Babolat

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Babolat
Industry Sports equipment
Founded 1875
Headquarters Lyon, France
Products Racquets, strings, accessories and shoes.
Website http://www.babolat.com

Babolat /ˈbɑːblɑː/ is a French tennis, badminton and squash equipment company, best known for its strings and tennis racquets which are used by several top players such as Rafael Nadal, Kim Clijsters, Andy Roddick, Caroline Wozniacki, Leander Paes, Fernando González, Igor Andreev, Fabio Fognini, Nicolás Lapentti, Samantha Stosur, Lisa Raymond, Robby Ginepri, Li Na, Dinara Safina, Agnieszka Radwańska, Kai, Alexander, Bjarne and Götz Diers, Santiago Giraldo, Carlos Moyà, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Sara Errani, Eugenie Bouchard, and Francesca Schiavone. The company has made strings since 1875, when Pierre Babolat created the first strings made of natural gut. Babolat continued to focus on strings until 1994, when it became a "total tennis" company. That is, Babolat began producing racquet frames and selling them in Europe. It then moved on to Japan, and later to the USA in 2000. The popularity of Babolat racquets picked up quickly in North America and Europe, trademarked by the easily identifiable double lines across the strings of the racquet face, and along the racquet frame itself.

A Babolat Pure Drive Team Plus; take note of the characteristic stripes (white on this racquet).

Babolat produces multiple series of tennis racquet models. The 'Pure Drive' series (blue racquet) is a series that includes the Pure Drive Team (used by Kim Clijsters and Carlos Moyà), and the Pure Drive Team Plus. The second series includes the Babolat Pure Control Team and the Babolat Pure Control Team Plus models, the red racquet with white stripes used by tennis players such as Robby Ginepri and Justin Gimelstob. The third series includes the Babolat Pure Storm Team, an orange and black racquet used by Fernando González. The 'Aero' series includes the Babolat AeroPro Drive, a black racquet with yellow stripes is used by Rafael Nadal, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and rising Canadian tennis star Eugenie Bouchard. The Aero Range is considered to provide the most racquet head speed and spin due to its "aero modular" technology. Other racquets in this range include the AeroPro Control. Recently released series include the Pure Drive Roddick, the plus version used by Andy Roddick and the AeroPro Drive Cortex. This Cortex system claims to reduce vibrations which improves the players comfort and feel of contact with the ball.

Other variations of its Pure Drive models include the Roddick Signature, Oversize and the updated Team and Plus model with Babolat's new cortex vibration dampening technology. The new AeroPro Drive with Cortex will be the first "aero" model racket to be fitted with cortex technology. The Pure Control line was abandoned for a time but has since been revived with the Pure Control Zylon 360, a lighter version which had poor sales and was subsequently renamed the "Pure Storm"; in this incarnation the racquet has since gained quite a large following for its low stiffness and control level. Due to the popularity of the low powered and flexible Pure Storm, Babolat has decided to create a new version of the Pure Control Team called Pure Storm Tour that has identical specs to the Pure Control Team except for a big difference in the flex which dropped from 70 to 63 and 62 on the extended length version. Babolat also updated the previous Pure Storm along with the new Pure Storm Tour with a new material called "Carbon Extreme" placed around the head for extra stability. Babolat has upgraded its technology and is now using Graphite Tungsten in their newer models of racquets. Examples are the new Babolat Pure Drive Roddick Plus GT.

At the 2005 Australian Open, Babolat was the most popular brand of racquet used by competitors, eclipsing traditional market leaders Dunlop, Prince, Head, Wilson, Yonex, Völkl and Slazenger.

Babolat sponsorships[edit]

Male players

Rafael Nadal with Babolat AeroPro Drive at Roland Garros 2007

Female players

External links[edit]