Equipment Update # 2

Hey tennis fans, Mario here with Tenniscast. I don’t like saying this much, but it’s true, it’s been way too long since I’ve written an article. So here I am, back with Tenniscast to provide you fans out there with equipment updates and to let you know what new technologies might be coming out for the tennis world. Now again, I do have to admit that M and I are somewhat biased to Prince and Ferrero here at Tenniscast, but no need to worry, I will also be taking a close look at Federer’s KSix-One Tour 90. Though more importantly, I will be congratulating Prince for their impressive performance on its first quarter of 2007. Finally, I will be taking a close look at the new Prince Speedport technology for the O3 line of racquets, and letting you fans out there know if this update will hurt Prince, or as it usually does, keep raising the bar for other competitors. Alright then let’s get to it.

Let’s start of with Federer’s current racquet, the KSix-One Tour 90 and compare it to the nCode Six-One Tour which was the racquet he used up till December of 2006. The new KSix-One Tour 90 uses the same nCode technology, with a few upgrades that make all the difference. The racquet gets its name from the newly installed (K)arophite Black and (K)ompact Center technologies that allow the racquet to become more stable and have more feel, furthermore the (K)ompact center improves the handling and maneuverability of the racquet which increases the feel even more. The Ksix-One Tour 90 is by far a greater racquet than the nCode Six-One Tour, and has received far greater reviews from many users. However, there seems to be one comment shared by most reviewers when having tested both the nCode and the KSix. Truth is, both of these racquets are extremely hard to handle. This makes it both a great and comfortable racquet for the likes of Federer and other touring pro’s, but not so suiting to the average tennis player. So again, if you are in search for a new racquet, and seem to like Wilson, make sure to try a demo first for the KSix before actually buying it, because it might disappoint.

Well then, let us now talk about world # 1, and I don’t mean Roger Federer, I am talking about Prince. O3 racquets, to be specific the O3 White, O3 Speedport Red and O3 Speedport Silver, are currently holding three of the top five best selling positions. The newly introduced Speedport technology has been doing extraordinarily well in its first quarter revealed by holding top ten best sellers for the quarter. This though, is talking about sales, the most impressive part is the fact that almost every player that has turned to O3 technology in the tour has moved up in the rankings. Don’t believe me? Let’s look at the stats then, 12 of top 50 players are currently using an O3 racquet, while 79 of 100 touring pros use an O3. Among these players, 49 touring pros are using the O3 Tour, 17 touring pros are using the O3 White and 8 touring pros are using the O3 Hybrid. Looking at the big picture, O3 players have gathered up more than 200 ATP and WTA tournament wins, including seven Grand Slam titles. Soon enough I believe the O3 Speedport racquets will make their way through the tour and help keep racking up more ATP and WTA tournament wins. But what exactly is the Speedport technology? The Speedport technology allows players to develop faster strokes because of its aerodynamics and unimaginably keeps increasing the sweet spot. To be specific, the O3 Speedport frames allow up to 24 % faster head speed than traditional frames allowing faster strokes, greater sweet spot, more forgiveness, and more feel. As mentioned before, the O3 Speedport red and silver are doing exceptionally well for their first quarter. Might an O3 Speedport Tour be released? When the O3 line of racquets was first released, the tour was the last to come out, and was demoed by Guillermo Coria on the tour for a couple of months before it was finally released to the public. Now the O3 tour is used by a number of players, and more notably by world # 4 Nikolay Davydenko. Hopefully, Prince has in store the O3 Speedport Tour and is waiting a couple of months before releasing it. Prince O3 racquets have all players improving their games, and have competitors stressing and struggling to compete with O3 technology. The sales show it, the players show it. Prince is indeed ruling the court.


TENNISCAST EPISODE 2!!! Click here to download!

TennisCast episodes are back with M and co-host Mario. This is the first of a weekly update so make sure to comeback for new episodes. Click on the link above to download and listen. This episode pulls in at around 45mb and is about 50 minutes long and we cover the following:

- Rome Master Series
* Draw Analysis
* Three Set Finals, good or bad?
* Day One Results
* Americans on Clay this week

- Tennis in the News
* Hybrid court, Nadal and Federer take to half grass half clay court exhibition
* Controversy over originator of Hybrid Court Idea
* Tennis in Time's most influential 100 list

- Rankings
* Who's up who's down
* Race and Overall Ranking updates

Give us your feedback and remember the episode is also up at Facebook. Give us your feedback right here or at Facebook or at our email tenniscast@gmail.com. Enjoy!

