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The Best Tennis Racket for Beginners: Tips and Reviews

tennis racket

Interested in learning to play tennis? Before you head out to the court, you’ll need the right gear. Most importantly, you’ll need a tennis racket that’s good for a beginner like yourself.

Wondering which racket is the best for beginners? Read on to find out what factors you should be considering when you purchase one and which rackets are best for beginners.

Things to Consider When Purchasing a Tennis Racket

There are so many kinds of rackets on the market that choosing one can be overwhelming. What features should you look for? And how much should you spend?

As a tennis beginner, it’s important to find a racket that is comfortable and makes it easier for you to learn the sport. With that in mind, there are a few features experts recommend you look for in your first one.

Rackets with a larger head make it easier for you to learn how to hit the ball because there’s more surface area. Because of this, experts recommend that beginners look for tennis rackets with a head size between 100 and 115 square inches. If you go smaller than that, you’re likely to have some wild hits or miss the ball entirely in your first few games.

Experts also recommend finding what’s referred to as a “soft” tennis racket. This isn’t a specific type of racket, but more of a sport-specific blanket term. It refers to rackets that have frames made out of softer materials and looser stringed heads.

“Soft” rackets create less reverberation when they hit the ball, which sends less reverberation into your arm. This makes it more comfortable for you to hit the ball repeatedly as you learn to perfect your swing and hit.

Lighter rackets are also recommended for beginners. You might not think that any racket would be too heavy. But when you’re holding it for the length of a match, the weight really makes a difference, especially for a beginner.

When it comes to price, you may be tempted to purchase a cheap racket with the idea that you’ll buy a more expensive one when you get better. But it’s better to splurge on a racket that will last you through the intermediate level than to buy a cheap one that won’t keep up with your increasing skill level.

Which Tennis Rackets Are the Best for Beginners?

Now that you know what you’re looking for, you’re probably wondering which tennis rackets are best for beginners. Here are a few of our favorites.

Babolat Boost Drive

The Babolat Boost Drive is consistently recommended as an ideal racket for beginners. It’s got a fairly large head size, which will help you hit the ball more consistently. It’s lightweight, but its light frame doesn’t detract from its power. You’ll be able to slam the ball over the net with ease.

The best thing about this racket is that it’s also appropriate for an intermediate player. So, you won’t have to buy a new racket as you progress.

The price is on the higher end, which reflects the quality. But it still won’t break the bank.

Babolat Boost Drive tennis rackets are perfect for people who are looking for a racket that makes it easy to learn and will last a long time.

Head TI S6

The Head TI S6 has been called the best overall tennis racket for beginners by tennis experts and enthusiasts. The 115 square inch head size makes it the perfect choice for honing in on your sweet spot – the spot on the racket that provides the best hit. It’s also lightweight, which means it’s easier to control and doesn’t put as much strain on your arm.

Another great feature that makes it perfect for beginners is its extra-long handle. This gives you a little more reach to get the ball, which is helpful when you’re just starting.

The Head TI S6 is also one of the more affordable beginner’s tennis rackets on the market. So, if you’re looking for a quality racket, but you’re not looking to splurge on a sport you’re just starting, the Head TI S6 is a perfect choice.

Wilson Burn 100 Series

Tennis experts agree that the Wilson Burn 100 Series rackets are the best possible choice for beginners who are looking to stick with the sport. They’re appropriate for both beginners and intermediates, so the racket will be with you for a long time.

The Wilson Burn 100 Series rackets have a slightly smaller head than some other beginner’s rackets at just 100 square inches. But this head size is still large enough to perfect your hits.

They’re also a bit heavier than other beginner’s rackets. But the extra weight is part of what makes them versatile enough to last you through intermediate play.

What really sets these tennis rackets apart from other beginner’s rackets is their accuracy. Players who have used them consistently comment that they were able to better control where the ball was going. And they say these rackets helped improve their accuracy.

While the price tag is a little higher for the Wilson Burn 100 Series, you can be sure that this racket will not only be with you for a long time but will help you improve your game.

