Federer Wins Australian Open Title with New BLX Racket

[CHICAGO] – New decade, new racket, new record. Playing with his new Wilson Six.One Tour BLX tennis racket, Roger Federer proved once again why he is the greatest tennis player of all time. Federer’s 2010 Australian Open win marks his 16th Grand Slam title, surpassing his own all-time record of 15 major titles.

Federer’s continued success is due in part to Wilson’s ever evolving technology and BLX is no exception. Federer switched to his new Six.One Tour BLX racket at the beginning of 2010. “Wilson continues to provide rackets with the most cutting edge technology and this racket really gives me the extra feel I look for,” Federer said after claiming the title. “My new BLX racket provides me with the extra edge I needed to succeed.”

The #1 player in the world stayed strong throughout the entire match in Rod Laver Arena winning 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (11). Federer broke Murray’s serve twice in the opening set and once in the second. Federer rallied from 5-2 down in the third, breaking Murray when he served in attempt to push the match into a fourth set.

Federer solidified his #1 ranking for a 268th week and tied Jimmy Connors in third place on the all-time list. Since 2004, he has reached at least the semi-finals of every Grand Slam. He continued his Grand Slam streak with a 23rd consecutive semi-final appearance.

“It’s an incredible feeling to continue this streak and my success at Grand Slams,” Federer said. “This 16th title means the world to me and I hope to keep this streak alive.”

Once again, Federer has raised the bar in the game of tennis and provide another benchmark for his competitors to work harder, play better and achieve more. He is still No.1 in the world and even with competition snapping at heels everyday, the legacy continues.

Wilson Racquet Sports is a division of Chicago-based Wilson Sporting Goods, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of sports equipment and owned by Amer Sports. Wilson designs, manufactures and distributes sporting goods throughout the world and focuses on making technologically advanced products which help players of all levels perform better. Wilson’s core sport categories include: Football, Basketball, Baseball, Volleyball, Soccer, Youth Sports, Uniforms/Apparel, Golf, Footwear and Racquet Sports (Tennis, Racquetball, Squash, Badminton and Platform Tennis). For more information, visit www.wilson.com.

Bryan Brothers Capture Fourth Australian Open Title

January 31, 2010 – Bordentown, NJ, – Defending champions Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan took home their second consecutive men’s doubles crown at the 2010 Australian Open Saturday evening and their eighth Grand Slam title overall beating rivals Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic in three sets, 6-3, 6-7, 6-3.

With their EXO3 Ignite Team 95 racquets, which they switched to late last year, the 31-year old American twins are now just four titles away from reaching the all-time record, currently held by Australian greats Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde with 61.

“It feels great to come back to Melbourne and defend our title, capture another Grand Slam and take one step closer to the all-time title record,” said Bob Bryan.  “It is exactly how we hoped to kick-off 2010.”

The Bryans decided late last year to make a switch in racquets in order to achieve more control while still getting the ‘pop’ they need on serves and ground strokes.  Their decision, after hitting only a few balls, was to pick up EXO3 technology and come down a bit in head size with the  EXO3 Ignite Team 95.

“It is crucial in doubles to keep return of serves low and we feel as though we have better ability to do that with the  EXO3 Ignite Team.  But while it gives us added control and maneuverability, we are still able to deliver the power and pace we need on our serves and balls hit from the baseline,” said Bob Bryan.  “It is just a fantastic all-court racquet and one of the things we loved instantly was the ‘clunk’ solid sound it makes upon ball strike.”

“The doubles game is getting better.  Teams are improving and strong singles players on tour are starting to learn how to play.  We need to continue to get better and evolve our game and without question we think we have improved since making the racquet switch.  It was important for me to be able to carve out some more angles at net and do more with short balls,” said Mike Bryan.

The switch has proved to be a smart move.  Aside from taking home the year’s first Grand Slam event, the Bryans executed a dramatic end to last season when for the fifth time, they ended the year as the world’s top team by winning the ATP Tour Doubles Finals in London.  They came into that tournament 800 points behind Nestor and  Zimonjic, but in the end, claimed the year-end No.1 ranking.

Even their father, coach Wayne Bryan, echoes Mike and Bob’s feelings about their new frames.  “The Bros. absolutely love them and say it has the best feel of any stick they have every played with – which really is a strong testament and says something special. And, they like the looks of it too. “

The Bryans are just two of more than 50 players on tour, including Nikolay Davydenko, Gael Monfils and Maria Sharapova among others, who are now taking advantage of Prince’s O-technology, a unique series of holes along the frame of the racquet.

More information on the Bryan Brothers, their  EXO3 Ignite Team 95 racquet, and all Prince players and products can be found at www.princetennis.com.

