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The Week at Wilson with Blair Rickers: January 12th

Hello All,

I hope everyone had a wonder holiday season and that you are all enjoying 2012.

Another Win for Milos

Milos Raonic (using his Blade 98) won his second career ATP title with a 6-7, 7-6, 7-6  win over # 9 Janko Tipsarevic.  The young Canadian’s serve was lights out all week as he become the first player since Roger in 2008 to win all 48 service games in a tournament.  As amazing as last year was for Milos, we are all hoping for even greater success in 2012.

Lopez EXCLUSIVELY Wilson

ATP # 20 Feliciano Lopez will be sporting all Wilson gear in 2012.  Lopez will be using the Juice 100 frame on tour and will also be wearing Wilson footwear (Tour Ikon) and apparel.  On top of a couple ATP titles and one doubles win, Feliciano is also a key member of three Spanish Davis Cup winning teams.  The Juice has many in the tennis community questioning whether a frame that plays this well should be legal.  Check out Feliciano’s response:  http://www.wilson.com/en-us/tennis/juice-steam/the-evidence/

Azarenka Also Juicing

WTA # 3 Victoria Azarenko has also come on board with Wilson and will be using the Juice 100 on Tour.  The highest ranked player ever from Belarus, Vika is a star on tour with her keen fashion sense and large following on Twitter.  The fashletic player will also be using Wilson’s Emotisorbs.  These shock absorbers are going to be huge.  Make sure you order some for your shop.

Kvitova is Steamed

Petra Kvitova comes into 2012 poised to make a run at the # 1 spot on the WTA Tour.   She is already playing with the new Steam 100.  Slightly lighter than the Juice, the Steam offers players more power, but with additional spin to enhance control.  With a little more consistency, Petra could be the most dominant player on tour for years to come.

Frames are on the Water

All of our new racquets should be in Belleville by early February.  We should be able to start shipping retailers by the middle of the month.  Comments about the new frames have been outstanding.  Our Power/Comfort frames are always the best choice for players needing more pace in their game.  For the classic, old school hitter, there is not a better option than our Control/Spin collection.  However, what’s creating the most excitement are the new Power/Spin frames.  Guaranteed to take your game to the next level, you and your clients need to get out and test these new frames.  With so many tour pros making the switch, the only question to ask is “Why are you not on the Juice?”

Rickers’ Quick Hitters

I have not been a hockey fan since I was a kid watching Guy LaFleur, Ken Dryden and Serge Savard.  However, the HBO Show 24/7 might make me give the NHL another look.  If you are a sports fan you have to check out this show (I believe it can be downloaded).  Be careful showing this program to your kids, NHL players and especially Rangers Coach John Tortarella drop more F-Bombs than hockey pucks.

It’s always great to see Canadians, like Milos, doing well on the world stage.  Another local Canuck doing well is Burlington’s Brady Heslip.  He is the starting shooting guard for the undefeated and TOP 10 ranked Baylor Bears.  Heslip’s three point shooting has been a key part of Baylor’s offense.  The son of a former University of Guelph basketball star, Heslip had initially committed toGuelph before deciding to take his talents to Waco.

Speaking of basketball, one of my son’s Christmas presents was Raptors’ tickets.  Jack and I went and checked out the Raps on December 28th versus the Indiana Pacers.  Although they lost that game and have since lost to the then winless Wizards and been blown out by Philly, I think the Raps could have a decent season.  Decent meaning 8th place in the East.  Watching them play the Pacers I could not help cringe every time Danny Granger made a good play for Indiana.  Yes, Granger could be a Rap, only the team decided to draft Joey Graham instead.   Andrea Bargnani can shoot the ball, if he could rebound he’d be all-star worthy (he did pull down 10 the other night, so there is hope).

There were some sad faces at the Rickers’ household last Sunday night as Tim Tebow’s final pass, an 80 yards touchdown, ended the Steelers’ season.  We have now decided to jump on the bandwagon of the New York Football Giants.  Let’s hope it’s a long ride.

Have a great week.

A New Reality By Nicolas Pereira

This past week in the World Team Tennis ‘Bubble” I have seen the efforts to keep everyone safe while carrying on a team competition with around 60/70 players and coaches onsite. Counting organizers, officials, media, and support personnel are around 150 people trying hard to make this happen. I am very impressed by how the strict protocol has been handled and how everyone is invested in making this event a success, but The Open is a completely different scale of details.

ONcourt Interviews NGTL Co-Founder Yves Boulais

It does not matter that you get your rating playing locally or that you had spent an insidious amount of money playing the ITF junior tour tournaments. Your rating is your level of play (you get no bonus for playing more or playing far away). This allows us to break free of the ITF competitive structure potentially saving us time, money, and headache. We see this as a great opportunity to improve the logistic of our sport.

Brandon Burke (son of ACE President Doug Burke) Elected to WTA Board

As revealed in a recent news release issued by the WTA Tour – Brandon Burke has been elected to the WTA Board of Directors (to start officially in September). Oncourt got together with Brandon to delve a bit more into his background and to gain some insight into this wonderful appointment he has attained at such a young age.