Getting the Best Tennis Gear for Beginners

When you’re first starting with tennis, getting the right racket can make or break your experience. If you get a tennis racket that isn’t a good fit, you’ll have a harder time learning the game. Choosing one of these amazing beginner’s rackets will make your learning experience easier and more enjoyable.

Once you’ve got the right racket, you’ll also need the right shoes. After your tennis racket, your shoes are the most important piece of gear you can buy for success on the court.

For more information about the best tennis gear for beginners, check out our blog.

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U.S. Open Winner Bianca Andreescu: News, Stats, and Bio of a Champion

bianca andreescu

She’s the girl who could from Canada.

Sportscasters could barely pronounce Bianca Andreescu’s name leading up to her historic US Open 2019 Grand Slam title, but there’s no doubt she has now become a household name amongst tennis fans.

But who is this girl that was ranked outside of the top 200 as of just last year, and now is ranked number 5 in the world?

Let’s take a closer look at her recent success and the history behind the still-teenager that has defeated the odds to rise to prominence.

The Path To The Slam

Andreescu finished last season ranked 178 in the world and lost in the US Open qualifying rounds, so pundits were not expecting a banner year for her this season.

Things weren’t going any better for her when she sustained a shoulder injury that knocked her out of commission for about four months. But she played through, suffering two losses due to having to drop out.

However, she started the 2019 season by knocking off some big names including Caroline Wozniacki and Venus Williams, the latter the sister of the player she would face in the finals.

Before the historic Slam though, Andreescu managed to win some higher-profile titles in Indian Wells, California and Toronto, Ontario. Aside from the losses due to the injuries, she’s won 24 matches in a row, including some big names.

The US Open 2019

Andreescu was able to handle Elise Mertens in the quarter-final, a highly successful player from Belgium.

But it didn’t look good for Andreescu after that point in the tournament. She was battling hard against Belinda Bencic but was down 2-5. But despite being behind, she rallied for five straight games and ending up moving on in dramatic fashion.

In the process, she won herself a spot in the US Open final, the first time a Canadian had ever done so in singles.

Waiting for her was Serena Williams, a living legend that has 23 Grand Slam titles under her belt. The only woman with more Grand Slam titles is Margaret Court with 24. In fact, Williams’ storied career dates back to before Andreescu was born – Williams won her first US Open title in 1998.

Andreescu, on the other hand, was born in 2000, making her just 19 years of age.

But what came next was a surprise to everyone.

The Big Match vs. Serena Williams

The US Open 2019 wasn’t the first time the two faced off with a title on the line.

They were both competing in the 2019 Rogers Cup in Toronto, and Andreescu was looking sharp. Williams had fallen behind her 19-year-old competitor 3-1, and it looked like the battle was going to be fierce.

However, Williams was forced to bow out of the first set due to back spasms despite putting on a brave face leading up to that moment. That handed Andreescu the win, the first for a Canadian in the tournament in 50 years.

It also set the stage for their next meeting at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York.

The highly anticipated US Open 2019 matchup saw Andreescu defeating Williams 6-3, 7-5, a convincing win that she actually apologized for afterward to the crowd in true Canadian fashion. It was the first time any player born in the 2000s had earned a Slam singles victory.

But how did she win? Was it her shoes? Her racket? Her youthful age? Not exactly. One former tennis coach claims it was her mental toughness that gave her the edge against the famed Williams.

In fact, it’s known that Andreescu practices meditation, which could help contribute to getting her mind in the right space before a match.

Who is Bianca Andreescu?

Now that we’ve learned a little bit about how this Canadian teenager rose to number 5 in the rankings and defeated a legend, we can now learn a bit more about her.

Bianca Vanessa Andreescu is a first-generation Canadian born on June 16, 2000. Her parents had arrived in Canada from Romania in 1994. However, despite being born in Canada her tennis journey actually started back in her parent’s homeland.

She was so focused and spent so much time on the court that she ended up completing her high school diploma online. She now lives in Thornhill, a community outside of Toronto.

