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Best cheap tennis shoes for men and women (in 2022)

Tennis is a game of footwork. It’s not as much about hitting the ball, as it is about placing your feet and your body there where you will have the easiest time hitting. Sounds almost philosophical, right? But I really believe this is the essence about the technical and tactical game of tennis, or any racket sport for that matter. This in turn puts emphasis on the gear that we put on our legs and feet. If we choose wisely, we are armed with gear that can support our footwork and we can clearly accelerate our level of play. If we choose poorly, we tend to get in trouble fast… Trust me, I have am not lying when I tell you I’ve made countless mistakes when buying tennis shoes (and socks). They have cost me, literally and figuratively speaking, but the good part is that now I can help you to consider some points before you buy. So in this article I’ll talk you through it.

In a hurry? These are my top three picks for best cheap tennis shoes for men and women (in 2022):

Best for narrow footbed (women)
ASICS Women’s Gel-Dedicate 7 Tennis Shoes, 8.5, White/Pure Silver
Best for narrow footbed (men)
ASICS Men’s Gel-Dedicate 7 Tennis Shoes, 8.5, White/Black
Best for wide footbed (men)
adidas Men’s GameCourt 2 Tennis Shoe, White/Core Black/White, 12
ASICS Women's Gel-Dedicate 7 Tennis Shoes, 8.5, White/Pure Silver
ASICS Men's Gel-Dedicate 7 Tennis Shoes, 8.5, White/Black
adidas Men's GameCourt 2 Tennis Shoe, White/Core Black/White, 12
1,808 Reviews
1,732 Reviews
285 Reviews
Best for narrow footbed (women)
ASICS Women’s Gel-Dedicate 7 Tennis Shoes, 8.5, White/Pure Silver
ASICS Women's Gel-Dedicate 7 Tennis Shoes, 8.5, White/Pure Silver
1,808 Reviews
Best for narrow footbed (men)
ASICS Men’s Gel-Dedicate 7 Tennis Shoes, 8.5, White/Black
ASICS Men's Gel-Dedicate 7 Tennis Shoes, 8.5, White/Black
1,732 Reviews
Best for wide footbed (men)
adidas Men’s GameCourt 2 Tennis Shoe, White/Core Black/White, 12
adidas Men's GameCourt 2 Tennis Shoe, White/Core Black/White, 12
285 Reviews
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What is a walkover in tennis?

If you have been following the professional tennis tour for a while, you might have heard it. Or even if you have played some local tournaments, you might have even been handed a so-called walkover yourself. But despite what you might think, a walkover in tennis does not simply mean changing sides at the net. In this article I’ll explain what we actually define as a walkover and what the term implies in practice.

In tennis, a walkover is the status of a match that actually has not been played, due to injury or other personal circumstances of one of the players, which indicates that the opposing players advances automatically to the next round.

While a walkover can be considered an official status in the tennis rule books, it’s not actually considered a win or a loss, but rather a neutral statistic. In that sense, it is actually different from the rule of awarding a so-called ‘lucky loser’ a match higher up in the tournament draw. This is because a lucky loser has actually lost the match before, but is only allowed to play because no other player is available to complete the tournament draw.

Now that you have a general understanding of what it means to be handed a walkover, I’ll elaborate a bit. Believe it or not, but there are actually quite a bit of subtle differences between how walkovers are handled by governing bodies of tennis.

Let’s take a closer look to the definitions of walkovers by the ATP, WTA and ITF.

In section ten of their official rulebook, the ATP defines a walkover as a:

“Match that did not begin because:
a) losing player was ill or injured or
b) losing player was subjected to penalties of Code of Conduct before first serve of match was struck or otherwise not permitted by ATP or tournament Supervisor to play.”

The WTA’s definition is as follows. Appendix K of the WTA rulebook defines a walkover as a:

“Match did not begin because
a) losing player was ill or injured or
b) losing player was subjected to penalties of the Code of Conduct before first serve of match was struck or otherwise not permitted by the WTA or Tournament official to play.”

Tenniscompanion.org has done a great job with an extensive article on tennis walkover’s too, and it’s article points out that a walkover basically can occur by the rulebooks based on:

  • Illness
  • Injury
  • Penalty

In any other case, a refusal or inability to play by a player, should be noted as a default. However, in reality, you’ll come across the term walkover more often. Here in the Netherlands for example, any inability to play during a tournament is most often registered a walkover, because the most popular tournament software only allows for this option.

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Best Tennis Ball Machines [2022]: My Top Picks

One of the best ways to get better at playing tennis, is too… hit a lot of balls. Haha, didn’t see that one coming, right? Well, training and playing in the Netherlands, we’re actually not used to grow up and play with tennis ball machines. It actually is seen as an inferior way of training… But ask the father of Andre Agassi, with his grand goal of letting Andre hit a million tennis balls to swing his way into professional tennis, and you’ll find that a tennis ball machine can actually be a great aid while perfecting your training routine. In this article we’ll take a deeper look into the area of tennis ball machines, which ones are best for your goals, and how you can actually get the most out of them.

In a hurry? Here are my top three picks:

Best machine
SPINSHOT PLAYER Plus-2 Tennis Ball Machine (Plus2 Model =Plus Model + Player Model)
Best allround machine
LOBSTER Sports – Elite Two Tennis Ball Machine with Elite 10-Function Remote Control – Triple Oscillation – Lightweight – 4- to 8-Hour Battery Life – 50 Degree Lobs – Optional Accessories
Best budget machine
Lobster Sports – Elite One Battery Tennis Ball Machine – Corner-to-Corner Sweep – Top & Backspin – 60° Lobs – 4 to 8 Hr Runtime – Charger Included – Easy to Use – 42 lb
SPINSHOT PLAYER Plus-2 Tennis Ball Machine (Plus2 Model =Plus Model + Player Model)
LOBSTER Sports – Elite Two Tennis Ball Machine with Elite 10-Function Remote Control – Triple Oscillation – Lightweight – 4- to 8-Hour Battery Life – 50 Degree Lobs – Optional Accessories
Lobster Sports – Elite One Battery Tennis Ball Machine – Corner-to-Corner Sweep – Top & Backspin – 60° Lobs – 4 to 8 Hr Runtime – Charger Included – Easy to Use - 42 lb
78 Reviews
26 Reviews
378 Reviews
Best machine
SPINSHOT PLAYER Plus-2 Tennis Ball Machine (Plus2 Model =Plus Model + Player Model)
SPINSHOT PLAYER Plus-2 Tennis Ball Machine (Plus2 Model =Plus Model + Player Model)
78 Reviews
Best allround machine
LOBSTER Sports – Elite Two Tennis Ball Machine with Elite 10-Function Remote Control – Triple Oscillation – Lightweight – 4- to 8-Hour Battery Life – 50 Degree Lobs – Optional Accessories
LOBSTER Sports – Elite Two Tennis Ball Machine with Elite 10-Function Remote Control – Triple Oscillation – Lightweight – 4- to 8-Hour Battery Life – 50 Degree Lobs – Optional Accessories
26 Reviews
Best budget machine
Lobster Sports – Elite One Battery Tennis Ball Machine – Corner-to-Corner Sweep – Top & Backspin – 60° Lobs – 4 to 8 Hr Runtime – Charger Included – Easy to Use – 42 lb
Lobster Sports – Elite One Battery Tennis Ball Machine – Corner-to-Corner Sweep – Top & Backspin – 60° Lobs – 4 to 8 Hr Runtime – Charger Included – Easy to Use - 42 lb
378 Reviews

Why buy a tennis ball machine?

Before we dive deeper into the subject of tennis ball machines, we might consider for a second here why we might want to buy such a machine in the first place. To get better at tennis, in general, we have two options: take lessons or go to court to practice with a (team)mate. Ideally, you’ll want to do a bit of both to get better fast.

Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world. Tennis lessons can be quite expensive, and your (team)mate can get sick. Which leaves you with… watching some tennis at TV?

Not necessarily! This is where the aid of tennis ball machines come in handy. Ball machines are designed to feed you numerous tennis balls, often in a variety of ways, which can simulate – some level of – rally practice. The good news here: you can keep training, independent of the availability (and price) of a tennis trainer or the fitness level of your (team)mate.

