This year in tennis history has already become one of the most memorable to date, with players breaking records on-tour and industry innovators propelling the sport to the next level of greatness that resonates with tennis players and fans alike.
On the 50th anniversary of the founding of Title IX (which provides equality opportunity in sports regardless of whether the athlete is male or female), women’s tennis has reached new heights in viewership and growing fan bases across the globe. That same year, Volkl Tennis announced itself to the world just when the Open Era of tennis on the WTA and ATP tours took off, and tennis was making a name for itself in the ever-expanding sports universe. Stemming from similar values and technology that Volkl Ski established in the 1920s, inventors within Volkl Tennis had pictured their brand as always being one step ahead of the competition in every way.
That’s where the first-ever Zebra racquet came into play, gracing the tennis market in the early 1970s at a time when carefully-crafted composite racquets were deemed a rare gem; since their initial launch, Volkl racquets have historically combined durable German engineering with value-focused technology that embodies innovation: from unveiling the big grommet system in each frame to the catapult tech to a grip vibration dampening system, all of which are specifically designed for each Volkl racquet. The 50thanniversary racquet line pays homage stylistically to the original Zebra-themed racquet, putting unique spins on the newly released limited edition classic C10 Pro (also celebrating 25 years in existence) among other sought-after frames. Only 1,000 of these newly released C10 Pro racquets exist, with each one coming with a leather grip, a special 1.27mm V-Icon Natural Gut and racquet cover with purchase.
REVISITING THE 80s ‘GOLDEN AGE’
Tennis historians view the so-called ‘Golden Age of Tennis’ as the most pivotal turning point in the sport’s development and ability to connect with new audiences. The rivalry between the game’s ‘fire and ice’ on the ATP tour (Bjorn Borg versus John McEnroe) defined an era that featured fiery personalities, talent and depth of players that had never been seen on that level before. Later on in McEnroe’s career, after retiring from professional tennis, Mac switched to the C10 Pro; the eight-time Grand Slam singles champion was not the only ‘80s great’ and hall of famer to join forces with Volkl.
Six-time Grand Slam Champion and Wimbledon champ at the tender age of 17, Boris Becker also became a brand ambassador to Volkl later on in his tennis career and has been a significant proponent in advancing the brand to where it stands today.
The aggressive style of play of future serve-and-volleyers such as Australian Open champion Petr Korda and later on, American standout Taylor Dent, both Volkl players, were reminiscent of Becker and McEnroe’s style of play.
GETTING VOCAL WITH VOLKL TENNIS
Fast-forward to the modern day landscape, and Volkl Tennis has a line of racquets that remain in the hands of thousands of players of all different levels from all over the globe -- from touring professionals to weekend warriors to even beginners.
It’s evident that there’s a Volkl racquet for every kind of player in the newest line released in conjunction with the brand’s 50th anniversary (built with the highest grade of Japanese carbon fiber blended with the mastery of German Engineering). Whether a player seeks more control or power, there is a racquet for everyone: the V-Cell 1 generates the most power while the V-Cell 10 320g gives a player more control over their play, and there are many in between.
New to the racquet line are the V1 Evo and C10 Evo, which marry the key aesthetics of the original zebra racquet with the state-of-the-art German Engineering that Volkl has prided itself on for 50 years and counting. The C10 EVO, at 310g is lighter than the 330g C10 Pro, but carries all the great playing characteristics of the original including the its classic soft flex. The new V1 EVO shares the 102 head size and Vario Beam shape with the V1 Classic while coming in at 305g versus 285g for the original V1 Classic. The V1 EVO also has a softer flex!