Her Tennis Journey

Andreescu has had an almost lifelong obsession with the sport. She would begin playing tennis at the young age of 7 before her family returned to Canada. She trained at the Ontario Racquet Club in Mississauga before moving on to the national training program of Tennis Canada. The Williams sisters were actually one her inspirations early on in her developing career.

She started winning junior titles in 2014 before ITF debut in 2015. By 2016, she had her first ITF title. She competed in her first WTA events the following year, showing promise by upsetting some top seeds.

2017 also marked a year when Andreescu was named Tennis Canada’s Female Player of the Year. She also earned the 2017 Fed Cup Heart Award, awarded to those who show courage on court and dedication to their country.

The year 2018 brought some doubles success but injuries forced her out of commission for some time. However, injuries didn’t stop her in 2019 from climbing into the spotlight and tennis history.

Other Stats and Interesting Facts

Andreescu has a career singles record of 134-47, and a doubles record of 29-16. She stands 5’7″ tall, and she plays right-handed. She can serve over 108 MPH.

Aside from that, here are a couple of other things that might be of interest: her nickname is Bibi,” and her parents are very involved in following her career. They can often be seen courtside cheering her on, as they were for her big win against Serena Williams.

She was actually the first Canadian since Eugenie Bouchard and Milos Raonic to make it to a grand slam final. (Both lost.) Of the more than $6.2 million in career earnings so far for Andreescu, more than $6 million of that came from 2019 alone.

What’s next? Andreescu is eyeing a return at the Beijing Open which starts September 28.

Everything Tennis

Did you find this article about the breakthrough Canadian Bianca Andreescu interesting?

Contact us for more tennis content as well as tennis gear reviews to bring your game to the next level.

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Keep Your Shoe Game on Fleek: How to Clean Tennis Shoes

how to clean tennis shoes

Tennis shoes have been around for decades, and they’re one of the most popular types of shoes on the market today.

While these shoes might be both trendy and comfy, they can get incredibly dirty incredibly fast. In fact, the average shoe is covered in over 421,000 bacteria, and 90% of that bacteria gets transferred onto whatever your shoes touch.

Nasty!

Picking up all these bacteria may be unavoidable when you’re out of the house, but you can cut down the amount you bring into your home by keeping your shoes clean.

We’ve put together this guide to help you learn how to clean tennis shoes.

So let’s get started!

Can You Throw Your Tennis Shoes in the Washing Machine?

Most tennis shoes will survive a ride in the washing machine without a problem. But that doesn’t mean you should just throw your shoes in the wash without a second thought.

The washing machine isn’t a good match for all tennis shoes, especially for more athletic shoes like running shoes.

Read the label of your shoes before throwing it in the wash. If your shoes have any leather or suede, you should hand wash them instead. Shoes that contain EVA foam can absorb too much water in the washing machine and become damaged. Because of this, you should also stick to hand washing these types of shoes.

While many shoes are safe to go through the washing machine, hand washing is always less risky.

How to Wash Dirty Tennis Shoes in the Washing Machine

If your shoes are washing machine safe, there are still a few things you should do before dropping them in a load of laundry.

Here’s what you should do first.

Take out the Laces

Always take the laces out of your shoes before you run them through the washing machine. Otherwise, the laces can tangle around other items and get knotted or stretched out.

This is also a good time to examine your laces for any particularly dirty spots or frayed sections.

If you notice any dirty spots, rub some laundry detergent on the area. This will help it come out easier in the wash. Laces that are frayed and in bad shape might be worth replacing rather than cleaning.

Make sure you measure your laces if you do decide to replace them. Otherwise, you could end up with laces that are too short—or long—for your shoes.

Rinse off the Shoes

Rinse off your shoes with water to remove any loose dirt or debris. You can also use a brush to remove dirt (though this is easier done when the shoe is dry).

Get Some Mesh Bags

You should have two separate mesh bags when you clean your shoes in a washing machine. Put your shoes in one and your laces in the other.

Start a Load of Towels

Putting your shoes in with a load of towels will keep them from banging against the sides of the washing machine. This will help protect the machine and your shoes.