Rainy Day 1 in Rome

That pic basically sums up the first day of the Rome Master Series. Empty seats, rain, and umbrellas. Albeit the rather heavy rainstorm the tournament did get five matches out of the way. Four of those matches were first round single matches while the fifth was a very interesting doubles match featuring the currently "tennis revitalizing" rivalry of Nadal and Federer. Players that got through their first round matches include non other than tenniscast heroe Juan Carlos Ferrero and fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro as well as tennis blogger Tursunov and that tall Argentenian Jose Acasuso. Nadal teamed up with Carlos Moya and took on Federer and Wawrinka in their first doubles encounter. Here are the results from the Rome Master Series Day 1.

Singles First Round
Almagro (ESP) d. Henman (GBR) 75 61
(16) Ferrero (ESP) d. Hrbaty (SVK) 36 61 64
Tursunov (RUS) d. Bjorkman (SWE) 76 (10) 36 61
Acasuso (ARG) d. Verkerk (NED) 63 75

Doubles First Round
Moya/Nadal (ESP) d. Federer/Wawrinka (SUI) 64 76 (5)

Come back later when M gives the lowdown on the results with match analysis. For now head over to ATP Master Series TV where you can find a replay of last year's final while play is suspended due to the rain, if not make sure to catch all the great highlights from day one and some interesting interviews with players commenting about Nadal and his success.


One closer to 100 straight!

I think we'll be seeing a lot of Nadal pics here at TennisCast for the coming months. Hey everyone, M here. Nadal has added one more win to his now more than impressive straight clay court wins streak resting at 72. In todays Open SEAT Godo tournament in Barcelona Nadal defended his title for a second time by beating Guillermo Canas in a convincing 6-3, 6-4 display. The match lasted and hour and forty minutes and it was all Nadal from the start. The new clay court king posted the only break in the first set and the only break in the second. In the first set Nadal dominated with his 71% first serve percentage. He faced two break points but defended them nicely. He won 80% of his first serves compared to Canas' 61%. In the second set Nadal upped his serve performance and rose his first serve percentage to 80% and won 85% of those first serve. He did not face a single break point in the second. This is Nadal's third straight Barcelona final.

Nadal will not be in action this week as he will take a much needed rest before the second master series of the clay court swing. This week there two smaller tournaments in Estoril, Portugal and Munich, Germany. The highest seeds in each of those tournaments are Davydenko and Haas respectively. Nadal will be back in action along with 54 other ATP pro's on the 7th of May when action gets started in Rome. ATP Master Series TV will have all the action so make sure to check it out.

With this win we'll see one major change in the ATP 2007 race as Nadal will top Federer. Before this tournament began Nadal was a close second at 305 compared to Federer's 345 points, but that all changed when Nadal reached the finals at Barcelona where he could, if he won, recieve 50 points and thus have the chance to pass Federer. With his win he adds those 50 points and moves ever so closely over Federer in the Race at 355 to Federer's 345. It's a tight race for sure this year. Nadal will also receive 300 points for his overall ranking and move to over 5000 points, still a distant second to Federer's 7200. We'll be back next week with results from Estoril and Munich and with our pre-tournament analysis of Rome. See you guys soon. M out.

Oh, remember, Mario gets here this week so we'll be posting our second podcast pretty soon and weekly episodes will follow after that so check back soon.


Quarterfinal Results!

Sup everyone, M here. The quarterfinals came to a close today and the semifinals are set to go tomorrow in Barcelona. As we had mentioned in a previous entry Ferrer was the first one through to the semis after taking down Nalbandian. This was their sixth meeting and the fifth win for Ferrrer in their head to head. He didn't face a break point, which is hard to come by on clay courts and even harder so against such a high caliber player like Nalbandian, who seemed to be on a hot streak after his convincing win against former #1 Carlos Moya. The second quarterfinal match that got under way involved Nadal. He was seeking his 70th straight clay court win already way ahead of Guillermo Villa's previous record of 53. It will be a long time for this new record to be broken. Nadal was playing exceptionally well in his previous two matches but today, well we can say he played sloppier than usual. He was broken when serving for the match. This was the first time his serve was broken in the tournament. Either Starace was playing high quality tennis or Nadal was just off. Let's give the Italian some credit shall we. He hung tight in the second set until he served at 5 -5 when Nadal broke and then served out the match. I guess Starace just couldn't deal with Nadal's energy as the Spaniard pump fisted his way to a 7-5 win. We mentioned before that Nadal last beat Ferrer in 2005 at the French Open. He has three straight wins against Ferrer coming into this semifinal. Nadal will be fueled by a couple things, his current streak and the chance to defend his title once again. Ferrer will fight to prove his fellow countrymen that he is a factor to be reckoned with on clay. They play tomorrow as the second semifinal at around 3:45pm Barcelona time or 9:45am easter time. The first semifinal will be played at 1:oopm Barcelona time or at 7am eastern time and involves Calleri and Canas.