Lessons vs. ball machines

However, it is worth taking a closer look to the actual value of lessons vs. ball machines before we proceed. Of course, hitting a 1.000 balls in practice, or during a private lesson, is not the same as hitting 1.000 tennis balls from a tennis ball machine. Consider that you have a faulty technique, then hitting a 1.000 balls with a ball machine will not actually make you better. However, it most often will not make you worse!

New vs. used

One tempting option might be to wander the internet to find a second hand tennis ball machine, to save some upfront expenses. This can be a logical option if you can find a great deal on relatively new machine, but keep in mind that with the aging of a tennis ball machine, up go the costs of maintenance on them. If you’re technically skilled, this does not necessarily have to be a downside. However, you will need to have proper access to parts to keep them as good as new.

How to choose a tennis ball machine?

Before rushing off to spend your hard-earned savings, there are a couple of questions you should ask yourself before buying a tennis ball machine.

How often will you use a machine?

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it surely isn’t. Tennis ball machines are expensive, so any upfront estimation of the frequency of use can be a smart excercise. Generally speaking, if you plan to play multiple times a week, you can justify the cost of buying a machine within the higher price point range.

However, if you can, most definitely try to rent one first, or even lend one from a buddy. This gives you the opportunity to get some first hand experience before breaking the bank.

What is your budget?

Talking about breaking the bank, do you have a strict budget in mind? While this of course depends on the going pricing range of these machines, having a budget in mind is always a good idea. However, keep in mind that cheaper tennis ball machines are bought around a 1.000 dollars and the more expensive models will cost you two, three or even four times that amount.

What is your skill level?

Based on your experience and skill as a tennis player, you’ll probably need different features as a beginner, as opposed to an advanced player. These differences come into play when taking a closer look to features of different tennis ball machines and what options you have to tweak their functionality.

Features of tennis ball machines

Let’s take a closer look on actual differences between tennis ball machines and how they play out.

Tennis ball capacity

A ball machine that holds up to 40 balls generally will suffice for a beginner. However, if you are a more advanced player you’ll find that you probably go through 40 balls pretty quickly and have some pop left.

Hopper window.

Feed rate

Feed rate stands for the amount of time you have between hitting shots. A lower feed rate can be sufficient for beginners, while a higher feed rate can be more challenging for more advanced players.

Oscillation

Oscillation really means the ability to shoot the balls under different angles and distances. As a beginner you might put the ball machine in a position to feed the forehand for a while, and afterwards you might change it manually to face your backhand side. But having a machine that can mimic so-called X-patterns will benefit more advanced players.

Ball speed & spin

Beginners can’t really handle the highest speeds on tennis ball machines. That’s perfectly normal, but good to consider upfront. In general, beginners are good with speeds up to 40 mph (or 64 kmph). More advanced players can opt for higher speeds, wit most top machines offering speeds up to 80 mph (or 120 kmph).

In addition, some machines will have the option to include top spin or even some back spin on the ball. Probably not really necessary for beginners, however, for more advance players this will allow for a more typical rally style of play.

Custom drills

When it comes to tennis, you can’t really do enough drills. Some hate them, some swear by them. However, having a machine that can simulate drills really is an extra that can go a long way and really is a newer feature that wasn’t available on older machines.

Control: phone, app, remote or panel

Back in the day almost every tennis ball machine had a back panel for chaninging settings. Nowadays, you can mosten often find at least a remote control being shipped with the ball machine or even a phone app, that let’s you control your next shot. This is of course added luxury, but can help you decide between to models.

Size and weight

Size and weight might not be the first thing you think about when considering a tennis ball machine, but as tennis success lies within repetition, so is training with your new ball machine. This means you will have to carry it to court a lot (unless you can make that great deal with your local club or trainer to store the machine right there). Everything above 50 lbs can’t be really considered a portable machine anymore. Also, keep in mind that the lowest weights might be very portable, but might start to wobble at higher ball speeds.

Power (types)

Back in the day there was only one choice when it comes to powerin your ball machine: find the nearest (wall) outlet. Luckily, more and more machines come with a battery these days. However, battery life itself is something that you must consider when going for one of these machines. 

Types of tennis ball machines

Tennis ball machines come in to main types: compressed air and rotating wheel machines. I’ll describe the main differences between the two of them here.

Compressed air

The most afforable option is to go for a machine with compressed air as main driving unit of the machine. While being the cheapest, compressed air units share some disadvantages in comparison to rotating wheel units. Compressed air machines can be noisy and they are not very consistent when shooting balls, especially not so when loading the machine with different ball types, which we address in a later paragraph.

Rotating wheel

Rotating wheels offer the best accuracy, but are the more expensive driving units of these ball machines. They don’t make that much noise neither on court. However, tennis balls will wear out faster with the use of these driving mechanisms, so while they are cheaper, they might come with higher repeating costs in the form of extra tennis balls.

Balls and accessories

Opposed to what you might think or feel is right, tennis ball machines work best with pressureless tennis balls. And you’re going to need a lot of them if you’re serious about training with a ball machine. The main reason to choose playing with pressureless balls over playing with pressurized tennis balls, is that pressurized tennis balls, generally speaking, will wear and tear faster.

However, not all pressureless tennis balls are created equal and you can buy a lot of cheap tennis pressureless tennis balls that are… wel, crap. In general, pressureless tennis balls will have thicker rubber and thicker felt to compensate for not having a filled, pressurized inner core in order to keep the stability of the ball construction high.

In all, don’t worry, because you can buy good pressureless tennis balls in bulk.

Frequently Asked Questions on tennis ball machines

Which ball firing option is better?

While this might depend on your perspective, in general, rotating wheel tennis ball machines have the better ball firing option because of consistency.

Do tennis ball machines deliver serves?

No, in general, they don’t.

Conclusion

There are many aspects of a tennis ball machine to consider upfront, before buying your next machine. The main drivers of your choice should be your experience and skill level, which in turn will determinate the type of features that you are looking for in a machine (which I discussed in the paragraphs above). A close second driver should be your budget. Keep in mind that next to the purchasing costs of a machine, you should also factor in costs for (pressureless) tennis balls.

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Best Tennis Bags for Women [2022]: Our Top Picks

One of the most overlooked items of a tennis player? Socks, for sure. Next up? Tennis bags. It seems strange to think that we put so much effort in finding that perfect next tennis racket and then just agree to dump it in some old, left over textile we have laying around. For some, reason most people think they’ll just do fine with the cover they got with the racket in the first place, but fail to think what items you often really want to take with you to court. So in this article we’ll dive into the best tennis bags for women and present you with our shortlist.

In a hurry? These are our top three picks for the best tennis bags for women.

Ame & Lulu Hamptons Tennis Tour Bag (Blueberry)
Tennis Tote Bag, Tennis Racket Shoulder Bag for racquet with a head size between 80 and 100 sq. inches, Large Pickleball Tote Bag with Zipper & Shoulder Strap for Badminton Racquet, Sport Tote for Women Men (Orange)
Tennis Backpack for Women, Large Tennis Bag 2 Rackets with Cooler Pocket and Ventilated Shoe Compartment to Hold Tennis Badminton Squash Racquets, Pickleball Paddles and Balls Accessories, Pink
Ame & Lulu Hamptons Tennis Tour Bag (Blueberry)
Tennis Tote Bag, Tennis Racket Shoulder Bag for racquet with a head size between 80 and 100 sq. inches, Large Pickleball Tote Bag with Zipper & Shoulder Strap for Badminton Racquet, Sport Tote for Women Men (Orange)
Tennis Backpack for Women, Large Tennis Bag 2 Rackets with Cooler Pocket and Ventilated Shoe Compartment to Hold Tennis Badminton Squash Racquets, Pickleball Paddles and Balls Accessories, Pink
29 Reviews
22 Reviews
49 Reviews
Ame & Lulu Hamptons Tennis Tour Bag (Blueberry)
Ame & Lulu Hamptons Tennis Tour Bag (Blueberry)
29 Reviews
Tennis Tote Bag, Tennis Racket Shoulder Bag for racquet with a head size between 80 and 100 sq. inches, Large Pickleball Tote Bag with Zipper & Shoulder Strap for Badminton Racquet, Sport Tote for Women Men (Orange)
Tennis Tote Bag, Tennis Racket Shoulder Bag for racquet with a head size between 80 and 100 sq. inches, Large Pickleball Tote Bag with Zipper & Shoulder Strap for Badminton Racquet, Sport Tote for Women Men (Orange)
22 Reviews
Tennis Backpack for Women, Large Tennis Bag 2 Rackets with Cooler Pocket and Ventilated Shoe Compartment to Hold Tennis Badminton Squash Racquets, Pickleball Paddles and Balls Accessories, Pink
Tennis Backpack for Women, Large Tennis Bag 2 Rackets with Cooler Pocket and Ventilated Shoe Compartment to Hold Tennis Badminton Squash Racquets, Pickleball Paddles and Balls Accessories, Pink
49 Reviews

