Djokovic’s Choice Of Racquet Is The Perfect Stocking Stuffer For Your Tennis Player

Novak Djokovic really improved his game this year and become the World’s No. 1 Player.

How did he do it you might ask. Practice? Conditioning?

Why play with a new and improved racquet, of course.

Djokovic played 2011 with the second generation HEAD YouTek Speed racquet in his hand. Something that may have helped give him the edge.

“The name is Speed, and the racquet gives me a lot of speed in this aggressive game,” Djokovic said. We have been working hard on the racquet in order to improve it as much as possible.”

HEAD’s YouTek™ concept aims to provide tennis players with the perfect racquets for their individual game. The new YouTek™ IG Speed is specially designed for the needs of players like Novak Djokovic. Innegra™ promises to bring racquet innovation to another level. Extremely tough and light, Innegra™ has the lowest density of any existing fiber and, combined with carbon fiber, forms an ultra-tough hybrid-composite structure. The result: improved stability and increased shock absorption. Racquet vibration from ball impact is reduced by up to 17 percent, yielding unmatched control and precision.

There are five different YouTek 300 racquets out on the market for various types of performance.

YouTek IG Speed MP: The Speed MP is the perfect combination of power and control for heavy hitters with a long fast swing style. It is available in three models, accommodating a wide range of players. You’ll never want to put this racquet down!

– YouTek IG Speed MP 18/20 ($199.95): The MP 18/20 is Novak Djokovic’s Weapon of Choice

– YouTek IG Speed MP 16/19 ($199.95): The MP 16/19 has a more open string pattern and a slightly longer length for added reach.

– YouTek IG Speed 300 ($199.95): The MP 300 is a slightly more powerful version with added maneuverability

YouTek IG Speed Elite ($189.95): A Tour Light version providing complete tour performance with greater maneuverability. The slightly wider beam gives it even more power.

YouTek IG Speed Lite ($189.95): This is the lightest racquet in the Speed series. A great tweener providing the perfect combination of power, manoeuvrability, control and feel. It’s the excellent tour racquet for players with a moderate swing style.

The racquets are available at all major retail locations. Pick one up for your tennis pro.

For more information visit www.head.com/tennis.

Roddick Moves Right Along

(August 30, 2010) He has supplanted the spiky hairstyle that once burst from beneath the backward baseball cap like an unruly chia pet escaping from its base with a more conservative style and while he can still rock the radar gun at will, Andy Roddick is more of a measured purpose pitcher on serve now. The 2003 US Open champion may be getting older but he still knows how to throw a birthday bash on court.

Roddick celebrated his 28th birthday and 11th consecutive US Open in style today, rolling to a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 thrashing of 30-year-old Stephane Robert on Arthur Ashe Stadium court.

It’s been seven years since Roddick dispatched David Nalbandian and Juan Carlos Ferrero in succession to capture his lone major title in Flushing Meadows. He joins Roger Federer and Lleyton Hewitt as the lone former champions in the field.

Roddick says he doesn’t dwell on age but each passing birthday is a reminder he’s closer to the finish line.

“I don’t really think about it, because it makes no difference what I think about it.  It’s like you go out there and give the best of what you got on that day,” Roddick said. “You wake up in the morning and you put what you can into that single day.  Obviously I know I’m probably closer to finished than I am to the start.  But I don’t know.  It’s a number.  I’m barely older than I was yesterday.”

The two-time US Open finalist played some of the best tennis of his career in reaching successive Masters 1000 finals in Indian Wells and Miami last spring. He asserted an aggressive game plan in defeating Rafael Nadal in the semis before downsizing the big-hitting Tomas Berdych in the Sony Ericsson Open final.

Though Roddick has won two titles this year and leads the ATP Tour in hard-court wins with a 34-7 record, he hasn’t elbowed his way into contender conversations that revolve primarily around five-time champion Roger Federer, Nadal and 2008 finalist Andy Murray and Roddick seems to enjoy flying under the radar a bit.

Roddick says he feels he’s recovered from the mild case of mononucleosis that prompted him to withdraw from the Rogers Cup in Toronto and is coming off a semifinal effort in Cincinnati where he served for a spot in the final before losing his serve and his grip on the match in succumbing to good friend Mardy Fish.

“It’s going the right way.  To be honest, once you decide to play, I think you throw all the excuses and everything else out the window,” Roddick said. “If I decide to play, then it’s up to me to give 100 percent of what I have.  So it’s not something I really want to discuss too much from this point forward.  It’s something that’s there.  You know, I’m not going to analyze it every day. It’s not perfect, but it’s fine.  You know, it’s going the right way.”

Roddick and wife Brooklyn Decker own an apartment in the Grammercy Park area and the man who consistently delivers candor in his post-match press conferences has an affinity for  the direct approach of New Yorkers.

Asked if he feels like a New Yorker, Roddick replied: “I certainly pay enough taxes for it.”

“I mean, it is nice having a place here and having a kind of quasi home,” Roddick added. “I always feel comfortable here in New York even when I didn’t have a place.  I stayed at the same hotel and everything for years and years and years and years, so I don’t mind New York. People tell you what they think, and I’ve always kind of appreciated that.”

Rich Pagliaro is the editor of TennisNow.com.