Blackout: Babolat to unveil black gut range
Not only that, but the renowned Babolat VS range is set for a technical overhaul in 2011
Following in the footsteps of the hugely successful introduction of their all-black RPM Blast monofilament string in 2010, Babolat are set to recolour their natural gut range to match in 2011.
The blackout means that Babolat's two white stripes will shine brightly off the all-black stringbeds that will feature in the racket of Roland Garros champion Francesca Schiavone as well as countless other players on the professional circuit from January 2011.
But before you think the move is all style and no substance, there's more. The R&D bods at the French manufacturer, which celebrated 135 years in tennis in 2010, have tinkered with the brand's signature bit of kit - and have decided that less is more.
They have looked back at the construction of the world-renowned natural gut string range, pioneered by Pierre Babolat back in 1875 and which today includes the VS Team, Touch and Tonic+ strings that are hugely popular with both professional and recreational players.
While the strings in the current range are made up of thirteen individual bands of gut, the new BT7 range will, as the name suggests, be constructed of seven thicker strands - a move which Babolat reckons boosts the lifespan of the string by 15% without any loss of the gut's reputation for power, tension hold and comfort.
The new range will be available to players from January before being rolled out to retailers shortly after the Australian Open. All-black 6mx6m hybrid packages of Babolat's premium polyester RPM Blast string and VS will be available, as will 12m sets of VS Black.