Prince Introduces New Lightspeed Footwear Series to Tennis Players

January 21, 2010Bordentown, NJ, – Prince, a global leader in performance tennis equipment, announces the arrival of Lightspeed footwear for competitive players.  Designed to be lower, lighter and faster, Lightspeed models feature sleek silhouettes on a low-profile platform that keeps a player’s center of gravity low for enhanced balance, agility and responsiveness on the court.  The new shoes, which hit shelves globally beginning in February, debuted Monday at the 2010 Australian Open on the feet of Marcel Granollers, who raced around the court in the new shoes during his five-set, first round upset of No. 8 seed Robin Soderling.

“What a great way to introduce these shoes,” said Steve Davis, VP or Product Development at Prince.  “To have the first player ever to lace these up in a Grand Slam go out and move the way he did and pull off that upset is not a bad start.”

In addition to Granollers, there are seven other men and two women in the 2010 Australian Open main draws who have already converted to Lightspeed.  On the men’s side, in addition to Granollers, fans will see Albert Montanes, Santiago Ventura, Rik DeVoest, Julien Rojer, Martin Damm, Filip Polasek and Johan Brunstrom wearing the Rebel LS.  On the women’s side, Kveta Peschke and Yvonne Meusburger will be sporting the new Poise LS.

“We broke away from the mold of conventional tennis shoe design to give players a lightweight, ultra-responsive match-day shoe,” said Jerome Jackson, Global Product Manager for Footwear at Prince. “We are excited to make Lightspeed footwear available to competitive players around the world.”

A key feature in Lightspeed is its Propulsion Plate – a lightweight chassis built to transfer energy fluidly from the heel to the forefoot, resulting in quicker reaction time, better acceleration, and a sense of being ‘on the balls of your feet’.  In addition, each shoe features an ultra-low profile midsole, giving players a much lower platform for better stability as well as Prince’s Shock Eraser Pro heel insert to deliver maximum impact protection.

Lightspeed will be available in two models – the Rebel LS for men and the Poise LS for women.  Both models will hit shelves in the United States on February 15, 2010.  The Rebel LS will be available in three colorways including Yellow/Black/Silver to ‘hook up’ with the popular EXO3 Rebel 95 racquet, Black/White/Green to ‘hook up’ with the EXO3 Graphite racquet, and White/Navy/Silver for a more traditional colorway.  The Poise LS will be available in White/Silver/Neon and features the same technology platform as the men’s Rebel LS but has a distinct upper design built specifically to appeal to female players.

Lightspeed replaces the O-Series as the new flagship model in Prince’s ‘All-Court’ series -one of the three segments in the Company’s footwear line along with ‘Grinder’ and ‘Traditionalist’.  Models in the ‘All-Court’ series are designed for the all-around player interested in lightweight performance footwear that fits like a glove.

The ‘Grinder’ series, which includes the popular T22 model, is defined by durable, tough footwear capable of holding up to the rigors of extreme lateral stops and starts.

‘Traditionalist’ models are built for players seeing classic looking models with an emphasis on comfort and fit.  Prince’s classic Quiktrac & NFS models can be found here.

Players can ‘Meet the New Speed’ online at www.princetennis.com.

Pricing:
Men’s
Rebel LS – SRP: $110.00US
Women’s
Poise LS – SRP: $105.00US

About Prince Sports, Inc.
Prince Sports, Inc, based in New Jersey, is a company of racquet sports enthusiasts whose goal is to create cutting edge, functional and technically advanced products that deliver performance benefits for avid players.  The Company’s portfolio of brands includes Prince (tennis, squash and badminton), Ektelon (racquetball) and Viking (platform/paddle tennis).   The Company has a history of innovation including inventing the first “oversize” and “long body” racquets, the first “Natural Foot Shape” tennis shoe, the first “synthetic gut” string and the first electronic ball machine.  Today, Prince markets leading technologies in racquets (EXO3), string (Premier LT), footwear (Lightspeed Technology) and apparel (Aerotech).   It has operations on three continents with distribution in over 100 countries. For more information on players, products or programs please visit www.princesports.com.

For more information, product samples/images contact: Chrissy Ott; Prince Sports, Inc.; cott@princesports.com; 609.291.5704

A New Look for Rafa’s Weapon

Boulder, Colorado – January 19, 2010 – Babolat, leading manufacturer of tennis racquets, announces the launch of the new generation of Aero racquets enhanced with Graphite Tungsten (GT) technology. The graphite and tungsten combination improves the racquet’s construction without altering the Aero’s key benefits—spin, power and speed—and reduces torque to give the Aero range maximum stability during ball impact.