1. Ame & Lulu Hamptons Tennis Tour Bag (Blueberry)

Ame & Lulu Hamptons Tennis Tour Bag (Blueberry)

This stylish canvas tennis bag has a removable, adjustable shoulder strap and features two, handy interior water bottle pockets. It’s made out of cotton and nylon and comes in 7 available colors. It also has an exterior pocket that can hold up to two rackets and a zip pocket at the front. You can put up two water bottles inside, each fitted in separate pocket.

  • ‎20.5 x 18 x 2.52 inches
  • ‎1.27 Kilograms
  • ‎Cotton, nylon

Things we like:

  • Classy, vintage tennis look
  • Exterior pocket that can hold up to two tennis rackets
  • Two interior pockets for water bottles

2. Tennis Tote Bag

Tennis Tote Bag

Looking for a large tennis or pickleball tote bag, that you can carry over the shoulder? This classy and lightweight bag allows room for some rackets, bottles and towels. It’s made out of neoprene, which will guarantee it’s waterproof while still being flexible, avoiding the wear and tear you see on other tennis bags. It’s an adjustable long strap, which means you can use it as a shoulder bag or hand bag too.

  • 16 x 6 x 13 inches
  • ‎0.83 Kilograms
  • ‎Nylon

Things we like:

  • Neoprene fabric, keeping the bag water proof and elastic
  • Lightweight
  • 6 possible color combinations

3. Tennis Backpack for Women

Tennis Backpack for Women, Large Tennis Bag 2 Rackets with Cooler Pocket and Ventilated Shoe Compartment to Hold Tennis Badminton Squash Racquets, Pickleball Paddles and Balls Accessories, Pink

This medium sized backpack has it all. Well, almost. One of the main benefits of this nicely designed bag is the insulated (side) pocket, where you can put some water or soda bottles and keep them cold, while you are playing. It has a large racket compartment, with room for up to two rackets. At the back, this compartment is padded, so you won’t hurt your back. At the front, you’ll find some pockets for small items, like keys, cards and phones. At the sides, you have the ability to store another water bottle or an umbrella. Another plus is the separate shoe compartment, with ventilation. Handy, if you want to changes shoes right away. Looking for a court side place to store your items, but no bench around? No worries, because this backpack comes with a fence hook, with which you can just hang your bag almost literally at arms length.

  • ‎12.6 x 9.1 x 17.9 inches
  • ‎0.47 Kilograms
  • ‎Polyester

Things we like

  • Shoe compartment
  • Isolated bottle or food compartment
  • Fence hook

Frequently asked questions about tennis bags

Most of us have an idea of why we want to use a tennis bag, but as always, the devil is in the detail. That’s why I have taken the time to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about tennis bags (for women).

How much is a tennis bag?

A typical tennis bag costs between 25 and 75 dollars, with some more expensive ones selling for more thant 100 dollars. Racket covers can cost quite a lot less though and often are shipped for free with the purchase of a new racket.

Why are tennis bags so big?

The problem for beginners is that they might mistake a racket cover for a typical tennis bag, which allows room for multiple rackets, but also for necessary racket sport items, like water bottles, caps, towells and sometimes even shoe compartments. A racket cover is just simply that, a cover for your racket. It does not allow room for other items and if you do decide to put extra items in, you run the risk of damaging your racket and strings.

Can you wash tennis bags?

In theory, yes, you can wash tennis bags. The need for washing a tennis bag might seem logical. Putting sweaty clothing or even shoes back in to your bag is a guarantee for nasty smells. However, in order to get your bag in the washing machine, you have to fold it and this process doesn’t benefit the structural integrity of the bag. So putting it in the machine will lessen the life span of your bag. A smarter way of keeping your bag clean is to care for it manually, by getting your items as quickly out of your bag when you return home, and then use basic clothes and water to clean your bag on the inside.

How to wear a tennis bag?

Tennis bags come in a variety of ways. Depending on the available straps on your bag, you can carry them on your back, shoulder or diagonally across your back and shoulder.

What size tennis bag should I get?

This is an important question, which mainly depends on the answer to the question of how many rackets you want to store. When you look for buying a tennis bag online, you’ll probably find that racket bag sizes are measure by the multiple of rackets you want to carry. There are bags for 3 rackets, 6 rackets and 12 rackets. However, as you’ll become a better (or: more fanatic) player, you’ll find that the needed size of the bag isn’t so much decided by the amount of rackets you’ll carry (as amateurs we normally carry a minimum of two), but by the amount of extra items we want to take with us to court. You might think you don’t need much at first, but this can add up quite quickly.

Think of it: you’ll probably want to have a water bottle and a snack, but also a towell to wipe of a sweaty head or grip, get an extra cap against the sun and your keys. But what if you have an appointment after training? Then you’ll need some fresh clothes and some shower items. It adds up quickly; think large when it comes to space.

What type of tennis bags are there?

Classic racket bags are like blown up backpacks. They have one or two straps, which you can use to carry it on the back or over the shoulder. However, there are actual backpacks too, that have extra compartments for rackets, and tote bags, that are more fashionable. The latter look more like your typical gym bag, with to handles that you carry as a normal brief case.

Are tennis bags allowed on planes?

Tennis bags are allowed on planes, but it might vary from airline to airline if they are suitable as hand luggage or you will need to check them in, as a suitcase. Also, it is not a good idea to carry tennis balls with you on a plane, as they are pressurized. They might not even be allowed on planes, but they also can be damaged. Just don’t take them with you.

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Babolat Pure Aero VS … [Review and Ultimate Comparison Guide]

The Babolat Pure Aero has become one of the most used frames on the professional tour and one of the best-selling models of Babolat’s product range. It has taken a swing at the Babolat Pure Drive in terms of popularity, but the two are still fighting it out. Driver of this popularity has been of course the endorsement by the likes of nobody other than Rafa Nadal. However, like we mentioned in our article about Rafa’s gear, this endorsement is not of great value as it is known that Rafael Nadal plays with a painted (2004) Babolat AeroPro Drive.

Babolat 2019 Pure Aero Tennis Racquet - 4 1/2
44 Reviews
Babolat 2019 Pure Aero Tennis Racquet – 4 1/2
  • Rafael Nadal`s racquet of choice, The Babolat 2019 Pure Aero Tennis Racquet get some nice upgrades and a beautiful bright yellow and black finish. The driving force for the Aero series is the Aeromodular beam construction for less wind drag and increased racquet head speed. This years Pure Aero incorporates Babolats Cortex Pure Feel to make the response a little more arm friendly at contact. The tech comes from a partnership with SMAC, a company with long standing ties to the aerospace indu!
  • New BABOLAT Tennis Gear
  • Carbon Ply Stabilizer . FEATURES: Smacwrap . FEATURES: Aeromodular Technology. FEATURES: 2019 Pure Aero Tennis Racquet
  • Size – (4_1/2)_____Color – (See Description)
  • Authorized Babolat Dealer. SEE SELLER DETAILS FOR RETURN POLICY.