Canas will be the clear favorite. Not only because of Rankings but the mere fact that he didn't have a quarterfinal match will give him a edge in physical ability. No match you say? Yep, what was supposed to be a great quarterfinal turned to dissapointment as not a single game was played between Canas and Davydenko. The number 4 in the world retired citing a wrist injury. Apparently he was getting massaged for a sore shoulder and by the end of it he couldn't freely move his fingers. A let down for sure as he was poised to make a resurgence this clay court season after many dissapointing results. Calleri on the other hand did have to play his quarterfinal and got through quite easily. He defeated Oscar Hernandez from Spain 6-0, 6-3. He played great tennis, he lost just one point on serve and thus did not face a single break point. He hopes to carry that win against Canas, who is looking to reach his third final of the year(Costa do Sauipe and Miami). We will of course be on top of all the results and we'll be posting them as fast as they come in so come back tomorrow morning for your dose of tennis action. Have a great weekend everyone. M out.

Quarterfinals underway in Barcelona

Hey everyone M here. The singles quarterfinals are underway in Barcelona today. The first of the four matches is already complete with David Ferrer reaching the semis after beating David Nalbandian 7-6(5), 6-2. The spaniard didn't face a single break point and continues his strong season. The next match is set to begin within the hour with Nadal facing Starace. The two have only met once before back in 2005 in Buenos Aires where Nadal came on top in the round of 16 with a score of 6-1, 6-3. The match after Nadal's is a promising one with Fed Defeater Guillermo Canas duking it out against the number 2 seed Davydenko. This could be a close match if Davydenko plays like the number 4 player we all know. He has been struggling a little these past few weeks so we'll wait and see how he holds up against currently on fire Canas. The final match of the day will be between Oscar Hernandez from Spain and the number 15 seed Agustin Calleri. The two met earlier this year in the Acapulco round of 16 and played a solid three set match with Calleri moving through. We'll have all the results later today so make sure to check back soon.


Back from hiatus with Monte Carlo Results and Analysis

M here back from our month long hiatus. Sorry about the break guys but things came up, but...we're back and better than ever. The site has been reworked from top to bottom. We got the acin and double faultin lists back up. We got the links to the best tennis sites back up as well. New additions include some pretty cool things. The first one you'll notice is the new TennisCast logo! Yes we finally got the logo done and for now we'll be sticking to that one until a better one comes along. If you guys out there have some Photoshopping skills then please don't hesitate to send us your ideas to tenniscast@gmail.com. We read all the mails we get sent so go and get cracking. We'll have fun with the logo and we'll be making adjustments as the different tennis seasons pass us by this year, and so we start with clay. The second major boost we made to the site is our video section. You can catch it right below the logo. Each week we'll be updating the video section with great clips from the world of tennis. This week we're posting some recap clips of the Monte Carlo final. Check back each week and watch different clips. We got a lot to post so make sure to check them out. We have Federer clips, Ferrero clips, funny tennis clips and even some classics. Now that we're back from our hiatus we'll have constant updates and next week we'll have extensive coverage of the Rome Master Series. This week's videos go along with our results analysis so lets get to it.

So as I write this Nadal's clay court winning streak is at 69. He played today and moved on to the quarterfinals of the Open SEAT Godo tournament in Barcelona by defeating the former Australian Open champ Thomas Johansson 6-1, 6-4. He is one away from getting to 70 and his next match against Starace seems pretty easy. The big news though...Nadal won Monte Carlo. Not only did he win Monte Carlo, but he did not lose a set in the entire tournament. This is including the final where he manhandled Federer and won in straight sets 6-4, 6-4. The game was a little tighter than the score implies but it was no doubt a beating handed to Federer. Nadal played with aggression and his energy was present every point while Federer seemed to be dragging his feet after every point. It seemed like Nadal sucked out all of the energy out of Federer and used it to his advantage. I think this was the key to his victory. Although Federer making twice as many unforced errors as Nadal also helped, I think the intensity with witch Nadal played made all the difference and will make the difference in the upcoming Master Series events in Rome and Hamburg and more importantly at Roland Garros.

