Babolat, the inventor of tennis strings and currently the No. 2 manufacturer of racquets, is proud to announce the start of a new collaboration with Roland-Garros in 2011.
These two internationally recognized French brands are joining together to serve the game of tennis at the highest level of competition. Exclusively dedicated to the manufacture of racquet sports equipment and offering products used by the most well known champions on courts around the world, Babolat is passionately and proudly aligning for five years with Roland-Garros. Supplier of the official ball of the French Open, Babolat will also provide stringing services for all players in the tournament and offer tennis fans a complete line of Babolat Roland-Garros products.
"Part of our history is written on the clay courts of Roland-Garros through our team of players who have often distinguished themselves in this tournament. In the past, we have also provided stringing service here," explains Eric Babolat, president and CEO of Babolat. "Now, a new chapter in French tennis history is opening. All the players in the tournament, without exception, will play with a ball developed by Babolat and will benefit from our stringing service. For tennis fans, we will offer our first collection of Babolat and Roland-Garros products. This collaboration perfectly illustrates the positioning of Babolat: an expert brand offering tennis equipment for all types of players."
"We are particularly proud of this partnership between Babolat and Roland-Garros, for whom excellence has been a trademark," says Gilbert Ysern, general manager of the French Tennis Federation (FFT) and tournament director of Roland-Garros. "In becoming the official supplier of the French Open for the next five years (2011 to 2015), Babolat will bring know-how, expertise and experience in an extremely specialized technical area. Babolat's arrival alongside Roland-Garros means we'll be able to offer the best service possible to the participants in our tournament. Babolat is also a great success story of a world-leading French company—a fast-growing family business that is faithful to the values we share with the French Tennis Federation: our focus is on the game."
BABOLAT IN STEP WITH ROLAND-GARROS
The official ball of the Roland-Garros tournament, used by the best players in the world, will be a Babolat ball. Entrusted by the FFT with the development of the official ball, Babolat has conceived a superior quality ball that meets all the technical criteria imposed by the FFT and is specially designed for playing on clay.
Babolat has invested on all fronts to serve the champions of this tournament. The equipment manufacturer will also be responsible for stringing service during the entire competition. For this, Babolat will gather the top stringers in the world and install stringing machines in the heart of the Roland-Garros stadium.
BABOLAT & ROLAND-GARROS: A NEW LINE OF PRODUCTS
In 2011, Babolat is launching its first line of Roland-Garros branded products. The Babolat Roland-Garros line also includes all essential equipment for playing tennis: racquets (adult and junior), balls, racquet bags, backpacks, strings, grips and dampeners. The Babolat Roland-Garros products will be available starting May 2011 in stores and in the Roland-Garros boutique.
Since 1875, Babolat has been inventing, innovating and designing new products—sources of improved performance. This passion for serving tennis players, and now for serving Roland-Garros, seals the coming-together of these two strong brands that have made tennis history. This unique clay court encounter has spawned the "Ultimate Tennis Experience": innovative, high-performance and demanding tennis combined with the elegance and physical endurance of the game.
Roland-Garros and Team Babolat professional players have always inspired the brand. From the Four Musketeers and Suzanne Lenglen equipped with Babolat strings in the 1920's, to the first Grand Slam victory with a Babolat racquet in 1998 by Carlos Moya—without forgetting the numerous victories of Rafael Nadal—Babolat supports its players to help them win on clay. Babolat's commitment to the French Open reflects the long-term vision for the brand, offering innovation to the evolving sport of tennis.
In addition to innovation, performance and competition, Babolat and Roland-Garros are driven by a unifying, common value: passion for tennis. Roland-Garros represents one of the most coveted tournaments of professional players, one of the most prestigious in the tennis world. As for Babolat, "Tennis runs in our blood" for 135 years. The equipment manufacturer is THE brand of all tennis aficionados, from international players to club players. This association presents an opportunity for all players to enjoy and share in the "Ultimate Tennis Experience" by Babolat and Roland-Garros: an experience to enjoy during the fortnight of the tournament and to share on the court thanks to the line of Babolat Roland-Garros products available starting in May 2011!
Founded in Lyon, France, in 1875, Babolat is the first company to have specialized in racquet sports and the world leader in the production of natural gut strings. Easily recognized by its trademark "double-line" (two stripes on the racquet frame and black on the stringing bed), Babolat is still family-owned. Today, with U.S. operations in Boulder, Colorado, the company also manufactures synthetic strings, shoes, accessories and a best-selling line of racquets. Babolat equips 20% of the top 100 players in the ATP and WTA including Rafael Nadal (SPAIN, #1! ATP), Andy Roddick (USA, #8 ATP), Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRANCE, #18 ATP), Kim Clijsters (BELGIUM, #2 WTA), Francesca Schiavone (ITALY, #4 WTA) and Samantha Stosur (AUSTRALIA, #5 WTA). To find out where Babolat products are sold, log on to www.babolat.com or call (877) 316-9435. Follow us on Facebook.com/babolat or Twitter.com/babolat.
To get started playing tennis in a location near you visit the USTA's Tennis Welcome Center . Find more tennis technique information at the USTA Player Development Web site .