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August 2004 Volume 1 Number 7 $5.


Our exclusive selector will help you find the right strings for your customers Spice Up Apparel With Custom Embroidery Get to Know the New Racquet Technologies Nets and Posts Are Details That Players Will Notice French Open Player Equipment Log
Q Sun Taking Its Toll? Use Fabric Structures Q Control Profits By Controlling Your Costs

See page 48 for the Wilson NXT OS Playtest results

FEATURES 24 Guide to Strings
Our exclusive selector map will help you choose the perfect strings for your customers.



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INDUSTRY NEWS 7 Retailers added to TIA
board of directors

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Made to Order

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French to build stadium with retractable roof ATP moves Masters Cup to Shanghai Continental replaces United as Open sponsor Hall of Fame acquires new collection New books on Connors, Gilbert USTA partners with active aging council ATP launches new ad campaign 2 earn USRSA Certification Tester status PTR inks 3-year deal with Sportwall Agassi served up on Wheaties box Sporting goods biz weathers tough market Prince launches “Shark Bites Tour”

With custom embroidery, you can offer tennis apparel that is unique to your shop.

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Higher Education

The continuing technological revolution in racquets means a whole new learning curve for retailers.

Roland Garros Equipment Log

See what your favorite pro players brought to the French Open this year.

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DEPARTMENTS 4 Our Serve 16 Your Finances 18 Court Construction 20 Construction Trends 22 Industry People

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Ask the Experts Tips and Techniques String Playtest: Tecnifibre X-One Biphase New USRSA Members and MRTs Events Calendar Your Serve



Our Serve
Now, It's Your Turn
(Incorporating Racquet Tech and Tennis Industry)


Publishers David Bone Jeff Williams Editor-in-Chief Crawford Lindsey Editorial Director Peter Francesconi Associate Editor Greg Raven Design/Art Director Kristine Thom Assistant to the Publisher Cari Feliciano Contributing Editors Cynthia Cantrell Rod Cross Joe Dinoffer Liza Horan Andrew Lavallee James Martin Mark Mason Chris Nicholson Mitch Rustad Drew Sunderlin Jonathan Whitbourne RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY Corporate Offices 330 Main St., Vista, CA 92084 Phone: 760-536-1177 Fax: 760-536-1171 Email: Website: Office Hours: Mon.-Fri.,8 a.m.-5 p.m. Pacific Time Advertising Director John Hanna 770-650-1102, x.125 Apparel Advertising Cynthia Sherman 203-263-5243
Racquet Sports Industry is published 10 times per year: monthly January through August and combined issues in September/October and November/December by USRSA, 330 Main St., Vista, CA 92084. August 2004, Volume 1, Number 7 © 2004 by USRSA and Tennis Industry. All rights reserved. Racquet Sports Industry, RSI and logo are trademarks of USRSA. Printed in the U.S.A. Phone advertising: 770-650-1102 x.125. Phone circulation and editorial: 760-536-1177. Yearly subscriptions $55 in the U.S., $65 elsewhere. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Racquet Sports Industry, 330 Main St., Vista, CA 92084.

hances are, you've been bombarded lately with messages about how the sport of tennis needs the involvement of everyone—teaching pros, court builders, manufacturers, facility owners, pro shops, etc. Those of us who have been in this business for a long time—who have weathered the tough times and are still dedicated to seeing this sport, and this business, grow for all—realize that it is a critical time for tennis. People and programs are in place right now that may well help this sport turn a corner.
To that end, there's something out there that we think you, as a tennis retailer, can't afford to ignore. It's the Tennis Industry Association. The TIA has been in the trenches for years, fighting not only to increase

tennis participation in the U.S., but, even more succinctly, to put more money into all of our pockets. The research and programs that the TIA sponsors have been invaluable tools for manufacturers, tennis facilities and others in this business. This magazine is a member of the TIA, and we support the organization because we believe in its mission of growing the game and growing profits. And we've seen progress toward those goals over the years, in large part because of what the TIA—in conjunction with other groups, especially the USTA—has been doing. But now, as a tennis retailer, it's your turn. Earlier this year, the TIA introduced a new “Tennis Retailer” membership category, designed to help retailers with their businesses, especially since it's the tennis retailer who is the direct connection to tennis players. The new membership category also means retailers will have a bigger voice in what's going on in the sport (the TIA recently named three tennis retailers to its board of directors). TIA Tennis Retailers pay annual dues of $250, and in return they receive a raft of research designed to help them stay on top of the latest trends in the marketplace and to improve their business position. In addition, the TIA has other tools available to help you with your business. Contact the TIA or visit to see what the new retailer membership category can mean for you, and how it can help you increase your profits while helping to grow the game. This is an investment in the sport. But maybe more importantly, it's an investment in your business.

Peter Francesconi Editorial Director





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The TIA Board of Directors
Steve Bellamy, The Tennis Channel Dave Bone, USRSA Max Brownlee, Babolat Sam Cook, Völkl Rick Devereux, IHRSA Brian Dillman, Wilson Sporting Goods Steve Dunlap, The Sports Authority Bill Foy, Prince Sports Group Don Galliers, SealMaster Industries Chris Gaudreau, Racquet Koop Dave Haggerty, Head/Penn Racquet Sports Tim Heckler, USPTA Bob Kain, IMG Kurt Kamperman, USTA Ilana Kloss, World TeamTennis Debbie Mitchell, K-Swiss Kai Nitsche, Dunlop Sports Group Americas Dale Queen, Your Serve Tennis Scott Rea, Yonex J. Wayne Richmond, Sportwall Dan Santorum, PTR Bruce Schilling, Nike Gene Scott, Tennis Week Victor Taylor, ATP John Welborn, Lee Tennis Products Jeff Williams, Tennis Magazine

TIA Adds 3 Retailers to Board of Directors


n a move designed to bring more representation within the industry to tennis retailers, the Tennis Industry Association has added three new members from the retail world to its board of directors. Named to the TIA board in June are Steve Dunlap, the vice president of golf and racquet sports for The Sports Authority; Chris Gaudreau, owner of the Racquet Koop in New Haven, Conn.; and Dale Queen, owner of Your Serve Tennis, which has six locations in the Atlanta area. “The TIA must represent our sport, and the retailers from all parts of our industry must be heard,” says TIA President Jim Baugh (right). “We are excited to add retailers to our board.” Previous to the latest additions, the TIA board was made up of court builders, equipment manufacturers, media and representatives from various organizations in tennis, such as the PTR, USPTA, USTA and World TeamTennis. “I feel it will be good for the industry to get a retailer perspective,” says Queen. “We'll work with everyone to put our heads together to grow [the game] further. The more players we have out there playing, the better for us, too.” “I'm looking forward to offering input from a perspective that [the TIA] didn't have before,” says Gaudreau. “I'm happy to be a part of the organization.” The next TIA board meeting will be during the US Open in New York City, Sept. 3 from 9 a.m. to noon. Also new to the 26-member TIA board is Kai Nitsche of Dunlop, who replaces Gordon Boggis, who left the company. Getting retailer representation on the TIA board has been a key for the organization for the last few months. “The main thing is to have a bigger voice for all those involved in the tennis industry,” says TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer. De Boer says that as the TIA gears up to push the TIA TennisExpo 2005, it was important to make sure tennis retailers were represented. The TennisExpo will be Jan. 17 to 19 in Orlando, Fla., running in conjunction with the 2005 Super Show. The event, designed to serve as a “rallying point” for the industry, will include meetings, forums, seminars, a buying show, entertainment opportunities, tennis industry awards, and more. The retailer additions to the board also are in line with the TIA recently adding the new “Tennis Retailer” category of membership. For annual dues of $250, Tennis Retailer members of the TIA receive the latest research to help them with their businesses, in addition to taking advantage of other tools to help them best service their customers and members. “We must help retailers be more successful,” says Baugh. “That is one of the reasons we're running seminars at the TIA Expo in January to help the retailer. Every part of our sport must grow, and must help us to grow our sport, too.”

“The TIA must represent our sport, and the retailers from all parts of our industry must be heard,” says Baugh.





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French to Build New Stadium With Retractable Roof
he French Tennis Federation announced in early June that the French Open is set to build a new stadium with a retractable roof. It will be built on one of two sites in the nearby Bois de Boulogne and will seat 16,000 spectators. Tournament officials said that, despite this year's tournament being virtually rain-free, they wanted to ensure play at all times on the main court. In 2003, the US Open was plagued by days when no tennis took place due to rain. "I think it would be a mistake not to cover ourselves, in every meaning of the word," said French Tennis Federation President Christian Bimes. "I consider it the first priority, the top priority." Bimes said it was vital to ensure that the tournament runs smoothly every year, regardless of the weather. "It's been 25 years that we haven't had a catastrophic day with rain the whole day," he said. "If it happens once, we will understand how important a stadium with a retractable roof will be." The new stadium will be built whether or not Paris wins its bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games, a decision to be announced in July 2005, said Bimes. "Even without Paris 2012, we will work on an extension program because President Chirac says he wants the stadium to extend. I believe it's reasonable. We will do it." The Australian Open was the first of the four Grand Slam events to build a retractable roof, first used in January 1988. Earlier this year, Wimbledon announced its intention to build a retractable roof over Centre Court, which is schedule to be completed by 2009.


ATP Masters Cup To Move to China
he men's season-ending Masters Cup championship will move to Shanghai, China, starting in 2005. Sources say the move could be worth about $20 million to the ATP, which runs the men's tour. This November, the Masters Cup plays its last of two years in Houston, then decamps to Shanghai for three years. Houston promoter Jim McIngvale won the current two-year run with a $7 million annual sanction fee, and Shanghai will pay at least that much, sources say. McIngvale had some harsh words for the ATP regarding the move away from his venue. Known as “Mattress Mack” for his Gallery Furniture business, McIngvale spent about $15 million on the Cup last year, including $4 million to build a new tennis stadium at his Westside Tennis Club. The Houston businessman criticized the senior management at the ATP and said the ATP didn't help him market the event. "The ATP is a terrible partner, absolutely terrible," said McIngvale, who did not bid to extend the Cup in Houston. McIngvale said he hopes to attract a new tennis event to Houston.





A special deal on bags from Wilson's 2004 US Open collection is being offered for USTA members only. The bags range from a water bottle pack for $24.99 up to a pro bag for $69.99, all with the US Open “flaming ball” logo. In addition, free with every bag purchased is a 10-pack of Wilson's H2Overgrips and US Open double wristbands, normally a combined $28 value. For more on this exclusive USTA member offer, see the insert in the July/August 2004 issue of USTA Magazine.

ontinental Airlines is the new sponsor of the US Open, replacing the financially troubled United Air Lines, which left its contract with two years to go. Sources say Continental's three-year deal, which does not include the new US Open Series of summer pro tournaments, is in the low seven figures. The Houston-based airline is adding to its sponsorship of New York-area teams and events, which include the Yankees, Rangers, Knicks, Nets, Devils and the New York City Marathon. Continental will integrate the Open into its frequent-flier program by offering tickets and unique experience in exchange for miles. On site at Flushing Meadows, the sponsorship will be leveraged with a pro-am prior to the headline event, which will feature New York celebrities and Continental customers. During the Open, the airline will sponsor a "serve analysis station," which will allow tennis-playing patrons to have their serves graded—although they'll have to go to Continental's website to complete the lesson. United, an Open sponsor since 1998, has been reorganizing under Chapter 11 since late 2002 and has been forced to drop many of its sponsorships.






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he International Tennis Hall of Fame announced in June that it had acquired the tennis-themed collection of Albert and Madeleine Ritzenberg, which it calls “one of the most significant privately held collections of tennisthemed objects.” The collection ranges from the 15th century through the 1930s and represents the passion of well-known Washington, D.C., tennis pro “Allie” Ritzenberg and his wife. In half a century of travels around the world, the Ritzenbergs acquired more than 2,000 objects related to tennis. “The Ritzenberg Collection is something of a museum of tennis in itself,” says International Tennis Hall of Fame Museum Committee Chair Jefferson T. Barnes. “It combines elements of art, history, decorative arts, and, of course, tennis.” “Putting this collection together was a creative act,” says Allie Ritzenberg. “We are delighted that the International Tennis Hall of Fame has recognized that the collection was not just an assemblage of individual pieces, but a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.” The items include two antique stained glass windows; a decorated case clock; paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, and other works on paper; sculptures, China, porcelains, and other ceramics; books, magazines, and other serial publications, many quite rare; linens and other textiles; racquets and other tennis-related equipment; furniture; decorative arts pieces; jewelry; trophies and other silver pieces. Select items of the Ritzenberg Collection will soon be on view in the International Tennis Hall of Fame Museum in Newport, R.I.


Jamison Named to New USTA Post
he USTA has named Jason Jamison to the newly created position of product manager for schools. He will report to Kirk Anderson, USTA director of community play. In the new position, Jamison will create and administer the USA School Tennis program with the goal of introducing more young people to the sport through school physical education programs, USA Tennis 1-2-3 and USA Team Tennis. He will also oversee related USTA educational programs and manage on-court training programs including Development Coach Workshops and Teacher Training in-service. Previously, Jamison was the senior community coordinator and manager of development coaching for the USTA Southwest Section and a USA Tennis national trainer of development coaches. He was named USPTA Southwest Professional of the Year in 1998 as well as Arizona PTR State Member of the Year in 2002.




Council on Active Aging Is USTA “Educational Partner”
he International Council on Active Aging has signed a new agreement to become an exercise and aging educational partner of the USTA, it was announced in June. The new partnership will work toward better understanding and being a resource for the rapidly expanding 50-plus demographic, which represents nearly 30 percent of the U.S. population. One of the main elements of the agreement is the joint execution of Welcome Back to Tennis, a national promotion that provides free parties geared toward reintroducing the sport to the 50-plus population in a fun and friendly setting and connecting them to a series of four-week tennis programs to promote healthy lifestyles. The USTA and ICAA plan to host three-hour tennis events in more than 20 cities across the country in 2004. “Partnering with the ICAA to welcome new and returning players reinforces our mission to promote and develop the growth of tennis,” says Kurt Kamperman, the USTA's chief executive of Community Tennis. “This partnership underscores our message that people of all ages and abilities can have fun and stay fit playing tennis.” "We are thrilled to offer our members and those over 50 the opportunity to participate in the lifelong game of tennis,” says Colin Milner, CEO of the ICAA. There will be a variety of mini sessions offered at the parties on topics such as warm-up and cool-down, racquet and footwear selection, tennis demonstrations, and more. There will also be equipment giveaways, music, food and beverages, and most importantly, the opportunity to sign up for continuing tennis classes. ICAA board member Sandy Coffman, an industry leader in programming and fitness for adults, will help lead activities and share her secrets for having fun, staying healthy and keeping active in tennis. The ICAA is the world's largest association dedicated to changing the way Americans age by uniting and working with professionals in the retirement, assisted-living, recreation, fitness, rehabilitation and wellness fields.


