Wilson K Factor K Six One Team

After playing with the Yonex RDS 001 (Yonex RDS 001 review here) and the Babolat Aero Pro Drive, I felt that I wasn’t able to really exploit the full potential of my backhand. Gone were the days when I was able to hit the single handed backhand down the line or whip my backhand cross court with much ease. I guess this was attributed to the fact that much of my backhand comes from a very wristy action and short swing. Racquet head speed from my game was generated from a static position rather than a long swing. I had much success with the Head Flexpoint Instinct which I guess was one of the best racquets I used and played with so far. The only gripe I had with it was that it didn’t have the power to finish off my shots when I needed it. I have been regulating between my Yonex RDS 001 and my Babolat Aero Pro Drive and needed to get my back hand game back into contention. The other thing I missed was having the ability to serve a big one down the middle or T section of the service box and both the Yonex RDS 001 and Babolat Aero Pro Drive could not provide much success and consistency with. As a result of that I begin looking for something which was had a lighter frame, a more hefty swing weight and had a more even balance.

The Head MicroGEL Extreme was a major contender that I wanted to try out but unfortunately has not hit the Singapore markets yet. I was also tempted to try out the Wilson N-Blade but the throat didn’t feel that comfortable in my hands probably due to the matte paintwork it felt very rough. Wilson had just recently introduced the K Factor KSix-One series which comprises of Roger Federer's magical wand the K Factor K-Six One 90, K Factor K-Six-One 95, K Factor K-Six One 18x20 and finally the K Factor K-Six One Team. There is even an extended 27.5 inch version the K Factor K-Six One X. I had previously used both the Wilson N-Code N61-90 and the Wilson N-Code N61-95 both Asian versions but never tried the team version of this racquet. I thus decided to give the KSix-One team a try.

My initial impression of this racquet was that very light and comes with an very evenly balanced feel. At 289 grams unstrung, it felt like a very light tweener racquet. But don’t let the weight fool you. This racquet hardly had any power loaded into it compared to tweener racquets of this category and weight. I strung Wilson K Factor KSix-One team at 53 pounds and thought it will be suitable enough, but I think something like 50 pounds would bring the power level a notch higher but control could be compromised. I can’t comment here until I use the racquet at a lower tension. The lack of power also could be attributed to the compact 18x20 string pattern or lack of weight that provides the mass to hit the ball solidly with pace. The other thing about the racquet is that it had a Babolat Racquet Diagnostic Center (RDC) stiffness rating of 59 which stated in its specs on tennis warehouse.

This was a flexible arm friendly racquet and the flex could be easy felt when just bouncing the ball on the ground with the racquet. You could easily feel the frame flexing from just the feedback received by bouncing the ball on the ground. From a person who had experienced a bad case of tennis elbow (my review on tennis elbow treatment here) and still suffer some pain after a game, this would the racquet for you. It was very easy and comfortable on both the arm, shoulders, wrists and most importantly elbow possibly due to its lightness, balanced weight as well as flexible frame. I hardly experience any aches or pain in my elbow or arms after around 3 hours of use.

If you’re are a heavier player like me, or find yourself in a situation where you were to play in longer marathon matches, the Wilson K Factor KSix-One team is a great candidate for these trying conditions. It would be a great weapon of choice, as you can have the energy to hit all day long with it. The Wilson K Factor KSix-One team still has excellent control, but I just didn’t find it to have enough juice for my liking. I believe reducing the tension would greatly help, but in general i felt frustrated at times, as everything I was hitting, even my better shots were getting played back which basically meant that I had to play more shots. When you did try to go for a winner you'll sometimes tend to over cook the shot due to impatience then lack of control. It’s definitely not the type of racquet which you would use to blow your opponents off the court, but was more of a control oriented patient player's stick. If you like to blow your opponent off the court with your ground strokes, this is NOT the racquet for you. If you like to however play an intelligent game and set up points with the control and precision of this racquet the Wilson KSix-One team might be just the stick you’re looking for.