Originally designed for champion Rafael Nadal’s (#2 ATP) game, the Babolat Aeropro Drive has quickly become one of the hottest selling racquets in the U.S. and one of Babolat’s best sellers worldwide. The racquet generates a faster swing, more topspin and a great balance of power and control, well suited for Nadal’s game. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (#10 ATP) has recently been won over by the Aeropro Drive model: he will have his first Grand Slam rallies as a part of Team Babolat at the Australian Open (January 18-24), new Aeropro Drive in hand!

RACQUETS DESIGNED “WITH AND FOR CHAMPIONS”
At Babolat, competition remains the best laboratory for testing the products of tomorrow. Over the years, numerous racquets have become weapons for an entire generation of champions. The Aero line is the result of Babolat’s desire to be an “engine” of the game.

The Aeropro Drive is the weapon of choice for Rafael Nadal, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Caroline Wozniacki (#4 WTA), while the Aero Storm is Dinara Safina’s (#2 WTA). Each model in the Aero line is born from the performances of competition players and evolves from their influence, from their advice and from their demands of the game. In order to respond to the expectations of these target players with wide-ranging games, the Aero line offers several racquet models: for each player, his/her own “weapon” (Aeropro Team, Aeropro Lite, etc.)!

A CONCENTRATION OF POWER AND DESIGN
The Aero range integrates not one, but several technologies. GT technology, a hybrid material combining braided carbon and tungsten filaments, reduces torque at impact: hits are therefore more powerful, but also more precise. Next, the Cortex System technology, situated between the handle and the string bed, filters vibrations that interfere with ball feel. The unique Aero frame simulates the aerodynamics of an airplane wing to minimize drag through the air for a faster swing and increased hitting power.

The Aero range design will not disappoint Babolat fans. Surprising, innovative, polished and asymmetrical, the design of the new Aero racquets fully reflects the technology of the products and the spirit of the Babolat brand. The 2010 Aero line also has an all-new look, still keeping the emblematic black and yellow colors.

ABOUT GT TECHNOLOGY: PERFORMANCE BOOSTER
A customized performance booster, GT technology combines braided carbon fibers and tungsten filaments which are integrated throughout the entire racquet. This improves the racquet’s overall construction and strengthens the frame to reduce torque for more precision. Adding tungsten also provides 10% additional energy recovery for even more power. This is all done without altering the racquet’s feel. GT technology can be found in all new Aero models.

The 2010 Aero racquet range –
Available in tennis pro and specialty stores February 16th 2010

Aeropro Drive and Aeropro Drive
For the baseline heavy hitter looking for power and spin
Racquet of choice for Rafael Nadal, Jo-Wilfreid Tsonga and Caroline Wozniacki
String pattern: 16 x 19
Head size: 100 sq. in.
Weight: 10.6 oz. (unstrung)
Balance point: 7 pts. HL
Stiffness: 72 ra
Length: 27 in.
Suggested retail price (unstrung): $189.00

Aeropro Team
For baseline players with heavy lift game looking for more maneuverability with power and spin
String pattern: 16 x 19
Head size: 100 sq. in.
Weight: 9.9 oz. (unstrung)
Balance point: 4 pts. HL
Stiffness: 72 ra
Length: 27 in.
Suggested retail price (unstrung): $185.00

Aeropro Lite
For ladies and high-level juniors looking for an extremely lightweight racquet with spin
String pattern: 16 x 19
Head size: 100 sq. in.
Weight: 9.2 oz. (unstrung)
Balance point: 1 pt. HL
Stiffness: 73 ra
Length: 27 in.
Suggested retail price (unstrung): $179.00

Aero Storm
For well-rounded players with a full swing looking for control
Racquet of choice for Dinara Safina
String pattern: 16 x 20
Head size: 98 sq. in.
Weight: 10.6 oz. (unstrung)
Balance point: 7 pts. HL
Stiffness: 72 ra
Length: 27 in.
Suggested retail price (unstrung): $185.00

Aero Storm Tour
For well-rounded players with a full swing looking for extra control
String pattern: 16 x 20Head size: 98 sq. in.
Weight: 11.3 oz. (unstrung)
Balance point: 10 pts. HL
Stiffness: 72 ra
Length: 27 in.
Suggested retail price (unstrung): $185.00

Aeropro Drive Junior

For junior competitors ages 9-12
Head size: 100 sq. in.
Weight: 8.6 oz.
Stiffness: 67 ra
Length: 26 in.
Suggested retail price (strung): $104.00

Nadal Junior
For children ages 4-13
Suggested retail price (strung) starting at: $24.95
5 models for 5 child sizes/heights: 19, 21, 23, 25, and 26 in.

