Over the years, tennis has evolved into what is largely a baseline game. More players work at or even behind the baseline, relying on power and strong defense to win points. To see the evidence, just look at the grass wear patterns at Wimbledon.
I certainly fall into this category. I rely on a strong forehand (and adequate backhand) to win points, and I only come to the net when I have an easy volley. Otherwise, I stay back.
If you are this type of player, you need power and spin to pressure your opponent and win points (that is, unless you are a pusher who just gets the ball back). And your racquet plays a huge part in your success.
The Wilson Burn 100S was designed specifically with the baseliner in mind.
The Burn 100S racquet features 18x16 Spin Effect Technology, a string pattern that adds extra spin to the ball to create heavy groundstrokes. The strings are aligned so that maximum power is transferred to the ball rather than generating vibrations in the racquet.
This racquet's power was immediately apparent on my first swing. After finding my range with it, flat "winner" shots easily came off the racquet and sped through the court. Regular groundstrokes were consistent and powerful with lots of spin available, making this a versatile racquet for working the baseline and pounding winners.
I did find the racquet a bit stiff for my taste, and I wish it provided more feel of the ball. But this is personal preference, and it didn't cause any issues other than perception.
The Wilson Burn 100S can be paired with the Sony Smart Tennis Sensor, which replaces the buttcap of the racquet—a special adapter makes for a quick swap.
The Smart Tennis Sensor detects swing speed, ball speed, spin, contact point and shot type; and the data is transmitted to an app on your phone via bluetooth.
If you're practicing serves, you can keep your phone nearby to review each one. Or, you can set your phone aside and check it after each game, set or match to assess your strengths and weaknesses. It's also possible to set the phone up to record video, which syncs your stats to each shot on the camera.
Based on previous knowledge of my shot speed and how each shot felt, it appears the Smart Tennis Sensor is very accurate, and it differentiated shot types with no problem. From time to time, it missed a shot, but this didn't cause much concern. Overall, it provides invaluable data to help you assess the strengths and weaknesses of your game, and to see improvement that comes with practice.
I could feel the sensor with my hand since the buttcap sits toward the bottom of my palm. Depending on how you hold the racquet, this may or may not affect you. Although the sensor only weighs eight grams, it did slightly alter the balance of the racquet.
The Wilson Burn 100S is available for $199, and the Sony Smart Sensor is available for $199. You can purchase both items at Wilson.com.
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