Let Your Shoes Dry

When your shoes are done in the wash, don’t put them in the dryer!

Instead, let them sit and air dry. This can take a while, so if you want to speed up the process, stuff your shoes with cloth or paper. The cloth/paper will absorb water from inside the shoe, making them dry faster.

How to Wash Dirty Tennis Shoes By Hand

If your shoes are too delicate (or too expensive) to put in the washing machine, you can give them a gentler clean by hand.

Here’s a quick guide that’ll teach you how to clean tennis shoes yourself.

Take out the Laces

Again, start by taking out the laces. The best way to wash these is to put them in the washing machine (just like before), but don’t forget to inspect them first.

If you find any dirty spots, scrub some detergent around the area. And remember, if the laces look too dirty or too old, it’s a better idea to buy new laces instead.

Remove the Insoles

Take out any insoles and srub them with a cloth and a baking soda/water solution. (One tablespoon to one cup of water should do the trick.)

If they are still smelly when they’re dry, you can sprinkle some more baking soda over the top. This will help absorb any remaining moisture and odor.

Scrub the Inside and Outside of the Shoes

Mix some mild liquid detergent and warm water together. Then use a soft-bristled brush to scrub the solution into both the inside and outside of your shoes. If the brush leaves any residue on the surface of the shoe, you can wipe it away with a damp cloth.

Let Your Shoes Dry

Again, let your shoes air dry. You can stuff them to help speed up the process or—if you really need them right away—use a hairdryer to make things even faster.

Learning How to Clean Tennis Shoes the Right Way

Learning how to clean tennis shoes doesn’t take a lot of work.

If you have an average pair of shoes, you can most likely just throw them in the washing machine with a load of towels. But it’s always safer to wash your shoes by hand. This will ensure the shoes don’t take any damage in the washing machine.

Want to learn more about the best tennis shoes for men and women?

Make sure you click here to get in touch with us today!

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Nike Tennis Shoes Review: NikeCourt Air Zoom Vapor X

nike tennis shoes

When it comes to tennis, two pieces of equipment matter most: your racquet and your shoes. Of course, nobody knows this better than Roger Federer, the most successful tennis player in history.

After nabbing his 19th major title in 2017 and shattering tennis records, Federer emerged as tennis’s most legendary athlete. But he’s also a footwear expert, and he’s got the Nike tennis shoes to prove it.

When the Swiss champion sought to create the ultimate on-court shoe, he was driven by the dual goals of increasing comfort and improving flexibility. With the NikeCourt Vapor line, he’s succeeded in both of these areas.

We decided to test run the latest version of this shoe, the NikeCourt Air Zoom Vapor X to find out just how well it lives up to its creator’s stellar reputation.

The Scoop on Federer’s Latest Creation

With the revamped NikeCourt Vapor line tennis shoes, wearers enjoy increased durability and greater overall strength.

Yet, the shoe boasts a welcome, lightweight feel. It also remains highly responsive, a trait valued in previous models.

Despite these updates, you’ll still find everything that you’ve loved about previous models. These include features such as the Air Zoom midsole, the low-to-ground feel, the high-performance action, and the Dynamic Fit system.

In terms of changes, most reviewers agreed that the outsole tends to be a bit slicker. But testers remained undecided about whether or not this development impacted other areas such as speed and performance.

And while we’re on the topic, the updated shoe has some serious court appeal when it comes to looks. A snazzy new color scheme and quirky Nike logo placement make this a model you’ll notice on the court.

Mixed Reviews on the Outsole

Although the Vapor X has gotten overwhelmingly great reviews, they remain most mixed when it comes to the outsoles.

Previous models of the Vapor proved deficient when it came to durability. Shoes needed replacement after just a few weeks of heavy court play.

Fortunately, these deficiencies have largely been addressed with the Vapor X, which means you won’t need a new set every month.

That said, a handful of reviewers reported that the outsole had better grip than the 9.5. They noted that this could make court slides difficult.

Yet, the vast majority of reviewers found the opposite to be true. They mentioned the smoother traction on the soles. They felt the lesser tread might not prove ideal for individuals who like a grippy sole or who are looking for a longer-lasting option.

