day and 18 hours on the machines. It is still hard work and long days, but the stringers can comfortably string 25 rackets a day the first days. The fifth generation CEO, Eric Babolat, whose company invented natural gut tennis strings in 1875, is very pleased with the new service. They have received many complements from the players. The stringing service, managed by Patrick Gouilloud, is divided into stations. 1. Players Desk. Here the racquets are logged into the database and with labels printed out.


2. Cleaning Zone. Here the strings are cut out and the racquets cleaned, then sent on to the stringer who is assigned the player. 3. Stringing Zone. The racquets are strung by the same stringer on the same machine. 4. Stenciling Zone. Next the racquet is stenciled if required and put in a racquet bag to be hung up alphabetically until picked up by the players or their coaches. Notification can be sent to





the players by SMS or e-mail. 5. Monitors show who’s racquet is being strung on which machine and the racquet, string and tension. A dedicated room for tuning is set up in the back for anyone needing tuning or sometimes changes in the weight of their rackets. A stringers room is off to the side of the stringing room for taking a break, eating or drinking something when things slow down.


There is also a supply room in the back with Babolat stock for all the contract players, including extra custom made bags for players like Nadal. This year and last a number of our ERSA Pro Tour Stringers were on site stringing. Some from last year and some new ones this year. Babolat has done a great job improving the quality of stringing on the tour, which we have been trying to implement with all the stringing services over the last 11 years.


Babolat is also the official stringing service for all the Aegon tournaments in England, including Queen’s and Eastbourne

Visit babolat’s official website for more information about their products & services: 27


WTC Power Horse World Team Cup 2012 – 20-26 May 2012 We were told at the beginning of the tournament that it would probably be the last WTC, running since 1978. Two days after the tournament is was officially announced that 2012 was the last World Team Cup. The stringing service has been run for five years by the ERSA and we have had a great time their, giving the opportunity for many of our members to come and string or to visit. This year the official stringers were myself, Teruaki Ariie (Japan), Misel Milovavovic (Switzerland), Ingo Sattler (Germany) and Sanda Maslowski (Croatia/Germany). We also had several visitors (ERSA Members) giving us a hand for a day or two. We strung 250 racquets for the 8 teams and another 100 racquets for the public. We rented a 50 m² tent along with Prince and K-Swiss, and sold products from the two companies. This is the only possibility when you have to pay for the stringing service and tent. K-Swiss and Prince provided sales staff to help with the sales and was very successful. We were lucky to have sunshine everyday except the first Sunday. We had the worst storm I had ever seen in Germany in 25 years with 10 cm of hail on the ground and lots of water. It looked like the middle of winter. Everything was cleaned up by 11:00 the next morning and afterwards we had 6 days of sunshine. Serbia won for the second time with a strong team of Janko Tipsarevic, Viktor Troicki, and Nenad Zimonjic. A great team for the Czech Republic consisting of Tomas Berdych, Radek Stepanek and Frantisek Cermak lost all 3 matches closely in the finals. Rochusclub is looking for an ATP tournament next year to replace the WTC. 28

If Tennis is your Racket MEMBERSHIP BRINGS: xFree entry in The Tennis Book xReduced rates at the London Golf & Tennis Show and in Tennis Outlook xSales opportunities via The Tennis Shop at selected events xWimbledon ground pass entry xTIA UK Insurance xAccess to TennisWire PR services xNetworking and industry contacts

Then the TIA UK is the trade body for you. We provide a range of benefits and resources to boost your business and can help to raise your profile.

Tennis Industry Association UK FOR MORE INFO CONTACT OUR ADMIN OFFICE AT: c/o Sport Wins, PO Box 238 Tadworth KT20 5WT, UK Phone +44 (0)1737 831 707 Email:

Over 60 companies already enjoy membership!


WTC Power Horse World Team Cup 2012 Player



String M

String X


Juan Ignacio Chela Carlos Berlocq Leonardo Mayer

Babolat Head Wilson

Pure Storm Prestige BLX 6.1 95

Alu Power Alu Power Alu Power

Alu Power Alu Power Alu Power

60/58lbs. 54 lbs. 54lbs.

Head Head Wilson

Black Paint Prestige Pro Blade

Alu Power BB Original Alu Power

Babolat VS BB Original Babolat VS

27 Kilo 28.5 Kilo 27/26 Kilo

Alu Power Babolat VS Alu Ruff

Alu Power Timo Timo

27/26 Kilo 25.5/23.5 K. 28/27 Kilo

BLX 6.1 95 Alu Power Prestige MP EXO3 Tour

Wilson Nat. Poly Pacific Poly BB Original

BB Original Natural Gut Pacific Gut BB Original

24/25 Kilo 23/22 Kilo 27/26 kilo 25.5/24.5 k.

Yonex Wilson

Juice 100

Babolat VS Alu Power

Yonex Poly 48 lbs. Wilson Nat. 63/60 lbs.

Donnay Wilson Wilson Babolat

BLX 6.1 95 Blade Pure Drive

BB Original BB Ace Alu Power Solinco

BB Original Alu Power Wilson Nat. Tour Bite

48 lbs. 53 lbs. 21/20 Kilo 24/22 Kilo

Tecnifibre Prince Head

T-Fight EXO3 Tour Radical MP

Black Code BB Original Babolat VS

Black Code BB Original BB Ace

25/24 Kilo 25Kilo 23.5/22 K.

Hand PS

Donnay Babolat

Black Alu Power Alu Power PureStorm Ltd ProHurTour Babolat VS

63 lbs. 54/58 lbs.

Hand PS



Ivo Karlovic Ivan Dodig Lovro Zovko

Czech Republic

Tomas Berdych Radek Stepanek Frantisek Cermak


Philipp Kohlschreiber Philipp Petzschner Florian Mayer Christopher Kas


Go Soeda Tatsuma Ito


Alex Bogomolov Dmitry Tursunov Igor Kunitsyn Igor Andreev


Janko Tipsarevic Viktor Troicki Nenad Zimonjic


James Blake Ryan Harrison


Dunlop Bosworth Fischer

Wilson Donnay Head Prince


Hand PS Hand PS

5% PS



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offers many advantages to independent retailers in the racket sports industry.

offers Group Product Ordering, Marketing Concepts, Marketing Services, Management Consulting, Technical Educational Programs through the European Racquet Stringers Association, and Membership in the ERSA, the leader in racketsports information technology.

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Racquettech Magazine Europe 5  
Racquettech Magazine Europe 5  

racket sports magazine for stringers, shops, players