Making quite a racquet!

Making quite a racquet!

There are many ways to get noticed at the US Open.

Battistone and his racquet

Some players have tattoos, some throw temper tantrums others wear outlandish clothing but only Brian Battistone has a two-handled racquet.

Battistone once spent two years in Brazil preaching Christian values as part of a Mormon mission but whatever else the 33-year-old American does in his life, chances are he will be known for a phenomenal contraption, a racquet with two handles that looks more like garden shears than a piece of sporting equipment.

"I call it the alien," said Nicole Mellichar, his partner in the mixed doubles at the US Open.
"The common nicknames are "hedge clippers" or a "divining rod", said Battistone, who has become something of a celebrity on the tennis circuit ever since he first hit the Tour in 2007.
"'Are you trying to find water with that thing?' is another".

"It's called The Natural. The new version we're coming out with is actually called 'The Freestyle'."

Watching Battistone play is a bizarre experience in itself; the ball may go from one end of the court to the other yet your eyes are transfixed on his racquet.

The theory behind the two handles is that Battistone is able to hold each one with a forehand grip and hit two forehands, which should be stronger.

"I'm just able to hit any shot with either hand, so I have full reach on both sides," Battistone said. "I feel like the angles give me some advantages on different shots and the whole premise of it, from the inventor's perspective, is that it's more healthy for the body to use each side equally."