First and foremost, this year marks 100 years of the Volkl brand. Volkl started out engineering skis before venturing into the tennis world back in 1972. Happy Birthday to Volkl!
As you know by now, the first 2023 Grand Slam event is officially underway Down Under in Melbourne, Australia as of yesterday, and already there have been some surprising announcements and results and rising temperatures. But before we delve into the Open, Volkl Tennis has some exciting updates to share: The newly designed V8 Pro has just hit the market as part of the ICON series and is available for dealers to purchase this powerful new stick! The V8 Pro’s signature zebra-stripe frame pattern pays homage to the first Volkl racquet created more than 50 years ago, and to fellow racquets in the ICON line like the C10 50th anniversary edition racquet, the C10 EVO and V1 EVOs.
As for what’s happening in Australia, there’s a lot to report on despite the tournament having only just begun. One of the stars of the recently released Netflix doc-series called “Break Point”, last year’s Wimbledon finalist and Australia’s highest-ranked men’s singles player Nick Kyrgios just cited a knee injury as the reason for withdrawing from the tournament after the draw had already been made. The only two women who had won the Aussie Open in previous years wound up drawing each other in the first round (Azarenka versus Kenin), with Azarenka prevailing in two tight sets. And the excitement is just getting off the ground, with much more on-court action on the way from our group of Volkl players as well as those in the coaching corner.
Mexican tennis star Miguel Reyes-Varela, who’s currently top 80 in the world and plays with the V-Cell 8 315g, is partnering up with Ramanthan once again after having a successful swing of events together; they face off in their opening round against the Greek Tsitsipas brothers (singles top-5 player Stefanos and his younger brother Petros). The winner of that match will likely face the top-seeded team of Koolhof and Skupski in the second round. Coming off an impressive team appearance at the United Cup in which the United States won the entire event, Hunter Reese just got into the doubles draw as an alternate. Reese, a former All-American and NCAA champ who’s currently ranked 81 on the ATP circuit in doubles, will be playing on the same side of the court as Colombia’s Cristian Rodriguez. Reese, who plays with the V-Cell 8 315g and Rodriguez are scheduled to play against the 11th-seeded team of Jamie Murray (older brother of Grand Slam champ in singles, Andy Murray) and Michael Venus. On the women’s side, USC’s NCAA champ Kaitlyn Christian (who plays with the V-Cell 8 300g) is teaming up with Kovinic to take on the 16th seeds, Kato and Sutjiadi. On the coaching front, Australia's own Scott Webster, who led compatriot Storm Sanders to her first mixed Grand Slam doubles title alongside John Peers at the 2022 US Open, can be seen on the tournament grounds donning his Volkl gear while leading practices with his C10 EVO racquet in-hand as always.
Wishing the best of luck to our Volkl team members as they compete in the first Grand Slam of the year!