But since reviewers contradicted one another in this area, the verdict remains out.

Looking for more tennis shoe reviews that deal with outsole performance? Check out this review of the New Balance’s Clay 996V3 to see how it compares to the Vapor X.

Vapor X’s Aesthetics

The Vapor X appears just as sleek as earlier models. We also loved the silhouette in the sole of the shoe, a giant swoosh.

Unlike the 9.5, the X comes with larger mesh holes in the toe area. This looks aesthetically more pleasing than the 9.5. It also proves more breathable.

The Vapor X comes with an instantly recognizable frame and plenty of class.

The shoe comes in a wide variety of color schemes from snazzy black and red numbers to pairs that look sleek and energetic in white with yellow with black trim. No matter which scheme you opt for, this is a shoe that stands out.

It comes in sizes for both men and women, making it a universal shoe for the tennis courts.

Vapor X’s Durability

When the Nike Sports Research Lab team stepped in to handle past complaints about durability, they outdid themselves. They designed a shoe that can stand up to more serious punishment than the 9.5.

The result? A shoe that packs a big punch when it comes to lightweight performance and serious endurance.

Many reviewers discussed this as one of the greatest developments in the updated Vapor. Along with this, they noted that the rubber compound in the soul appeared to be harder and more wear-resistant.

Vapor X’s Comfort

When it comes to the best tennis shoes, comfort is everything. Fortunately, the Vapor X doesn’t disappoint in this area. The shoes don’t need to be broken in, and they fit true-to-size like their previous counterpart the Vapor 9.5.

Some testers with narrow feet and high arches noted that the Vapor X felt wider than the Vapor 9.5 when they first put it on.

But this was easily remedied by pulling the plush, sturdy laces extra tight. This also solved the problem of the laces seeming too short on first glance. Once pulled, the specially designed fit of these shoes proved exceptional.

Like the Vapor 9.5, they include plenty of ankle support with the padded ankle collar that we’ve all come to know and love.

But that’s where the similarities end with the Vapor 9.5. The X has a higher ankle collar and feels a bit roomier in the toe box. The claw-like grip of the shoe’s medial side translates into enhanced support and a “locked-in” feeling.

How These Nike Tennis Shoes Stack Up

When it’s all said and done, these Nikes come with some serious appearance “thrills” and plenty of durability. They also boast the trifecta of comfort, lightweight feel, and durability.

The result? A shoe that’ll make you feel agile and nimble on the court without needing to buy a replacement pair every couple of weeks.

As for the shoe’s ability to grip the court and slide? We leave the final decision up to you.

While the vast majority of our reviewers felt there was less overall grip and traction, a select few argued for its effective grip. What we do know for sure? It’s a well-balanced shoe that’ll perform at a high level for many players.

Is the NikeCourt Air Zoom Vapor X Right for You?

Still not sure whether or not the NikeCourt Air Zoom Vapor X represent the right model for you? We can help you find the ideal shoes based on your physical activities, physiology, and current needs. If you’re interested in these shoes, you can find it on Amazon here.

Contact us today so that we can help you find the perfect Nike tennis shoes for your specific concerns. We can help you make the most informed buying decision possible so that the shoes you wear help you dominate the court.

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A Complete Review of the New Balance Women’s Clay Court 996 V3

New Balance Women's

Tennis is a very active and physical game. You’re moving fast in all directions, so you need your footwear to be able to keep up with you. You must invest in proper shoes designed for use on tennis courts so you can perform your absolute best.

There certainly is no shortage of choices for tennis sneakers or brands that manufacture them. How do you know if the brand of shoe you’re considering will help you in your matches?

There are many factors to consider when you’re choosing the best tennis shoe. You’ll need to look at the durability, stability, responsiveness of the midsole, and the materials used to construct the shoe. 

New Balance is a company that’s well-known for its sports footwear and apparel manufacturing. Whether you’re a tennis player, runner, cyclist, or hiker, this company has options for you. 