So what makes the Babolat Pure Aero such a popular choice then? Well, the Babolat Pure Aero is all about stability. It feels like a tank and will feel solid on both your forehand and backhand groundstrokes. One of the design factors of the Pure Aero is of course it’s shape frame, resembling a triangle, which adds a lot of stiffness to the frame. This can be a tremendous aid to your game, if you like to play from the baseline and can do some heavy lifting yourselve. Because that stability comes with a downside; the Babolat Pure Aero is not one of the most manouvrable rackets out there. Take it for a swing at serve, volley or even dropshot, and you’ll notice you’ll have to put in quite some effort to get it where you want.

This, of course, does not have to throw you off before taking it for a test drive. Furthermore, I do recommend testing this frame out for yourselves because it might be a great match with your game. There is just not a way to be hundred percent sure upfront. So, get a playtest ready and head to court!

Babolat Pure Aero specifications

Now let’s take a look at the full Babolat Pure Aero spec’s to get us underway getting to know this frame a bit better.

Head Size: 100 in² / 645.16 cm²
Length: 27in / 68.58cm
Strung Weight:11.2oz / 318g
Balance: 12.99in / 32.99cm / 4 pts HL
Swingweight: 324
Stiffness: 67
Beam Width: 23mm / 26mm / 23mm
Composition: Graphite
Power Level: Low-Medium
Stroke Style: Full
Swing Speed: Fast
Racquet Colors:Yellow/Black
Grip Type: Babolat Syntec Pro
String Pattern:
16 Mains / 19 Crosses
Mains skip: 7T,9T,7H,9H
Two Pieces
No Shared Holes
String Tension: 50-59 pounds

Babolat Pure Aero vs Babolat Pure Drive

Babolat 2019 Pure Aero Tennis Racquet – 4 1/2
Babolat Pure Drive 2021 Tennis Racquet – 4 1/4″
Babolat 2019 Pure Aero Tennis Racquet - 4 1/2
Babolat Pure Drive 2021 Tennis Racquet - 4 1/4"
44 Reviews
275 Reviews
Babolat 2019 Pure Aero Tennis Racquet – 4 1/2
Babolat 2019 Pure Aero Tennis Racquet - 4 1/2
44 Reviews
Babolat Pure Drive 2021 Tennis Racquet – 4 1/4″
Babolat Pure Drive 2021 Tennis Racquet - 4 1/4"
275 Reviews

We could consider this match up a classic, as it features two of the best selling frames of this moment. Because they look similar from far away and maybe appeal to the same player base, I can understand the need for taking a closer look at the differences. But take a closer look and you’ll find they actually suit two different type of attacking players. I would consider the Babolat Pure Aero the more demanding frame, asking quite a lot from a player, especially when recovering from the corners.

I’ve played with the Pure Drive on quite a number of different occasions and I found that the Babolat Pure Drive is one of the most all round frames on the market, definitely suiting attacking players, looking to play with a lot of spin.

So, in short, comparing the two, I would recommend the Babolat Pure Aero for physical players, who are looking for a lot of stability on their shots and can sacrifice a bit length and time on their swings, while recovering from baseline corners. If you are looking for a great, all round racket that has the ability to generate a lot of spin, but still allows for a decent amount of touch and feel on the ball, you should definitely give the Babolat Pure Drive a try.

Babolat Pure Aero vs Babolat Pure Strike

Babolat 2019 Pure Aero Tennis Racquet – 4 1/2
Babolat Pure Strike (16×19) Tennis Racquet (4 1/4″ Grip)
Babolat Pure Strike (18×20) Tennis Racquet (4 3/8″ Grip)
Babolat 2019 Pure Aero Tennis Racquet - 4 1/2
Babolat Pure Strike (16x19) Tennis Racquet (4 1/4" Grip)
Babolat Pure Strike (18x20) Tennis Racquet (4 3/8" Grip)
44 Reviews
55 Reviews
22 Reviews
Babolat 2019 Pure Aero Tennis Racquet – 4 1/2
Babolat 2019 Pure Aero Tennis Racquet - 4 1/2
44 Reviews
Babolat Pure Strike (16×19) Tennis Racquet (4 1/4″ Grip)
Babolat Pure Strike (16x19) Tennis Racquet (4 1/4" Grip)
55 Reviews
Babolat Pure Strike (18×20) Tennis Racquet (4 3/8″ Grip)
Babolat Pure Strike (18x20) Tennis Racquet (4 3/8" Grip)
22 Reviews

This match-up is more difficult to compare, as these are frames from two ends of the spectrum. The Babolat Pure Aero being designed for power and plowtrough, the Babolat Pure Strike for control and consistency. However, as the Pure Strike is being offered in two flavours, an more open 16×19 pattern would be closer to the Pure Aero than the 18×20 of course.

That gives you the information you need, to make a choice. If you like the classic feel of older rackets, you definitely want to give the Babolat Pure Strike a playtest. If you think you have a more modern game, depending on a lot of spin and round, fast swings you can benefit from the stability of the Babolat Pure Aero.

If you would like to improve kick on your serve or volley better, I wouldn’t go for the Pure Aero but try to playtest the 16×19 and 18×20 Pure Strike to see which one you like best.

What about you?

What do you think? Do you have any experience playing these frames or match ups? Or are you missing a head-to-head on this Babolat Pure Aero list? Please let us know in the comments.

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Best Tennis Socks [2022] : My Top 6 Picks for Adults

When it comes to playing tennis, or any other racket sport for that matter, feet and legs are the main contributor to success. ‘Mind your footwork’ is something you’ll hear often court side, when you visit training sessions or tennis matches. However, as players, we are used to spend a great deal of research on the best footwork training techniques or the newest pair of clay court shoes, but no so much to attention goes out to the first thing we put on when we want to play. Yes, I’m talking about tennis socks.

So, in this article I’ll dive a bit deeper into the what and why of tennis socks and why it is important to choose the right ones for you.

In a hurry? These are my top three picks. 

Best quality overall
Best quality overall
Best ‘classic’ socks
Best ‘ankle cut-off’ socks
Thorlos TX Max Cushion Crew Tennis Socks, White (1 Pair), Large
adidas Men’s Athletic Cushioned Crew Socks (6-Pair), White/Black, Large
adidas mens Athletic Cushioned (6-pair) Low Cut Sock, White/Black, Large US
Thorlos TX Max Cushion Crew Tennis Socks, White (1 Pair), Large
adidas Men's Athletic Cushioned Crew Socks (6-Pair), White/Black, Large
adidas mens Athletic Cushioned (6-pair) Low Cut Sock, White/Black, Large US
1,805 Reviews
14,229 Reviews
14,587 Reviews
Best quality overall
Best quality overall
Thorlos TX Max Cushion Crew Tennis Socks, White (1 Pair), Large
Thorlos TX Max Cushion Crew Tennis Socks, White (1 Pair), Large
1,805 Reviews
Best ‘classic’ socks
adidas Men’s Athletic Cushioned Crew Socks (6-Pair), White/Black, Large
adidas Men's Athletic Cushioned Crew Socks (6-Pair), White/Black, Large
14,229 Reviews
Best ‘ankle cut-off’ socks
adidas mens Athletic Cushioned (6-pair) Low Cut Sock, White/Black, Large US
adidas mens Athletic Cushioned (6-pair) Low Cut Sock, White/Black, Large US
14,587 Reviews

Tennis Socks Buyers Guide

Basic points to consider:

  • What type of cut-off do you like (high, mid, ankle)
  • What type of materials do you like (full cotton, polyester, mix or other synthetics)
  • What level of support do you like? 
  • How much do you want to spend?
  • Can you buy in bulk?

What type of cut-off do you like (high, mid, ankle)?

One of the most typical images of playing of tennis players on a gravel court, is the amount of red dust above their ankles. As a frequent player on gravel courts, I’ve encountered this numerous times myself. I can tell you from personal experience, you’ll find gravel dust everywhere. Above and in your socks, all around your shoes and of course, in you’re bag and even washing machine. 

That’s why I like to play with high ankle socks in any case. By having the highest cut-off out there, at least I’m limiting the amount of gravel dust that comes in my socks. I’ve played with ankle cut-offs too (when my long socks were in the washing machine) and I can tell you from first-hand experience, that it gets worse with every lower cut-off height. 

