Top Pros/Top Gear: Part 1 - Stan Wawrinka (No. 5) - UBITENNIS
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Top Pros/Top Gear: Part 1 – Stan Wawrinka (No. 5)



We have all witnessed it on TV, if not up close in person. The loud thwack of the tennis ball as it bounces off the string bed, violent yet majestic in execution. Certainly, there are countless hours of training and practice behind each stroke that we are not privy to. However, there is one aspect of the game all of us have access to. Yes, even yours truly: the equipment. Story by MJ 

Stan Wawrinka

Stan Wawrinka

Among the various drastic changes that have come to shape the modern game, technology in tennis has played a major role. Thanks to these vast improvements, the pros are able to hit with more power and control than ever before. Indeed, the modern game is a mere shadow of what it was even 25 years ago.  So in a 10 part series, we will explore the top 5 men and women’s gear, and hopefully this valuable info can take us one step closer to winning our next match against Roger…..the next door neighbor.


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We begin with ATP #5 Stan Wawrinka, who just swapped places with Kei Nishikori this week in the rankings. Throughout most of his career, the Swiss #2 has been playing with the Head Prestige, which gave him the utmost control. In 2012, he made a major switch to Yonex, and you can say the rest is history. For 2015, he is using the Yonex Vcore Tour G, which is a hefty 345 grams. Much like the Prestige, this weight still gives him all the control he needs, especially on the backhand side when he crushes one down the line for a winner. The head size is 97 sq. in., which is considered mid-plus by today’s standards. It’s standard length, and the balance is 7 pts HL, translating to high maneuverability, thus allowing Stan to take massive swings at the ball. With a thin 20.5mm beam, and a fairly tight 16 x 20 string pattern, this is very much a control oriented stick, a player’s dream frame. It is absolutely without doubt one of the most demanding, yet rewarding frame when you harness its superior stability and plow-through.


The solid mold offers more of a plush flexi feel that gives Stan (and you) immediate feedback on every shot. He completes the set up with a Yonex dampener, and Yonex Super Grap over-grip. Even the eye-catching paintjob is a delight. Perhaps best of all, Yonex is well known for its top notch quality, with very tight spec control, backed by manufacturing in Japan even today! This is one of the biggest differences that sets Yonex apart from the competition. You never have to worry about multiple frames being off spec from each other.  Stock up! For strings, Stan was a long time user of Luxilon Alu Power, but he has since switched to a full bed of Babolat’s RPM Blast at quite a high tension.

(foto by ART SEITZ)

(foto by ART SEITZ)

For his performance outfit, Stan is head to toe Yonex as well. The 2015 collared polo is a polyester and polyurethane blend for maximum breathability and ventilation. It also features a three button placket, contrast stitching, color-blocking, and anti-static technology. The left shoulder has an embroidered logo for durability. Off the court, Yonex has introduced a ‘Stan the Man’ t-shirt line in various colors. Made famous by his triumphant run at Roland Garros, his flashy plaid shorts feature an elastic waistband, roomy pockets, and an embroidered logo as well. Finally, he is chasing down balls in the Yonex Power Cushion Pro shoes. This top of the line signature shoe provides ultimate cushioning, but does not sacrifice stability. It is suitable for all surfaces. Perhaps best of all, it requires no break-in period. Despite its lack of popularity on tour, this is among the best shoes one can purchase. The only downside is a lack of an outsole warranty offered by other top tier shoes. It weighs approximately 14.9 oz. To travel with all of this gear, he makes it manageable with the Yonex Pro Series 9 pack bag. It features 3 main compartments (for 3 frames each), an accessory pocket, and the much needed zippered bottom compartment for shoes/ wet clothes. Dimensions are L31″ x W14″ x H14″.


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Svetlana Kuznetsova Wins First Title Since Return From Surgery In Washington

The two-time grand slam champion has returned back to the winners circle following her six-month absence due to injury.



Former world No.2 Svetlana Kuznetsova saved four match points to defeat Donna Vekic 4-6, 7-6(7), 6-2, in the final of the Citi Open in Washington.

Kuznetsova, 33, fought back against the aggressive play of her opponent. Saving seven out of the 10 break points she faced in the match. Eventually, it was the experience of the Russian that guided her to the finish line as she hit 34 winners to 36 unforced errors to win her first title on the tour since the 2016 Moscow Open.

“It was a difficult week,” Kuznetsova reflected afterwards. “Tennis is always mental, if you lose or if you win, you always gotta stay focused.”

With both players contesting their first final of the season, it was Vekic who battled through what was a roller-coaster and tense opening set. At first, the seventh seed appeared on course to clinch the opener with ease after breaking Kuznetsova in the fourth game as she raced out to a 4-1 lead. Only to be pegged by the 2014 champion. Serving for the set at 5-3, a forehand error rewarded Kuznetsova the chance to break back. Prior to the following point, the Russian complained about the movement of the crowd just as Vekic was about to serve. Then the Croat hit a double fault with the two players exchanging words at the changeover.