New Books Tackle Connors, Gilbert's Coaching Success
mong the new tennis publications coming out this summer are books on Jimmy Connors by veteran tennis journalist Joel Drucker and coaching winners by former pro player and longtime coach Brad Gilbert. Jimmy Connors Saved My Life combines a comprehensive biography of the tennis star with a memoir of author Drucker's life as it intersected with and ultimately clashed with the tennis superstar. Drucker first met Connors in 1982. “Connors took me into his confidence, sucked my blood, and walked away,” says the author, who came to view the brilliantly talented tennis player as a “greedy, narcissistic, paranoid, and sensitive man-child.” $23.95 from SportClassicBooks, Toronto (on sale Sept. 1). In I've Got Your Back, Gilbert reveals his strategy and philosophy for coaching winners: support your players 100 percent. Formerly No. 4 in the world, Gilbert is the coach who brought Andre Agassi back to No. 1 and who is now coaching Andy Roddick. In his book, he tells the intimate details of his life as a touring pro and coach. $23.95 from Portfolio/Penguin, New York (on sale Sept. 2).






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he Baylor University men and Stanford women won this year's NCAA Division I team tennis championships. Both teams also finished ranked No. 1 in the 2003-04 Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings.

Baylor beat UCLA in the team final in May to win the school's first-ever national championship in any sport. Stanford won its 13th NCAA women's title, also defeating UCLA. In individual play, Baylor junior Benjamin Becker won the NCAA singles title, beating Tulane's Michael Kogan in two sets. The men's doubles crown went to Stanford's KC Corkery and Sam Warburg. Stanford sophomore Amber Liu became the fourth woman to repeat as NCAA singles champion, beating Fresno State feshman Jelena Pandzic in three sets. UCLA's Daniela Bercek and Lauren Fisher won the doubles final. Liu and Baylor's Benedikt Dorsch were named the 2004 ITA National Players of the Year. They will be honored at the ITA All-Star Outing and Awards Luncheon on Aug. 27 at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, N.Y. The ITA's National Doubles Teams of the Year are Stanford's Lauren Barnikow and Erin Burdette for the women and Rice's Richard and William Barker for the men. Other men's Division I national award winners are: Q Wilson/ITA National Coach of the Year: Ron Smarr, head coach, and Shaheen Ladhani, assistant coach, Rice Q Rafael Osuna Sportsmanship Award: William Barker, Rice Q Farnsworth National Senior Players of the Year (co-winners): Brian Wilson, Illinois, and Jeremy Wurtzman, Ohio State Q National Rookie of the Year: Alex Slovic, Washington Q National Player to Watch: Sam Warburg, Stanford Q Arthur Ashe Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship: Lee Taylor Q John Van Nostrand Memorial Award: Nicholas Monroe, North Carolina

Walker, Memphis

ATP Launches New Ad Campaign: “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”
he supporting music makes you want to move your feet and the concept—showcasing the intensity and athleticism of the players—matches the driving beat. The new ATP ad campaign “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” was recently tied into Roland Garros, and is now tying into the BNP Paribas Masters event, taking place in Paris from Nov. 1 to 7, with a special ticket price opportunity for those interested in attending. The effort to call attention to tour standouts is the first advertising campaign since “New Balls Please” was launched in 2000. Colorful player images will feature a “performance and passion” theme. —Mark Winters




2 Earn USRSA Certification Tester Status
ustin Canup of Knoxville, Tenn., and Hill Lee of Hong Kong have been named new certification testers for the USRSA. Canup (near right), who has been in the racquet service business since 1990, is the manager of Racquets and Jackets in Knoxville. He achieved MRT status while working at Nevada Bob's Golf and Tennis, and he is the only MRT in the eastern Tennessee area. Canup also has strung at pro events, including this year's Family Circle Cup. Hill received his MRT certificate in 2002. He's been a tennis coach for more than 15 years.


PTR Inks Deal With Sportwall
he PTR announced in June that it has signed a three-year agreement with Sportwall International to offer a 20 percent discount to PTR members for Sportwall's interactive tennis backboards. And Sportwall officials say they are working with PTR teachers and coaches to develop customized programs and activities for Sportwall's Sports-PC for Tennis. The Sports-PC for Tennis features lighted targets, a scoreboard, time clock and net line that simulates match play and rewards players with scores for accuracy, speed, control, strategy and technique. “Not only does Sports-PC develop tennis skills,” says Dennis Van der Meer, PTR founder and president, “it also improves reaction time, visual acuity, and physical fitness. Sports-PC is a tremendous teaching aid.” Each Sports-PC includes two remote controls, indoor/outdoor speakers, up to 10 preprogrammed games, a 4-foot-high catch net to keep balls in play, a protective cover, two spare targets and a spare motherboard. The Sports-PC for Tennis is available in three sizes: 8 x 8 feet (10 targets), 12 x 8 feet (15 targets), and 16 x 8 feet (20 targets). In addition to the 20 percent discount on the purchase of a Sportwall product, PTR members are also eligible for a $1,000 rebate with their demo program, or members can lease a Sportwall. For more information, visit, call 800-695-5056 or email Tom West at


Wheaties Serves Up Agassi
ndre Agassi, holder of eight Grand Slam titles and 58 career singles titles, is now being honored by Wheaties, the “Breakfast of Champions,” with his own cereal box. “I remember reading the stories of people like Bruce Jenner and Mary Lou Retton on the Wheaties box as I was growing up,” says Agassi, who is also known for his charitable work away from the game. “Appearing on my own Wheaties box is something I never dreamed of. It's a great honor.” Other tennis greats honored on the cereal box, beginning in 1934, are Ellsworth Vines, Don Budge, Jack Kramer, Alice Marble, Chris Evert, Arthur Ashe, Althea Gibson and Pete Sampras.





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Sporting Goods Manufacturers Weather Tough Financial Market
.S. sporting goods manufacturers maintained a healthy rate of sales growth, while controlling costs and managing assets well. However, a reduction in gross margin attributable to pricing pressure resulted in weaker bottom-line results in 2003 compared to 2002. That's the key finding of SGMA International's 21st Annual Study of Financial Performance (2004 Edition). SGMA's comprehensive report is based on actual results reported by 61 manufacturers (publicly and privately held) in the athletic footwear, sports apparel and sport equipment segments, having combined sales of $31.1 billion in wholesale value in 2003. Here are some of the results from the report:


Q Sporting goods manufacturers' sales growth (+6.8 percent) was strong and on par with that of 2002, but lagged behind the sales growth rate of all non-durable goods manufacturers in 2003. Q Productivity growth (sales per employee) improved in 2003 (+3.7 percent), indicating good utilization of human resources. Q Industry profitability declined slightly from 2002. Return on sales (5.2 percent), return on assets (8 percent), and return on equity (13.1 percent) all declined in 2003. This was primarily caused by a decline in gross margin from 38.6 percent in 2002 to 35.5 percent in 2003. Q Manufacturers controlled assets well as the fixed-assets-by-total-assets ratio and liquid asset turnover ratio both improved. Q Advertising spending increased in 2003, while R&D spending turned down. The 55-page report is available either as a PDF immediate download or as a Kinko's Doc Store printed copy. To obtain a report, visit

rince's “Shark Bites Tour” will run through September and feature Prince grassroots teams appearing at high traffic junior and pro tournaments to promote the new Shark racquet (see page 32). “The Shark signifies an important launch in our plans for our performance racquets,” says Bill Foy, president of Prince Sports USA. “With the research, testing and development that's gone into this performance racquet, we're supporting its launch with a number of marketing initiatives including a dedicated website [PrinceShark .com], promotional tour, and grassroots street team.” Prince stars Maria Sharapova and Jan-Michael Gambill have been involved in the development of the racquet in preparation for its official launch at the US Open, according to Foy. Both pros will be playing experimental versions of the Shark leading up to the Open. “The Shark provides a ton of added pop without compromising any control, and I know this racquet is going to add a huge lift to my game,” says Gambill.




In a State House ceremony on June 7, Gov. Donald L. Carcieri honored the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I., which will celebrate its 50th anniversary this July, with a State of Rhode Island proclamation. Established in 1954, the Hall of Fame was honored for its efforts in the historic preservation of tennis, accomplishments in honoring tennis champions throughout the world, and contributions to the state's tourism economy. Accepting the citation was Tony Trabert, president of the Hall of Fame and 1970 Hall of Fame inductee. The PTR and Gamma Sports have extended their eight-year partnership for an additional three years. Gamma is an official supplier of string, stringing machines, accessories, teaching aids and court equipment of the PTR. Family Circle S.C., was selected the site the > TheU.S. vs. BelarusTennis Center in Charleston,held Sept. 24 to 26.asExpected forplay 2004 Davis Cup semifinal, to be to for the U.S. are Andy Roddick and the doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan. It will be the first-ever Davis Cup to be played in South Carolina, and it will be played on a hard court. For tickets for the three-day series, call 888-484-8782. World TeamTennis semifinal matches will be played on Friday, Aug. 27, and the WTT Finals will be held on the following day at the USTA National Tennis Center. The winning team will be awarded the King Trophy, named after WTT co-founder Billie Jean King. The third annual Tennis Magazine Grand Slam will be on Friday, Aug. 27, at Grand Central Terminal in New York City. The pre-US Open event, which includes a tennis court set up inside Grand Central, will feature top-ranked pro players, tennis legends, and celebrities, including Tennis Publisher Chris Evert. It will also include games and other events for spectators. World TeamTennis announced an expansion of Fox Sports Net's (FSN) second consecutive year of TV coverage of the month-long WTT Pro league season, including an additional episode of “World TeamTennis This Week,” a series of four one-hour broadcasts, hosted by Luke Jensen, of WTT highlights and features on Saturdays throughout July. “We feel that featuring some of the elite players in the sport in a unique co-ed format offers our viewers an entertaining alternative to traditional tennis,” says Craig Borsari, director of acquisitions for FSN. Washington Park > A Völkl demo event at300 tennis players. in Denver, hosted by Rich Benvin and Jan Jensen, drew more than deal 2004 > The Tennis Channel signed asinglesfor exclusive rights to broadcast theevents, NCAA Division I men's and women's and doubles championships. The which took place in May, were telecast on TTC in early June, for a total of about eight hours of tennis. The USPTA Texas Southwest Buying Show will be Aug. 27-28 at the Woodlands Resort & Conference Center. The show is free to tennis specialty and pro shop buyers. For more information, call 888-445-0505. player Anastasia > HeadLiquidmetal InstinctMyskina won the French Open women's singles title, playing with a racquet. Malisse, playing with and Olivier > Xavierplaying with a Prince aTTPrince Tour Diablo racquet,men'sfellow Belgian at this Rochus, Graphite, captured the doubles title year's French Open. Also, Paola Suarez, playing with a Prince Tour NXGraphite, won the women's doubles title with Virginia Ruano Pascual.



> > >


> Tennis pro Janet Haas, aofmember of Team Völkl, has been inducted into the University of Miami's Sports Hall Fame. > Dan Bratetic is the new community development coordinator for Nebraska for the USTA Missouri Valley Section.




Control Your Profits By Controlling Your Costs
very tennis specialty shop has a best customer. In fact, studies have shown that 80 percent of the income of most businesses usually comes from only 20 percent of its customers. But how can any tennis shop or facility owner, teaching pro, racquet stringer or manufacturer tell whether that best customer is generating a fair share of bottom-line profits? Could your best customer actually be costing you money? Only a few shop owners or managers actually utilize cost accounting or make an organized effort to control costs in their businesses, and, surprisingly, many who don't are still quite successful. But are they as successful as they could be? A retailer may "mark up" the goods sold by a fixed percentage that they label as "profit." A court contractor may tack on a fixed amount to each job or service performed, while a manufacturer usually adds overhead costs to each job. Unfortunately, few tennis business operators seem to have any realistic basis for their "profit" additions. Knowing the cost of a product or service is the first step to setting profits. There are, for example, a number of strategies that are useful for controlling the costs in your specialty shop or racquet sports business. And, best of all, not all of those strategies require large outlays of either time or salaries.


Cost accounting is the process of allocating all of the costs associated with generating a sale or performing a service, both direct and indirect. Direct costs include any materials, direct labor (the total wages paid to the workers who actually perform the service), costs paid to others, etc. Indirect costs include all other costs associated with keeping the operation's doors open for business. In general, cost accounting includes methods for reorganizing, classifying, allocating, aggregating and reporting

actual costs and, often, comparing them with standard costs. It can mean determining unit cost to make a product or render a service. Cost accounting is an integral part of establishing a selling price or fees and indispensable whenever any racquet sports business or professional attempts to reduce prices for a sale. As profit margins have shrunk, many business owners and managers have begun to discover just how valuable cost accounting is as a tool in their business. By knowing the total costs associated with the performance of the services offered or the cost of goods and products sold, an operator can determine which are the most profitable. Thus, the efforts of the owner/manager and the business's employees can be focused on those areas, rather than on ones that offer little or no bottom-line enhancement. According to Small Store Survival, the Illinois Retail Merchants Association's publication for independent store owners and managers, today's economic climate has forced many retailers to look more closely at reducing costs simply in order to survive. But what are the costs in your business? The financial accounting that so many owner/managers are accustomed to is mainly concerned with the historical aspects of external reporting, that is, providing financial information to parties such as the owners, investors, creditors and, of course, the government. To keep these financial statements uniform and to protect those outside parties from being misled, financial accounting is governed by general accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Cost accounting, on the other hand, is more concerned with actually

running the business and pricing its products, services and inventory.

Before any owner/manager can determine whether cost-cutting will increase profits, more information about the business is needed. Proper recordkeeping is the start. After all, business records provide the financial data needed to prepare a budget, profit and loss statements, break-even calculations, and operating ratios. Whether prepared by an accountant or the result of a computerized bookkeeping system, every owner/manager should already have access to the financial statements of their business. Those financial statements can be used to control the costs of the business. That's right, those basic financial statements provide a wealth of information that will help everyone to better understand both the direct and indirect costs of the racquet sports operation. The majority of profit and loss statements show the various expenses for one accounting period as well as a percentage figure. It is not at all difficult to see that if utilities represented 2 percent of expenses last month and 9 percent this month, that something more than someone leaving a light on is happening and needs attention. As mentioned, few tennis specialty


shop retailers are aware of what their true costs of operating are or where those costs occur in the business. In fact, very few business owners/managers can answer the question: "How much does it cost you to turn the lights on?” A good start involves identifying the areas in your business on which you and/or your employees spend time and money. While you may feel that you don't need to justify spending either that time or money, chances are you've blind-sided yourself to lost profits. It doesn't take a cost-accounting system to reveal that customers can vary greatly in the demands that they make on the business's resources. Traditional costing systems usually put support costs into a pool that is distributed across the operation's cost centers, a procedure that many experts say can distort the true cost of performing a service or producing a product.