When in comes to the serve, the Wilson KSix-One team was the exact opposite compared to hitting ground strokes. I was able to generate lots of pace and accuracy with my serves. The most deadly was with the serve directly down the middle T court of the service box. I could easily win cheap points with the serves though either aces or good first serves. The 2nd serve was a little more tricky as this being a lighter frame, you would have to rely on lots of head speed instead of mass to whip the ball and create spin. I found myself making slightly more double faults then compared to hitting with a heavier frame. I guess will need to just get used to the Wilson KSix-One team and adjust accordingly to the lighter weight.

But for the serves, the Wilson KSix-One team was really nice and I found great pace using it. It was an absolute joy to serve with it, the kickers out wide were however a little bit more difficult to execute and needs a little bit more adjusting. The Wilson KSix-One team was also easier on the arm while serving. All this while I did not experience any pain in the arms or wrist while serving. This is a great asset as serving can tire you a lot as well as cause some pain and discomfort during long matches if you’re carrying a previous injury. The comfort and feel as well as the pace that the Wilson KSix-One team can generate while serving will definitely go a long way to help with your service game and shoulder if you had any previous tennis related injuries to your shoulder, wrist or elbow. I would highly recommend the Wilson KSix-One team as it is an exceptional racquet if you’re coming back from a long layoff or have any injury or have had problems with tennis elbow (treatment for tennis elbow here). I think it’s flexibility made much of the difference providing the much needed comfort on the racquet, lightness did help somewhat but having an overly light stiff racquet and not have the proper stroke mechanics can easily injure you.

According to some reviews the Wilson K Factor KSix-One team is supposed to have a large or a generous sweet spot. After using this racquet for a couple of sessions, I have to personally disagree with this statement. This racquet has one of the smallest sweet spots that I have ever played with. When hitting the “supposedly” sweet spot, you do get some pace, but it’s a very damped and dull feeling. You don’t get the usual lively feeling of your racquet impacting the ball. This could be the result of having such a flexible frame. Feel is compromised, but since you receive little feedback off the frame, this means lesser vibration transferred to your arm giving you a more comfortable overall experience with a dampened feel. It could be just the dampened feel compromising the sweet spot and while the sweet spot might have been indeed generous. The Wilson K Factor KSix-One team, is a great racquet to develop full solid swings. Due to its lighter frame and balanced feel, the Wilson K Factor KSix-One team is great for players who have solid strokes but just can’t wield those heavier player frames. This racquet will greatly improve your swing techniques. I would say that it greatly benefits those who hit with the single handed or one handed backhand. It will help a player develop good consistent fluid strokes to transition to a heavier player frame later on.

As mentioned before, this is not a tweener racquet, so forget about hitting those half hearted strokes. With this racquet, incomplete shots will be punished by your opponents. Anything other a solid full bodied swing will win points for you. Spin potential with the Wilson K Factor KSix-One team requires a long fluid motion, it is able to generate spin, but not really that pronounced. I was surprised that it could generate any spin at all with an 18x20 compact string pattern. The KSix-One team had some spin potential, but not very pronounced but if need be spin can be generated. You will however require a faster swing motion, as you will have to bear in mind that this is a lighter racquet non tweener racquet, with a flexible frame and has a denser string pattern. There will be not much momentum from the mass of the racquet to carry your swing through, as a result of that, a higher swing speed is needed to create enough effort to generate spin. I suppose that’s the reason why Wilson built the KSix-One team with heavier balanced swing weight of 325 to compensate for the lightness, flexibility of the frame and dense 18x20 string pattern.

In competitive action, the Wilson KSix-One team is more of a precision response stick then something that would blow your opponent of the courts. This stick emphasizes more patience and control, it had the power to do the job, but you will need to find the window of opportunity before you can go for that winning shot. Again, I have to stress that the Wilson KSix-One team is about playing a patient controlled game. If you like make a statement with power, you can forget about it with this racquet with the exception of the serves. With that said, we have often heard that sometimes the best form of offense is defense, well this racquet can greatly assist to turn a defensive situation into an offensive one. On many occasions especially while playing doubles, I had to cover an empty back court. This racquet is maneuverable and light enough on many occasions to enable me to hit a defensive lob or an offensive running shot due to its light weight nature. I had won several points on a couple of occasions while having to play defensively.

