Category Archives: Perspectives

5 Creative Christmas gifts for the avid tennis player in 2014-2015

If you are anything like me then Christmas is a time to update your tennis wardrobe and find the next new thing thing that can take your game to the next level.  There are plenty of options out there this year and here are just a few!!

1. Velocity by Athla is an app that can turn an iPhone into a speed radar detector. T0ishe $7 app calculates the speed of a ball flying through the air using just the camera. Warning, this app can only calculate speed for up to 110 mph so if you’re like me it’s just going to say 110mph+ and not give you your real speed for that cannon serve (Mine is only 115mpg but still)

tennis speed app christmas gift2. How about reducing injuries this holiday season with a racquet that is diagonally string vs horizontal and vertical?

powerangle diagonally strung tennis racket

powerangle diagonally strung tennis racket

According to PowerAngle’s own antiquated website their $179 racquet absorbs shock 40 percent better than any previously designed traditional racquet. The racquet’s unique stringing does this by cutting down on excess vibrations and stress, which protects the muscles and joints of a player’s shoulders, arms, elbows, and wrists. The diagonal strings are able to reduce the vibrations felt by the ball, while simultaneously dispersing the impact away from the handle, where a player is most likely to feel the impact.

Doctors and tennis players alike have been endorsing PowerAngle racquets, noting its ability to lessen the stress of impact during play, while simultaneously creating a great sense of control.

3. Technology and a competitive edge are the themes of H&M’s new tennis collection, made in collaboration with Tomas Berdych, who helped release this new heat reactive tennis t-shirt that is only $24.95.

heat activated tennis shirt christmas gift4. The Zepp Tennis sqing analyzer turns ANY racket into a high end feedback device for $149.99.   Measure the most important aspects of your swing, then analyze and improve each one. Zepp offers an incredible set of 3D and video analysis features that give you instant feedback. You can even compare your swing to the pros.

tennis swing analyzer app5. Last but not least, Ralph Lauren’s tech-infused tennis shirt (which monitors heart rate, breathing and stress levels) were said to be coming out this year but has been pushed to 2015. The form-fitting nylon t-shirt sporting a Ralph Lauren logo up front doesn’t look too different when compared to a conventional t-shirt. However what many will miss is the conductive silver-coated thread that has been woven discreetly into the fiber. Price: Unknown

ralph lauren tennis tech shirt heart rateDid we miss anything you think would have been good for this list, would love to hear your feedback on what item you want this year!!


Tennis Tantrum by David Nalbandian saddens me and injures lineman

I first saw David Nalbandian play in person at the US Open back in 2008 I believe.  I will never forget when he missed a key point to lose the set and bit into the collar of his shirt and ripped it off and threw it on the ground.  Before he did this I was thinking how surprised I was that he wasn’t ranked higher, he played with the skill set of the top 5 BUT his lack of self control caused his mental game to fall apart after that where he went on to lose a match that I thought he was sure to win.

David Nalbandian injures linesman final

David Nalbandian injures linesman final – Queens Club London, England. This is the warm up for the 2012 Wimbledon.

We’ve all heard of players that went through phases of temper tantrums in their youth that learned how to control it with the help of great coaches. Then there were legendary players that were known for their tantrums like John McEnroe.  I believe his conduct actually helped ticket sales since you never knew what he was going to do out there on the court or what would slip out of his mouth.  With most players you can expect certain things:

  • Maria Sharapova will scream like a little girl every shot.
  • Sharapova also does not step on the lines between points, she’s superstitious.
  • Djokovic will bounce the ball at least 8x before he serves it
  • Nadal’s constant de-wedgifying of his butt crack

Nalbandian was leading 7-6, 3-4 at the time but was forced to default the match, forfeiting his prize money and rankings points in the process. He definately is a hot head and will be back at Wimbledon next week unless the British police put him in prison for longer than that.

Watch the video of this stupid act below:

Why do people love to watch Tennis?

Tennis is a game which I’ve always enjoyed watching. The four most famous championships are the Wimbledon Championships, the Australian Open, the French Open and the US Open. We all love watching heroes battle it out on the court with skill that we could never imagine to have.  They are the most important when it comes to tradition, world ranking, public attention and prize money.

People faithfully watch tennis in spite of the summer heat during Australian Open where it is held on grass courts in Melbourne Park or during occasional rain showers in Wimbledon Open. Sometimes however, a drizzle would postpone a game like what happened in the US Open last September 2011. Those who cannot afford to buy tickets to watch these tournaments are glued in their televisions at home just to be able to witness these sports events.