Use Your Budget to Control Costs Use Your Budget to Control Costs
Your budget should be a vibrant document, one that is understood and that is used on an ongoing basis. While it is part of a historical reporting system, it should not be used only to see how you've measured up to your goals months or even weeks after an accounting period has closed. Rather, this important information should be checked far more frequently. When you created the basic chart of accounts for your business, you created a list of general categories such as office expense or repairs and maintenance. For the purpose of a profit and loss statement, those categories are all that are required. For the purpose of cost control, however, breaking down these items into subcategories might be warranted. For example, you may find it useful to break down “Utilities” into its component parts: gas, electric, water, sewage. “Office Expenses” can be broken into supplies, equipment leases, postage, temporary help. And “Insurance” can be broken down to liability, auto, health, life, workers' comp. This will give you detailed information on exactly where the money is being spent so you can monitor and correct any serious excesses. Comparing your fixed expense to the budget and the amount spent a year earlier on the same item is a good way to see if you are still in line, and still controlling costs. Even when the trend is exactly where you want it to be, you should not give up the habit of monitoring your business's costs against budget. You can create a statement that looks like this one: BUDGET BUDGET 2004 2004 INCOME INCOME COST OF SALES COST OF SALES GROSS PROFIT GROSS PROFIT Thus, if you had anticipated income of $600,000 for 2004 and your income for January was $42,000, the INCOME line would read: BUDGET BUDGET 2004 2004 INCOME INCOME $ 50,000 $ 50,000 ACTUAL ACTUAL JANUARY JANUARY $ 42,000 $ 42,000 ACTUAL ACTUAL JANUARY JANUARY

The reduction of specific fixed and variable expenses can improve the profit picture of any business. But beware: No one should cut costs needlessly. Legitimate expenses provide the framework for the business. No business should cut their operating budget too deeply because it might adversely affect the overall operation of the business. Thus, along with cutting costs, every owner/manager should also consider the alternatives. Every business can reduce costs without cutting specific expenses. All that is required is to increase the average income per sale, per customer, per cost center, etc. By increasing the overall value of a sale to each customer, for instance, the business spreads the same expenses across a large income. The result is a better sales vs. expense ratio. Cost accounting is merely a tool. Although not every retailer or business owner will use it, those who do will find that it can help identify areas where costs may be higher or rising at a rapid rate. That tool shows an owner how expenses are distributed from year to year while identifying areas that should be reviewed. Most importantly, cost accounting can provide the answers to a number of questions, such as: w Can you negotiate a better lease? w Can you renegotiate long-term debt at a better rate? w Can you earn discounts by meeting accounts payable deadlines earlier in the payment cycle? w Can you cut specific costs for specific time frames in order to reduce overall expenses? And, of course, the biggest question that cost accounting can answer is: "How much does it cost simply to open the doors for business?"w



YTD YTD $ 42,000 $ 42,000

+/+/($8,000) ($8,000)

Thus, you will know at a glance whether you are over or under in any budget category. You can then research the line items if necessary to identify and correct any problems. A healthy racquet sports business can bring a good return, longterm, to a prudent owner. Don't make the mistake of choosing shortterm satisfaction—or profit—at the risk of long-term stability. By knowing the costs in your business, you can not only ensure profitability but know what expenditures your business can actually afford. -M.E.B.

Mark E. Battersby is a tax and financial advisor, lecturer, writer and author in Ardmore, Pa.





The Net Effect
The right tennis nets and net posts are details that BY ANDREW R. LAVALLEE, ASLA you can be sure your players will notice.


here is a saying in the design world: “It's all about the details.” This seems to be true in the world of tennis as well. How often have you played tennis at an otherwise attractive facility only to find that the net is sloppily installed or the posts are leaning and the surface around the footings are cracked and peeling? When it comes to making the right impression on your customers and members, it is often the little things they seem to notice. It's easy to do this with the right tennis nets and posts. Since there are a variety of options to choose from, here are some pointers for making the right choices for your facility.

Properly installed nets and net posts can give your facility an inexpensive makeover that players will notice.
mechanisms to tension the net cable, can be a hazard to players. The sharp teeth of the external winches can catch fingers and clothing. The winding handles can also snap back during winding, causing injury. The crank handles and locking devices can be dangerous protrusions for players running close to the net. The exposed crank handles are often too much to resist for children, vandals or overly enthusiastic players who may tend to over-tighten the net cables, causing damage to the posts or footings. Today's state-of-the-art net posts make use of internal-wind mechanisms to provide the tension on the net cables. The newer post designs provide round, oval, or square

Obviously net posts are an important part of the game, after all, they hold up the nets. What many people fail to appreciate is that post installations are only as good as the footings that support them. Since the footings aren't readily visible, they tend not to be carefully considered. A net-post footing needs to be properly designed and sized to resist frost heave (if you live in a cold climate), resist movement when the net is tensioned, and not crack the court surface (if used on a hard court). This is why a good net-post footing should meet the following criteria: w It should be wider at the base than at the top to resist upward movement under freezing conditions. w Its base should be below the average depth of the frost line in your region. w It should have flat sides to provide maximum lateral ground support under tension. w If you have hard courts, the footings should have a round top to prevent the development of radiating cracks in the pavement surface.

post shapes. Since the winding mechanisms are concealed within the posts, the posts have a cleaner look. The internal-wind posts are equipped with removable or folding crank handles that can be removed or secured in place once the net tension is set, making tampering with the net virtually impossible and player injury less likely. The newer posts, which can be fashioned from steel or aluminum, are also supplied with welded lacing rods that allow the net to be installed tight to the post, without unsightly bulging of the net ends. If it is nostalgia that you are after, there are also net posts fashioned from wood in the shape of the historic Wimbledon posts. Net posts can be installed permanently or in sleeves to allow for other uses on the tennis court. When buying removable net posts, be sure to get post sleeves and sleeve caps from actual post manufacturers to ensure proper fit. Metal sleeves tend to keep their shape better during installation of concrete footings, but they can rust over time if not properly treated. Rusted net-post sleeves can lead to staining of the court. PVC netpost sleeves that don't rust are also available, but they can deform during installation if not properly handled, making subsequent post installation difficult, if not impossible. When selecting post finishes, go with a heavy-duty, baked-on enamel finish rather than just a painted finish if the post is steel, and an anodized finish if the post is aluminum—it is a chemical bond and is much more durable than regular paint. Remember, the good thing about an aluminum post is that it won't rust. New posts come in a variety of colors. A well-coordinated court will have net posts that match or are coordinated with the colors of the light poles, windscreens, and fencing. Dark green and black are the most common net-post colors.

Net posts have changed over the years, but many clubs have not updated their equipment. Old-fashioned tennis net posts, which rely on external, winch-type or lever-action

Customize your courts with wooden net posts (from Edwards Sports Products) for a nostalgic look or more modern designs, such as the Courtmaster Royale Square Post with internal wind (from J.A. Cissel).

There are a dizzying array of options for tennis nets. Nets can be fabricated from polyethylene, polyester, nylon, or steel mesh.


Polyethylene mesh is perhaps the most commonly used material since it resists fading and weathering. The better net meshes make use of braided rather than twisted cording. The braided cord, though more expensive than twisted, provides greater shock resistance, forcing the ball to drop more quickly rather than bouncing back from the net. Steel mesh nets are typically only used at institutional, low-maintenance facilities exposed to high levels of vandalThe clean lines of a well-kept court (from Lee Tennis) ism. Since metal mesh nets more closely are inviting for both players and spectators. resemble chain-link fencing than the trathe center strap. Again, innovative net ditional fabric-style nets, they are rarely manufacturers have created tapered nets seen at upscale facilities. The metal netting that eliminate the extra fabric at the center. also causes the ball to bounce back much A properly tensioned tapered net that is farther than the fabric-type nets. slightly shorter than regulation length to Net headbands, side bindings and take into account the width of the net bottom bindings can be fabricated from posts really looks as if it has been installed PVC-coated polyester, nylon, or canvas, or with care, without the droopiness of a simply uncoated polyester, nylon, or traditionally shaped net. canvas. Generally, the coated banding materials shed dirt and debris more easily, PROPER INSTALLATION are more mildew and rot resistant and are Picking the right equipment is only half of more washable. These maintenance considthe equation. You also need to make sure erations are important especially if you that you install the nets and posts properly have fast-dry courts. A drawback of the so that they look and perform their best. coated headband material is that the ball When installing removable net posts in tends to skip off the surface and graze sleeves at the start of each season, be sure over the net. Uncoated materials, meanto remove any water in the sleeve first to while, provide increased friction, keeping avoid staining the court surface with rusty more balls from sliding over the net. water that may have been sitting in the Two innovations in nets over the years post sleeve over the winter. When installing have gone a long way toward neatening tennis nets, don't over-tension the net up the appearance of tennis nets: shortcable, so you won't damage the posts, ened nets and tapered nets. A regulation footings or court surface. When fastening tennis net is supposed to be 42 feet long for a doubles net and 33 feet long for a singles net. Unfortunately, regulation doubles net posts are supposed to be spaced 42 feet on center, while regulation singles net posts are supposed to be spaced 33 feet on center. Therefore, when you take into account the distance between the net posts, a regulation net ends up being too wide to fit between the net posts. The extra mesh width causes bunching that looks sloppy. Most net manufacturers now make nets slightly shorter than regulation widths to solve this problem posed by the regulations. Since tennis regulations also call for a net to be 42 inches above the surface at the ends and 36 inches above the surface at the center strap, a straight net ends up bunching up at

net ends, install the net tight to the post. Nets that bow away from the posts look more like poorly rigged sails than professionally installed athletic equipment. Some nets come with dowels and sleeves at the net ends to keep the edge neat. Properly lacing the net to the post using the lacing rods also keeps the net ends looking even. It goes without saying that you should always check that the net is installed to the proper heights both at the posts and at the center strap. Most facilities make use of the standard doubles position for the posts, then use singles sticks for singles matches. For tournament and center-court locations, you may want to consider a more finished look by providing two sets of removable net posts—doubles posts and singles posts, with each set-up provided with its own net. The four-post layout really gives a court a championship feel. The careful selection of tennis-court nets and net posts is an important part of a welldesigned facility. If you choose your nets and posts well and install them properly, they will provide years of service. You can easily replace a court's nets and posts for as little as $400 or $500. It is a fairly inexpensive makeover that really gets noticed. Remember, the little things often make a lasting impression, and a good impression is good for business. w
Andrew Lavallee is a senior associate at Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects, PC, located in New York City, where he specializes in sports and recreational facility design.
"Reprinted with permission of the United States Tennis Court and Track Builders Association, from its Guidelines for Tennis Court Construction, by the United States Tennis Court and Track Builders Association, 3525 Ellicott Hills Drive, Suite N, Ellicott City, MD 21043-4547. Copyright 2000. All rights reserved"





Made In The Shade
Fabric structures can provide attractive relief from sun and heat, and they're becoming increasingly popular. BY LAURIE BLACK GROSS


t seems that most of the innovations provide shade and relief from the heat, tough, they are being used to build peryou hear about in the tennis industry but also are attractive and cost-effective. manent shade structures that fill a niche are in the retail end of the business: “Within the last several years, outdoor previously lacking at tennis fashion trends that influence tenniswear, fabrics have changed,” says Ball. “They facilities.” new technology that racquet makers put are now so UV-resistant, so incredibly Ball says that permanent structures— into their latest frames. As far as from small courtside shelters, such court equipment or site amenities, as BPI's “Court Cabana,” to huge new developments seem few and grandstand covers—are using fabfar between, and there's generally rics “that are as durable as solid not a lot of hype surrounding roofing, and require less maintethem. nance.” But all that may be changing, “Fabrics are changing the look due to one word: “shade.” of tennis facilities because they are That's the word from Larry Ball, so beautiful, and they increase the CEO of BP International Inc. (foruse of those facilities by providing BPI’s ShadeZone covers were recently installed cool oases of shade during the merly Ball Products), one of the at The Tennis Center in Daytona Beach, Fla. heat of the day,” says Ball. “And country's largest tennis court fabric structures cost less than equipment manufacturers. “Shade will be the next huge corresponding solid-roofed innovation in tennis courts and structures, so budget-conscious facilities,” Ball says, “not just for clubs can offer an amenity players, but also for spectators. The formerly reserved for exclusive demand for shade will significantly country clubs.” change the look of tennis courts “Several years ago, I began Welch Tennis built the McMullen Tennis and clubs.” looking at fabric shade structures Complex in Clearwater, Fla., which features shade on and beside the courts. As more and more people for two primary reasons: cost and come to realize the detrimental visual appeal,” says Mike effects that too much sun can have Imbornone, owner of Signature on their health, shade structures Tennis in Atlanta. “Fabric gives you are becoming more important. a more attractive, softer look than Typically, shade structures have a wood or metal structure. It blends with existing landscaping been made of wood, which, while and gives a country-club look withattractive, requires building permits, needs a fair amount of out a country-club price.” upkeep and can be expensive. Or George Todd Jr., president of Fabric bleacher cover with curtains at Kimball arms Farms near Atlanta was installed by Mike they've been made of metal, which Welch Tennis Courts Inc., says he's Imbornone and Southeastern Tennis. costs less than wood but isn't as seen an increase in requests for appealing visually. However, both shade facilities on or near courts. wood and metal structures have “A few years ago, shade on the solid roofs, so they hold hot air court was just an option. Now it's close to the ground, which won't becoming a standard,” he says, provide as much relief from the adding that he's regularly seeing heat. Other choices have been shade structures included in the inisemi-permanent awnings or tial design of new projects and in umbrellas. renovations. “Also, we're beginEmbry-Riddle University in Daytona But now, says Ball, permanent ning to receive more requests for Beach chose BPI’s blue Court Cabanas. spectator shade, in the form of shade structures are being built canopy-type structures,” Todd says. using outdoor fabrics that not only


At the 24-court Tennis Center in Daytona Beach, Fla., tennis director Dave Brown says he recently installed eight fabric bleacher covers. “Putting shade over my bleachers is one of the most important things I've done since I've been here,” says Brown. “We are an events-oriented facility, and lack of shade was the No. 1 complaint we had.” Brown says engineers with BPI developed seven 12 x 18foot structures and one 12 x 24-foot structure that fit in with the aesthetics of the facility, and importantly, fit into his tight budget. “If we had wanted solid roofs, wood and metal structures, we would not have been able to afford shade,” he says. In general, the fabric part of a permanent shade structure represents about 20 percent of the total cost, according to Ball of BPI. What that means, though, is it's easy and relatively inexpensive to replace the fabric, say, if the club or facility decides to change colors or décor. Adding decorative touches later, such as a scalloped edge, also is easy and inexpensive. In addition, permanent fabric structures are typically designed for quick take-down in the event of an approaching major storm or hurricane. The tops come off easily then are put back on easily, after the danger has passed. With wood or metal structures, damage to siding and shingles can be expensive to repair or replace. And at least one court builder, Robert Young of US Tennis Co. Inc. of Naples, Fla., says that the fabric Court Cabanas he's installed in the last few years have withstood some tough tests. “Originally our concern was for wind load, but we've had a lot of Cabanas up for several years with no problems,” he says. Providing for shade between courts also can help keep courts filled. That's what head tennis coach Scott Linn says he found happened at Embry-Riddle University in Daytona Beach. Linn is overseeing the construction of a $2 million complex including a clubhouse and grandstand, with shade, including Court Cabanas between courts, designed into the ongoing project. “The shade is one of the best features of our complex,” Linn says. “Where the courts used to be vacant during the heat of the day, now people want to play any time of the day, even in the summer.” Linn says the structures have allowed him to put shade right where he needs it, without the difficulty of pulling building permits. “Fabric shade structures have a big future,” says BPI's Ball, who says his company is developing ShadeZone, a fabric architecture product line that he's been using for structures across the country. “We've been building fabric structures at major athletic complexes, parks and recs, country clubs, and at commercial parking establishments. This market is huge,” Ball says. “And for tennis, the quest for shade is not going to go away.” w