Today we’re reviewing the New Balance Women’s Clay Court 996 V3 to determine if it’s the right choice for you. We’ve taken the mechanics of the shoe into account and looked at feedback from people who already own this product. Let’s see what it has to offer.  

Outsole

The outsole is comprised of New Balance’s Ndurance technology. This tech provides a durable rubber compound on the bottom of the shoe. The rubber is placed strategically on the outsole to provide the maximum amount of durability in the areas that need it the most. 

You may be wondering why New Balance chose to make these shoes specifically for clay court use. Sure, you can wear your hard court tennis shoes to the clay court and still play a decent game. But, you can also hammer a nail with a steak knife. Your hard court shoes can get the job done, but some options will work better.  

The outsole of clay-court shoes typically has a zigzag tread pattern, and these shoes are no exception to that rule. This tread design is specifically chosen as it won’t allow the clay to become lodged in the outsole. You’ll be able to grip better when you’re starting, stopping and switching directions on a dime.

If you do happen to get clay crammed in the outsole, a quick tap with your racquet will be all it needs to dislodge itself.

Midsole

The midsole of the Clay 996V3 is made from New Balance’s REVlite material. This innovative foam cushioning is perfect for tennis players. It provides the same level of responsiveness and durability that’s found in much heavier foam midsoles. 

REVlite is a lightweight material that doesn’t minimize the amount of underfoot cushioning or stability. 

New Balance also outfitted this shoe with its PROBANK technology.  This tech comes in very handy during swift lateral movements, of which you’ll be making many during your tennis games. PROBANK helps to secure the optimal positioning of the midsole to provide the most stability possible. 

Upper

A knit textile upper provides a soft in-shoe feel that will keep you comfortable on the tennis court. There are synthetic overlays present in the upper to help hug your foot and keep it in place no matter what direction you’re moving. 

The tongue and collar are both padded for extra comfort. Meanwhile, the lace-up closure allows you to control how tight (or loose) of a fit you’d prefer. 

The fabric lining of the shoe is breathable meaning you won’t have to deal with sweaty and wet feet regardless of how hard you’re working on the court. 

Color Options

If you prefer something other than your standard black sneakers, you’ll love the look of the Clay 996V3. They come in a color that New Balance calls “white peach with pigment.” This color provides consumers with light pink shoes that have navy detailing.

If you prefer a more subdued design, you may wish to look elsewhere. There are plenty of white shoes for women that can help your performance on the tennis court. 

Performance

These New Balance women’s shoes provide an unparalleled amount of stability and support. You’ll love how they move with you while you’re on the court regardless of what direction you’re going and how fast you’re going there. 

There were some concerns from current users regarding the break-in period. These shoes do seem to require your patience in order to break them in. We recommend wearing them around the home and to a couple of practice games before wearing them for any serious tennis matches. 

Durability

Some current wearers of these shoes suggest that the tread wore down quickly. This is typically a bad thing, making the shoe less grippy on the court. In the case of the Clay Court 996 V3, users found that the premature wearing down of the tread actually helped increase the shoe’s grip. 

If you do find issues with the rubber outsole of this product, New Balance provides a six-month limited warranty guarantee.

Comfort

These are a very comfortable pair of tennis shoes once they’ve been broken in. Though the midsole is very lightweight, most players find these to be incredibly comfortable. 

They are available in standard and wide widths, making them an excellent option for women who need that extra width for comfort. 

Pros of the Clay Court 996 V3

  • Very stable
  • Provides a lot of support
  • Breathable
  • Comfortable to wear once they’ve been broken in

Cons of the Clay Court 996 V3

  • Long break-in period 
  • The exterior may break down quickly if you’re a toe dragger

Are the New Balance Women’s Clay Court 996 V3 Worth the Investment? 

We think so, yes. There were some concerns about the longer-than-usual break-in period, but if you can overlook that, we believe they’re worth a try.

If you’re interested in these shoes, you can find it on Amazon here. 

If you’re still not sure if these New Balance women’s shoes are best for you, be sure to contact us. We’ll be able to help you make the most informed decision possible, so you excel at your next match. 

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