Federer keeps coming up with excuses after every lost match against Nadal. For the last five loses he says the same thing “I feel like I'm in good shape for the rest of clay court season, and it's going to come down to the French Open to see who wins.” He always says he learns and takes notes on every match. Lets hope thats true for Federer's sake. I think his tennis legacy is on the line. He might go down the same path as Sampras...the best player ever to play the game and never to win Roland Garros. He needs to stop taking notes. If Federer can steal one of the next master series...he will plant his seed in Nadal. He will strike at Nadal's confidence. If he loses in Rome and at Hamburg I do not think he will able to pull through at the French. He needs to chip away at Nadal's shield as early as possible. If he can win once he'll have the energy and even...hope, that he can stop Nadal at the French. This would be great for the fans as well. If he can actually put up a fight against Nadal and take one of these next tournaments the talk, the thrill and the anticipation of the French will just excite all of the tennis fans around the world including yours truly. So as much as I would like to see Nadal get to 100 straight wins on clay I think I would rather see Federer complete the slam. This is tennis history here guys and we are smack in the middle of it. Lets enjoy it while it lasts. I think we'll be at the same spot come this summer for Wimbledon and the grass season. Nadal got to the final last year and actually put more of a fight on grass than Federer ever has on clay. This will turn out to be truly interesting. Maybe we'll find out everything we need to know when both of them play on a hybrid tennis court for an exhibition. Half grass, half clay...even play for both.

M out, see ya soon with more updates from the Barcelona tournament and Nadal´s ongoing clay court streak. For now...enjoy the videos! Oh...Mario is finally coming down from Miami next week so the podcats will start rolling out on a weekly basis. Alright...that's it for now!


TennisCast Epi01

First TennisCast Episode. Pacific Life Results. Click on the link above to listen to the show.


Teenage Takeover at Indian Wells

Hey everyone welcome back to TennisCast. Maurizio here back at ya' with all the results. You know we got all of them for yesterdays four fourth round matches. Teens were the big rulers of the court yesterday pulling off impressive wins each. Enough intro...ing lets just get right into it.

In the biggest upset of the day, yet not the biggest surprise, was the defeat of #4 seed Davydenko by the hands of #13 seed Andy Murray. The Scotman (who today is playing doubles with other English Patriot Tim Henman) dished out a hard fought 7-6(3), 6-4 win over the hard working Russian. Both players were able to break twice in the first set which led to the tie break. In the second set though the key difference was in Murray being able to withstand pressure from Davydenko and hold his serve and protect his own break to steal the match. As much as Gilbert bothers people as a coach, and even more as an ESPN commentator, he seems to be doing a magnificent job with Murray. I remember watching last year's French Open (best major by far in my humble opinion) where the young Scot was battling French hopeful Monfils...and I must say it was the worst match of the tournament and probably the worst match I had seen in a long time on the ATP. It was not proffesional level tennis and both players seemed to behave like little kids on the court, walking with their heads down slowly after losing a point and showing no energy, no enthusiasm to win. Rallies were amateur in length and my grandfather who is 84 could run faster than those two that day. Murray has come a long way and this year is truly displaying the talent everyone was raving about. Murray will now face Tommy Haas who is also on a hot streak after taking down his 2007 nemesis Gonzo in another fourth round match yesterday. Haas broke three times in the match and allowed zero break points to fulfill his revenge on the Australian Open runner up. He ended the match in just over an hour and will carry that energy with him to the quarters. The two have never played against each other before. We'll see how Gilbert can squeeze the most out of Andy and we'll see if Haas can go without quitting on himself.

The rest of the top half saw the continued dominance of Novak Djokovic. He threw Benneteau out of the tournament with a very convincing 6-3, 6-1 display, also avenging a previous loss to the Frenchman back in Djokovic's Indian Wells debut in 2006...sweet sweet revenge. Djokovic broke five times and was broken once in the second set. The key was saving break point chances as the young Djokovic was able to save 10 of 11 chances, the majority coming in the first set where his serve was a little sloppier. Djokovic won't have an easy time anymore as he now faces Ferrer who came out on top in the third all Spaniard match of the tournament beating out TennisCast hero Carlos Moya. It took the #14 seed almost two hours to dispose of the hearty veteran and it took him a well fought three sets. Carlos Moya took the first set convincingly 6-1, converting on two break points and not allowing any on his serve. Things changed drastically in the second set where the momentum shifted. The tables had turned. Ferrer broke twice while he defended his serve and saved four break points to take the second set 6-2. In the third and final set Ferrer finished it off by taking the only break in the set and finishing it off 6-3. The match was a lot closer than the score reflects. Out of the 164 points...each won 82, it was when and where each point was won that made all the difference. Djokovic and Ferrer played once back in 2004 and in clay. This will be a good addition to their head to head records. Djokovic is in a groove this tournament and seems to be the one with the advantage although Ferrer always creeps around his way deep into tournaments so we'll find out soon who pulls through and into the semis.