Magazine and newspaper writer Laurie Black Gross has her first two novels with publishers in New York. She is the marketing director for BP International Inc.




people Working the Angles
For decades, Madeline Hauptman has been a singular entrepreneur BY CYNTHIA CANTRELL in the racquet manufacturing business.
fter a bad day on the court, Madeline Hauptman did what comes naturally to many recreational tennis players. She blamed her racquet. Then she did something unusual. She designed and manufactured a new one. As president of PowerAngle Rackets of Scarsdale, N.Y., Hauptman is a rarity in the male-dominated racquet business, in which household names like Head, Prince and Wilson predominate. Although she declined to cite sales figures, Hauptman says the PowerAngle racquet, which features a unique diagonal stringing pattern, is steadily growing in popularity as a result of word of mouth, the ease with which it can be strung, and publicized customer testimonials. In fact, the company recently launched the Henry K. Somerville signature PowerAn-


gle racquet as a result of the endorsement by the former tour player and head coach of the Hawaii Pacific University men's tennis team. In all, PowerAngle has seven racquets on the market, which were declared legal for tournament play by the International TenPowerAngle's unique design nis Federation in features two sets of diagonal strings of equal length. June 2002. Prices
Photo by Lori Kremer

range from $99 for the junior model to $149. “This racquet works,” says Hauptman, who credits PowerAngle business director David Luskin with co-developing and copatenting the design featuring two sets of diagonal strings of equal length, which Hauptman says produces a better balanced sweetspot that keeps the ball on the strings longer, imparts more spin, and lessens the impact on a player's arm and elbow. Alejandro Berenstein, M.D., is the company's investor and strategic planning director. “Sometimes I think, what am I doing? [Competing] companies have hundreds of people working for them, and we just have a great product,” adds Hauptman, who is also an oil painter and therefore averse to stiffer frames that could result in arm pain.


“But when I believe in something, that's it.” Hauptman says her efforts to design a better racquet date back to the mid-1970s, when she was pursuing a master's degree in mathematics education at the University of Pennsylvania. “I loved to play tennis, but I just wasn't that good. I thought, I'm bending my knees, taking the racquet back, doing everything right. Maybe if the racquet was strung differently, I'd have a chance,” she recalls. “I looked at some snowshoes in my apartment and wondered if you could string a racquet like that, so it dispersed impact in more directions. I decided to try.” Using her knowledge of geometry, Hauptman ultimately designed a prototype using two sets of diagonals and one set of mains, with which she defeated—six times in a row—a tennis rival who had previously been her equal. Encouraged, she patented the Mad Raq (“Madeline's racket”) in 1980. Produced by well-known racquet manufacturers, thousands of Mad Raq tennis racquets and half a million racquetball racquets were sold worldwide. Today, Mad Raq

Hauptman and Luskin at the PowerAngle booth at the 2003 Nasdaq-100 Open.
frames are displayed at both the Wimbledon Museum and at the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Although Hauptman traded the racquet business for a position teaching mathematics in the 1990s, she says she never stopped wanting to improve her design. Pre-strung Mad Raq racquetball racquets were a success, she says, but resistance from the tennis stringer population proved to be too difficult to overcome. Hauptman credits Luskin's mechanical engineering expertise and her innovative experimentation with not only PowerAngle's improved design, but with her enthusiastic return to the racquet

business in 2002. Now, according to Hauptman, stringing a PowerAngle racquet takes about the same time as stringing a conventional racquet. Each racquet also comes with two vibration dampeners designed to minimize impact on the arm, as well as loops on the racquet cover to hold a can of balls. “I want to grow tennis, and the best way to do that is by introducing something new,” says Hauptman, noting that PowerAngle racquets are available directly from the company and at many tennis facilities across America. “My first goround was frustrating because people loved the Mad Raq concept, but it wasn't viable [because stringing was difficult]. I learned from that experience, and now I just hope people will be open-minded enough to try PowerAngle. If they do, they'll fall in love with it.” w

Photo by Lori Kremer

For more information about PowerAngle racquets, visit, email, or call 877-POWER-21.




THE STRING SELECTOR MAP Cure your customer's arms, heads 2004 and games with the right string

Choosing a string can be an unbelievably bewildering affair with absolutely no guide to choosing except pure chance and anecdotal advice—until now! The String Selector Map is the only quantifiable way to compare and select from the over 350 strings tested in the RSI/USRSA lab and listed here. Post it in your shop. Your customers will thank you—with more business.


very choice concerning string is about its effect on stringbed stiffness. Material, construction, gauge, and tension decisions all influence stringbed stiffness, and it is the stiffness that influences the ball response and what you feel. It's all about stiffness—dynamic stiffness, that is. Dynamic stiffness refers to how much the string at given tension will deflect when it is impacted with a ball or experimental hammer of a given energy.

Stiffness and Feel
For any given amount of energy in the impacting ball or hammer, a soft stringbed will display greater deflection. It will also have a lower peak impact force and tension, as well as a longer dwell time. Consequently, when comparing two strings on the String Selector Map, the softer string (to the left) will exhibit the above characteristics compared to a string with a greater stiffness (to the right). This difference in stiffness and the labels “soft” and “stiff” are not meant to indicate “good” or “bad,” however. Some players will call the softer string “comfortable” while others will call it “mushy.” And while some will call the stiffer string “crisp,” others will call it “harsh.” But whatever you call it, and whatever type of “feel” you prefer, all strings with the same stiffness values (within some plus or minus range) should in theory feel very similar, at least for a certain amount of time until differing rates of tension loss change the relative stiffness of the two strings. Any string located on the same vertical axis has the exact same stiffness, regardless of tension. Likewise, any string on the same horizontal axis is at the same tension, regardless of

stiffness. Therefore, no matter how much tension has been lost, all strings on the same vertical axis should feel about the same. All strings along the same horizontal axis can feel widely different from each other, even though they are at the same tension. The key determinant is not how much tension a string of a given material, construction, or gauge loses, but how stiff it is after it loses the tension. String plane stiffness depends primarily on string stiffness (which is related to material, construction, and gauge), tension, headsize, and the string pattern.

Tension Loss and Feel
A string's tension and stiffness never stay the same. String performance is never the same from one hit to the next. Strings lose tension and become softer with every hit and every second that passes. Strings on the Selector Map that have lost more tension in the testing will probably continue to lose more over time than others. However, the effect of this tension loss on what you feel depends on several factors: the stiffness to begin with, the stiffness that feels best to you, your sensitivity to change, and how you interpret what you feel at a given stringbed stiffness compared to another.

Tension Loss and Going “Dead”
When a string loses tension, it becomes softer. That is all that changes in a string. It does not lose power, resiliency, elasticity, or go “dead” in any quantitative way. It simply becomes less stiff, and thus feels “different” to the player. In fact, in the testing, a hammer will be ejected at essentially the same speed whether you raise or lower the tension.


The Geography of “Feel”
Finding Your “Feel Good” Location w To find the string that goes with the dot, note the dot's coordinates and look them up in the table. w Find your current string: • If you like it, dots in the neighborhood (i.e., close vertical axes to right or left) will likely play similar (perhaps with better durability and cost). • If you don't like it, move out of the neighborhood (i.e., vertical axes farther to right or left). • If you like the feel but it doesn't last, choose a string farther down on the same axis. w Stiffness (horizontal axis) is the MOST important factor in string “feel.” w The amount of tension loss affects the consistency of that feel. w “Consistency” is relative and depends on player sensitivity, string durability, and amount and style of play. w Hard hitters lose more tension than light hitters. w Softer strings are to the left, stiffer strings to the right. w Strings that lose more tension are at the top; those that lose less are at the bottom. w All strings on the same vertical line should feel about the same, no matter the tension. w All strings at different locations on the same horizontal line will feel different from each other. w Stringbed power increases to the left. w Player supplied power increases to the right. w Stringbed control increases to the right. w “Arm friendly” strings are to the left. w Spin potential increases to the right. w “Feedback” intensity (shock) increases to right. w Feel consistency over time tends to increase toward the bottom.

All strings were tensioned to 62 pounds and allowed to sit for 200 seconds. Then the string was hit five times with a force equivalent to hitting a 120 mph serve. The tension loss represents the total amount of the relaxation over both time and impact. The stiffness value is a calculation derived from the amount of force created at impact to stretch the string. Lower values represent softer strings and lower impact forces. Higher values represent stiffer strings and higher impact forces.

Test Procedure.



The string doesn't change its “power” or elasticity. When you change tension and hit a ball, the change in stiffness will affect how much energy will go into ball deformation. This, in turn, will determine how much energy is lost, because the ball loses almost half of the energy that goes into it. So when a string loses tension and, according to some players, goes “dead,” it doesn't lose power. The power potential of the string is the same (if not more). The difference is how much energy goes into the string vs. the ball and the result this has on performance and perception. In all cases, the string gives back about 95 percent of the energy that goes into stretching it. So as tension declines, the string actually takes in, and thus gives back, more energy (which translates to ball velocity). So tension loss does not equal “dead” in terms of “power” (ball velocity), but in terms of diminished “force of impact,” shock, and feedback.

range of stiffness values that will “feel the same” to any given player. Nonetheless, a rule of thumb does apply here. Any strings at the same stiffness value on the Map should feel close to the same for a certain amount of time, no matter what amount of tension loss was required to arrive at that stiffness. The amount of tension loss is irrelevant as long at the resulting stiffness feels good to you. So, tension loss is not in itself a necessarily good or bad thing. But, if you are unhappy with how long your string maintains its feel characteristics, then try a string of the same stiffness, lower down on the Map.

Tension Loss and Control
Losing tension affects control (or the feel of control) in three ways. First, it may be that the lower tension results in more energy return to the ball from the strings, and the ball will travel farther (tests show this is very small—in the range of 1 to 2 percent more velocity and only with very large tension changes) with the same swing. Secondly, a lower tension will result in a longer dwell time. If you swing at the same speed, then the ball will stay on the strings through a longer part of the arc of your swing. The angle of your shot will therefore be affected. And third, if you hit off center, the ball will twist the racquet for a longer time and affect the launch angle. Sometimes players describe this as a “trampoline effect,” or by saying that the “ball flies all over the place,” or “I'm spraying my shots.” The answer? Move to a string to the right of your current string at the same tension loss, or move down to a lower tension loss string at the same stiffness.

Tension Loss, Shock, and Feedback
You don't get the same “punch” when you hit the ball with diminished tension. The ball may go faster and farther, but it feels like less oomph. And because you have actually lost “control” as witnessed by the ball going farther (i.e., not where you are aiming), you may back off your stroke speed, which lessens the feel of impact oomph even more. So you haven't lost power, but you have lost the feel of providing the power, being in control, and getting feedback confirmation from the racquet punch. In essence, you have lost shock, not power. The impact doesn't shock you as much. Not as much shock is not as much “feedback.” So, in one sense, when you choose a string, you are choosing the level of shock that feels good or proper to you. (“Feeling good” doesn't mean that the level of shock that you like is good for you, however.)

Stiffness, Sound, and Feel
Losing tension changes the sound of the impact. The pitch is lower. You can go from a “twing” to a “twang.” “Twings” sound more responsive, elastic, powerful than “twangs”—if that is what you are used to, anyway. This twanging will affect the psychology of your play. The secret is to tune your racquet. Stiffness is the key factor in twings or twangs. Twings will be to the right and twangs to the left of your current string on the Map.

Tension Loss and Consistency of Feel
But, however you interpret the change in feel as tension goes down, the fact is that the feel does change. So, consistency of feel is important. A string at the top of the Map (more tension loss) had to change tension more over the test range to get to its current spot on the stiffness scale. It is likely that those strings will continue to lose tension (thus, change in feel) at a more rapid rate than others farther down on the Map. But strings do stabilize with time, and the rate of loss continually slows down. Consequently, a relatively “fast changing” string may still be slow enough to stay within your “feel range” for an acceptable amount of playing time. That will depend on your sensitivity and response to change. The Map does not tell us the

String selection is definitely part science, part psychology, and part art. If you integrate all these aspects, it can also become a very good business. If you can demonstrate and communicate your proficiency to your customers and help them understand their own relationships with their strings, you will surely become a true Zen master of stringing, retailing, or coaching. w

Nylon, Zyex, & Polyolefin (Sorted by Stiffness)
Company Head Pro Kennex Prince Pro Kennex Head Pro Kennex Power Angle Ashaway Isospeed Blue Star Pro Kennex String RIP Feel 17 (hybrid) IQ-Element Z 17 More Feel 16 IQ-Comfort 17 RIP Feel 16 (hybrid) IQ-Element 2 16 Duo-Color TNT Fat Core 17 Dynamite 17 Professional 17 Stargut 17 IQ-Element 2 15L Material Polyolefin Zyex Nylon/Softflex Polyolefin Polyolefin Zyex Nylon Zyex/Nylon Polyolefin Nylon Zyex Gauge 1.28 1.21 1.31 1.27 1.33 1.30 1.26 1.24 1.27 1.27 1.40 Stiff- Tension ness Loss (lb/in.) (lbs) 136 137 138 142 143 145 145 147 152 160 161 10.4 10.2 10.6 10.5 10.3 8.8 11.0 8.4 9.9 10.9 8.5 Company Ashaway Gamma Pro Kennex Ashaway Gamma Prince Volkl Prince Head Prince Prince String Material Gauge 1.37 1.29 1.37 1.23 1.33 1.25 1.31 1.23 1.16 1.31 1.30 Dynamite WB 16 Zyex/nylon Live Wire Professional 17 Nylon/Zyex IQ-Comfort 16 Polyolefin Vantage Pro 17 Nylon Live Wire Professional Nylon/Zyex Premier w/Softflex 17 Nylon Fire (hybrid) Nylon Wrapsure 17 Nylon Synthetic Gut PPS 18 Nylon Premier w/Softflex 16 Nylon Attitude 16 Nylon/Polyester/Tungston Stiff- Tension ness Loss (lb/in.) (lbs) 165 168 168 172 174 175 175 176 176 176 176 9.0 8.1 10.6 7.9 9.7 8.6 9.5 8.0 8.1 8.7 10.4