ABOUT BABOLAT
Founded in Lyon, France, in 1875, Babolat is the first company to have specialized in racquet sports and the world leader in the production of natural gut strings. Easily recognized by its trademark “double-line” (two stripes on the racquet frame and black on the stringing bed), Babolat is still family-owned. Today, with U.S. operations in Boulder, Colorado, the company also manufactures synthetic strings, shoes, accessories and a best-selling line of racquets. Babolat equips 20% of the top 100 players in the ATP and WTA including Rafael Nadal (SPAIN, #2 ATP), Andy Roddick (USA, #7 ATP) and Dinara Safina (RUSSIA, #2 WTA). To find out where Babolat products are sold, log on to www.babolat.com or call  (877) 316-9435.
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Amélie Company Contacts: Annie Coghill or Robin Ashmore, (303) 832-2700

Nikolay Davydenko Looking to Capture First Career Grand Slam Title in 2010

January 18, 2010Bordentown, NJ, - After a sensational past few months, including the biggest title of his career at the ATP World Tour Finals in London, the oft-overlooked Nikolay Davydenko has forced tennis fans and media around the world to sit up and take serious notice.  Constantly competing against tennis’ more marquee names, the 28 year-old Russian has been a fixture in the ATP top 10 the past three years and, in recent months, has consistently knocked off the best players in the world – beating both the world’s No. 1 and No. 2 ranked players in the same tournament, on two separate occasions (London and Doha).   In the process Davydenko has grown a strong underground legion of fans and now, on the eve of his first round match at the 2010 Australian Open, has his eyes set on capturing his first career Grand Slam title this year.

“I am competing very well and feel like I belong and can challenge any other player on tour.  I hope to continue to play at a high level will continue to work for every ball, every point.”

Davydenko, the No. 6 seed in Melbourne has also been very vocal in crediting his racquet for much of his on court success. He was one of the first players on tour to adopt O-technology – a visible racquet technology built around a unique “hole” system along the hoop of the frame proven to increase aerodynamics and enlarge the hitting zone on the strings.  Davydenko has continually sung the praises of the technology and his racquets making it clear that, for him, there is no other choice.

“I don’t make it a secret that I love this racquet,” says Davydenko. “I have tried other racquets and to me nothing compares to Prince. The feel is special.”

“According to Helge Capell, Global Tour Manager for Prince and the person responsible for providing Nikolay with his racquets, “Nikolay is very in tune with his equipment. He was one of the first players on tour to switch to O-tech in 2005 and knew when he picked up the Ozone Pro Tour model in 2008 that the denser pattern would give him added control.  He has not looked back and has quietly put together an incredible few years.  Players are very aware of what O-technology has done to raise the rankings of their peers. We have a special, visible technology here, Nikolay realizes it, as do a growing number of tour and club-level players around the world.”

In fact, after his title run at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami in 2008, only a few days after picking up the Ozone Pro Tour, Davydenko said to on-court interviewer Mary Joe Fernandez that he wanted to “keep this racquet forever.”

Nikolay is also acutely aware that he has not amassed the wide-reaching notoriety of some of the other top 10 players on the men’s tour, but has slowly gained a loyal and strong underground following of fans who appreciate his hard nose playing style, heart and determination on tour – week in and week out.  As Davydenko puts it, “I am not Federer or Nadal, but lot of fans now come to me and tell me that I am their favorite. I don’t know, maybe they respect how hard I play and how much I work.”

As his official racquet sponsor, Prince will continue to provide Nikolay with his racquets through 2010, will work with him on new product development and utilize him in a variety of its on and off-line marketing functions. While not officially under contract with the brand last year, (though he continued to use and praise the product) after reaching the end of a long-term three-year deal, an agreement has been renewed for 2010.

“Nikolay is the perfect example of a player who truly stands by his racquet and we are proud to have him represent the brand and our racquet technology – especially during our fortieth anniversary year,” said Gordon Boggis, President and COO of Prince Sports, Inc.  His clear affinity for O-technology is not an anomaly.  We continually hear from players at every single level of the game who, once they make the leap and spend time playing these racquets, simply can’t go back to using anything else.  We are happy Nikolay is so comfortable with our frames and our team and wish him all the best in 2010.”

For more information on Nikolay Davydenko, including personal stats and detailed information on his Ozone Pro Tour racquet, log on to www.princetennis.com.