I was also very surprised that since the racquet was so light, the slices on both the forehand and back hand sides were so well control compared to the much heavier racquets I have used. Slicing normally with lighter racquet with an open string pattern would normally balloon the ball right out of the court if not executed with the right timing. The only fact that I could attribute to is that it had a denser 18x20 string pattern. The only other racquet that gave me that much control when I was slicing the ball was the Head Flexpoint Prestige and that too had a 18x20 string pattern. It seems so far for me, a denser string pattern would help greatly with the forehand and backhand slice to provide a more control and solid response. This racquet would have been the perfect weapon if it had a little more juice and maybe a little bit more weight.

Returning of serves and hitting groundstrokes were easy if there were at moderate pace. But if your opponent has a big serve and plays with big ground strokes, I find that you might be at the receiving end most of the time and you’ll have to rely on turning defense to offense. It’s difficult to hit a solid return with pace when the shots are being driven hard by your opponent. The racquet also wobbles, maybe due to lack of enough weight when receiving hard groundstrokes or taking a big serve. Most of the time, I’ll end up having to chip or block the shot which leaves me open to further attacks. I personally feel with more time, I would be able to counter the effects of the lightness by finding the correct angles of attack. I am only recently getting a feel and starting the appreciate the Wilson K Six One team. I will have to weight both the advantages and limitations of this racquet to play it to its full potential. I feel that if it was around 295 to 300 grams unstrung (its currently at 289 unstrung) it would have settled the issue of stability as well as added more juice to the shots due to the added mass. Of course, I can choose to customize this racquet by adding lead weights. I have however never been the type to modify the specs of the racquet manually and would rather use what’s provided off the self found in the standard factory models.

I had the chance to play with both the Asian version of the Wilson K Six One 95 (310 grams unstrung), and the US version of the Wilson K Six One 95 (332 grams unstrung) and the Team version of the Wilson K Six One Team the current racquet that I am reviewing now. Of course each of them would vary differently in terms of weight but when compared to the their Ncode predecessors, although each of the three newer K Factor series were identical in weight, they felt much lighter when swung (note all my comparisons are done for both the Wilson Ncode and Wilson K Factor racquets with strings on). I think Wilson might have adjusted the swing weight and balance of their new K Factor series a little bit as they felt generally lighter then their Ncode predecessors.

I also felt since Wilson went through such lengths to keep the same color for K Factor KSix-One series which comprises the K Factor K-Six One 90, K Factor K-Six-One 95, K Factor K-Six-One 95 X, and K Factor K-Six One 18x20, why did they change the cosmetics to for the K Factor K-Six One Team? The Team model is the only racquet which has the “K” at the sides of the racquet painted in Silver. While the other racquets mentioned are painted in black. I felt they should have kept their consistency here. This “silver” color was very much in line with the Wilson N-Six One 95 that had a silver “PS” Pro Staff instead of the yellow “PS” painted at the top of the racquet (see image on the right depicting the Ncode N-Six One Team).

The specs are exactly the same for the Ncode N-Six One Team and the K Factor K-Six One Team models but the K-Six One Team felt noticeably “lighter” I believe the weight could be the same, but the balance had been changed so there is a huge difference in feel. Surprisingly in my research the Wilson K Factor K Six One Team was NOT the lightest in the Wilson K Factor K Six One line up!

There is apparently a K Six One version of the K Factor series called the K Six One Lite which comes in a 102 sq inch head size, and unstrung weight of 249 grams and has a 16x20 string pattern.

The K logos printed on the sides are also in white. Looking from the head size, weight and string pattern Wilson’s K Six One Lite would most likely would be something of a tweener lightweight racquet with lots of power.