Nylon, Zyex, & Polyolefin (Sorted by Stiffness)
Company Head Ashaway Head Head Pacific Prince Head Head Tecnifibre Gamma Babolat Pacific Gamma Tecnifibre Prince Blue Star Head Forten Alpha Pacific Head Head Babolat Blue Star Gamma Wilson Blue Star Babolat Alpha Gamma Prince Silent Partner Gamma Head Alpha Pacific Head Tecnifibre Head Klip Gamma Gamma Ashaway Gamma Gamma Gamma Tecnifibre Tecnifibre Gamma Kirschbaum Gamma Tecnifibre Gosen Forten Wilson Gosen Babolat Prince Silent Partner Gosen Forten Gamma Ashaway Alpha Tecnifibre Volkl Klip Klip Gamma Gosen Gamma Head Alpha Prince Ashaway String RIP Tour 17 (hybrid) Vantage Elite 16 RIP Control 17 RIP Power 16L (Hybrid) PowerTwist Wrapsure 16 Perfect Power 16 RIP Tour 16 (hybrid) NRG2 18 Flex Core Power 17 Xcel Premium 17 FiberTwist 17 ESP 17 515 17 Sweet Perfection 17 Laser 130 16 RIP Control 16 Tiegut 16 Firecable 16 Graphite Braid TX 17 Perfect Control 16 RIP Ti.Fiber 16 Syntronic Brio 17 Fibergut XL 15L ESP 16 Stamina Spin 16 Stargut 16 Xcel Premium 16 Gut 2000 Gut 2 Sweet Perfection 16 Filament Frenzy 16 Live Wire 17 RIP Ti.Fiber 17 Element 16 Futura TXT 16L FiberGel Power 16 NRG2 17 Synthetic Gut PPS 17 Kicker 17 Live Wire XP 16 Live Wire 16 Synthetic Gut 17 TNT2 Rx 17 Live Wire XP 17 TNT Fat Core 17 X-One Biphase 1.30 X-One Biphase 1.24 TNT2 Pro Plus 17L Touch Multi-Fibre Flex Core Power 16 TRC 17 OG-Sheep Micro Super 17 Omni Spin 15L NXT 17 Biogut Poly Multi 16 FiberTour 16 LightningXX 16 Ultimatum 18 OG-Sheep Tour 17 Sweet 17 TNT Fat Core 16 Liberty 16 Claycourt Plus 16 Synthetic Gut 17 Power-Fiber 18 Excellerator 16 Excellerator 17 TNT2 Ruff 16 Super Tec AK Speed 17 TNT2 Pro Plus 16 Synthetic Gut PPS 16 Prodigy 16 Perfection 17 Liberty L15 Material Nylon/Polyolefin Nylon Nylon/Polyolefin Nylon/Polyolefin Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon/Polyolefin Nylon/Polyurethane Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon/Polyurethane Nylon Nylon Nylon/Polyolefin Nylon Nylon/Polyester Nylon/Graphite Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon/Zyex Nylon/Polyolefin Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon/Polyurethane Nylon Nylon Nylon/Zyex Nylon/Zyex Nylon Nylon Nylon/Zyex Nylon Nylon/Polyurethane Nylon/Polyurethane Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon/Polyurethane Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Gauge 1.30 1.28 1.28 1.32 1.35 1.30 1.35 1.37 1.17 1.27 1.25 1.25 1.28 1.27 1.25 1.31 1.38 1.32 1.31 1.30 1.38 1.33 1.25 1.39 1.32 1.29 1.36 1.31 1.33 1.34 1.31 1.31 1.24 1.23 1.32 1.29 1.31 1.24 1.22 1.24 1.32 1.31 1.26 1.26 1.25 1.27 1.31 1.28 1.25 1.31 1.32 1.25 1.24 1.37 1.24 1.30 1.32 1.29 1.19 1.25 1.27 1.31 1.33 1.32 1.27 1.19 1.30 1.30 1.52 1.24 1.32 1.31 1.32 1.25 1.41 Stiff- Tension ness Loss (lb/in.) (lbs) 177 177 178 178 179 180 180 181 181 181 182 182 182 182 182 183 184 184 184 184 185 185 186 186 186 186 186 187 187 187 187 188 188 189 189 189 189 190 190 190 190 190 190 191 191 191 192 192 192 192 193 193 193 193 193 193 194 194 194 194 194 194 194 194 194 195 195 195 195 196 196 196 196 196 196 7.0 7.8 6.9 7.2 11.2 8.7 8.6 7.0 7.7 9.3 7.7 9.3 9.5 9.5 9.8 8.4 8.1 9.7 11.0 11.7 7.9 7.6 8.4 9.6 9.6 10.9 10.3 8.3 9.0 9.7 9.6 9.0 8.9 7.5 8.9 8.9 8.1 7.3 8.4 9.1 9.4 9.2 10.3 9.0 9.4 10.9 8.6 8.3 10.9 10.5 8.6 8.3 8.7 10.2 9.4 10.5 8.4 8.3 8.6 9.1 9.9 10.7 9.5 10.8 9.3 7.5 9.2 9.3 10.5 8.4 9.3 9.3 9.6 9.0 12.2 Company Tecnifibre Babolat Forten Wilson Wilson Head Ashaway Forten Blue Star Wilson Tecnifibre Pro Kennex Dunlop Gosen Prince Wilson Babolat Dunlop Bow Brand Pacific Blue Star Bow Brand Forten Wilson Silent Partner Alpha Gamma Klip Pacific Pro Kennex Pacific Gamma Gamma Gamma Prince Klip Wilson Gosen Prince Gamma Gamma Gosen Forten Pacific Klip Silent Partner Silent Partner Gamma Wilson Dunlop Wilson Forten Blue Star Head AG International Pacific Tecnifibre Bow Brand Silent Partner Klip Prince Pacific Silent Partner Wilson Wilson Bow Brand Forten Babolat Klip Wilson Wilson Gamma Prince Prince Gamma String Material Gauge 1.31 1.34 1.43 1.25 1.30 1.34 1.34 1.21 1.43 1.32 1.35 1.29 1.23 1.24 1.40 1.22 1.39 1.32 1.24 1.25 1.33 1.37 1.33 1.38 1.28 1.35 1.27 1.25 1.32 1.31 1.33 1.26 1.21 1.36 1.20 1.30 1.27 1.29 1.31 1.37 1.31 1.30 1.36 1.32 1.34 1.38 1.32 1.32 1.28 1.34 1.29 1.26 1.31 1.29 1.31 1.38 1.31 1.35 1.33 1.27 1.26 1.39 1.33 1.35 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.25 1.31 1.24 1.25 1.27 1.29 1.35 1.26 NRG2 16 Nylon/Polyurethane Syntronic Brio 16 Nylon Spin Gear 15 Nylon Sensation 17 Nylon NXT 16 Nylon FiberGel 16 Nylon Synthetic Gut 16 Nylon Dynamix 18 Nylon Original 15L Nylon NXT OS 16L Nylon 515 16 Nylon/Polyurethane CS-Elite 16 Nylon/Polyurethane Max Comfort 17 Nylon OG-Sheep Micro 17 Nylon Tournament Nylon 15L Nylon Stamina 18 Nylon Xcel Premium 15L Nylon Max Comfort 16 Nylon Micro Tournament 17 Nylon PowerLine 17 Nylon Focus 130 16 Nylon T2000 15L Nylon Dynamix 15L Nylon Staminia Spin 15L Nylon Ultimatum 17 Nylon Sensor Fibre 16 Nylon Challenger 17 Nylon Synthetic Gut 17 Nylon PowerLine 16L Nylon CS-Qualifier 16 Nylon PremiumPower X 16 Nylon Synthetic Gut 17 w/Wearguard Nylon Synthetic Gut w/Weargurard 18 Nylon TNT2 Rx 16 Nylon Synthetic Gut 18 w/Duraflex Nylon Screamer Titanium (hybrid) Nylon/Titanium NXT Tour 17 Nylon OG-Sheep Micro 16 Nylon Perfection 16 Nylon Dura Spin 15L Nylon Synthetic Gut 16 w/Wearguard Nylon OG Sheep Micro Super 16 Nylon Sweet 15 Nylon Syntec 16L Nylon Excellerator 15L Nylon Head Spin 15L Nylon Titanium 16 Nylon Zo Plus 16L Nylon Extreme Synthetic Gut 16 Nylon Tour Performance 16 Nylon Supreme 17 Nylon Dynamix 17 Nylon Serve and Volley 16 Nylon Synthetic Gut 16 Nylon AG 16 Nylon Power Spin 16 Nylon TRC 16 Nylon/Polyurethane Ballistic 15L Nylon Ultimatum 16 Nylon Scorcher 17 Nylon Lightning XX 17 Nylon Futura TXT 16 Nylon Original Syn 16 Nylon NXT Max 15L Nylon Supreme 16 Nylon Synthetic Gut XT 16 Nylon Dynamix 16 Nylon Superfine Play 17 Nylon Scorcher 16 Nylon NXT Tour 18 Nylon Stamina 17 Nylon TNT2 17 Nylon Topspin Plus 16 Nylon Synthetic Gut 15L w/Duraflex Nylon Synthetic Gut 17 Nylon Stiff- Tension ness Loss (lb/in.) (lbs) 197 197 197 197 198 198 198 198 198 199 199 199 199 199 199 200 200 200 200 200 201 201 201 201 201 202 202 202 202 202 202 203 203 203 203 203 203 203 203 204 204 204 204 204 204 204 204 204 205 205 205 205 205 205 205 205 206 206 206 206 207 207 207 208 208 208 208 208 208 209 209 209 209 209 209 6.5 8.6 9.8 9.5 8.5 9.7 9.1 10.5 10.9 8.6 8.7 9.3 9.2 9.2 10.2 8.2 8.0 8.5 10.2 11.0 7.8 9.6 9.5 10.1 9.8 8.6 9.3 10.0 9.8 10.8 9.7 7.9 8.0 8.2 9.1 9.1 9.0 10.0 9.8 8.1 8.6 8.6 9.4 9.8 9.5 10.6 10.2 11.4 8.3 8.8 9.0 9.0 8.9 9.6 9.6 9.8 8.0 9.0 9.7 10.0 8.1 9.0 10.7 8.4 8.1 9.1 9.0 9.5 9.5 7.7 8.3 7.8 8.1 9.1 9.8



Nylon, Zyex, & Polyolefin (Sorted by Stiffness)
Company Wilson Prince Klip Gamma Wilson Head Bow Brand Tecnifibre Babolat Wilson Gosen Forten Gamma Babolat Prince Forten Gosen Gosen Alpha Pacific Prince Pacific Prince Gamma Klip Babolat Klip Gamma Gamma Klip Dunlop Pacific Alpha Gamma Gamma Prince Babolat Gamma Wilson Gosen Bow Brand Bow Brand Babolat Head String Sensation 16 Topspin 15L Kicker 16 TNT2 16 Extreme Synthetic Gut 17 Extreme Synthetic Gut 17 Tournament 16L Synthetic Gut 16 Superfine Play 16 NXT Max 16 Tecgut Super Tec AK Speed 16 Competition Nylon 15L Marathon DPC 16 Powergy 16 Synthetic Gut 17 w/Duraflex Sweet 16 OG-Sheep Micro Super JC 16 Tecgut Super Tec Ak Pro 16 Viper 16 PowerLine 16 Synthetic Gut 16 w/Duraflex SpacePower TX 16L Synthetic Gut Original 17 TNT2 18 Synthetic Gut 15L Razor Spin 16 Synthetic Gut 16 Synthetic Gut 15L w/Weargurad Ruff 16 Twister 15L Synthetic Gut 16 Syntec 16 Sphere 16 Dura Spin w/ Wearguard 16 Challenger 16 Synthetic Gut Original 16 Conquest 16 Synthetic Gut 16 Ultra Synthetic Gut 16 OG-Sheep Proform Tuff 15L Super Pro 15L Calibre 15L Conquest 17 Spin Plus 15L Material Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Gauge 1.32 1.30 1.32 1.31 1.25 1.24 1.32 1.34 1.32 1.34 1.32 1.41 1.32 1.34 1.26 1.33 1.30 1.34 1.29 1.36 1.30 1.33 1.24 1.18 1.37 1.30 1.33 1.38 1.48 1.43 1.31 1.37 1.31 1.37 1.32 1.30 1.33 1.30 1.32 1.38 1.43 1.36 1.27 1.38 Stiff- Tension ness Loss (lb/in.) (lbs) 209 209 209 210 210 210 210 210 210 211 211 211 211 211 212 212 212 212 212 213 213 213 214 214 214 214 214 215 215 215 215 216 216 217 217 217 217 218 218 218 218 218 218 218 9.5 9.8 10.3 8.5 9.0 9.6 9.9 9.7 9.9 8.3 8.4 8.5 9.9 9.5 8.8 8.8 8.7 9.5 9.8 9.8 9.6 9.9 8.8 9.6 11.3 10.7 9.2 9.8 10.2 9.4 10.8 9.6 10.4 7.7 9.1 9.4 11.0 8.6 8.9 9.6 9.9 10.3 9.7 12.3 Company Babolat Wilson Dunlop Wilson Gamma Gamma Gamma Head Prince Head Gamma Gosen Bow Brand Gamma Gamma Gamma Gamma Gamma Gamma Ashaway Wilson Ashaway String Conquest Ti 16 NXT Tour 16 Synthetic Gut 17 Stamina 16 Marathon DPC 15L Flex Core Control 15L XL 16 Master 15L ZNX Master 16L Synthetic Gut 18 Tecgut Power 16 Superspin Dura Spin 16 Synthetic Gut 15L Flex Core Control 16 Advantage 15L Marathon DPC 17 Dura Spin 15L MonoGut 17 Stamina DT MonoGut 16L Material Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon Gauge 1.33 1.31 1.24 1.32 1.44 1.36 1.29 1.39 1.36 1.31 1.22 1.31 1.43 1.39 1.37 1.31 1.39 1.27 1.41 1.22 1.38 1.27

Stiff- Tension ness Loss (lb/in.) (lbs) 218 219 219 219 219 219 219 219 219 221 221 221 222 223 224 226 227 228 230 233 237 242 7.8 7.4 7.8 8.5 9.5 9.8 9.3 10.4 11.6 8.1 8.6 11.3 9.7 7.9 10.1 8.9 8.3 7.7 9.0 12.2 9.9 12.2