So, why do people watch tennis? It is a fast-paced game where the tennis ball is being volleyed back and forth with tennis racket. Some tennis players have made themselves famous with their acrobatic moves just to be able to send the tennis ball off to their opponent which make the crowd cheer for more and for their opponent be taken in surprise. A bit of drama also surfaces in some tournaments where fans would bicker insults to the players that they dislike or would run in the court just to be able to kiss their favorite tennis player. But the most important event is the real drama on who will emerge as the winner in the championship in the singles event. It showcases the frustration and disappointment of the player who lost and the triumph and glory of the one who won.

Golf and tennis seem to be closely related

So much of the worl believes that once you get a membership at a country club you must love to do the following:

  • Leave work early on Friday and play 18 holes of golf
  • Gamble against your golfing buddies with a minimum wager of $50 on anything you can think of.
  • Use the club pool to do laps each morning for a refreshing workout
  • Meet at the club for a guys night out and drink crown and coke telling old stories of what you did in your yonger days.
  • Play tennis OR at least get lessons from the local young woman tennis coach who wears the short little skirts everyday.

I just want to clear up a few things.  In the past I worked for a large golf retailer and have played tennis since I was young kid.  I feel the need to clarify a few things. Golf and tennis players are a COMPLETELY different breed.

Golfers & Tennis Players show anger differently

Golfers & Tennis Players show anger differently

  • Tennis players actually sweat from running around on the court and enjoy the sport for both the technique and physical fitness aspect.
  • You WILL NOT see an amazing tennis player that is OUT OF SHAPE.  You often see really good golfers that look like they were rolled out of a local buffet joint.
  • Golf does take a high level of skill.  In tennis I can hit a ball within 6 inches of my target 25 feet away and it’s perfect. In golf you can use any of the golf putters and only be 10 feet away and miss the target by 3 inches and look like a complete idiot.

I will be honest, from my personal involvement in both sports I would say golfers drink a WHOLE lot more on average than tennis players. Tennis players drink alot more water. Golfers believe more in the technology of their equipment to make a difference more than tennis players. Often golfers will buy new golf drivers each year hoping for a few more yards in distance.  Tennis Players on the other hand often have a racket for 5-7 years because the stick works for them.  Of course, we mess with our string often BUT that is much cheaper than buying a whole new racquet. Cleveland Golf does a good job of keeping the upgrade costs to a minimum in golf unlike some other brands.

What do you think the biggest differences are between the two sports?  Do you play both?  I have to be honest, I prefer tennis….. of course you probably knew that….. this is a tennis blog 🙂

Golf and tennis just go together

If you play tennis, I’m sure you’ve got some friends playing golf too.  Many of my golfers have been talking about how good Srixon has been at improving their balls over the years.

Many golf companies make golf balls, but many cannot match the quality of Srixon golf balls. Srixon does not just list their golf balls as “premium,” they actually are. The company offers three different families of balls – Tour, Premium Distance, and All-Ability. Each family of golf balls is meant to perform a separate task. The Tour balls are designed to have the best spin and acceleration. Premium Distance are best for using on the first shot to gain the most distance.

After experimenting with different types of golf balls, Srixon was definitely a quality ball, and they lived up to the expectations. The ZSTAR XV Tour series in the Tour family impressed me most. At only $44.99, these balls blew me away. On Srixon’s website, they said that the ZSTAR XV Tour can be compared with the Titleist Pro V1X, Nike One Tour D, Callaway HX Tour, Bridgestone Tour B330, and TaylorMade TP Black. I found that the ZSTAR XV Tour adequately compared with all of those models. Besides the premium selection of balls, Srixon also offers cheaper models. In the All-Ability category, Srixon offers the AD333 balls for $24.99 for two dozen. The premium golf balls, the AD333, are the number one balls in the United Kingdom. It has a high launch angle and penetrating trajectory for greater distance.

All in all, I really enjoy Srixon’s golf balls. They compare to all of the top brands and the prices are quite fair. I definitely suggest one of the three tour yellow golf balls or the All-Ability at the very least. The prices beat some other manufacturers $70+ range and definitely match the quality.

Drinking and tennis don’t mix

Wofford College tennis player Randall Heffron died of inhaling food he had vomited after a heavy night of drinking, the Spartanburg County coroner confirmed on Thursday afternoon.


