It’s that time of year again: the time when tennis fans from around the world get to enjoy two Grand Slams in a rapid, two-month period. The French Open kicks off on May 21, and is followed closely by Wimbledon on July 2. At Tennis Express, we’ve been following the 2018 season’s developments closely, and there are some very interesting questions to consider as the tournaments approach:
– Will Rafael Nadal once again capture Roland Garros glory?
– Will we see a much-anticipated resurgence from Serena Williams following the birth of her daughter?
– Will Roger Federer benefit from his brief hiatus and continue his early-season form?
Only time can answer these questions, but we cannot wait to watch. Another thing we’re excited about is all of the tennis gear that has been, and will be, released for the championships. Right now, we have a solid collection of French Open equipment available, and Wimbledon won’t be far behind. That being said, Babolat has taken a step forward by adding premium bags for each. They did a good job of addressing three major market segments through backpacks, 6 packs, and 12 packs.
At left is Roger Federer at the 2018 Miami Open (March 23, 2018 – Source: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images North America). At right is Serena Williams at the 2018 Miami Open (March 20, 2018 – Source: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images North America).
Special Edition Babolat Backpacks
Both the Babolat Team French Open Expandable Backpack (at left) and the Babolat Pure Wimbledon Backpack (at right) have a two-racquet capacity and a racquet-handle protector. Their inner layouts are different, but they both offer sizing flexibility.
The French Open backpack has a slimmer body and extra zipper in order to expand outward, whereas the Wimbledon backpack offers more volume in the primary compartment, but doesn’t extend quite as far. The French Open backpack has two exterior accessory compartments, while the Wimbledon backpack has one on each side, a shoe pouch, and more interior pockets.
Overall, the Wimbledon backpack is the premier option, but the French Open backpack is still a solid choice. They both offer padded backs and straps, and are comfortable to carry. The external material on the French Open backpack is rough, while the Wimbledon backpack is smooth to the touch.
Special Edition Babolat 6 Packs
They both have a six-racquet capacity and two separate racquet compartments. One has Isothermal Protection to prevent against heat damage and loss of string tension, while the other opens up into the middle of the bag for additional space. A shoe pouch enters this area from the outside, as well. Each side of these bags features a storage compartment. The longer one has two internal pockets for accessories, while the shorter one has a hard exterior casing for protection, one standard internal pocket, and one internal mesh pocket.
For comfortable carrying, these bags have a center grab handle, a top grab handle, and padded backpack straps. Similar to the backpacks, the external material on the French Open bag is course, while the Wimbledon bag is smooth to the touch.
Special Edition Babolat 12 Packs
Just as with the 6 packs, the Babolat Pure Decima French Open 12 Pack (at left) and Babolat Pure Wimbledon 12 Pack (at right) are the same bag, but with different color schemes and graphics (more on the Decima bag and racquet can be viewed here).
As can be expected, both bags offer a twelve-racquet capacity. They also offer two Isothermal Protection compartments instead of the one featured in the 6 packs. A center storage area opens up to provide ample space for accessories, and a shoe compartment enters from the outside. The side-storage compartments are identical to the ones in the 6 packs, but athletes can expect a removable shoe pouch in the longer zippered area.
For ease of transportation, these bags have two center grab handles, one top grab handle, and two padded backpack straps. As with the other bags, the external material on the French Open bag is rough, while the Wimbledon bag is smooth to the touch.
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves talking about Wimbledon, let’s first take a look back at Rafa’s French Open success. Is this just an excuse to see some clay-court greatness? Maybe…but we’re not complaining! Click below to see the official Roland Garros video highlighting his past triumphs.
At left, Rafa bades a fond farewell after winning a match at the Madrid Open (May 8, 2018 – Source: Denis Doyle/Getty Images Europe).
For More Clay-Court Gear
To check out additional tennis equipment for the clay-court season, see our blogs below: