Volkl Organix V1 Pro Racquet Review

Last night, I spent a few hours on court at the Roosevelt Island Racquet Club with the NYC Paragon Sports’ tennis sales team. They were play testing the new Volkl Organix V1 Pro and this year’s model of the classic Volkl PowerBridge 10 Mid.

I personally play tested the prototype V1 Pro in early April, and was impressed that it is a player’s frame at 99.5 in2 with a V1 Big Grommet technology string bed. The Classic V1, known as the ‘Arm Saver’ has been around for more than 15 years, so the technology is proven as well as popular. Putting this plush string bed into a smaller head, thinner beam racquet, is an idea which surprisingly did not happen sooner, given almost all competitive players are using poly, or at the least, a poly hybrid. The advantage of this string bed is the far larger sweet spot coupled with a longer dwell time resulting in more feel to those who hit flat. Add in great spin production and you have a racquet that adds versatility to any player, while still an excellent choice for those who only play with heavy topspin or slice.

Two of the Paragon staff were bona fide D I players, Brandon Gallegos, who recently just graduated, having a full ride at Niagara University, and Paragon’s floor manager, Oz Chowdhry, a brilliant young man who is taking a time-out from med school while also coaching a D I player from the Midwest. Here are their comments regarding the XV1 Pro:

Brandon:

“It’s flexible and produces nice, heavy topspin, but I could still flatten-out the ball when needed. I felt that the racquet allowed me to hit a great variety of shots. The string bed has a very large sweet spot, and is very forgiving. Whenever I took the ball on the rise, the string still felt lively when I contacted the ball closer to the frame.”

Oz:

“For its weight, against a hard hitting D I player, it is still very solid. There is easy access to spin, but it is still very accurate on flatter shots. The racquet also allowed me to hit short topspin angles, drive with depth, and hit short touch shots.”

I also had three D III college players and a ranked B’s 14’s junior play test the frame last week. Here are a couple of their comments:

“It let me hit with a lot of spin and I really felt the ball.”

“Very solid. It dampened the shock to my bad arm really well. There were no vibrations!”

Lastly, two Future’s Circuit competitors remarked:

“It is really stable, especially at net. It also hits flat serves really well with good control and pop.”

“It is hard to miss a ball because there is so much feel and because it is so stable.”

In conclusion, a very well received piece of equipment anyone would benefit having in their bag! Here’s the particulars:

 

Specifications:

VolklHead Size: 641.25cm2/99.5in2
Cross Section: 23-20-23
Length: 68.5cm/27in
Weight Unstrung: 305 g/11.3 oz
Balance: 32.5cm/1.0 inch HL
String Pattern: 16×19

 

 

Also, for those of you who are already familiar with the very stable, soft flexible feel and awesome control of Volkl’s classic PB 10 Mid 93in2, you will love hitting with the new ‘Stealth’ cosmetics… and it looks stunning, if you are into paint jobs!

In conclusion, If you take the V1 string bed out of the XV1 Pro, you would have a very precise player’s frame at 23/20/23 cross section where the player provides the power. The V1 string bed provides the increased dwell time and arm dampening so there will be a lot of feel with flatter shots and much spin when needed for those whose swing speeds are not as violent. If you crank-up the tension, much more aggressive swings work very well too. Lastly, be mindful that there are now three versions of the V1, and this one is definitely for the more accomplished player, hence, the designation, ‘V1 Pro’.

Look for delivery of both of these frames sometime next week! Enjoy!

Nadal Seeded #5 at Wimbledon? What the…?

OK….how crazy stupid is it that Nadal and Federer could meet in the quarters at Wimbledon?

Whenever there has been a seeding controversy over the past few decades, it has always been at Wimbledon. Why? Because the British hierarchy who run the show there still think that the sun doesn’t set on their empire and that Wimbledon is played on Mount Olympus. Many, many times they have disregarded rankings to seed players according to what they believed to be most ‘proper’ for their unique grass court event. Fine.

So what happened this year?!

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Is it not apparent to these stodgy old seeding masters that Nadal is currently the best player on earth right now? Did they not see that Roland Garros semi-final where Nadal was about to win the match in the fourth set, but brain-cramped as he frequently does when ahead, loses that set, then, falls behind a break in the fifth, and stills wins it 9-7? Was the win over Ferrer in the finals in straight sets not a signal to all that Nadal’s seven month exile did not hurt him? Ferrer, who is a great player, but is totally owned by the Fab Four, especially by Federer, who treats Ferrer like he was Cinderfella, is a great player but doesn’t deserve to be seeded in front of Nadal. What is wrong with these people?