About Prince Sports, Inc.
Prince Sports, Inc, based in New Jersey, is a company of racquet sports enthusiasts whose goal is to create cutting edge, functional and technically advanced products that deliver performance benefits for avid players.  The Company’s portfolio of brands includes Prince (tennis, squash and badminton), Ektelon (racquetball) and Viking (platform/paddle tennis).   The Company has a history of innovation including inventing the first “oversize” and “longbody” racquets, the first “Natural Foot Shape” tennis shoe, the first “synthetic gut” string and the first electronic ball machine.  Today, Prince markets leading technologies in racquets (EXO3), string (Recoil), footwear (Precision Tube Technology) and apparel (Aerotech).   It has operations on three continents with distribution in over 100 countries. For more information on players, products or programs please visit www.princesports.com.

Contact: Zach Perles; Prince Sports, Inc. zperles@princesports.com 609.291.5932

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GETTING TO KNOW NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO:
•        Born in the Ukraine on June 2, 1981
•        Began playing tennis at 7 years
•        Racquet: Prince Ozone Pro Tour
•        Favorite players growing up were Ivan Lendl and Yannick Noah
•        Married his wife Irina in 2006
•        Coached by his older brother Eduard
•        Made his ATP debut at Amsterdam in 1999 – reaching the semi-finals
•        Made his Grand Slam debut in Melbourne in 2001 reaching second round before losing to then world No. 1 Pat Rafter
•        Favorite surface to play on is clay despite his two biggest career titles coming on hard courts
•        When not playing tennis, he enjoys fishing, soccer/futbol and ice hockey
•        20 ATP Tour titles – Australian Open would be his first career Grand Slam title
•        Was one of the first players on tour to play a racquet with O-technology in 2006

TIA Tennis Forum Reviews Industry, Sets Path for Future

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (Sept. 24, 2009) — The third annual Tennis Industry Association Tennis Forum, presented by Tennis Magazine, took place in New York City during the US Open and brought together industry leaders and many others interested in the future of the tennis business. The audience heard about the state of the industry, various TIA and Growing Tennis initiatives, and plans for moving the sport and industry forward.

USTA Chairman of the Board and President Lucy Garvin led off the Forum, which was held during the USTA’s annual Tennis Teachers Conference. “The TIA and USTA have a long history of working together,” she told the crowd. “While we all have our own brand which we represent, what brings us together is our shared brand, which is tennis.”

TIA President Jon Muir said that while the Tennis Health Index (a composite of five key measures) shows that the health of the sport has increased 18.1 percent in the U.S. over the last five years, the sport is still facing many economic challenges. “The general feeling is that we kind of bottomed out in the third quarter [2009] in terms of racquet shipments,” he said. “Are consumers essentially delaying certain discretionary purchases? Yes.”

Tennis ball sales, said Muir, are now trending relatively flat. However, sales of transition tennis balls are up 63 percent over a year ago. “We’re starting to see the impact in sales and distribution of QuickStart Tennis products”—which are age-appropriate racquets and balls for children.

Muir referred to recent, continued increases in tennis participation: “What else can we do to build on the momentum from a participation standpoint?” he said. “Frequent players are the ones that fuel the majority of the economic drivers of this industry. If we could get 1 million people—a 20 percent increase in frequent players—to become frequent players, it will have a huge impact.”

Addressing frequent-player growth is the subject of one of the three ongoing Task Forces that came out of two TIA “Tennis Summits” held earlier this year, Muir said. Other Task Forces deal with communication/positioning (“We need to be clear on defining a roadmap for the future and clear communication,” said Muir) and economic benchmarks (“It’s hard to grow something you can’t measure”).

Key in the communication/positioning area is the promotion of the website PlayTennis.com, a new consumer site still under development. The website is designed to be a simple portal that will serve as a central “clearing house” for the mainstream audience to learn more about tennis, to join the sport, and to get on the pathway to becoming frequent players. “PlayTennis.com will be the first step,” said Muir. “We’ll get key messaging out there through this site. It’s a wonderful opportunity for all stakeholders to get behind.”

TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer talked about key industry initiatives such as the GrowingTennis System (www.GrowingTennis.com) and new features and interfaces that are helping consumers and players find places to play, programs, partners and retailers. She also updated the audience on the “Racket Up, America!” promotion (www.PlayTennis.com/million), which ends Sept. 30 and is designed to drive awareness of the sport and help retail sales.

Kurt Kamperman, the USTA’s chief executive of Community Tennis, gave an update on QuickStart Tennis, designed for kids 10 and under. “Training is big,” he said. “We have to be training 20,000 parents a year” in QST, emphasizing that the training is not designed to take over from certified teaching pros. Currently, there are more than 17,000 recreational coaches and parents trained in the QuickStart Tennis format.

“The biggest challenge,” said Kamperman, “is that there’s not enough organized play and competition” on QuickStart courts. He added that there needs to be a sound progression that will lead to Jr. Team Tennis and tournaments on the shorter QST courts.