Polyester (Sorted by Stiffness)
Company Tecnifibre Tecnifibre Bow Brand Bow Brand Babolat Silent Partner Tecnifibre Pacific Luxilon Bow Brand Pacific Klip Wilson Wilson Gamma Luxilon Luxilon Wilson Babolat Tecnifibre Luxilon Luxilon Forten Luxilon String Material Gauge 1.27 1.29 1.18 1.28 1.25 1.27 1.20 1.29 1.16 1.25 1.18 1.23 1.20 1.24 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.30 1.31 1.24 1.15 1.25 1.23 1.23 Promix 1.25 Polyester Promix 1.30 Polyester Bowstar 20 Polyester Bowstar 30 Polyester Pro Hurricane Polyester Roly Poly 17 Polyester Spinfire 1.20 Polyester Poly Soft 16 Polyester Big Banger Ace 18 Polyester Bowstar 25 Polyester Poly Power 17 Polyester K-Boom 17 Polyester Enduro Tour 18 Polyester Enduro Tour 17 Polyester Zo Plus Polyester Big Banger Alu Power Rough 16LPolyester Monotec Zolo Rough 16L Polyester Enduro Tour 16 Polyester Pro Hurricne 16 Polyester Spinfire 1.25 Polyester Big Banger TiMO 18 Polyester Monotec Zolo 18 Polyester Poly-Blast 17 Polyester Big Banger Alu Power 16L Polyester Stiff- Tension ness Loss (lb/in.) (lbs) 199 204 212 224 226 229 230 231 232 232 232 234 236 236 238 240 240 240 241 241 241 241 241 242 9.0 10.1 13.3 13.2 10.2 13.4 12.9 12.3 10.6 12.1 12.1 10.8 14.2 15.7 10.4 12.6 13.3 16.4 8.6 10.0 11.2 11.7 11.6 11.6 Company Gosen String Polylon Flex 16 Material Polyester Gauge 1.30

Stiff- Tension ness Loss (lb/in.) (lbs) 242 13.0


Polyester (Sorted by Stiffness)
Company Klip Luxilon Luxilon Tecnifibre Babolat Pacific Prince Prince Luxilon Tecnifibre Luxilon Gamma Gosen Klip Head Gosen Babolat Alpha String Hardcore 17 Monotec Zolo 16L Big Banger XP 16L Spinfire 1.30 Ballistic Polymono 17 PolySpin 16 Polygut 16 Polygut 17 Big Banger Original 16 Polyspin 1.275 Monotec Supersense 16L Zo Life 16 Polylon 16 K-Boom 16 UltraTour 17 Polylon Comfort 16 Ballistic Polymono 16 Polycable 16 Material Polyester Polyester Polyester Polyester Polyester Polyester Polyester Polyester Polyester Polyester Polyester Polyester Polyester Polyester Polyester Polyester Polyester Polyester Gauge 1.24 1.24 1.25 1.31 1.25 1.32 1.31 1.24 1.28 1.27 1.26 1.28 1.30 1.31 1.22 1.30 1.30 1.33 Stiff- Tension ness Loss (lb/in.) (lbs) 243 243 243 244 244 245 246 246 249 249 250 251 254 255 255 256 257 257 11.0 12.2 11.8 13.1 13.7 13.1 13.1 13.9 11.7 13.5 13.1 9.3 13.9 10.3 13.3 13.3 13.7 16.6 Company Volkl Klip Ashaway Luxilon Luxilon Luxilon Head Gamma Pro Kennex Luxilon Bow Brand Wilson Ashaway Luxilon Luxilon Pacific Gamma Pacific String Fire (hybrid) Hardcore 16 Monofire XL 17 Big Banger LTS 16 Big Banger TiMO 17 Poly-Blast 16 UltraTour 16L Dura Blast 17 CS-X 17 Big Banger Original Rough 16 Bowstar 35 Enduro Mono 16L Monofire XL 16 Monotec Super Poly 16 Big Banger 5-Star 15L Poly Force 17 Dura Blast 16 Poly Force 16L Material Polyester Polyester Polyester Polyester Polyester Polyester Polyester Polyester Polyester Polyester Polyester Polyester Polyester Polyester Polyester Polyester Polyester Polyester Gauge 1.25 1.27 1.26 1.30 1.23 1.29 1.27 1.26 1.23 1.28 1.36 1.27 1.29 1.25 1.37 1.24 1.30 1.30

Stiff- Tension ness Loss (lb/in.) (lbs) 258 258 259 259 261 261 263 264 265 266 267 269 278 288 290 294 303 320 12.8 13.1 11.1 12.7 10.9 11.8 12.4 10.8 12.8 13.1 13.3 10.5 10.9 11.8 12.6 8.7 7.9 12.4

Gut (Sorted by Stiffness)
Company Pacific Pro Kennex Wilson Babolat Wilson Pacific Pacific Pacific Babolat Wilson Pacific Bow Brand Klip Klip Babolat Bow Brand Babolat Babolat String Prime Gut Imperial 17 Heritage 16 Natural 16 VS Team 17 Natural 17 Tour Gut 17 Prime Gut 17 Classic Gut 16 VS Touch 16 Natural 15L Prime Gut 17L Championship 16 Legend 1.30 Legend 17 Tonic+ Ball Feel Championship 15L VS Touch 15L Tonic+ Longevity Material Natural Gut Natural Gut Natural Gut Natural Gut Natural Gut Natural Gut Natural Gut Natural Gut Natural Gut Natural Gut Natural Gut Natural Gut Natural Gut Natural Gut Natural Gut Natural Gut Natural Gut Natural Gut Gauge 1.17 1.27 1.31 1.26 1.26 1.24 1.22 1.30 1.30 1.34 1.25 1.30 1.28 1.27 1.35 1.34 1.35 1.38 Stiff- Tension ness Loss (lb/in.) (lbs) 90 99 102 102 103 104 105 106 107 110 110 111 113 113 114 116 118 119 7.5 8.3 6.7 6.7 6.9 7.8 6.1 8.8 7.1 7.4 9.2 6.8 8.3 8.6 7.1 7.9 7.0 7.5

Kevlar/Technora/Vectran (Sorted by Stiffness)
Company Ashaway Forten Prince Prince Forten Forten Wilson Head Dunlop Silent Partner Forten Pacific Forten Gamma Gamma Ashaway Gamma Gosen Wilson Prince Gamma Ashaway Klip Forten String Composite XT Pro New Age 18 Perfection Control 17 Perfection Control 16 Ultra Thin Blend 18 (hybrid) Thin Blend 18 (hybrid) Hyperlast Spin (hybrid) RIP Blend 17 (hybrid) Max Touch 17 (hybrid) Gutsy Aramid 17 (hybrid) Aramid Gear 15 (hybrid) Gear 16 (hybrid) Sweet Aramid 16L (hybrid) TNT2 Fusion Plus 19 (hybrid) Infinity 18 (hybrid) Crossfire 18 (hybrid) TNT2 Fusion Plus 16 (hybrid) Arammix Pro 18 Hyperlast 15 (hybrid) Problend 17 (hybrid) Infinity 16 (hybrid) Crossfire 17 (hybrid) Atomic 16 (hybrid) Sweet Aramid 15L (hybrid) Material Vectran Kevlar/Nylon Nylon/Technora Nylon/Technora Kevlar Kevlar Technora Kevlar Kevlar Kevlar Kevlar Kevlar Kevlar Kevlar/Nylon Kevlar Kevlar Kevlar Kevlar Technora Kevlar Kevlar Kevlar Kevlar Kevlar Gauge 1.30 1.13 1.24 1.28 1.12 1.15 1.21 1.24 1.22 1.15 1.45 1.43 1.27 1.23 1.17 1.08 1.28 1.09 1.41 1.24 1.30 1.22 1.29 1.36 Stiff- Tension ness Loss (lb/in.) (lbs) 470 511 530 530 545 557 562 574 586 623 627 629 632 640 641 671 674 697 709 720 736 757 758 761 8.8 7.5 6.8 7.6 7.7 6.4 7.3 8.7 9.6 8.1 8.6 8.3 8.4 10.3 9.6 9.1 9.5 6.1 8.3 5.8 10.5 9.6 9.0 8.6 Company Ashaway Prince String Crossfire II 16 (hybrid) Pro Blend 16 (hybrid) Material Kevlar Kevlar Gauge 1.29 1.30

Stiff- Tension ness Loss (lb/in.) (lbs) 764 981 8.8 5.6




With custom embroidery, you can offer tennis apparel that is unique to your shop.
ooking for a way to spice up your apparel sales and to offer something unique to your members and customers? Put your logo or facility name on your tenniswear. Many apparel manufacturers offer a “custom-embroidery” program, in which you can have your logo Lejay stitched onto apparel. Generally, there's a minimum order of anywhere from 12 to 24 pieces, a small set-up fee (usually around $100) for the logo, and an extra charge of about $2.50 per garment. But, says Peter Antonacci of Sport-



ing Look, “You can increase your bottom line by having items that your customers can't buy in other shops.” Antonacci says he's noticed an increase in the custom-embroidery business over the last few years, and that's what has prompted Sporting Look to redo its line to focus solely on custom-embroidered tennis apparel. “Where our business has really grown is in clubs and resorts that want the latest high-tech fabrics and the latest designs, and they want to put their logo on it,” he says. “I think one reason why more shops are doing custom embroidery is that their customers will never see that garment in a discount store, which buys


Sporting Look

closeout lines from big manufacturers,” says Antonacci. Custom-embroidered apparel is something that most people may associate with high-profile resorts. “If people are coming in to a resort from around the world, they want to take a logoed garment home with them,” says Bill Evans, vice president of sales and marketing for Tail. Evans says that while the majority of Tail's custom-logoed merchandise is on the golf side, the company does tennis apparel, too, mostly for country clubs and club teams. Katie Curry, vice president of marketing for The LBH Group, also finds that while the golf side has really taken the lead with custom embroidery, there are tennis accounts looking to logo their apparel, too. “When an account does request a custom logo, it's usually either for a tennis shop at a resort or for a tennis team,” she says. In fact, providing tenniswear with a custom look for teams has been big business for many apparel manufacturers. Patrice Brayer, the national sales manager for Marcia Apparel, says that her company recently completed an order for 240 custom-embroidered shirts for one facility. “It was a huge order, for team play,” she says. “Logoing and team orders are somewhat common. Sometimes, they even ask us to

design the logo for them, if they don't have a logo.” “We do supply a lot of uniforms,” adds Diane Bladecki, marketing/promotions director for Kaelin. “I think where it's mainly on the rise is on a polo type of shirt or a tank top for ladies. As a past retailer, what you're looking for with those items are things with a very long margin.” Trish Levin, vice president of merchandising for Lejay, says her company will do custom embroidery, but when it comes to customizing for teams or facilKaelin ities, Lejay's main focus has been on team colors. “A big part of our business is custom team apparel, where we offer up to 15 solid colors for the body style and those same colors for trim,” she says. “Then we let teams pick their own color combinations, and we turn it around in three or four weeks.” If there are tournaments or other special events in your area, consider having customembroidered apparel available for sale, tailored, of course, to those events. Also, you may want to carry apparel that is custom-logoed with your community name or other local affiliation, which might prove profitable for some tennis shops that aren't connected to a specific tennis facility. Custom-embroidery can help your shop get noticed, and can provide a unique product for your customers. w

How to Contact the Manufacturers
Kaelin—800-252-5415; LBH—800-421-4474; Lejay—800-932-7535; Marcia—800-423-5208; Sporting Look—800-750-8960; Tail—800-678-8245;




1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Round Reached
2 3 F S S 3 Q 4 4 W Q 2 3 3 1 4 Q 3 3

Player Name
Roger Federer Andy Roddick Guillermo Coria David Nalbandian Tim Henman Juan Carlos Ferrero Carlos Moya Rainer Schuettler Andre Agassi Gaston Gaudio Lleyton Hewitt Nicolas Massu Sebastien Grosjean Paradorn Srichaphan Marat Safin Sjeng Schalken Mark Philippoussis Juan Ignacio Chela Jiri Novak Andrei Pavel


Racquet Brand

Racquet Model

Racquet Headsize
90 100 100 98 95 100 100 93 107 95 90 97 98 98 93 93 98 98

String Brand
Luxilon/Wilson Babolat Luxilon Luxilon Babolat/Luxilon Luxilon Luxilon Polystar Luxilon Babolat/Luxilon Luxilon Babolat Luxilon/Babolat Babolat Babolat Babolat Luxilon Luxilon

Wilson nCode Six-One Tour Babolat Pure Drive + Prince Experimental NXGraphite Yonex RDX-500 Slazenger Pro X-1 Prince NXGraphite Babolat Pure Drive Head Liquidmetal Prestige Mid Head Liquidmetal Radical OS Wilson Pro Staff 6.1 Yonex RDX-500 Babolat Pure Control Plus Head Liquidmetal Prestige MP Yonex Ultimum RD TI-80 Head Liquidmetal Prestige Mid DID NOT PLAY Head i.prestige Mid (black) Babolat Pure control Plus Volkl Tour 10 Mid Plus Fischer Pro No. One

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Round Reached
3 W Q 1 F S Q S 2 Q 2 3 2 Q 3 2 1 3

Player Name


Racquet Brand

Racquet Model

Racquet Headsize
95 100 98 95 98 95 110 100 100 110 * 97 98 100 110 100 98 98

String Brand
BDE Luxilon Babolat Babolat Luxilon Babolat/Luxilon Wilson Prince Luxilon Wilson Luxilon Prince Kirschbaum Babolat Luxilon Babolat Luxilon Kirschbaum

Justine Henin-Hardenne Kim Clijsters Anastasia Myskina Amelie Mauresmo Lindsay Davenport Elena Dementieva Jennifer Capriati Venus Williams Paola Suarez Svetlana Kuznetsova Serena Williams Nadia Petrova Ai Sugiyama Vera Zvonareva Maria Sharapova Silvia Farina Elia Anna Pistolesi Chanda Rubin Francesca Schiavone Patty Schnyder

Wilson HTour DID NOT PLAY Head Liquidmetal Instinct Dunlop 300G Wilson HTour Yonex RDX-500 MP Prince Triple Threat Rebel Midsize Wilson H4 Prince NXG Graphite Head Liquidmetal Instinct Wilson H6 * * Prince More Control DB 800 Fischer Pro No One FT Prince More Attack Prince Triple Threat Graphite OS Babolat Pure Drive DID NOT PLAY Fischer Pro No. One Head Liquidmetal Prestige MP


*We were unable to confirm the racquet that Nadia Petrova was using at Roland Garros. We recieved reports that she was using a Head and/or Prince Racquet.