In conclusion, I would highly recommend the Wilson K Six-One team if:

1. You want to develop your strokes and full swings especially if you’re a one handed backhand player.
2. You’re returning from a long layoff or injury. Or currently have some injury but still want to play some light tennis that will not permanently injure you.
3. You play an intelligent counter attacking game where power is not an issue but you use patience and precision to win points.
4. You have a big serve.
5. You’re not that fit or you find player racquets too heavy for you to last through the whole match.
6. You’re an older or senior player who doesn’t have the strength to wield a player’s frame but have the trademarks strokes.
7. You're a junior player or a lady player who has full solid strokes but lacks the strength to wield a player's racquet.
8. You're a doubles player who's game revolves around a big serve with a slice and dice game. This power on serve, lighter maneuverable racquet will definitely suite you.

It’s a great overall player’s racquet, but don’t expect to blow your opponents of the court with some power hitting as it totally lacks the power of a tweener racquet. If you want to build your game with solid strokes and work on tactics and game play you might want to give this racquet a spin. I sincerely hope my review on the Wilson KSix One team had been useful to you. Download full specs of the Wilson K Six One Team here. If you have any comments or suggestions please feel free to contact me or add your comments here.

Battle of Surfaces Video

Much hype and anticipation was generated to find out who was the best player on this hybrid half grass half clay surface and who would be finally crowned the “King of Surfaces”. All of us anticipated that the battle of surfaces match would be televised live on TV or at least the Tennis Channel would have a “live” broadcast. The official Battle of the Surfaces website claimed that they would have extensive worldwide coverage of this event and this content was taken directly from the Official Battle of the Surfaces website

“This match is being broadcasted in 2 May 2007 in Indian, Japan, South Africa, South America, Brazil, Hispanic US, Sub Korea, Germany, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Macao, Thailand, Switzerland, Russia, Ukraine, Netherlands, Singapore, Middle East, UAE, Dubai”.

Singapore was mentioned as one of the countries, but sadly, nothing was televised here in Singapore or even the Tennis Channel for that matter. I am sure many tennis fans would have wanted to know how the match that “almost didn’t happen” turned out to be like. Yes, the battle of the surfaces very nearly didn’t happen! The original grass turf did not cope well to the indoor location after it was placed there for a couple of days and eventually fell victim to worms.

A brand new grass surface had to be re laid the night before the anticipated battle of the surfaces event. Fortunately all turned up well after a fascinating encounter between the world’s number one Roger Federer the undisputed King of Grass, against Rafael Nadal the world’s number two who owns the longest winning streak on clay and undisputed king of the clay courts. After the dust settled, it was Nadal whom triumphed over Federer 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (12-10) in a close but highly entertaining encounter on this hybrid, one of a kind tennis court surface. The match had to go down to the wire and had to be decided in a gut wrenching tie breaker. In the end Rafael Nadal was crowned “King of Surfaces” after being victorious in this historic event.

I had also received a couple of hits on my site in the run up to the battle of surfaces exhibition match held in Mallorca Spain. Most of my tennis blog readers were looking for more information about the “battle of the surfaces”, “images” and “photos” of the battle of the surfaces exhibition tennis match as well as most importantly video footage or video clip of this classic half grass, half clay encounter between the king of clay versus the king of grass.

Since nothing was televised here in Singapore, I had to scour the net for the best video quality I could find on the match to bring them to you here on the Regentville tennis blog.

Most of the videos I found were very low quality so I was hoping to find something that my tennis blog readers could see clearly and actually visualize the entire match and how it went. Some of the videos also answer my initial question on footwear as both different surfaces would require specialized footwear for both the clay and grass surfaces. Apparently the players have to change their shoes each time they switch sides as you can see from the video footage.

These are the best battle of surfaces videos that I could find courtesy of youtube.com. If any of you have a high quality video streaming or mpeg version of the battle of the surface tennis match. Please feel free to send them to me via direct download via disc.

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About me

  • I'm Nawin from regentville
  • Residing in Hougang Singapore
  • Racquets: X2 Prince EXO3 Graphite 100 (Main) X3 Wilson K Blade Tour 93 (Backup) Strings: Toalson Ultimate 115 Strung @ 48-50 pounds. Plays: Right Handed (Single Backhand). Shoes: mi Adidas Barricade V Apparel: Lacoste & Adidas Favourite Players: Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic

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