Tonight we have Nadal vs Chela and Ljubicic vs Roddick. Make sure to catch the Ljubicic vs Roddick match on ESPN2 starting at 10:00 pm eastern time...if you can't catch the tube at that time make sure to log on to ATP Master Series TV to catch all the live streaming action straight on your PC. Alright guys i'm off to watching the Nadal vs Chela match so see ya soon! Check back later for all the results of tonight's quarterfinal action.



Results from a not so exciting Round of 16

Maurizio with TennisCast, i'm back with the results from yesterday's round of 16 action. There is little to talk about, the four matches that went down were neither surprising nor that exciting. On paper it certainly seemed like certain classic matches could have been played out. Instead we got a complete blowout, a routine two set match, a three setter with little emotion (maybe excepting the second set), and an ace display. Here's hoping the final four matches will live up to their potential, but we'll go over those in a little bit. First, the results.

So yes I have to admit my mood is affected by this first result from yesterday's fourth round action. We've been happily posting this week and it's amazing how much it had to do with TennisCast Idol Juan Carlos Ferrero's wins. We were fueled with excitement that he was going deeper and deeper into the tournament. Little did we now our momentum would be stoppped by that trophy biting, banana eating, monkey resembling clay court extraordinaire Rafael Nadal. In what can only be called an embarassing loss Ferrero was taken down in not just two straight sets but in an hour and was almost double bageled. He'll definitely keep Ginepri and Blake company as Double Faultin players entering next week. Sad to say but we gotta be honest here. Nadal played an amazing match and it seemed as though he came out with instinct to kill, and to take revenge for his previous loss to Ferrero back in Cinci last year. The crafty, spin-full young Spaniard converted 5 of 7 break points and saved his own 5 break chances. He gave Ferrero no chance to catch his breath, to reboot his game and that was key. Momentum was always on his side and it just seemed like Ferrero was doomed since the moment he served up his first point. After this win, he goes into the quarters without losing a single set. His next opponent is Juan Ignacio Chela, who also won yesterday against Michael Russel 6-4, 6-4. In this routine two set match Juan Ignacio Chela ended the run for surprise fourth rounder Russel. Chela had the key break in the first set and in the second broke twice and recovered from Russels sole break point in the game. Nadal and Chela have played each other twice in 2004 with each winning one game. Chela is playing great tennis this year and has a win under his belt when he took the Acapulco Tournament in Mexico the 26th of February. Each have lost four matches this year but Chela comes in with 5 more wins than Nadal at 14 though that won't stop Nadal from most likely taking this match. We'll have to wait and see how this one turns out.

The next two matches set up the other quarterfinal match at the bottom of the draw between Ljubicic and Roddick. Ljubicic disposed of Nalbandian in a two hour, three setter that involved breaks from both sides of the court. Nalbandian took the first set 6-2 with two breaks and without facing a single break point. At that point things looked like Nalbandian was going to ease through to the quarters. Little did he,nor the rest of the fans, know that Ljubicic wasn't going to give up easily. In the second set the Croatian converted one of his two break chances to take the set 6-4 and ramped up his service games to neglect Nalbandian a chance to break back. He won 93% of his first serves and 60% of his second. He finished off the game with a 6-2 score in the third set. Ljubicic will face Reebok deserter and Lacoste supporter Andy Roddick who toppled French hopeful Richard Gasquet. They had a wonderful first set and Roddick was able to dominate completely in the second using his and our favorite weapon, his serve. There were no breaks or break points in the first set and it finished off with Roddick winning the tie breaker to go up 7-6(3). Roddick used the load of confidence he had and used it to take his sole break point chance to full advantage. He broke and never looked back and easily took the second set 6-3 setting up his 10th clash with the gentle giant. Roddick looks to increase his head to head lead to 4 with this next match. Their last meeting was late in 2006 during the year ending Tennis Masters Cup where Roddick took the hard fought three setter.

Tonight we see the top half of the draw duke out their fourth round matches starting with Djokovic vs Benneteau and then followed in the Stadium court with Davydenko vs Murray, Moya vs. Ferrer and the night match between Haas and Gonzo (Fernando Gonzalez to the few who dunno). You know the deal...check out the link below for ATP Master Series TV for all live streaming action and remember to check back later for all the results. Lets hope these matches bring in more of a spectacle. Feel free to comment on who you think will take these next matches.