Monthly Archives: December 2012

Playing with arm,wrist or shoulder pain? Play Donnay

NEW YORK, December 21, 2012 — The results of an independently performed Racket Shock & Vibration Study are in and they dramatically show that multi-solid core frames produce less shock and vibration on initial contact and four (4x) times less shock and vibration time following contact than the racquets from the four leading brands which are all air injected or hollow.

The study was conducted by an independent third party test facility located in Shallotte, North Carolina that specializes in medical device and sport equipment testing. OrthoKinetic Technologies, LLC, the parent company, is a leading regulatory and consulting firm specializing in regulatory and test strategies for medical devices and sport equipment.

The Donnay racket dampened vibrations four times quicker with less vibratory forces than other models tested upon impact with a standardized force.

Both professional and recreational players get repetitive force transmission and vibrations to the tissues of the arm with the hits of the ball, and some of the shock is transmitted to the arm. The more prolonged the shock and vibration, the greater the risk for tissue injury.

In the study, the multi-solid core rackets vibrated for less than 1/5 of a second on ball contact, compared to an average of 7/10 of a second for other models tested. That means a player hitting 180 balls in a typical tennis match is subjected to more than 111 seconds of shock & vibration dwell time with the other brands versus a mere 32 seconds with the Donnay. Having a shock needle in the tendon for 2 minutes can cause severe harm especially to children and minors whose tendons are not even fully developed.

The extent of frame vibration transmitted to the arm holding the racquet depends largely on how well it is dampened. Multi solid-core XeneCore construction and manufacturing process acts as a super dampener to eliminate most all of the damaging vibrations.

In the old wood rackets, vibration disappeared quickly because it was dampened by the flex of the solid wood, but the new stiffer, lighter and hollow conventional frames do a poor job of snuffing out the vibrations, so they transfer this shaking to the arm that can stealthily sabotage the elbow, wrist, forearm and shoulder.

The longer the vibration and the longer a player rallies the more the tissues are stressed. This constant stressing is how a coathanger is broken by bending it back and worth. Eventually, tissue can fatigue resulting in localized inflammation, micro tearing, and micro injuries, even without any tremendous force.

Air injected racquets with their poor dampening properties cause pain (think of hitting a baseball with the hollow aluminum baseball bat on a chilly day).

For years the tennis industry has laid the blame for arm injuries on poor stroking techniques, conveniently diverting scrutiny from the design of racquets, but hollow, stiff, ultralight head-heavy racquets are more to blame. As conventional racquets have grown lighter and stiffer the number of players suffering from arm and elbow pain has also risen dramatically. The cause is no longer primarily related to mechanics, but rather to the equipment itself.

The study is of great significance for all players and the tennis industry as half of players are currently experiencing some form of arm pain and are looking for racquets that can minimize repeated long-term exposure to prolonged vibration and stress transfer to human tissue. According to the Tennis Industry Association’s latest study 30percent of players are playing less tennis or quit the sport altogether because of injury.

In short, if you’re trying to play hurt, you’re not playing well at all. And XeneCore is the solution that will keep you in the game, arm-injury free.



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Tennis mourns the loss of Art “Tappy” Larsen

The tennis world mourns the loss of a great American tennis champion and World War II veteran, Art “Tappy” Larsen. He passed away on December 7 in California, at the age of 87. Larsen was honored in a military burial service at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Hayward, Calif. Despite a late start to his tennis career, due to military service, Larsen achieved the No. 1 ranking in the United States in 1950, and he was ranked in the world top-10 several times in the 1950’s.

In 1950, Larsen won the U.S. National Championships in a five-set match at Forest Hills. He also captured the titles at the U.S. Clay Courts (1952), U.S. Hard Courts (1952), and U.S. Indoors (1953), making him the first man to win the titles on four surfaces. Tony Trabert is the only other person to have accomplished this feat. In 1954, Larsen was a finalist at the French Championships. Larsen was a member of the United States Davis Cup team in 1951 and 1952. He compiled a 4-0 record, helping the team advance to the finals both years. Larsen was honored for his tennis achievements with induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1969.
“Art was a wonderful tennis player who had great finesse in his game,” said Hall of Famer Tony Trabert. “He had a unique personality, and he was a good friend and I will miss him.”
In World War II, Larsen served in the US Army, 15th Cavalry, 17th Squadron. He was involved in heavy combat reconnaissance missions and was awarded four bronze campaign stars (Normandy, France, Central Europe and Germany). Larsen is said to have focused his energy on tennis as a form of therapy upon return from World War II, and he was admired for his focus and tenacity as a player. He picked up the nickname “Tappy” because he had a habit of tapping things, such as the net, for good luck.
A California native, Larsen attended the University of San Francisco, where he was a member of the 1949 NCAA Men’s Tennis Championship team.
Larsen is survived by his companion of more than 30 years, Aline Mestas. He also leaves a sister, Joyce A. Stengel, nephews Willis C. Stengel and Carl A. Stengel, niece Patricia Rickner and their families; all of whom fondly remember enjoying tennis lessons and matches with their uncle.
Source: The International Tennis Hall of Fame

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Federer to play less, but hopes to play in 2016 Olympics

SAO PAULO — Roger Federer says he won’t play as often in the next few years but wants to compete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The 31-year-old Swiss star intends to be more mindful about the tournaments he plays to make sure he can keep playing at a high level.

“I have to make sure that I take care of my schedule, of my body, of my mind,” he said Thursday. “Hopefully, I can still stay on tour for many more years and hopefully play the Olympics here in three and a half years or so, so I have to look far ahead and not just the next six months.”