For playing purposes, there really can’t be said that one should be preferred over the other. I like longer cut-offs because they allow me some margin. On colder days, I pull them a bit higher. On warmer days, I’ll push them down a bit more. This is completely personal, of course. 


My best friend preferred playing with ankle cut-offs. That worked better for him. 

One question you could ask yourself here is, how often you play on gravel courts. If you play the majority on red clay, I would definitely recommend playing with higher cut-offs. Keep in mind though, that the same idea applies to artificial grass courts. Because the top layer is often sand, you’ll find a lot of sand in your socks too. However, you probably won’t be bothered that much by sand as opposed to gravel dust. 

What type of materials do you like (full cotton, polyester, mix or synthetics)?

Tennis and racket sports socks come in all types and variants. So you’ll find them in a lot of fabrics too. Mainly full cotton, polyester, mixed materials or other synthetics. Cotton is the most commonly known material, that used to be the main fabric for almost all tennis clothing. However, nowadays, cotton is considered to be an inferior fabric. Cotton will absorb moisture like sweat, but will not allow for fast evaporation of the moisture. That’s why you typically see large sweat stains on cotton shirts.

Polyester fabrics aren’t much better when it comes to dealing with moisture, but at least they are a bit better. Some people don’t like the feel of polyester, especially when it comes to socks, but in general, they can ‘glide’ a bit more in your shoe.

There are tons of combinations of mixed materials and full synthetics, so you’re only choice is to check out the labels or product descriptions before you buy.

Personally, I like the look and feel of full (white) cotton tennis socks the best, because they don’t slip so much in my shoes (I have more room between my feet and socks and the outer sole of my gravel court shoe). Also, because the full cotton socks are a bit thicker, they help dampen the shocks on my feet and toes a bit more (I also use special protection gear for my feet).

What level of support do you like?

Modern day tennis socks come with a variety of available feet support. Most commonly, they have added cushioning in the heel section and or instep section of the feet. This extra support can prevent a bit of friction on the most intensively used parts of your feet during a game, but also can put some added pressure on your feet in general. However, this is quite personal, but I don’t like it. Especially when your feet will ‘inflate’ a bit during a game, with extra blood in them, your feet can use all the extra space you have in your shoe. But if you like a bit more of cushioning, this type of sock could be just for you.

How much would you like to spend?

Now, this is a tricky one to answer… Socks will be probably your biggest repeat expenditure, just right after tennis racket strings, and that means you better have a good idea of how smart you’re spending it. But this mainly depends on how much you actually need to spend on it. If you’re a beginner, you won’t use that many socks during a season. If you’re a top level amateur, you’ll need a great deal of them.

Most often, you’ll just start to spend more on tennis socks as you’re level of play starts to grow and the frequency you play with. However, keep in mind that if you play on gravel courts, this process will only be sped up and count on spending even more on them. This is because the red dust is devastating for your full (white) cottons and they will naturally deteriorate faster over time. They will loose their ‘stretch’ and become more prone to breaking. You can wash them as many times as you want, but you will never get them fully cleaned again.

My personal advice would be to replace your socks, when you feel they have lost all ‘stretch’, feel a bit uncomfortable on your skin and are not fully white anymore after washing them. In general, full cottons will wear out faster than polyester or mixed socks.

Considering all the above, you’ll probably need to find a perfect match between durability and price point. This is a difficult journey, because it all depends on your own demands and desires, but generally speaking (and based on my own experience) I would stay away from the most expensive socks, as well as the cheapest ones out there. Find a range or budget that you are comfortable with, and start buying some different sets and test which ones you like best. Then, start to look for good deals on them, which you can probably find when you can buy them in bulk or at least bigger numbers.

Can you buy in bulk?

Buying tennis socks in bulk sounds easier than it is, of course. Where do you find these good deals, and at the same time, are not forced to buy by plane or ship load. This used to be a tedious process, but luckily Amazon has done the bulk of the work for you. You can find some good deals on larger sets, that won’t break the bank. Also, by buying multiple sets in one go, you’ll save on shipping costs, unless you’re already in the Prime program.

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Best Tennis Rackets for Women [2022]: My Top 10 Picks

Luckily, tennis is a sport where men and women have co-competed for a long time now. This is even being showcased by the amount of tennis courts and stadiums across the globe that are named after famous female tennis players. Court Suzanne Lenglen for example really is one of the most beautiful courts on tour and among the Grand Slams.

However, with a lot of tennis on tv at the moment, you might be wondering to pick up a racket yourself. Starting out, you are probably researching the best tennis rackets for women by reading a lot of posts and guides.

As I’m being asked this question quite a lot in my shop too, I decided to make a detailed post on this myself, sharing my top 10 picks for the best 10 tennis rackets for women that you can buy today.

I’ll summarize my findings first and then I’ll dive into more detailed explanations.

Need a quick recap? Here are my top three picks:

Winner
Babolat Pure Drive 2021 Tennis Racquet – 4 1/4″
Runner-up
HEAD Gravity Pro Tennis Racquet – 27 Inch Performance Adult Racket – 4 3/8 Grip, Unstrung
Third place
WILSON Blade 98L 16×19 v6.0 Tennis Racquet
Babolat Pure Drive 2021 Tennis Racquet - 4 1/4"
HEAD Gravity Pro Tennis Racquet - 27 Inch Performance Adult Racket - 4 3/8 Grip, Unstrung
WILSON Blade 98L 16x19 v6.0 Tennis Racquet
Winner
Babolat Pure Drive 2021 Tennis Racquet – 4 1/4″
Babolat Pure Drive 2021 Tennis Racquet - 4 1/4"
Runner-up
HEAD Gravity Pro Tennis Racquet – 27 Inch Performance Adult Racket – 4 3/8 Grip, Unstrung
HEAD Gravity Pro Tennis Racquet - 27 Inch Performance Adult Racket - 4 3/8 Grip, Unstrung
Third place
WILSON Blade 98L 16×19 v6.0 Tennis Racquet
WILSON Blade 98L 16x19 v6.0 Tennis Racquet

If you need some extra answer on the most commonly asked questions about tennis rackets for women, please check that section down below.

1. Babolat Pure Drive 2022

Babolat Pure Drive 2022

Babolat is one of the best know brands out there, due to the likes of Rafael Nadal and Garbine Muguruza and the Pure Drive has been one of the best selling rackets since the early 2000’s. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the racket has made it to this list too. The Pure Drive has become known for its versatility and performance, when it comes to speed and spin potential.

Although the Pure Drive is being updated almost every year with a new paint job, the core specs of this racket haven’t quite changed that much over the years. However, the latest paint jobs on this best selling Babolat model are a treat to the eye, at least in my modest opinion. Although it comes in a range of (sub)models, each with different total weights that could benefit your technique level, the most common sought after model is the Pure Drive with the total weight of 300 grams. That weight will surely not slow you down in any case, but will have enough mass to benefit your swing and depth of shots once you progress.

The head size is a standard 100 squared inches or 645 squared centimeters with a 16 x 19 string pattern; all of which are specs that fall into the all-round category of specs. Great for attacking players, as well as defending players who like to stay around the base line and are more into counter punching.

The updated version of the Pure Drive also features Cortex, that is believed to reduce the amount of vibration and shocks to the arm and body. It comes with a standar Syntec Pro grip, which is a great stock grip. However, as with all rackets, be sure to get it in the right grip size.

Things I like:

  • Great design and all round feel
  • Weight distribution making it ideal for spin groundstrokes
  • Availability of different weight models (Lite and Team models)

2. Head Gravity Pro

Head Gravity Pro

Another great contender for the top of this list, is this Head Gravity Pro racket, that was the weapon of choice of the just retired Ashley Barty. Known for her attacking (yet still controlling) type of play, the Head cuts through the air like a knife cuts trough butter. It is definitely a racket that accommodate the more advanced players, but can als help you develop a more solid technique along the way. The racket therefore requires more preparation, but also gives back more power and control.

This rackets weighs 11.1 ounces and comes with a 100 square inch head. The length is standard cut at 27 inches and comes with a 18×20 string pattern that matches the fans of control. The frame is made out of graphite, which still is a rock solid option.