Wondering what gear your favorite pro players brought to this year’s French Open? Here’s a look at the equipment that the top 20 men and women used to try to tame the slow red clay. Put these pages on the wall of your shop, so that your customers can check out their favorite players, too.
String Model String String Gauge Tension
73 52 64 51.6 53/51 60 66 59.5 56 53 50.6 64 -75 29/28kg -

Footwear Brand
Nike Reebok Adidas Yonex Adidas Nike Nike Fila Nike Diadora Nike Adidas ASICS Adidas Adidas Adidas Nike

Footwear Model
VAPOR S2 Figjam DMX ClimaCool Feather Power Cushion 303 ClimaCool Feather Air Court Implosion MAX Breathe FREE X-Point MAX Breathe FREE Protech DA2 MAX Breathe FREE ClimaCool Feather Gel Invasion ClimaCool Feather ClimaCool Feather ClimaCool Feather VAPOR S2

Clothing Brand
Nike Reebok Adidas Yonex Adidas Sergio Tacchini Nike Fila Nike Diadora Nike Adidas Lacoste Adidas Adidas Fila Adidas Australian Nike

Big Banger Alu Power Rough/Natural Gut 16L Pro Hurricane/VS Team 16 16 Big Banger Original 16 Big Banger Original 16 Big Banger Timo 17 (M) / VS Team Natural Gut (X) 17 Big Banger Original 16 Big Banger Original 16 Energy 1.25mm Big Banger Alu Power 16L VS Team/Big Banger Alu Power 16L Big Banger Alu Power 16 VS Touch 16 Big Banger Alu Power/VS Touch Natural Gut 16L/16 Ballistic 16/VS Team 16 16 VS Touch Natural Gut Ballistic 16 Big Banger Alu Power Big Banger Ace Touch 16 16 16L 18/16L

String Model
BDE Performance Big Banger Timo 18 VS Touch VS Touch Big Banger Alu Power VS Touch 16/Big Banger Alu Power Natural Nylon Big Banger Alu Touch Natural Monotec Supersense Natural Gut Super Smash Spikey Pro Hurricane 17/VS Touch 16 Big Banger Original Tour Duralast Big Banger Alu Power Super Smash Spikey

String String Gauge Tension
16 18 16 16 16L 16L 16 15L 16L 16 16L 16 16 17 16 16 18 17 57.5 56/52 57.2 63/64 51/48.5 67 65 67 20kg 57 52/50 77.2 -

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Your Equipment Hotline


In the April issue of RSI, Crawford Lindsey provided the article “Follow the Bouncing Ball,” which describes the “coefficient of restitution” (COR) for a tennis ball as “0.6 for grass, 0.83 for hard courts, and 0.85 for clay courts.” Furthermore, the article says, “That means that a ball's bounce will be the highest and fastest on clay, lowest and slowest on grass.” The article also states, “The harder the court, the higher the ball will bounce.” If all this is not in error, then obviously clay courts, which we call soft, are harder than hard courts. I know this sounds like a line from comedian George Carlin, but if soft courts are harder than hard courts, why aren't hard courts called soft courts? I'm asking not because of ball bounce but because of player injuries. I see more injuries on clay courts because of the longer ball exchanges on each point, the physical exertion from getting to balls that are out of reach on the faster hard courts, and foot slippage from the lack of start/stop traction. Good question, but the confusion stems from the fact that you are attempting to draw conclusions based on the coefficient of restitution for courts, rather than the coefficient of friction. According to an upcoming book from Racquet Tech Publishing, From Breakpoint to Advantage: A Practical Guide to Optimal Tennis Health and Performance, by Dr. Babette Pluim and Dr. Marc Safran, the sliding characteristics of the court surface are more important than the cushioning properties. Surfaces that permit some sliding (such as clay) result in fewer injuries than surfaces that allow virtually no sliding (such as hard courts). This is because on clay, sliding to a stop lowers the peak force and spreads this alreadylower force over more time. This translates to less wear and tear on your body. This conclusion is supported by statistics pro-

vided by the ATP, which show that players receive treatment at a rate of 0.37 times per match on hard courts (including carpet), compared to a rate of 0.20 times per match on clay. From Breakpoint to Advantage is scheduled for release in September, at a list price of $29.95.

the machine you are using. Some machines are just faster than others. You can do a quality restringing with a dropweight machine, but it can take a lot longer than the high-end electronic machines used by the pros.





I hear about these stringers who can restring a racquet in 15 minutes or less, and I wonder what I'm doing wrong. It takes me at least an hour to restring a racquet, and that's when I'm hurrying. What's the best way to learn how to string faster?

I'm thinking about buying a new stringing machine, and one of the machines I'm considering is the Babolat Sensor, despite its price. However, I've heard that the Sensor doesn't have speed control, unlike most of the less expensive machines I'm looking at. Is it possible to set the speed on the Sensor?


While it is no doubt true that some have more aptitude for stringing than others, you can gain speed without sacrificing quality through practice. Also, read through the tips that have been submitted by other members, to see if any of them fit with your style and help improve your stringing time. One area that seems to make a huge difference in the time it takes to finish a racquet is weaving the cross strings. Just about anyone can complete the mains in a few minutes, so your total depends more on other phases of the restringing process. It is a good idea to use a stopwatch to determine how long you spend on various aspects of the stringing process, to get an idea where you need the most work, and can realize the most improvement. There is one other factor that has nothing to do with your skill, and that is

No, you cannot set the speed of the tension head on the Babolat Sensor because its electronic control system sets tension head speed automatically after looking at parameters such as the tension setting, the pre-stretch setting, and the stiffness of the string. The first two parameters are set by the person doing the stringing, but the last parameter, string stiffness, is measured by the Sensor on each pull by examining how much time it takes the tension head to reach a percentage of the reference tension. By the time tension on the string reaches 50 to 60 percent of the reference tension, the machine has calculated the string stiffness, and the internal regulation loop takes over. The result is that the reference head reaches tension, with the optimum pulling speed for each type of string, without overshoot or oscillation, and without the need for manually setting the speed. w




Readers’ Know-How in Action
The ideas, suggestions and techniques found in “Tips and Techniques” have all been submitted by USRSA members. This department has run almost every month since its inception in 1993, recounting stringers tricks and tales of the trade garnered from everyday, real-life stringing and business experiences. All these tips have been gathered into a single volume of the Stringer’s Digest—Racquet Service Techniques—that is a benefit of USRSA membership. Submit tips to: Greg Raven, USRSA, 330 Main St., Vista, CA 92804; or email:
blocking string before pulling the cross string through. This is a prime area for friction, and a little lubrication can prevent the creation of a notch that could jeopardize the string job. Make certain to wipe off any excess lubricant from the outside of the frame before giving the racquet to the customer, of course. 5 packs of Wilson Pro Overgrip (3 grips in a pack) to: David Mindell, Cathedral City, CA

A lot of stringers use the starting clamp to back up the machine clamp on the first main, or put the starting clamp on the outside of the frame. But I use my starting clamp on the inside of the frame. Backing up the machine clamp with the starting clamp holds the string, but the side-load

When working with natural gut or other fragile strings, I put a little lubricant on the

applied to the machine clamp by the tension head wears out the clamp base to the point where it will start to slip. Using the starting clamp on the outside of the frame is hard on the adjacent grommet, and we've found that the string suffers a lot of wear and tear. I avoid all these problems by using my starting clamp inside the frame. After threading the short and long sides through the grommets for the two center mains, I install my second short-side



main, and apply my starting clamp inside the hoop on the end of the racquet farther from the tension head. I then pull tension on the first short-side main, and clamp off using the machine clamp. I next tension and clamp the first three mains on the long side as normal, before going back to tension the second short-side main, at which time I remove my starting clamp and clamp off using the machine clamp as normal. When using delicate or slippery string, or when stringing at really high tensions, I use two starting clamps, one behind the other, in the same fashion. Bow Brand string pack (including 1 set of natural gut) to: Chase Oliphant, Indio, CA

I recently installed some natural gut in my racquet. The strings are great, but I was worried about how they would hold up under the conditions here on the Florida coast. I play on green clay surfaces that are constantly damp, and the heat, humidity, and rain here are legendary.

So I relied on an old trick I used 30 years ago in Maryland. After each match, I immediately rub cocoa butter onto the stings. It works to protect the gut from drying out. Rub the cocoa butter on both hands thickly, then rub your hands all over the strings. Friction heats the cocoa butter so it will coat the strings and protect them. It wears off after a few warm-up hits. As if that's not enough, your spouse or significant other will love the new feel of your hands. Alpha 5-string pack to: Karl Sanger Editor's note: Just make certain that you apply the cocoa butter to your strings after you play, unless you like a really slippery grip.

string so it lays the way I want it to relative to the other string going to that hole. Sometimes, though, pulling the knot tight will “undress” the string, leaving a benign but unsightly crossover. To prevent this from happening I put my awl into the hole after first dressing the string. The awl keeps the tie-off string in place, through the knotting

After running the end of the string through the tie-off hole, I “dress” the

process. You just have to remember to remove the awl before doing your final cinch on the string to get any slack that may be on the outside of the frame. 5 packs of Unique Tourna Grip (3 overgrips per pack) to: Billy Knight, Incline Village, NV —Greg Raven w





Tecnifibre X-One Biphase
X-One Biphase is a multifilament string constructed using a new variation of the tried-and-true Tecnifibre process. According to Tecnifibre, X-One Biphase combines H2C (High Heat Capacity) microfilaments for power and feel, with NRG microfilaments for dynamic response. These microfilaments go through a chemical “trimerization” process to increase cohesion when dipped into polyurethane for bonding, and external protection against wear and notching. As with other Tecnifibre strings, the polyurethane also absorbs vibration and reduces shock. Tecnifibre tells us that its patented Biphase process extends string life by 20 percent and increases spin performance.
Extensive lab testing and playtesting by Tecnifibre have shown that X-One Biphase will reduce muscular fatigue, have dynamic properties similar to natural gut, and offer excellent durability. X-One Biphase is available in 16 (1.30 mm) and 17 (1.24 mm) gauges in natural only. It is priced from $14.50 for coils of 39 feet. For more information or to order, contact Tecnifibre at 877-332-0825, or visit After 24 hours (no playing), stringbed stiffness measured 64 RDC units, representing a 9 percent tension loss. Our control string, Prince Synthetic Gut Original Gold 16, measured 78 RDC units immediately after stringing and 71 RDC units after 24 hours, representing a 9 percent tension loss. XOne Biphase added 13 grams to the weight of our unstrung frame. The string was tested for five weeks by 34 USRSA playtesters, with NTRP ratings from 3.5 to 6.0. These are blind tests, with playtesters receiving unmarked strings in unmarked packages. Average number of hours playtested was 25.7. X-One Biphase is easy to install. The only problem we had was that the last inch or so of the already-flexible string would become a bit too flexible on blocked holes, necessitating a quick trim even though the point itself was still in good shape. For best performance, Tecnifibre recommends pre-stretching before installation, but it is not required. We prestretched our test sample, and advised our playtesters to do the same. X-One Biphase also has a slight texture to it, but not enough to create a “sawing” of the crosses on the mains. Knots were easily tied, and there was no coil memory, no doubt due at least in part to pre-stretching. Best of all, straightening the strings after installation was a breeze, despite the polyurethane impregnation. No playtester broke his sample during stringing, none reported problems with coil memory, none reported problems tying knots, and one reported friction burn.

(compared to other strings) No. of testers who said it was: much easier somewhat easier about as easy not quite as easy not nearly as easy

4 9 18 2 1

(compared to string played most often) No. of testers who said it was: much better 4 somewhat better 10 about as playable 9 not quite as playable 11 not nearly as playable 0

(compared to other strings of similar gauge) No. of testers who said it was: much better somewhat better about as durable not quite as durable not nearly as durable

2 13 17 2 0

We tested the 1.24 mm (17) gauge X-One Biphase. The coil measured 40 feet, 2 inches. The diameter measured 1.26 prior to stringing and 1.21 mm after stringing. We recorded a stringbed stiffness of 70 RDC units immediately after stringing at 60 pounds in a Wilson Pro Staff 6.1 95 (16 x 18 pattern) on a constant-pull machine.

From 1 to 5 (best) Playability Durability Power Control Comfort Touch/Feel Spin Potential Holding Tension Resistance to Movement 3.9 3.4 3.8 3.8 4.0 3.6 3.5 3.2 3.3

Our playtester team loved this string, giving it the highest Power rating of any string we've playtested, dethroning Tecnifibre 515 16L (our previously highest rated string), and moving Tecnifibre NRG2 SPL 17 from second place to third highest of all time. They also loved the Comfort, awarding X-One Biphase our best-ever




This string reminds me of natural gut. After a couple of hours of play, it became very soft and comfortable. It holds tension well and shows very little string movement. I really love this string. 4.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Dunlop 200G strung at 65 pounds CP (Prince Synthetic 16)

I am pleased with this string, as it suits my game quite well. I am able to hit heavy topspin as well as underspin from the baseline, and have touch and control at the net. If the price is reasonable I would have no problem recommending this string. 4.0 male all-court player using Head i.x5 OS strung at 57 pounds LO (Wilson Sensation NXT 17)

The string is soft and slippery, and the tip didn't fray during stringing. It has low coil memory and is very easy to work with. It has a soft feel during play, similar to my normal string, although with a little less control. I like this string and would recommend it to customers who want a softer feeling string. It is a good alternative to natural gut, and I would use it myself. 3.5 male all-court player using Völkl Tour 9 V-Engine strung at 54 pounds CP (Pacific TourGut 16)

Gut-like playability. I love it.

“ Very good string.

I just returned from a severe bout with tennis elbow, and I found this to be an excellent choice. I am pleased with the overall playability and comfort. 5.0 male all-court player using Wilson Hyper Pro Staff 6.1 strung at 50 pounds LO (Tecnifibre NRG2 17)

” 5.0 male serve-and-volleyer using

“ “

I liked this string from the first hit. It has (Wilson Hyperlast 63) great feel, great ball grab, and offers very nice control. It reminds me of the qualities that natural gut offers. Having made that Very little give on pre-stretch, much like statement, I would guess that this string is made by Tecnifibre. a poly. One of the quietest, most shock-absorbing strings I've hit. 5.5 male serve-and-volleyer using Wilson Hyper Pro Staff 6.7 Extreme Dampening to the point of losing power. Would be excellent for overstrung at 54 pounds CP (Natural gut 16/17) powered frames. Very little movement with no signs of wear during

Wilson Surge strung at 65 pounds LO

I didn't like having to pre-stretch the string. Otherwise, it was fine. 5.0 male serve-and-volleyer using Wilson Hyper Hammer 4.0 OS strung at 58 pounds LO (Wilson NXT 17)

Very easy string to work with. Virtually no coil memory. Scored above average in most categories. I felt that I hit out with this string with no loss of control. Off-center hits were returned with adequate power and no harshness. While the strings move initially, they quickly locked into place, although that may have been due to notching. The string did fray on me near the end of its life, but this did not affect the playability. 4.5 male baseliner with heavy spin using Pro Kennex 7g strung at 68 pounds CP (Prince DNA Helix 16)

test. Only moderate tension loss during four weeks of playtesting. 4.5 male all-court player using Völkl Tour 7 strung at 62 pounds CP (Tecnifibre NRG2 18)

A good string offering power and control. Noticed tension dropped considerably after about nine hours of use. 5.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Head Intelligence strung at 60 pounds CP (BDE Performance 16)

For the rest of the tester comments, USRSA members can visit

(Strings normally used by testers are indicated in parentheses.)

rating of all the strings we've tested. In addition, our team rated X-One Biphase third place overall both in Playability and in Spin Potential (the Biphase process in action?), and fourth place overall in Touch/Feel. For good measure, they also rated it well above average in Control. The average score was good enough to vault X-One Biphase into fourth place of all the strings we've tested. Six playtesters broke the test sample, one each at 5, 5.5, 7, 17, 26, and 55 hours.