Despite feeling hard done by, Vekic soon restored order in the match. As Kuznetsova served for a chance to level 5-5, she pounced one again as the former world No.2 faltered. Recovering from a 15-40 deficit to seal the opening set with the help of a Kuznetsova double fault on set point.

Vekic continued to fight with the help of her of some rapid shock-making. Fending off a break point to nudge ahead 4-3 in the second set. Although Kuznetsova refused to go away. Saving two match points, it was in the tiebreaker where the Russian managed to turn her fortunes around. Vekic missed out on another two chances to win the match, allowing Kuznetsova to nudge ahead 8-7. She was then able to force proceedings into a decider after a Vekic forehand slammed into the net.

Kuznetsova’s resilience eventually wore her opponent down, who was close to tears after the match. Vekic admitted afterwards that she was dealing with leg pain and took a medical time out just before the start of the final set.

A double break in Kuznetsova’s favor in the decider guided her to a 5-0 lead. Enough of a cushion to enable her to close out the match after two-and-a-half hours of play to win her second Washington title.

“I know I’ve been a little bit lucky today,” she said.
“There’s something going on with Washington. I never lose here. I played two times and I won both.”

The victory comes after what has been a testing first half of the year for Kuznetsova. Left wrist surgery forced her to miss six months of the tour. Meaning that she didn’t start the 2018 season until March. Prior to the Citi Open, she had only won four matches in 10 tournaments played. Making her latest triumph even more special.

“Those times I had after the surgery, I had difficulties everywhere — personal, working different things. I switched coaches. I had lots of issues,” Kuznetsova explained. “But still, I rise again, and it’s really good for me.”

As a result of her latest win, Kuznetsova has risen 41 places in 87th in the world. Meanwhile, Vekic has jumped seven places to 37th.

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Davis Cup

Davis Cup Reforms Face Late Opposition As Vote Looms

The proposed Davis Cup reforms have received strong criticism from Tennis Australia and Tennis Europe ahead of this month’s vote.



David Haggerty (

The upcoming Davis Cup reform vote has received some strong opposition and criticism from Tennis Australia and Tennis Europe. 

The vote is set to take place on the 16th of August, where federations will vote to change the 118 year old format to a one week season finale at the end of the year. The proposed move by Kosmos, has received fierce criticism and will need a two-thirds majority in order for it to be approved.

However with the vote just two weeks away Tennis Australia has been among the federations to oppose these reforms and have pushed this even further as they have wrote a letter expressing their discontent at the idea. The letter has been signed by the likes of John Newcombe, current Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt and Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley.

The letter raises the following concerns, “We have written and spoken to the ITF President for several months now requesting clarity on the proposal from Kosmos, but this has not been forthcoming,” explained the letter, which is even signed by former ITF president Brian Tobin.

“Very large numbers are being referenced, but there is not enough detail to give us confidence this proposal will genuinely deliver enough additional value to players and the nations to offset the loss of home and away camaraderie and all the local marketing, facility investment and player development benefit that comes with those ties. In the absence of such important information, we have no choice other than to vote against the proposed amendments.”

However Tennis Australia isn’t the only federation to be against this move as Tennis Europe, who represent more than 50 member nations have also expressed their concern at the idea, “I am particularly concerned that there is hardly any information received from the ITF regarding bank guarantees for the proposed US$120 million per year which would be the $3 billion deal over 25 years, according to the original proposal,” President Vladimir Dimitriev explained in a separate letter.

“I have not yet seen a final and feasible explanation on how the business model or the governance structure will be either.”

The ITF do have the backing of Germany and France ahead of the move though with the AGM meeting set to take place in Orlando, Florida between the 13th and 16th of August.

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Serena Williams Withdraws From Montreal Due To Personal Reasons

Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Coupe Rogers in Montreal next week due to personal reasons.



Serena Williams (

Former world number one Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Coupe Rogers in Montreal next week as she deals with some personal issues. 

The American suffered the worst defeat of her career last week when she lost 6-1 6-0 to Johanna Konta in San Jose. The 23 grand slam champion clearly wasn’t at her best and it now turns out that she had personal problems to deal with as this is the reason for her withdrawal in Montreal next week.

The recent Wimbledon finalist also felt that she could not play Montreal and Cincinnati in back to back weeks as she continues her comeback from pregnancy. The tournament director, Eugene Lapierre, admits that he is disappointed but still recognises the high quality field that is left, “Of course, we are disappointed that Serena will not be joining us, Fans were very much looking forward to seeing her in action,” explained Eugene.

“But beyond the disappointment, the tournament, as a whole, remains a high-level competition. The entire Top 10 is here, along with 22 of the Top 25. There are exciting matches in store from the outset.”

The American was set to play in Canada for the first time since 2015 before withdrawing today. The 23 time grand slam champion has played five events since returning from pregnancy and the results have been mixed as you can see below:

Indian Wells – Third Round

Miami – First Round

Roland Garros – Fourth Round

Wimbledon – Final

San Jose – First Round

Tatjana Maria will now replace Serena Williams in the main draw and the German faces Alize Cornet in the first round.

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