Things I like:

  • Great box beam frame that gives you a more classic feel
  • Head light balance point of 315mm gives enough manoeuvrability to a hefty frame
  • Slick design and color palette

3. Wilson Blade 98L

Wilson Blade 98L

No top list is complete without a version of the famous Wilson Blade series. Widely appraised since the introduction of the – now classic – [K] Blade series, this version of the 98 Blade is actually a bit lighter than the original. This allround players frame could benefit control oriented players as well as more attacking players, thanks to the 16×19 open spin pattern. Blending these two features, at the price point is being sold normally, makes this frame a true value-for-money racket.

Slightly lighter, coming in at just under 11 ounces strung this Blade 98L will move around a bit quicker than the other heavier Wilson Blade 98 models, but still leave you with enough mass to drive a good groundstroke. With it’s almost perfect even balance, you’ll also find it easy to strike some precise volleys at the net, enhancing your all round game.

Things I like:

  • Great box beam frame
  • Open string pattern of 16×19
  • Wilson brand quality and durability

4. Wilson Burn 100LS

Wilson Burn 100LS

Wilson has made some interesting product introductions over the last years with the Burn and Clash series being two of them. Although the Clash frame is an interesting addition to the complete Wilson range, I haven’t had a chance to playtest it yet. I have been playing with the Burn series and really like the all round playing characteristics of it. One could argue this was Wilson’s first move towards Babolat, trying to compete with their popular Pure Drive series.

However, the Burn has become a true frame on it’s own the last years, combining classic Wilson control features with the more spin oriented rounded frame that we know from other brands. When we take a look a the specs, this Burn 100LS is a slightly lighter addition to the series, coming in at 298 grams when the racket is already strung. It has a neutral balance point at 333mm. The 18×18 open string pattern really allows for some serious spin potential, while the higher stiffness rating of 71 RA give it a rock solid feel.

Things I like:

  • All round playing characteristics
  • Open string pattern of 18×16
  • Higher stiffness rating of 71 RA

5. Head Speed Team 2022

Head Speed Team 2022

Another big brand in the industry is of course Head, which is also know for it’s wide range of products in other sports, like padel and even skiing. Head has produced an immense line of products and rackets over the years and it is easy to get lost in the options, even when you’re already filtering in on selecting a Head tennis racket. The new addition to the Head Speed series, with it’s new Auxetic technology it raises stability on impact, while still being very maneuverable and averagely weighted at 285 grams.

Things I like:

  • Stability on impact
  • Low swing weight
  • Great overall quality and durabilty

6. Head Graphene 360 Radical MP

Head Graphene 360 Radical MP

The Radical has been a popular choice on the market ever since Andre Agassi first took it out of his bag on court, back in the 90’s. Have gone through a couple of updates during the years, the recent Head Graphene 360 edition of this famous line is still a rock solid choice for all rounders, looking to play forward with a lot of control.

The downside of playing with the Radical used to be it’s higher stiffness rating but for this edition Head have increased the total weight of the racket a bit, while lowering the stiffness rating of the racket, adding a bit more forgiveness to the feel of the racket. Although this racket has a 98 squared inch or 645 squared centimeter head size (as opposed to the industry standard of 100 squared inches or 645 squared centimeter), it’s open spin pattern of 16×19 still give it a lot of spin potential.

Things I like:

  • Versatility of the frame; a true all round classic
  • Lower stiffness rating
  • Solid feel on ball impact

7. Yonex Ezone 98L

Yonex Ezone 98L

Yonex is of course widely known for it’s brand name within the badminton sport. However, not many beginners actually know that Yonex is also one of the greats when it comes to tennis rackets. It’s manufacturing proces for producing top of the line models is even considered as being the best in the industry. Nevertheless were Yonex models considered to being suited more towards top players, and not so much beginner or intermediate players.

This has changed with the introduction of the Ezone series and the Yonex Ezone 98L is a great example of this. It’s typical isometric head shape offers a slightly bigger sweet spot for the same head size, which allows beginners to play with a more forgiving racket, while stil having the racket specs of a true allround and intermediate players frame. It comes at an average total weight of 285 grams and has a neutral balance at 330mm. It’s Vibration Dampening Mesh is added to the handle to reduce the amount of vibrations moving through the frame, resulting in less stress on the wrist and arm.

Things I like:

  • Isometric head shape for bigger sweet spot
  • All round specs to benefit the majority of players
  • Vibration Dampening Mesh

8. Head Graphene 360 Extreme S

Head Graphene 360 S

The Extreme used to be a specialist racket, but has developed into a more main stream model over the course of the years. The weapon of choice of one handed backhanders like Richard Gasquet and Ivan Ljubicic, it was a clearly spin oriented frame for players who like the bigger head size. However, the racket series has expanded into a couple of unique flavours, where the Extreme S is a lighter weight option for players who are looking to hit big but don’t want to swing around as much weight.

One of the most striking features of this Graphene 360 Extreme S is of course it’s over sized top, featuring 677 squared centimeters, allowing for more off center shots, whilst still keeping the ball in play. Combined with it’s 16×19 open, spin pattern and it’s lighter total weight of 275 grams, it can be a good option for the more serious beginners, looking to make a lot of hours on court when they start out.

By shifting the balance point up towards 34 centimeters, the racket still can swing away enough at your opponent’s groundstrokes. However, when you get better you might want to start to add some lead tape or move towards a heavier, more control oriented frame.

Things I like:

  • Bigger head size makes it quite forgiving
  • Light weight frame makes it more suitable for beginners
  • Relativley flexible frame at 63 RA

9. Wilson Clash 100L

Wilson Clash 100L

If you are looking for a sturdy, but lightweight option to hit with power and comfort, definitely give this newly updated V2 version of the Wilson Clash 100L a try. Featured with Wilson’s uniquely patented FORTYFIVE carbon construction, this is one of the most flexible but powerful frames on the market. Weighing an average 280 grams, this racket will suit all kinds of levels of play and training. If you are looking for a racket that minimizes the risk of shoulder injury, this could be your next pick.

Things I like:

  • True flexible frame at 55 RA
  • Light weight frame makes it more suitable for beginners and intermediate players
  • Combination of RA and weight makes it forgivable for the shoulder and arm

10. Yonex Vcore 100L

Yonex Vcore 100 L

Just one touch lighter than it’s big brother, the Vcore 100, this 100L can be more forgiving for beginners and intermediate players, looking for a racket that can carry them easily through a 3rd-set tie break (without the sore arms and lost match points). The 280 grams of unstrung weight just allow for more manouvrability, which makes it a great choice for juniors too, looking to switch from 26 inchs frames to a more demanding 27 frame.

Things I like:

  • Color styling of the frame
  • The manufacturing quality of Yonex, one of the best brands on the market
  • The allround weight of 280 grams
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My personal top recommended tennis books of all time

Tennis has always been favoured by story tellers all over the world. May it have been for cinematic display, through documentary formats or even plain old paper books: there is something inherently intriguing to the game of tennis that makes a great subject for sports writing. What that intriguing part of tennis exactly is, I’m still not quite sure about, but I am sure it has to do with the heroic, and even poetic setup of the tennis courts and stadia, where players are being send off too to fight for glory, very much as we watched gladiators square off in the Colosseum centuries ago.

That makes reading about these historic matches, tournaments and careers something really entertaining and therefore, a good choice of gift for a friend or family. That’s why I wanted to put together this recommended list of great stories I’ve read over the years and of which I am sure, others will too enjoy broaden their knowledge of the game itself and tennis history.

Now these books may not be for everyone, as some are rather specific but if you enjoy tennis as much as I do, you’ll definitely find a couple great finds in there.

  1. Open (Andre Agassi, Erik Davies, et al.)

Open (Andre Agassi, Erik Davies, et al.)

If you have ever seen Andre Agassi play, you know how precise he could hit his forehands and backhands. But that precision was built upon sacrifice and a high price; a million tennis balls before Andre became pro to be precise. That was the philosophy of Agassi’s father and although it turned young Andre into a professional, the relationship between Andre and his father would be tense forever. In ‘Open’, Agassi literally opens up to tell you about his bizar experiences in his early childhood and teenage years at the Bolletieri Academy.

Conclusion about Open – Andre Agassi (link to check it’s current price at Amazon).

In my opinion one of the true classics to show that what we see on court is just a glimpse of what’s going on in tennis players heads. A must read for true tennis fans.

  1. Rafael Nadal – Chronicle of a phenomenon – Spanish (Jaume Pujol-Galceran & Manel Serras)

Rafael Nadal – Chronicle of a phenomenon (Jaume Pujol-Galceran & Manel Serras)

Building upon the previous title of Andre Agassi’s Open, Rafa is, aside being one of the first biographies about Nadal, a great recollection of the mountains of work that young Rafa and focused uncle Toni have put in to create one of the most dangerous and consistent (clay) players of all time. The book also gives a great picture of the Nadal family and how much they support each other within the family. It almost makes the Nadal story even more astounding, because it is clear that family, when it matters, comes first. Tennis is second, even to Nadal, but a firm second it is. Or is it because of the support of his family, that Rafael Nadal seems to find energy where others lose out?

Conclusion about Rafael Nadal – Chronicle of a phenomenon (link to check it’s current price at Amazon)

A great insight into Spanish tennis in general and a must read for Nadal fans. I’ve read the Spanish edition but I think you can also find it in English at Amazon.

  1. Roger Feder – The Quest For Perfection (Rene Stauffer)

Roger Feder – The Quest For Perfection (Rene Stauffer)

If there is one tennis player we reckon to be have been born with his talents, it must be Roger Federer. However, little did I know that things did not start out so easy for Roger at the beginning of his career. In ‘The Quest For Perfection’ things are clearly been put into perspective. From the early stages in Switzerland, through the breakthrough days of the early 2000’s and the first meeting of his later to-be wife Mirka and down to the glory days and rivalries that unfolded as a result of them. They paint a clear picture of a young man with great ambitions and even greater thoughts about how to get there.

Conclusion about Roger Federer – Quest For Perfection (link to check it’s current price at Amazon)

For many Federer fans his early days in Switzerland will be relatively unknown and therefore this is a great addition to every tennis library.

  1. Mr Nastase – The Autbiography (Ilie Nastase)

We like to think Nick Kyrgios and Sasha Zverev are troublemakers on and off the court (and they probably are), but somehow they fall a bit short when they are compared to the true ‘bad boys’ of tennis history. In order to earn that title, there must somehow always remain a bit of class, a glimpse of finesse and knowing what it takes to actually be a gentleman on and off the court. So that you know how to stay away from that image, when needed…

Often it are the stories of these ‘enfants terribles’ that make watching tennis rivalries worthwhile, as it is with Batman and the Joker. You’ll always need both in order to complete the story. So it is with the world of tennis, we need both the absolute champions and the party makers.

Conclusion about Mr Nastase – The Autbiography (link to check it’s current price at Amazon)

The interesting thing with the story of Ilie Nastase is: he’s actually been both a champion and a player of the court and he tells all about it in this autobiography. From his childhood memories, to his first road trips to small tournaments, to late night parties with his life long friend Ion Tiriac. It’s a great story about one of tennis greatest characters and his ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality.

  1. Tennis Anatomy – (Paul Roetert)

Tennis Anatomy – (Paul Roetert)

When we think about tennis fitness, we may think we know what it takes to be a good and fit player on court. However, it will probably surprise you how many muscles of the human body are involved in even the simplest of tennis strokes and actions. Paul Roetert therefore has done a great job explaining this synergy in this fully illustrated guide about different tennis movements and the muscles that influence them.

Conclusion about Tennis Anatomy (link to check it’s current price at Amazon)

If you are serious about competing at a higher level, you must take fitness seriously. This book will definitely help you master your tennis muscles.

  1. Improve Your Tennis IQ – (Charles Applewhait)

Improve Your Tennis IQ – (Charles Applewhait

One might think tennis is a fairly simple game. I guess there is a part of truth in that thought, as does the author of this book, Charles Applewhait, which he explains in the beginning of his comprehensive guide. However, as the book progresses, Applewhait takes you trough a thorough, illustrated series of exercises that will get you to start thinking more strategically about this wonderful game. For me, the texts about understanding the anatomy of your serve did actually quite improve my game in that aspect. But also the game plans for court positioning, in singles and doubles, really got me thinking about how I build my points.

Conclusion about Improve Your Tennis IQ (link to check it’s current price at Amazon)

If you are interested in elevating your strategic thinking during the game, this book is definitely for you. As it already is an older title, you can also pick it up at a small price.

  1. The Player – (Boris Becker)

The Player – (Boris Becker)

Picking up where we left of with regard to the true ‘players’ of the tennis game, one that we cannot forget is Boris Becker. At seventeen Becker became the youngest player to win Wimbledon. He went on to win Wimbledon two more times as well as the Grand Slams in Melbourne and New York. In total, he won 49 singles tournaments, two times the Davis Cup for Germany and won Olympic Gold with Michael Stich at the Barcelona Olympics. He also is a former world number one tennis player but now is active as a businessman and tennis manager.

However, Becker als has led a headline catching private life with a lot of difficult times. He went through a painful divorce and was sentenced as a tax evader. He battled trough tougher times with pills and alcohol.

Conclusion about The Player (link to check it’s current price at Amazon)

Boris Becker has no doubt lived a remarkable, but often, controversial tennis career and life. This autobiography however gives picture to Becker’s side of the story and therefore makes a very interesting read.

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed reading through this list of my all time tennis favourites and the good part is: this list is not finished. So if you know any great books and can recommend me one in particular, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section down below. Remember that you can also point others in the right direction with your thoughts. Thanks in advance!

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The Top 3 Racket Stringing Courses

There are many tennis players out there in the world, from beginners to intermediate to professionals. It does not matter at what level you play. Every player needs a tennis racket, and the strings in the racket need to be correctly strung in order to play well.Did you know that you can learn how to string your own racket?

The best courses that teach you how to string your racket are from The European Stringers Association (ERSA), Unstrung Customs, and Udemy. The company you choose depends on your experience with stringing a racket, your interests, what you want to learn, and how much you want to invest. 

No matter how often you play and how good of a quality your racket is, stringing it now and again is necessary. When it’s time, you have two options. Either you can bring it to a professional company, let them take care of it for you, pay them money, and be okay with it taking some time until you have your racket again. The other option is to string it yourself. This will save you time and money. You can even help other players with their rackets if you enjoy doing it.

Do you want to learn how to do it yourself? Specifically, where can you learn how to do it? Then keep reading!

Top 3 Racket Stringing Courses 

1. European Racket Stringers Association
The European racket stringers association is a well-known association that has helped many tennis racket owners worldwide. They offer different memberships starting with a year membership. This includes:

– 12 Issues of Pro stringer magazine
Pro stringer guide
Discounts on Symposiums
– International workshops
Products from several brands.

Price: $122.-

The great thing about this course is that you can apply by emailing them. When applying and filling out the form, they will ask for your location and what you want to learn. This way, they can offer the best for your specific needs.

2. Unstrung customs 

If you are looking for a more professional course, then Unstrung might be the company you are looking for. Unstrung was founded by the former professional tennis player Nikki Roenn. His carreer started at a young age. He started stringing his own racket at the age of 14. With all his knowledge, his goal is to share all the information that he has learned along the way.

You will be able to recognize his knowledge in the courses that he offers. He offers three different courses, including much more than just learning how to string a tennis racket. 

  1. Master stringing course
    This course contains all the basics you need to know to become a racket stringer. After completing this course, you will know:
    The correct foundation technique taught by the ERSA,
    – How to string in one piece and around the world
    – Learn to string accurately and consistently in under 15 minutes
    – How to start a stringing business and use social media properly
    -And much more!

Price: $870.-

  1. The Ultimate Customing Course
    If you want to string as a pro, than the next course is the ultimate customising course. This course teaches you
    – How to customise rackets to the exact specs as we do for the pro’s.
    – Understanding the effects of customising and how to adapt the specs to best suit players
    – Customise Grips; sizes, shapes and flares.
    – All the little tricks, and nuances we use to make our rackets identical.
    – How to start a customising business!
    And much more!