The winner of 17 Grand Slams is in Sao Paulo for exhibition matches involving Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Tommy Robredo, Tommy Haas and Thomaz Bellucci. The Bryan brothers, Bob and Mike, are also participating. Federer plays Bellucci, Brazil’s top-ranked player, on Thursday.

Federer has competed in four Olympics, winning a doubles gold in 2008 and a singles silver this year. He would love to make it to the Rio Games.

“There is a lot of passion for sports here,” he said. “It’s a hot place to play tennis right now.”

Federer, who ended the season ranked No. 2, said this year was difficult because of additional commitments that kept him from practice and his family.

“I’ve played a lot of tennis. It’s been a big challenge, especially with the Olympics and the Davis Cup this year,” he said. “I found my way back to world No. 1 and it took a lot of sacrifices. I’d like to be home a little bit more often and in a relaxed fashion.”

Still, he said it was a rewarding season.

“I’m very happy that I’m still playing at a very high level,” said Federer, who won six titles this year, including Wimbledon. “I had one of my best years on tour this year, and one of the most emotional ones, of course. Next year tournament victories will probably be more important than the rankings, that’s why I need to make sure I practice a lot next year.”

Federer played 19 tournaments in 2012, two more than top-ranked Novak Djokovic. No. 3 Andy Murray also played 19 and Rafael Nadal, nursing a knee injury, played only 11.

“I’m not going to play 25 tournaments, but every tournament that I will be playing I’ll be emotionally attached to it because I either won there before or because I’ve been there many times or because I love the city or the country and the fans,” he said. “Today I’ve reached a point in my life that I can pick and choose where I want to play and how much I want to play.”

One of the tournaments he left off his 2013 schedule was Miami, the Masters event in March he has played since 1999 and won twice.

“Miami was a tough decision for me,” he said. “But I have to take some time off, first of all, but most importantly, I need to practice. This year I couldn’t practice at all. Something had to go in the calendar and that was Miami, unfortunately.”

Federer said he thinks he will need two Grand Slams and five to eight titles in other tournaments to get back to No. 1.

“It’s difficult,” he said. “But I’m happy to set that challenge and I’ll give everything I have.”


Posted by Steven White, Author of “Bring Your Racquet: Tennis Basics for Kids”

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Roger Federer: Second on a list of the world’s most respected people

The Guardian, London

In a study by the US-based Reputation Institute last year, Roger Federer was named second on a list of the world’s most respected people. Behind him was Bill Gates (third), ahead of him only Nelson Mandela. It is fair to say the Swiss tennis star has a reputation to maintain.

With that in mind, there is a lot riding on the Roger Federer Foundation (RFF), which partners local non-governmental organizations to support education projects for children living in poverty.

Many find it unthinkable that a high-profile sportsman like Federer would pursue such a project for reasons other than PR, or to maximize sponsorship returns. Yet, as the world’s fifth highest paid athlete he seems beyond such concerns. If anything, says the foundation’s CEO, Janine Handel, Federer’s altruism potentially jeopardizes the very thing that puts him in a position to make a difference in the first place — his standing.

“If you do charity and you’re a prominent person, it’s very important you do it right,” she said. “It’s a reputational risk you are taking.”

Handel, in London for a debate about whether tennis does enough to help society, insisted what the world needs is not more money but better invested money.

“Philanthropy is not just about money, it’s about quality, how you invest in social issues, the impact you have in the field,” she said.

For 54,000 children in Malawi who will benefit from an early education initiative run by the RFF, that is good news. The project, which began in 2010 in partnership with Credit Suisse and is being implemented in conjunction with ActionAid Malawi, will run for a decade. Its aim is to harness the potential of 80 childcare centers in six districts, where almost 250,000 children aged six to 11 fail to enrol in school.

Personal experience tends to shape the philanthropic activities of tennis players — think Nevada-born Andre Agassi’s education foundation in Las Vegas, or the Guga Kuerten Institute, which works with disadvantaged children in the former world No. 1’s native Brazil — but a packed year-round schedule leaves few opportunities to visit developing countries. It does not help that so few tournaments are staged in poor countries.

“It comes down to what’s viable commercially, what fits in the calendar, and what the appetite for tennis is in a given region,” said Justin Gimelstob, a player representative on the ATP World Tour directors’ board, who described a visit to the Arthur Ashe Tennis Centre in Soweto as “heartbreaking and inspiring.”

“How do you tie the facility in Soweto to the opulence of the US Open? How do you manage those opposite forces?” he asked.

In the absence of easy answers, the ATP is focusing on supporting the efforts of individual players, which only adds to the importance of organizations like the RFF.

Posted by Steven White

Author of Bring Your Racquet: Tennis Basics for Kids

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Sharapova aims for No. 1; plays Milan exhibition

Milan, Italy — Maria Sharapova aims to return to the No. 1 spot in the rankings after a solid season in 2012.

Sharapova, who had shoulder surgery in 2008, briefly reach No. 1 last spring after winning the French Open to complete a Career Grand Slam.

Sharapova arrived in Milan to play an exhibition tournament on Saturday with another former No. 1, Ana Ivanovic. They will face Italians Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci in singles and doubles.

”Obviously, the goal is always to shoot for top spot and that’s always where you want to be and stay,” Sharapova said. ”It’s one thing to reach the No. 1 ranking, another to keep it.”

Errani also had a successful year, improving to No. 6 in the world from No. 45. She reached the final at Ronaldo Garros, where she lost to Sharapova, and the semifinals of the US Open.

Errani won the doubles title at both events with Vinci, and they finished as the top-ranked doubles team.

”It’s been an incredible year,” Errani said. ”Starting from the Australian Open, I had very great results and was consistent, in the singles as well as the doubles. It will be hard to repeat that next year, but I will always try to give my maximum.”

Previously published @ Ahram Online Sports

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