About 1,300 QuickStart Tennis facilities are registered on GrowingTennis.com. More than 400 permanent QST courts or courts with permanent QST lines have been installed in the U.S. in the past two years. And starting next year, WalMart will carry transition balls that are used in QST.

The last part of the Forum was the induction of Alan G. Schwartz of Highland Park, Ill., into the Tennis Industry Hall of Fame. As an avid player, club owner, founder of Tennis Corporation of America, volunteer, former USTA president and more, “Alan stands alone as a titan of our sport,” said Jeff Williams, Tennis Magazine publisher and chairman of the TIA’s Tennis Industry Hall of Fame Committee.

“Twenty years ago, [the TIA and USTA] were not a united family, but because of the efforts of Alan and others, bridges have been built that have brought us together,” Williams said in his introduction. “Few people in the history of the tennis business have had the influence and prolific presence that Alan has had in his more than 40 years in this industry.”

The audience gave Schwartz a standing ovation as he received a plaque. “I love tennis. I love the sport. I love this industry and I love being a contributor,” said Schwartz. “You have my promise that I will continue with undiminished passion to give back to this game I love so much.”

#     #    #

The Tennis Industry Association, the not-for-profit trade association for tennis, is THE unifying force in the tennis industry whose mission is to promote the growth and economic vitality of tennis by working closely with the U.S. Tennis Association and industry partners to develop and implement initiatives to increase tennis participation. Core TIA activities include TIA/USTA Tennis Health Index, Consumer and Trade Research, GrowingTennis System™ including Tennis Welcome Centers, Cardio Tennis, 50-50 Co-op Program, QuickStart Tennis and TennisConnect.org. For more information, visit TennisIndustry.org or GrowingTennis.com or call the TIA at 866-686-3036 or email info@tennisindustry.org.

NEW BALANCE OFFERS NEW SUPPORTIVE TENNIS SHOE FOR SPRING 2009

BOSTON, August 2008- Boston-based New Balance expands its tennis collection with a new performance shoe that incorporates superior cushioning with stability for a lightweight, supportive ride. The 1004 will launch this February 2009 and retail for $115.00.

The CT/WCT1004 is a supportive cushioning tennis shoe that provides a stable and comfortable ride for the avid tennis player. ABZORB® SBS resists compression and offers durable cushioning, keeping feet comfortable and supported. The S-Curve™ stability system supports the foot during quick movements on the courts. The 1004 features a LockDown Liner™ to ensure a secure, custom fit around the midfoot. A LIGHTNING DRY synthetic and mesh upper wicks away moisture to keep feet dry and cool during even the longest matches. An Extended Web™ offers structured support and stability, while the Ndurance outsole features a Herringbone pattern for ultimate traction and durability in high wear areas.

About New Balance
New Balance, headquartered in Boston, MA has the following mission: Demonstrating responsible leadership, we build global brands that athletes are proud to wear, associates are proud to create and communities are proud to host. New Balance employs more than 2,800 people around the globe, and in 2007 reported worldwide sales of $1.63 billion. For more information please visit http://www.newbalance.com.

Recreational Tennis Players Increasingly Disillusioned with High-Tech Strings

Ashaway, RI — Perhaps it’s a function of the aging demographic in the recreational tennis market, or a function of the economic downturn, or perhaps it’s a combination of both, but according to Steve Crandall of Ashaway Racket Strings, players seem disenchanted with today’s high-tech, high-end strings, and are increasingly turning to softer playing, more economical alternatives. And Steve Crandall should know: Ashaway is the only US maker of racket strings and has been providing string to tennis players of all stripes for nearly three quarters of a century.

“High-end polyester monofilament strings–we call them ‘gut on steroids’–are designed for hard-hitting, high-end players,” said Crandall, “not normal, everyday players. Most recreational players don’t hit the ball hard enough to benefit from them. But people read how the pros use these fancy strings and want to try them. Then they find that for their game, they’re not worth the added cost. Now–and we’re seeing this in our sales figures–they’re turning back to more traditional multifilament and synthetic gut strings which offer a good combination of performance, economy and durability.”

Traditional multifilament and synthetic gut strings play softer than the stiffer, high-tech monofilaments, which can be a benefit for no-longer-quite-so-young players, Crandall added. “None of us like to admit it,” he said, “but we feel it more after a good hard round on the court, especially in our joints. A softer playing multifilament or nylon string can significantly reduce impact shock on our arms and shoulders. That way, we can still look good without the tennis elbow!”

