The inside story on the racket that fired Dominic Thiem to US Open glory


After a number of close to misses and no little heartache alongside the best way, Dominic Thiem lastly made his Grand Slam breakthrough as he received the US Open in September. 
The strain that flooded out of our TV screens because the Thiem beat Germany’s Alexander Zverev in an agonising fifth-set tie break served up some of the dramatic moments of a confused 2020 tennis yr, with Thiem’s aid as he fell to the court docket on the finish providing emotional proof to all.
The journey from his house city of Wiener Neustadt in Austria to that second on Arthur Ashe Stadium as he lifted the US Open trophy noticed many hurdles tossed earlier than him, but one think about his success could have been extra essential than most.
Whereas the hours on the apply court docket helped to show his dream right into a actuality and the assist workers round him have been a part of his successful bundle, the racket he has used to succeed in the highest of the sport performed a pivotal position in his success.
Thiem used as a Babolat Pure Strike racket with an 18×20 string configuration and if that sounds difficult for the non-tennis professional, Tennis365 are right here to reply a number of the questions.
We spoke to Olivier Carlier, Babolat’s World Advertising and marketing Supervisor, who gave us an perception into what makes an ideal racket, with the gamers taking part in a giant position in making certain they get the weapon they need of their palms after they take to the court docket.
“Babolat professional athletes’ suggestions is essential in our improvement course of,” Oliver instructed us. “High gamers are extremely expert and might articulate what they’re feeling with accuracy. 
“A few of them can really feel a 2g (0.07 oz) distinction between two racquets. Gamers specific their wants in time period of feeling, energy, management, spin and so on…
“We additionally talk about the sport evolution with their coaches, and what options we are able to make to the gear (i.e. racquet-string mixture). We experiment with many choices throughout professional demo classes, corresponding to completely different stiffness choices, string patterns, applied sciences, and so on.  We study loads from our discussions with gamers and coaches and demo check outcomes that result in the event of a brand new prototype.
“With a participant like Dominic, we begin with an change along with his coach and our efficiency groups within the lab on the traits of the present racket. We talk about the scenario collectively and notably the evolution to be made on the racquet in accordance with the orientation of the model of play or sure technical changes.
“Relying on the solutions, we offer options, with out forgetting, in fact, the influence of the stringing (50% of the racquet’s efficiency comes from the body and 50% from the string).”
Thiem’s particular necessities have been taken under consideration earlier than Babolat produced their eye-catching Pure Strike racket, with this model of racket coming in two string configurations that provide completely different traits relying on taking part in model.
“In Dominic’s case, we introduced extra stability at influence to permit him to play the ball earlier after the rebound,” added Oliver. “The evolution of the racquet’s body has allowed us to alter the customization, reducing the burden added. Consequently, the racket has higher manoeuvrability whereas sustaining the control-power ratio. This improved manoeuvrability permits the racquet to generate extra spin and confidence on influence with the ball.
“The string sample has an influence on the management degree. An 18×20 string sample will cut back the string mattress flexibility and due to this fact present extra management. We name this the trampoline impact. The bigger and extra open the string sample is the larger the trampoline impact, so, offering extra energy.”
THE TENNIS 365 VERDICT by Kevin Palmer
Tennis365’s Kevin Palmer testing the vary of Babolat racketsI examined the Babolat Pure Strike racket and there’s no doubt that the model with the 18×20 string sample presents the trampoline bounce off the strings.
So it you’re a participant who hits the ball flat, the 18×20 model of the Pure Strike is the one to go for and the distinction it made to my recreation was vastly spectacular and instantaneous.
The 16×19 string sample on the choice model of the Pure Strike on enhancing really feel and management utilizing new materials applied sciences to cement the rackets id as one of many main decisions for superior gamers. This 16×19 model will enchantment to gamers hitting with spin, along with the accuracy and management that the body offers.
Basically, that you must resolve which model of play will fit your racket earlier than making a choose on the Babolat Pure Strike that may give you the results you want.
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