Spartanburg County Coroner Rusty Clevenger said alcohol did not kill Heffron, 20, who died at 1:11 a.m. Sept. 10 at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center.  The nurses were wearing their normal medical scrubs when this happened.

But the coroner confirmed that toxicology revealed Heffron had a .253 blood alcohol level, which is three times the legal definition of intoxication in the state of South Carolina for driving purposes for of-age adults. This would mean he had to have had 10 drinks in the span of 1 hour.

“A large mass of food was removed by Emergency Physicians at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center,” Clevenger said in a release. “At autopsy the following was recorded: ‘Mr. Heffron died as a result of respiratory insufficiency secondary to aspiration of food (so called café coronary).’ The elevated ethanol level may have contributed to the vomiting episode which led to extensive aspiration of food.'”

Heffron’s death has been ruled as accidental.

Heffron collapsed on the bathroom floor at Shipp Residence Hall at Wofford College just after midnight on Sept. 10. Such a sad end to a shining star in the tennis community.  Of course you still will not see nurses playing tennis in the emergency room,  They keep that to their free time.

This was written in memory of him:
Randall George Heffron, Jr. was born on April 10, 1991 and entered into eternal rest on September 10, 2011. He was the son of Robin Walker Heffron and the late Randall “Randy” George Heffron, DMD. He was the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. W. Howard Walker and the late Mr. and Mrs. Robert C. Heffron, Sr. and brother to Walker Heffron, a member of the BEHS Class of 2011 and a member of the freshmen class at Wofford College. Randall attended Mason Preparatory School where he was awarded The Roy Barth Tennis Excellence Award. He was a 2010 graduate of Bishop England High School where he played JV basketball as a freshman and varsity tennis for four years. He served as captain of his tennis team and led them to the state playoffs all four years earning 2010 Player of the Year honors. Randall was the recipient of a 2010 South Carolina Tennis Patrons Foundation Scholarship and The J.C. and Alberta Long and Pinckney Scholarships through the Community Foundation and was entering his sophomore year at Wofford College having earned both Wofford tennis and academic scholarships. Continue reading

Eye black on tennis players now?

Bethanie Mattek-Sands, the American who has advanced to the third round of the French Open this week, has taken to playing in eye black. I can understand if you have a sponsor that wants their message imprinted on it but really? Is golf the next sport to embrace eye black?

custom eye black tennis

Got custom eye black with a tennis logo?

The stripes of grease swiped under the eyes are usually the reserve of football and baseball players, but Mattek-Sands is bringing eye black up a notch, with stick-on strips adorned with little silver Bs — for Bethanie.

In the normally conservative world of tennis, Mattek-Sands’ penchant for tattoos, knee-high socks and zany outfits pushes the boundaries. She played the 2007 U.S. Open in a gold lamé number over what looked like a black push-up bra, has been fined for wearing a cowboy hat during a match, and plans to attend the Wimbledon players’ party in a dress crafted entirely from tennis equipment by one of Lady Gaga’s designers, Alex Noble.

She said the eye black helps her game, but she also doesn’t shy away from the extra attention it has gotten her this year.

Bethanie Mattek Sands eye black tennis

Bethanie Mattek Sands sports her eye black at her recent tennis match

“I had tried it a while back and the reason I did it again is I found it reduced the glare,” Mattek-Sands, 26, said from Paris. “Besides that, it’s something different, it’s something funky. I think tennis is pretty conservative and I’m just not. I just want to bring a fresh look to tennis.”
According to wikipedia I found this info on eye black.

Traditional grease consists of beeswax, paraffin, and carbon. Anti-glare face stripes that emulate the grease are also commonly used. One of the earliest known instances of a player wearing eye black is baseball legend Babe Ruth, who, in or around the 1930s, used the grease in an attempt to reduce sun glare. According to Paul Lukas of, eye black caught on with football player Andy Farkas. He also states that the original eye black was made from burned cork ashes.

A 2003 study by Brian DeBroff and Patricia Pahk tested whether black eye grease actually had anti-glare properties. The subjects of the study were divided into three groups: wearers of eye black, wearers of anti-glare stickers, and wearers of petroleum jelly. The subjects’ vision was tested using an eye chart while being exposed to natural sunlight. The study concluded that eye black reduced glare of the sun and improved contrast sensitivity

So do you think more tennis players will start sporting eye black?