Price: $1.298.-

  1. UC super bundle
    If you want to learn both of them, then this course combines them.

Price: $1.873.- 

3. Udemy: how to string a tennis racket
If you are interested in a simple step-by-step guide to help you string your own tennis racket (link to check it’s current price at Udemy), then this course offers just that. All you need is a basic stringing machine, tennis strings, a tennis racket, small clippers, and small pliers.

This is a great course if you want to save money and time. You no longer have to bring your racket to a stringer!

Price indication: $13.99 – $19.99 

Please note that Udemy has regular pricing deals on the majority of their course offers. Be sure to check their offers regularly to get the best deal.

How do I Become a Certified Racquet Stringer?

To set professional stringers apart from hobbyists. The certification for racquet stringer got introduced in 1986. In order to get this type of certification, it is necessary to be able to show your skill level of stringing, gripping, handle sizing, and grommet replacement. Apart from that, the knowledge of frame inspection, mounting, string technology, string installation, and customer service get tested as well by the United States Racquet Stringers Association (USRSA).

If you really want to set yourself apart from other stringers, getting a certification as a Master Racquet Technician (MRT) is also possible. Once you get this certification, you are known as being the best in the business. The standards of the above named technical skills are very high to get this certificate, including some other knowledge on making a racket play in the best way possible.

Taking exams will be necessary to be able to earn either of the certifications mentioned earlier.

Can you make money stringing rackets?

Yes, it is possible to earn money by stringing rackets. It depends on how good you are and what level of tennis players you are stringing for how much you will actually make.

Before you can start making money, you do need to make a few investments first though. These are:

  • Racket stringing machine
    Costs between $300 – $3.000
  • Tools
    Diagonal cutter +/- $20.-
    Needle nose pliers +/- $10.-
    Starting clamp +/- $30.-
  • Strings
    The p
    rice depends on the amount of string and string quality. Average is $10 – $50.-
    There are more expensive strings out there. They can even go up to $160.-
  • Tennis stringing course
    If you don’t know how to string a racket then you will also need to follow a course (read above).

The investment does not have to be big. The chances of doing it professionally aren’t very big. So you won’t need a stringing machine of $3000.- to start with. Let the client pay for the string and for the time you spend stringing the racket for them, and you are making money.

Approximately stringers earn about $10 – $25 for each racket they string.

How much does it cost to get a racket strung?

As mentioned before, stringing your tennis racket is necessary for everyone that plays and owns a racket. You need to take into account that string costs approximately $10 to $50. Additionally, you will need to pay for labor which costs around $10 – $25. Depending on the string and stringer, you will pay anywhere between $20.- and $75.- 

The amount of times that you need to string it depends on the amount you play. An easy rule to remember is that you need to string your racket the amount of times per year as you play with it per week. So do you play three times a week, then you will need to get your racket strung three times per year, for example.

How long does it take to get a racket strung?

Getting a racket strung does not need to take long. However, it requires some good focus and proper tools. Once it is on the racket stringing machine, it will take about 30 minutes. 

This does not mean that you will have your tennis racket back in 30 minutes when you drop your racket off at a shop. The time it takes all depends on if the stringer has time and how many other rackets he has to fix before yours. Often you drop your racket off and pick it back up the next day.

How much does a tennis stringer make?

This is a hard one to define in numbers. It really depends on what level the stringer strings at, if it is the only job he has, or if he does the job on the side.

To give you an idea, an average American stringer earns anywhere between $19.000 – $50.000 a year. 50% of the racket stringers earn approximately $28.000 a year.

It is not something that will most likely get you rich, but it is a nice way to spend a few hours a day if you have a love for the game of tennis and the tennis racket.

Some Last Thoughts

If you like tennis and are interested in learning more about your racket’s techniques and working methods, then stringing it yourself can be a good first step. The great thing about it is that you can also learn to do this yourself from home. The three companies, the European racket string association, Unstrung customs, and Udemy, all offer different courses that will teach you how to string your racket at the desired level. It will not just teach you about your racket but can also help you during a tennis match, and it will save you time and money. We are interested in your experience with either of these three companies! Please let us know how you liked it. If you recommend a different course, we are eager to know which one it was and why you recommend it!

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Wilson Blade 98 vs … [Ultimate Racket Comparison Guide]

The Wilson Blade is one of the most popular frames out there on the market and it has been for quite some years now. It’s available in quite some different flavours and headsizes. However, in recent years the competition has gotten increasingly fierce for this true competition classic. In this article we’ll dive right in the most asked for comparisons so you can make the right purchase.

Wilson Blade 98 vs Babolat Pure Strike

When we say Blade, you say control. Right? Well, there is a new kid on the block that definitely challenges the allmighty Blade on this domain. Made famous by Dominic Thiem’s groundstrokes, your thoughts might wonder off to his agressive forehand winners… powerful, for sure. But if you watch closely, he almost always hits those winners with some proper margin. Furthermore, Thiem’s backhand has quickly become what might be the pinnacle of the controlled, one handed backhand. A beauty of a backhand, that’s for sure.

So how do these frames actually stack up? Let’s take a closer look.

Wilson Blade 98 (16×19) v8 Tennis Racquet (4_3/8)
Wilson Blade 98 (18×20) v8 Tennis Racquet (4_1/4)
Babolat Pure Strike (16×19) Tennis Racquet (4 1/4″ Grip)
Wilson Blade 98 (16x19) v8 Tennis Racquet (4_3/8)
Wilson Blade 98 (18x20) v8 Tennis Racquet (4_1/4)
Babolat Pure Strike (16x19) Tennis Racquet (4 1/4" Grip)
Head size
98 in / 632 cm
Length
27 in / 68.6 cm
Strung weight
11.3 oz / 320 g
Balance
12.85 in / 32.64 cm / 5 pts HL
Swing weight
317 g
Stiffness
61 RA
45 Reviews
10 Reviews
55 Reviews
Wilson Blade 98 (16×19) v8 Tennis Racquet (4_3/8)
Wilson Blade 98 (16x19) v8 Tennis Racquet (4_3/8)
Head size
98 in / 632 cm
Length
27 in / 68.6 cm
Strung weight
11.3 oz / 320 g
Balance
12.85 in / 32.64 cm / 5 pts HL
Swing weight
317 g
Stiffness
61 RA
45 Reviews
Wilson Blade 98 (18×20) v8 Tennis Racquet (4_1/4)
Wilson Blade 98 (18x20) v8 Tennis Racquet (4_1/4)
Head size
Length
Strung weight
Balance
Swing weight
Stiffness
10 Reviews
Babolat Pure Strike (16×19) Tennis Racquet (4 1/4″ Grip)
Babolat Pure Strike (16x19) Tennis Racquet (4 1/4" Grip)
Head size
Length
Strung weight
Balance
Swing weight
Stiffness
55 Reviews

Wilson Blade 98 vs Yonex Ezone 98

Wilson Blade 98 (16×19) v8 Tennis Racquet (4_3/8)
Wilson Blade 98 (18×20) v8 Tennis Racquet (4_1/4)
Yonex Ezone 98 7th Gen Tennis Racquet (4-1/4)
Wilson Blade 98 (16x19) v8 Tennis Racquet (4_3/8)
Wilson Blade 98 (18x20) v8 Tennis Racquet (4_1/4)
Yonex Ezone 98 7th Gen Tennis Racquet (4-1/4)
45 Reviews
10 Reviews
17 Reviews
Wilson Blade 98 (16×19) v8 Tennis Racquet (4_3/8)
Wilson Blade 98 (16x19) v8 Tennis Racquet (4_3/8)
45 Reviews
Wilson Blade 98 (18×20) v8 Tennis Racquet (4_1/4)
Wilson Blade 98 (18x20) v8 Tennis Racquet (4_1/4)
10 Reviews
Yonex Ezone 98 7th Gen Tennis Racquet (4-1/4)
Yonex Ezone 98 7th Gen Tennis Racquet (4-1/4)
17 Reviews

Wilson Blade 98 vs Wilson Clash 98

Wilson Blade 98 vs Yonex Vcore 98

Wilson Blade 98 vs Wilson Pro Staff 97