But the economy may also play a role in string choice. “In my experience, people don’t stop playing during hard times,” Crandall said. “In fact, they may even tend to play more, especially if they’ve been laid off. They need to keep active, stay in shape, reduce stress. But they may put off buying big ticket items: instead of buying a new racquet, they’ll buy a new grip, or they’ll keep wearing their old shoes longer than they might otherwise. And while they will still do the necessary things like restring their racquets, they may opt for a less expensive brand of string or look for a more durable string.”

Two beneficiaries of this back-to-basics trend are Ashaway’s Synthetic Gut and Liberty® brands. Synthetic Gut is a classic nylon polymer monofilament available in both 16 and 17 gauge–the 17 gauge being a bit more responsive–that offers excellent resilience with above average durability for players of all styles and skill levels. The string is very economical and includes a wear layer to resist notching, but the reason for its recent rise in popularity may be that it plays more softly than other synthetic guts and is less likely to jar elbows and wrists. Ashaway recommends stringing Synthetic Gut 16 at up to 70 lbs (32 kgs) and their 17 up to 60 lbs (27.5 kgs) for optimum playability.

Ashaway’s Liberty has been a favorite with US players for over 25 years. Also nylon, but using a multi stranded monofilament construction, Liberty offers the best value-to-performance ratio of any string on the market. Available in both L15 and 16 gauge configurations, Liberty gets high marks for both durability and playability. Designed for all playing styles, the 16 gauge version edges towards better performance, while the L15 gauge optimizes durability. Both are available in a variety of colors and can be strung up to 70 lbs (32 kgs).

Ashaway Racket Strings are made by Ashaway Line & Twine Mfg. Co., the only U.S. manufacturer of string for squash, tennis, racquetball, and badminton. Operated by the Crandall family since 1824, Ashaway has been making racquet strings since 1949, and is responsible for several important technical innovations. Ashaway is the Official String of USA Racquetball and the Women’s International Squash Players Association. Ashaway Line & Twine Mfg. Co. also makes braided products for medical and industrial applications.

For additional product information, contact:
Ashaway Line & Twine Mfg. Co.
PO Box 549
Ashaway, RI 02804 USA
Tel: (800) 556-7260 (U.S. only) or +1 (401) 377-2221
Fax: +1 (401) 377-9091
Email: sales@ashawayusa.com
Website: http://www.ashawayusa.com

Photo << ASH_Liberty_SyntheticGut.jpg >>
Two beneficiaries of this back-to-basics trend are Ashaway’s Synthetic Gut and Liberty® brands. Synthetic Gut is a classic nylon polymer monofilament available in both 16 and 17 gauge–the 17 gauge being a bit more responsive–that offers excellent resilience with above average durability for players of all styles and skill levels. Ashaway’s Liberty has been a favorite with US players for over 25 years and offers the best value-to-performance ratio of any string on the market.

ref: ASH8314.0509

The Babolat Pure Drive Racquet: the story continues…again!

Boulder, Colorado – August 11, 2009 – Babolat, leading manufacturer of tennis racquets, announces a line extension of the new generation of Babolat Pure Drive tennis racquets – the brand new Pure Drive Lite and the enhanced Pure Drive 107. As powerful and maneuverable as ever, the new Pure Drive racquets have been enhanced with Babolat’s exclusive GT Technology with Graphite Tungsten bringing a performance boost to the game.

Babolat launched the newest generation of the Pure Drive racquets in May 2009. Andy Roddick has been enjoying phenomenal success with his new signature Pure Drive  racquet, the Pure Drive Roddick, and Kim Clijsters is set to make her comeback with the new Pure Drive flagship model.

The Pure Drive Lite is one of two new racquets that complete the Pure Drive range. This brand new model is designed for expert/advanced players with a medium to full swing.

The new Pure Drive 107 has better balance than the previous model and is also lighter and stiffer. The perfect balance between power and precision remains the same throughout all Pure Drive models.

GT Technology
GT technology is a customized performance booster with a hybrid material that combines braided carbon fibers and tungsten filaments, which is integrated throughout  the entire racquet. This improves the racquet’s overall construction and strengthens the  frame to reduce torque for more precision. Adding tungsten also provides 10%
additional energy recovery for even more power. This is all done without altering the racquet’s feel. GT Technology can be found in all the new Pure Drive Models.
“Tungsten’s robust, physical properties make it ideal for use in industries like sporting goods and even aerospace,” said Folco Canonico, International Product Group Manager. “In the new Pure Drive, Tungsten is combined with layers of graphite resulting  in improved frame construction. The technology acts as a performance booster.”

The Pure Drive has enjoyed success on the courts as well as commercial success with close to 1.5 million units sold in more than 120 countries since its debut. Number one in sales for tennis specialty stores in the US, the Pure Drive has been  named the “Racquet of the Decade” by TENNIS magazine.

