Mike Geer, our new CEO, shares his personal ‘Donnay story’ and introduces new interactive features here on our revamped website, including a regular Q&A with Mike who is an accomplished Texas-based tennis coach, teacher and player. He leads off our new feature, “My Donnay Story,” in which we’re asking customers for their personal experiences with our solid-core brand. (Email email@example.com to post yours.) Mike talks about how he came late to the game (in college) and how he almost had to abandon it because of a nagging elbow injury. But six years ago he was searching the Internet for arm-friendly racquets and discovered Donnay. He became a Donnay advocate, a retailer and three months ago the company’s new CEO. And whatever happened to his tennis elbow? Click below to find out. Click below for his full Donnay Story:
THE FACE OF LOVE
Meet Lambros who was smitten by the comfort and beauty of the Donnay frames and now has one of the largest collections in Europe.
By Lambros Papadias
I probably have one of the largest original Donnay collections in Europe -- more than 30 frames, like the Pro One 18x20 and the unique X-Dark Red that are exceptional but highly underrated sticks.
The sheer quality of the Xenecore racquets and the emotional power of the old Bjorn Borg wooden frames have made me a Donnay addict. The fact is that I have become addicted to them because of their unique comfort and beauty.
Having played in the past with mainly Babolat racquets such as the impressive Babolat Pure Drive and Pure Strike 97 sticks, I find that Donnay Xenecores are one level ahead.
With the Babolats I would always notice that my arm would start giving me pain once I would string with poly at tensions above 23-24 kg. On the contrary, the Donnay Dual Pro One 18x20 and the X-red 99 would never give me any issue even when strung at 25 kg with Hurricane Pro. The Donnay Formula is also an exceptionally comfortable racquet, although not my preferred one despite having four of them.
The Dark Red 94 is without doubt an exceptional racquet, slightly better than the X-Black, for the comfort it provides for hard hitters like me. The X Red 99 is a curious animal as it takes some time to realize it's amazing potential. Not powerful, but control oriented and absolutely lethal at the net.
The Pro One 97 has even surpassed the X-red and initial black Formulas. I have added lead at the throat and have strung it at 25 kgs. It is now even more comfortable more powerful and tremendously precise. In fact you get to notice these fine details once your game has become more competitive and more demanding.
I made the mistake of stringing the Pro One GT with the new Wilson natural gut last week at 25.5 kgs (56 pounds), above the recommended tension. The racquet seemed very stiff, had lost power, and I thought my arm would feel the consequences of such a messy string job but even then the comfort remained unfailing.
This was not the case with the Babolat Pure Strike Tour which when I strung it at 25 kgs with natural gut it gave me a slight pain in my wrist and arm after an hour or so.
Ah, the loyalty to Donnay!
Super Lite 114: More Power than the ‘Viagra” of Tennis Racquets, says customer
Alfie Liebmann knows the importance of maximum racquet power for seniors like himself with short compact swings. The 76-year-old Aventura, Fla., has been playing with the Wilson Hyper Hammer for years, a frame that became known as the “Viagra” of tennis racquets when it debuted in 1998 and remains a popular and legendary power monger. (http://www.nytimes.com/1998/09/27/style/pulse-lightweight-tennis.html).
“The Hyper Sledge Hammer promises to blast past titanium models and become the power racquet for weekend hackers,” wrote The New York Times, noting it wasn’t made for top pros who supply their own power, but for weekend hackers and seniors who want more zip on their shots.
“If Pete Sampras got hold of this racquet, he’d probably burn a hole through the back fence,” The Times wrote, quoting the gear editor of Tennis Magazine. “But I recently had a senior player test it, and he compared it to Viagra.”
That was enough for power-hungry Alfie who has been a Hammer devotee ever since. That is until he demoed the Donnay Super Lite 114 recently. His verdict: “More power than my trusty ol’ Hammer,” he said about the potent pop of the 114. He not only felt the power, but he also felt the love. He bought not one, but two Donnay SuperLites.
Now that’s the kind of doubling-down we like to hear!
Our Pal Sal: 80-time National & international Champion Finds a New ‘Formula’
We get calls and emails everyday from Donnay Xenecore users who tell us how our shock-absorbing solid-core frames have helped them overcome wrist, arm, elbow and shoulder injuries, but none have impressed us more than San Antonio’s Sal Casillio, 60, an 80-time national and international singles and doubles champion in every age division who has been injury-free since he switched to the Formula Tri Core last April.
In fact, Sal who also coaches the Our Lady of the Lakes men’s college team in San Antonio, began noticing shoulder pain in 2008 and eventually he says it got a whole lot worse. By 2010, his injuries had reduced his serve 15 miles per hour and had taken the bite out of his lethal signature heavy-slice backhand. “It was too painful and I hate taking anti-inflammatories,” he says.
But he played through the pain with various hollow-core racquets, and that only made it worse.
“Shock has to go somewhere,” he says. “The Babolat AeroPro was the worst for my arm,” he says, “and the Wilson Blade torqued on off-center hits.” He was diagnosed with a tear in his hitting shoulder, but says “I’m not a big advocate of getting the surgery.”
Reduced to being a defensive “retriever” with his offensive weapons practically gone, he was even thinking about giving up singles at this high level of competition. At the Masters Championships in Palm Springs, California, last December, he recalls: “I won the doubles but lost in the singles and I told my wife it was too painful to play singles at nationals anymore,” he says. “It had also become embarrassing in the latter rounds of a tournament that the level of my game had deteriorated to the extent that I was losing to players who before had trouble winning any games against me pre-2008.”
In January, Sal’s quest for a more arm-friendly racquet led him to demoing the solid-core Formula after he read some positive reviews. “I’m playing pain-free now — my chronic bad shoulder doesn’t bother me at all now.
“I attribute that to the Formula because that was the only change I made.”
He reports his arm problems are gone and he entered the national grass court championships in the 60s single division earlier this month where he lost in the quarterfinals to the eventual winner of the tournament. “The best part was the match had the quality of tennis I used to play.
“But my surface of choice is clay and the nationals on that surface starts on October 30.”
We’ll keep you posted on the progress of a great competitor who Sports Illustrated once cited for being the only player to ever win four national USTA doubles titles with four different partners on four different surfaces in the same year.
"Switching to Donnay and my exercises have kept my arm healthy -- Landon Switzer, Centennial, CO
"Not even an oasional tender elbow now" -- Joe Liebexchuez, Redwood City, CA
"I never realized that at 4-foot-11 I could get so much power from a tennis racquet" -- Nancy Roe, Loveland, CO
"The performance of the best frames but they also protect my arm" -- Alvaro Sande, Scottsdle, AZ
"My elbow pain ceased after the fourth time I played with the Donnay" -- Benoit Heuchenne, Vietiane, Laos
"More power than my old racquet, but not more than I can control" -- Bob Spatz, Novato, CA
"How do you get so much power out of such a thin 17-mm] beam [in the X-Dual Silver}?" -- Dana Schweitzer, New York, NY
"You can even hear the comfort at first hit from the muted sound that comes when the ball hits the stringbed" -- John LeBeau, Des Moines, IA