What’s hot? The Natural, that’s what
Originally published on: 26/02/10 16:36
Rumours about The Natural, a tennis racket with two handles, have been kicking around the worlds tennis chatrooms for some time.
Whats brought it into the mainstream news, however, is the two guys currently using it with considerable success on the pro tour American brothers Dann and Brian Battistone.
Check out a US news broadcast on the Battistones
Although were yet to get our (two) hands on one (were working on it), the fact that its used by the Battistones suggests there may be something in this bit of new kit.
Its one thing to invent a weird and wonderful piece of sporting equipment, but another entirely for it to perform on the professional stage.
The racket was designed by USPTA pro Lionel Burt and is said to offer players the chance to hit open-stance forehands from both wings (as Brian does) and helps players make contact with the ball further out in front.
The brothers, who have an ITF certificate stating the racket is legal that they take along to every tournament they play, say The Natural is behind their ranking jump to well inside the top 300 in the ATP world doubles list.
Since joining forces on the tour last September, the Battistones, who are coached by elder brother Mark, have won one Futures title and reached another four finals.
They then stepped things up when they reached the final of the recent Binghamton Challenger in the US where they beat current world doubles No.13 Lukas Dlouhy and partner Tomas Zib in the semis.
Perhaps just as bizarre as the rackets they use is Brians unique volleyball-like