The 2009 Pure Drive racquet range extension
Available in tennis pro and specialty stores August 18, 2009.

Pure Drive Lite
For expert and advanced players with a medium to full swing
Head size: 100 sq. in
Weight: 9.7 oz. (unstrung)
Balance point: 7 pts. HL
Length: 27 in.
Technologies: GT, Cortex, Woofer
Suggested retail price (unstrung): $185.00

Pure Drive 107
For the advanced player with a medium to full swing
Head size: 107 sq. in.
Weight: 9.9 oz. (unstrung)
Balance point: 5 pts. HL
Length: 27.2 in.
Technologies: GT, Cortex, Woofer
Suggested retail price (unstrung): $185.00

ABOUT BABOLAT

Founded in Lyon, France, in 1875, Babolat is the first company to have specialized in racquet sports and the world leader in the production of natural gut strings. Easily recognized by its trademark “double-line” (two stripes on the racquet frame and black on the stringing bed), Babolat is still family-owned. Today, with U.S. operations in Boulder,
Colorado, the company also manufactures synthetic strings, shoes, accessories and a best-selling line of racquets. Babolat equips 20% of the top 100 players in the ATP and WTA including Rafael Nadal (Spain, #2 ATP), Andy Roddick (USA, #5 ATP) and Dinara  Safina (RUSSIA, #1 WTA). To find out where Babolat products are sold, log on to
www.babolat.com or call (877) 316-9435.

Babolat Enhances Pure Storm Line with exclusive GT Technology

Boulder, Colorado – August 11, 2009 – Babolat, leading manufacturer of tennis racquets,
announces that the Babolat Pure Storm line has been enhanced with GT Technology. The Pure
Storm tennis racquets offer total control through accuracy and stability and now have an added
performance boost with the addition of Babolat’s exclusive GT Technology.

Babolat first launched the Pure Storm line in 2007 and Team Babolat player Fernando Gonzalez
(#11 ATP) has experienced tremendous success using the Pure Storm Tour+ model. Gonzalez
says that his Pure Storm has provided him with the control and power he needs for good
results.

Adding the GT Technology to the Pure Storm gives the racquets more responsiveness, power
and 100% more energy restitution. This comes from the tungsten in the yoke. Control, stiffness
and feel remain the same from the distribution of carbon and tungsten. The Pure Storm
racquets also include Babolat’s Woofer System, the first technology on the market linking the
frame and strings to provide more control and feel.

GT Technology

GT technology is a customized performance booster with a hybrid material that combines
braided carbon fibers and tungsten filaments, which is integrated throughout the entire racquet.
This improves the racquet’s overall construction and strengthens the frame to reduce torque for
more precision. Adding tungsten also provides 10% additional energy recovery for even more
power. This is all done without altering the racquet’s feel. GT Technology can be found in all
new Pure Storm models.

Babolat is also launching a new co-polymer polyester monofilament string perfectly suited for
the Pure Storm. Revenge string complements the control of the Pure Storm with power and
spin.

The new 2009 Pure Storm Range
Available in tennis pro and specialty stores August 18, 2009.
Pure Storm Tour and Pure Storm Tour +
For the expert player with a full swing
Head size: 98 sq. in.
Weight: 11.3 oz. (unstrung)
Balance point: 10 pts. HL
Length: 27 in./ 27.5 in.
Technologies: GT, Woofer
Suggested retail price (unstrung): $179.00

Pure Storm
For the expert player with a medium to full swing
Head size: 98 sq. in.
Weight: 10.4 oz. (unstrung)
Balance point: 6 pts. HL
Length: 27 in.
Technologies: GT, Woofer
Suggested retail price (unstrung): $179.00

Pure Storm Limited
For the expert player with a full swing
Head size: 95 sq. in.
Weight: 11.3 oz. (unstrung)
Balance point: 12 pts. HL
Length: 27 in.
Technologies: GT, Woofer
Suggested retail price (unstrung): $179

ABOUT BABOLAT
Founded in Lyon, France, in 1875, Babolat is the first company to have specialized in racquet
sports and the world leader in the production of natural gut strings. Easily recognized by its
trademark “double-line” (two stripes on the racquet frame and black on the stringing bed),
Babolat is still family-owned. Today, with U.S. operations in Boulder, Colorado, the company
also manufactures synthetic strings, shoes, accessories and a best-selling line of racquets.
Babolat equips 20% of the top 100 players in the ATP and WTA including Rafael Nadal (Spain,
#2 ATP), Andy Roddick (USA, #5 ATP) and Dinara Safina (RUSSIA, #1 WTA). To find out
where Babolat products are sold, log on to www.babolat.com or call (877) 316-9435.