Sure, to stop from getting criticized, the Wimbledon Committee came up with this grass court formula to better seed players for the event. The formula takes the players’ current ranking points total, adds to it 100 percent of points won on grass in the previous 12 months, then adds 75 percent of points earned at the player’s strongest grass court event in the 12 months before that. The problem is, that outside of the two weeks of prep tourneys just before Wimbledon, there are almost no other grass court events except for Newport, which hardly anyone plays. But this past year was different, because the Olympics was played on grass, as well as the prior warm-up event, both of which Nadal did not play. With his seven months hiatus, Nadal gets ZERO credit in this convoluted formula. To question whether or not Nadal’s results in his nine events entered, all of which he played the finals, winning seven out of nine, which were all played on clay, have no bearing on grass, is just ridiculous. Nadal has been to the Wimbledon Finals five times. FIVE TIMES! Since they switched to rye grass, the transition from clay to grass is no longer as great, and by the second week of the event, they are playing on dirt anyway. So why would they not throw-out the formula this year after comparing both Ferrer’s and Nadal’s respective records for this year, and their overall records at Wimbledon?

Somebody is going to need to explain this, especially with the amount of rain they get there. Anyone can see that there is going to be a botched-up schedule to come. Can you imagine Federer-Nadal, followed by the winner having to possibly play Murray the next day, and then the Finals, most likely against Djokovic—who is currently going orgasmic in his hotel room right now—with a clear and easy path to the Finals again, without another day of rest, because they are backed-up by rain?

Running of the Bulls

Running of the Bulls

With these four guys, Djokovic, Federer, Murray, and Nadal, in an almost exclusive club of Grand Slam finalists for the past 7-8 years, I predict that this is going to go down as the worst scripted Wimbledon in history because one side of the draw is a Pamplona Running of the Bulls, and the other side is the Yellow Brick Road to the Finals!

Serena’s Dominance

Everyone talks about Serena’s dominance, but no one says, or seems to want to say, why.

At any women’s tourney, the first thing you might notice is that female tennis players look very different from the average woman their age, even college students, who may be into working out just to look good. And yet male players look no bigger than the average in-shape college male? Why is that?

Pro female tennis players have far larger calves, thighs, and glutes, plus, have larger upper arms and forearms, and some even have larger deltoids. On the other hand, male players, usually only have larger forearms, and very thick calves. Otherwise, they look like any other 20-something college male.

Serena

Serena

Looking at Serena, it is obvious that she has bigger deltoids, upper arms, and forearms than any other player except for Sam Stosur. And who are the two female players that everyone points out as having serves like men? Serena and Sam Stosur. But both are only 5’8”, yet they serve as big as most male players who are much taller. What they lack in leverage, they make-up for with awesome racquet head speed, great explosion off the ground, and massive wrist strength to pound the ball.

Sam Stosur Right Arm

Sam Stosur Right Arm

It’s obvious that Serena can do things that others can’t do. She serves bigger. She changes direction of the ball better. She volleys better. And….she almost exclusively hits open stance on both groundies and return of serve.

Serena has the best first serve in women’s tennis, and Stosur has the best second serve. Their racquet head speeds and ability to use their wrists to throw the racquet head at the ball or to grind the ball for spin, have no equal among other players. Serena has so much confidence while serving that she stated in her press conference after the finals, “I thought to myself, Look, Serena, you’ve just got to hit aces. That’s your only choice. I just had to hit aces. That’s just what I did.” No other champion, Evert, Navratilova, nor Graf ever made that statement!

Serena’s wrist strength is what allows her to change direction of the ball, and still hit with pace. Players who rally deep crosscourt, are invariably beaten down the line, and when she receives a down the line shot, a little flick and the ball is sent crosscourt out of her opponent’s reach. Since she hits open stance on both sides, she is rarely pulled outside the singles court, as she doesn’t lose two steps to set-up and two steps to recover. But she doesn’t get away with that simply because her legs are so strong; she just trains that way and has the coordination to do it on her backhand side while unweighting on her left leg. Most other players are closing their stance, putting themselves too far away from Serena’s down the line backhand shots, which are usually winners.

Lastly, Serena’s open stance return of serves allow her to be highly dynamic as she jumps off her outside leg, throws her shoulder forward, and rips the racquet through and up the back of the ball. Her returns frequently are just hit for winners, and since she so easily holds serve, she can be more aggressive, especially on important points as she did against Sharapova in the finals.

Now if some of the men took note of what Serena does, beefed-up their arms, shoulders, thighs, and glutes….just imagine…..

This first blog post is dedicated to media and public relations expert, Dr. Diane Dobry. I thank you for having my back in this endeavor!