X-One Biphase didn't just score first overall in the Comfort category, it far surpassed our previous first-place string. Even though competition among manufacturers has brought down the price of the traditional comfort string—natural gut— X-One Biphase's comfort-to-cost ratio could win it a lot of friends among those with arm problems, and that's not taking into consideration its many other fine qualities, or its ease of stringing compared to gut. —Greg Raven w

Tecnifibre has generously offered to send a free set of X-One Biphase to USRSA members who request it. To get your free set, just register at Offer expires September 15, 2004 One set of free string per USRSA membership Offer only available to USRSA members in the US

FREE! Tecnifibre X-One Biphase!
In order to qualify, you will need to provide your USRSA member number.



TENNIS PROS Want to change jobs and let everyone know you are available? Place a Tennis Position Wanted classified here - everyone gets RSI magazine. See details at the bottom of this page. 952 920 8947

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Highly successful Tennis Director/Head tennis professional, seeks a position in the Southern California area. This professional has extensive experience in all aspects TENNIS CLUBS Want to add to staff? including world class instructional proPlace an ad in RSI; everyone reads it. All grams, national junior development, and all information is at bottom of this page. We duties concerning operating, maintaining, can help. and transforming a facility into an elite DO YOU WANT TO BUY OR SELL A class organization. Professional is currently employed, but will consider any position in RACQUET BUSINESS? If you don?t Southern Calif. Inquries to want to keep it a secret, place a classified or 952 920 8947. ad here. If you want confidentiality, let us advise you. For details, see bottom of this HELP WANTED page. DO YOU SELL A PRODUCT OR SERVICE TO TENNIS CLUBS OR RETAILERS? Why not contact them with a classified ad here in RSI? It’s easy, just see details at bottom of this page. SELLING YOUR CLUB? us help you. Let Call bob Larson for confidential consultation. 952 920 8947 or contact by e-mail. TENNIS COACHES CONNECTI CUT Indoor Tennis Clubs in Connecticut is seeking hardworking, enthusiastic and dedicated instructors. Minimum two-years experience and commensurate salary. US Visa sponsorship will be considered for qualified applicants, if required. Contact Jeff Gocke at 203 655 2852 X 308, or via fax 203 656 1091.

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Classified ads are $100 for up to 50 words. Additional words are $1 each. To place an ad or for help in writing the ad, call Bob Larson, 952 920 8947. Deadline for the August issue is July 22. E-mail


TEACHING PROS AND COACHES Book your dream trip NOW! Enjoy seven


NEW MEMBERS May/June 2004

Congratulations to the following members who recently became MRTs Alen Amini Cincinnati, OH Sonny Kay Cincinnati, OH

John Lewis Eugene Kim Sportmart Richard Wynn Jr David Schwartz Stella Manashirov Richard Wilczak Jerry Kinnaman Vijai Batchu Bobby Hush Andrew Austin Dan Kolodziej Chris Ensslin Kim Angermeier Cody Fister Jeffrey Kelley Jonathan Kostek Michael Pierce Jeremy Johnson Calvin Choi Jerry Amstutz Matt Bruer Mark Enderle

Odenville Los Angeles Long Beach Altadena Stevenson Ranch Mountain View Napa Oakley San Jose Bethany Beach Atlanta Dyer Lexington Henderson Mandeville Easthampton West Springfield Silver Spring Abington Auburn Hills Coldwater St. Louis Fulton


Scheels All Sports Ivan Fernandez Judy Feldman Bob Tuttle Daniel Hwang Ken Baxter Robert Myerson John Koval Teriangela Abbett Dave Messinger Neil Soffer Heinrich Stander Mason Brunson Nicole Stephenson Katherine Enlow Scott Warren Ricky Payton A.Oliveira do Amaral Ron Gore Geoff Bowers Dan Tinsay

Omaha Las Cruces Brooklyn Freeport Melville Ellenville Rhinebeck Endwell Pittsburgh Kennet Square Blue Bell Reading Florence Dallas Missouri City Seattle APO BC Nottingham Tamuning


Congratulations to the following members who recently became CSs Joseph Chastain Marietta, GA Sharon Hall Athens, GA MRT’s: 400 CS’s: 2517

USRSA membership dues: $99 annually. (CA residents add 7.75% sales tax. $106.67 total.) Canadian Members add $20 (US) for postage costs. US Total: $119. Mexican Members add $25 (US) for postage costs. US Total: $124. All other International Members add $36 (US) for airmail postage costs. US Total: $135. Membership includes: 10 issues of Racquet Sports Industry, the five-volume Stringer’s Digest, free consultation, free classified advertising and access to the member's-only website.

Souriya Chanthaphonh Franklin

Rio de Janeiro BRAZIL

Angel Rodriquez Garcia Lomas Altas



Date Event Location

Birmingham, AL Anchorage, AK Scottsdale, AZ Mountain View, CA Ojai, CA San Diego, CA Boulder, CO Boca Raton, FL Clearwater, FL Ft. Walton Beach, FL Palm Coast, FL Winter Park, FL Snellville, GA Honolulu, HI Boise, ID Northbrook, IL Overland Park, KS Baton Rouge, LA East Lansing, MI St. Louis Park, MN Lincoln, NE Mountainside, NJ 205-985-4989 907-244-9810 or 225-767-1379 480-483-5560 650-968-8952 805-640-2109 858-272-9063 303-442-1412 561-997-0881 727-442-7923 850-862-2023 386-446-6360 407-673-9200 770-982-8989 808-373-1212 208-794-6236 or 208-345-4140 847-480-7841 913-491-4116 907-244-9810 or 225-767-1379 517-337-0002 952-920-1603 402-474-5050 908-233-6650 or 201-679-7535 Victoria, Australia Bryn Mawr, PA Pittsburgh, PA West Lawn, PA Hilton Head Island, SC Myrtle Beach, SC Antioch, TN Dallas, TX Sugarland, TX Arlington, VA Farmville, VA Seattle, WA Victoria, Canada Tokyo, Japan Ontario, CAN Tasmania, Australia Albuquerque, NM Commack, NY Flushing Meadows, NY Rochester, NY Cary, NC Cincinnati, OH Mentor, OH Lakeside, OR For additional dates and locations, contact the USRSA, 760-536-1177. 505-299-8052 631-543-7077 718-760-6227 585-427-2747 919-859-6788 513-791-4636 440-357-6147 907-244-9810 or 225-767-1379 610-525-2504 412-323-0335 ext 256 610-288-5030 843-341-8647 978-343-4944 615-731-3700 214-821-8440 281-980-4286 703-522-2700 434-392-6081 206-812-6002 604-418-4842 03-5603-1168 519-534-3745 03 62348627 or 04 19 523226 061-03-9890-3011

For more information or for additional dates and locations, contact the organization directly: PTR: 800-421-6289 • USPTA: 713-978-7782

2-3 4-5 5-6 10-11 11-12 11-12 11-12 11-12 25-26 25-26

USPTA Certification USPTA Certification USPTA Certification USPTA Certification PTR Certification USPTA Certification USPTA Certification USPTA Certification PTR Certification PTR Certification

Freeport, NY Atlanta, GA Hilton Head, SC Minneapolis, MN Wilmington, DE Rome, GA Valencia, CA Aurora, IL St. Louis, MO Manasquan, NJ

Date Event Location

7-8 7-8 9-10 16-17 16-17 16-17 16-17 16-17 18-19 19-20 23-24 23-24 23-24 23-24 23-24 25-26 30-31

USPTA Certification PTR Certification USPTA Certification USPTA Certification USPTA Certificaiton USPTA Certification USPTA Certification PTR Certification USPTA Certification USPTA Certification USPTA Certification USPTA Certification USPTA Certification PTR Certification PTR Certification USPTA Certification USPTA Certification

Bethpage, NY Flushing, NY Rochester, MI Sacramento, CA Edmonds, WA Hot springs, AK Ft. Worth, TX Wheaton, IL Atlanta, GA Mesa, AZ Memphis, TN Mandevilla, LA Joplin, MO Thorofare, NJ Madison, WI Beverly Hills, CA Fayetteville, NC


USRSA 330 Main St., Vista CA 92084 Tel: 760 • 536 • 1177 President Patrick Curry Partner/Business Development Steve Schein Executive Director David Bone, MRT Managing Editor/Webmaster Crawford Lindsey Advertising Director John Hanna Design/Art Director Kristine Thom Technical Support Dot Hogen, MRT; Greg Raven, MRT Membership Services Nancy Crowley, Barbara Smith Shipping/Receiving Pat Regan USRSA TECHNICAL ADVISORS Warren Bosworth Professional stringer, racquet designer and industry advisor Dr. Howard Brody Professor Emeritus of Physics, Univ. of Pennsylvania; Science Advisor, PTR Ron Carr R&D Manager, Gamma Sports Rod Cross Associate Professor of Physics, Univ. of Sydney, Australia Bill Severa Director of Technology, Innovation and Design Group,Wilson Racquet Sports Steve Davis VP of Next Generation, Prince Sports Dr. Simon Goodwill Research Assistant, University of Sheffield, UK Dr. Carl Love Professor Emeritus, Metallurgy; President, Love Sports Enterprises Bill Mitchell Director R&D, Powers Court Tom Parry Product Development Manager/ Pro Tour Services Manager; Volkl Tennis GmbH Roger Petersman Business Manager-Accessories, Head/Penn Racquet Sports

For more information on products and services in this issue of Racquet Sports Industry, please contact the manufacturers directly.

FOR SALE: Ten (10) brand new TST Precision 500 stringing machines, used for the Nasdaq-100 Miami Open is available for sale. Price . . . just $2200 ea. Plus shipping. For inquiries, please email: or call Mike at 772/285-5845 FOR SALE: New Gamma 8500 Els stringing machine with linear pull. Complete progrqammable electronics with auto string measuring. This machine has strung less than 25 frames! Asking: $2,450 with free shipping! Contact: Cindy, Denver, CO o 303/220-0178 FOR SALE: Gamma 7000 Es stringing machine (electric) in excellent condition. Includes tools, cover, manual + clamps. Asking: $1200 + shipping, OBO. Contact: George Tompkins, Grand Junction, CO 81506 o 970/241-9043 or Email: WANTED: Dunlop Max Superlong +2.00. Contact: Don Donati, Clinton, CT 96413 o 860/6696726 or Email:



Advantage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Ashaway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IBC ATS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 BPI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Classic Turf . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Forten . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Fromuth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Gamma . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11, 13, 15, 40, BC ICA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45, 47 Klip . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 LBH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Lee Tennis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Lobster . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Novagrass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9, 21 Nova Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Silent Partner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Tecnifibre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Unique . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 USPTA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 USTC&TBA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Wilson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IFC Wise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8



Your Serve
Welcome to the Family!
With teaching pros leading the way, Tennis Welcome Centers can go a long way toward bringing people into their local tennis communities.


recently returned from the NCAA Division II tennis championships where I was fortunate to coach some wonderful young men and women. Their enthusiasm for the game and commitment to hard work paid off, and in the case of the women's team, ended in a successful conclusion to a long and challenging season. Having had a few days to recover from the intensity of the tournament, I have been considering the incredible opportunities that the young people involved in college tennis have made for themselves. Although many of these student-athletes receive scholarships to pay for part or all of their educational expenses, I believe that the greatest benefits they receive are less tangible. They have traveled to places and met people that without tennis would have been unavailable to them. They have learned to excel in an individual sport and to be constructive members of a team. I could go on at great length about how these players are propelled into success as adults owing much to the sport of tennis, but most of us understand that. What's interesting to me is that these young people began playing tennis at an early age and kept playing—for countless hours, through lactic acid buildup in their muscles, despite painful losses, and at the expense of many other diversions available to young people. Why? It is very important to know why people play. But it is equally important to know why people who have tried tennis quit and don't plan to play again. Thankfully, the TIA asked why. The research shows us that the majority of people who were dissatisfied with tennis had never experienced a formal lesson with a qualified instructor. That's where the USPTA professional and the industry-supported Tennis Welcome Center program come in. A big part of the business of tennis teaching professionals is to give newcomers a great first lesson and then to turn them into regular tennis players by providing

“With the right introduction to tennis from qualified professionals, new players will soon enough realize how to have fun, be competitive, and get fit through tennis.”
events and programs to keep them interested and involved. Every day USPTA professionals share our passion for the game with new students and lifelong players alike. Ultimately, the tennis professional is the solution to the industry's challenge to increase the number of people who make tennis a part of their lives. Today, tennis professionals have unprecedented support when it comes to bringing people in for their first high-quality lessons. The entire industry is solidly behind the Tennis Welcome Center concept that will drive would-be players to our facilities. You've read it in these pages before, but the numbers are worth repeating: 2.5 million racquets, 25 million cans of tennis balls and 1 million shoe boxes and hang tags will send people to Eight-page advertising inserts will appear in national magazines including Men's Health, Shape, Vibe and Travel and Leisure. The message is broader than all of the parts that speak it: Tennis is a great sport for fitness and recreation. It's worth learning and it can be learned fast at a Tennis Welcome Center. The efforts of our tennis manufacturers, retailers and associations have never been

so powerfully joined. We have made collective grow-the-game efforts before. This one is more inclusive and bound for more success for one reason: The leadership at the USTA has mended fences and shown a new will to be both a true leader and a partner to the rest of the industry. Never before have we had such an opportunity to work together for the good of the sport. Tennis professionals are doing our part, registering more than 3,800 facilities on the TWC website. USPTA members are leading the way at 67 percent of those facilities. When the message about tennis reaches our target audiences and they log on to find a place to play, we will be ready to accept them into the tennis community and make them feel at home. After all, the feeling of being wanted and included in a community is one of those intangible benefits of being a tennis player that most college players surely recognized long ago. With the right introduction to tennis from qualified professionals, new players will soon enough realize how to have fun, be competitive, and get fit through tennis. However, we will have found real success when we make these new players feel like they're part of their local tennis communities as well as a popular worldwide sport. Experiencing the social, physiological and competitive benefits of tennis will add these new players into the growing number of lifetime tennis addicts. w
David T. Porter, Ed.D., is president of USPTA and the men's and women's head tennis coach and a full professor of exercise and sport science at Brigham Young University Hawaii. His Seasider women's team has won three straight NCAA titles and five in the past six years while accumulating a dual match record of 204 wins and 1 loss.
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