PDA

View Full Version : how come Connors did so well with T2000 against graphite?


sandy mayer
03-27-2007, 02:14 PM
Connors beat loads of players using raphite with his archaic T2000. He won The US Open finals of 82-3 against an opponent with graphite (Lendl). He got to the Wimbledon final of 84 beating a whole load of opponents with graphite. How? And in 85 at age 33 he got to 3 slam semis against graphite opponents. How?
Having said this I think his use of the T2000 led to a few thrashings now and again and if he hadn't switched rackets at the end of 86 he would never had had much of a career post-86.

raftermania
03-27-2007, 05:30 PM
When you're Jimmy Connors in your prime you can beat anybody with anything.

Kirko
03-27-2007, 05:41 PM
When you're Jimmy Connors in your prime you can beat anybody with anything.

Directly. Jimmy was in the semis, finals & sometimes the winner. why would he change? he was pretty much discoed. from wilson by 1978 for not changing, but stayed with what worked for him.

Mick
03-27-2007, 06:00 PM
probably because the other pros were not used to playing against someone who would hit the ball so flat and low like Jimmy did.

ollinger
03-27-2007, 06:14 PM
When all is said and done tennis is about DEPTH, and he consistently hit deep as well as anyone in memory. Hitting "flat" is another way of saying his groundies didn't bounce near the service line.

Mick
03-27-2007, 06:23 PM
When all is said and done tennis is about DEPTH, and he consistently hit deep as well as anyone in memory. Hitting "flat" is another way of saying his groundies didn't bounce near the service line.

nope. Connors' balls were hard, flat, deep, and low. Chris Evert was the only other pro that I could think of who would hit the ball like that. Everybody else would hit the ball with topspin.

ollinger
03-27-2007, 06:34 PM
Mick
Have you given some thought to a remedial reading course?

Mick
03-27-2007, 06:37 PM
Mick
Have you given some thought to a remedial reading course?

haha. I got your point on the second reading. you're right.

Frank Silbermann
03-27-2007, 07:22 PM
nope. Connors' balls were hard, flat, deep, and low. Chris Evert was the only other pro that I could think of who would hit the ball like that. Everybody else would hit the ball with topspin. Connor's shots were _relatively_ flat. Lots of them had light under-spin, which is unusual with a two-handed backhand -- but he had a remarkably open-faced two-hander. It was like a two-handed continental forehand, whereas most two-handers are like weak-side eastern forehands. He put light topspin on his passing shots, and most of his down-the-line shots rallying shots were hit with side-spin.

Actually, before Connors _most_ players hit their forehands without deliberate topspin -- but without Connor's accuracy and consistency. Also, most players before him tended to slide most of their backhands low with heavy under-spin (though they'd hit flatter or even with a bit of topspin against a net-rusher).

When Connors was a junior, Rod Laver was one of the few people who used lots of topspin. Most of the players of Connor's generation copied Laver, but obeying his mother Connors copied Don Budge.

35ft6
03-27-2007, 07:52 PM
He could use a T-2000 because of his stroke trajectory. Like people said, he hit flat, so you can imagine his swing path. It really REALLY hit through the ball. Like a baseball swing. Try hitting like Nadal with a racket head like that.

And it wasn't just his flat, deep balls -- I think he was considered the hardest hitter around when he first came out on the scene -- but his point construction. HOW he used his shots. He really understood the game of tennis, the guy just KNEW when to go for blood, almost better than anybody I could think of. His incredible instincts, along with the fact he hit the ball so early, is why he had such a great run in his late 30's. Like Agassi, hitting the ball early helped prolong his career. Because they hit so early, they were constantly cutting off angles, instead of retreating to buy time and space, therefor over the course of their career, they ran a lot less and put a lot less miles on their legs.

I've actually hit with a T-2000 before. I only hit a few groundstrokes but you'll be amazed by how something so primitive is okay for hitting tennis balls with.

Trinity TC
03-27-2007, 07:53 PM
Connors beat loads of players using raphite with his archaic T2000.
...strung at about 65 lbs which dampened the effect of the trampolining of spring suspension system. The T2000 at that tension would sound like a tuning fork until the strings stretched a bit and it felt like the ball was being cupped by the strings before being slung back over the net. The shots actually felt crisp and secure with a light T2000 strung at high tension. Problem was that they broke at the weld joint on the throat and they were a bear to string properly at that tension.

VGP
03-27-2007, 08:16 PM
I read quite a while ago that he also applied lead tape to his T2000s to get them to play the way he wanted.....

Deuce
03-28-2007, 01:37 AM
Aside from Connors' talent and determination, another reason why he was able to beat players using graphite frames was because...
Simply using a graphite frame was not a guarantee of success. Those early graphite frames were very different than today's graphite frames. They were more flexible, heavier, and with smaller heads than today's frames. In fact, they likely resembled wood racquets in the way they played more than they resemble today's racquets. The graphite frames were also relatively new to many of the players then - so there was a period of adapting to them.

Nuke
03-28-2007, 04:54 AM
Problem was that they broke at the weld joint on the throat ...
I learned to play with T2000s, and used them for a bunch of years. The things were held together by baling wire, which was twisted around the outside of the frame and an inner crown over which the strings were threaded. The place where the racquets really broke was the baling wire over the top of the head, because if you tried to dig out low balls and scraped the court, the wires were the first to go. I remember sending a couple of broken ones back to Wilson and they rewired them for me (but not for free).

VGP
03-28-2007, 07:11 AM
I remember seeing some T2000s (or some from that series) that had protective tubing installed on the wire at the top of the head....

Trinity TC
03-28-2007, 10:11 AM
Mine broke at the throat long before the wires wore through because they were strung super tight.

Capt. Willie
03-28-2007, 10:31 AM
While it has been many years since I hit with one, I recall it having far more power than anything else at the time. I bet these things could rival the power of many modern racquets.

SFrazeur
03-28-2007, 10:41 AM
I imagine facilities were glad when age of T-200's was over. The scrapping they must have caused to courts.

Moose Malloy
03-28-2007, 10:46 AM
I recall Jimmy making a public plea for anyone with a T2000 in the early 80s, they didn't make them for many years.

to the op, evert used a wood racquet & beat many players using graphite in the early 80s.

borg beat lendl(who used graphite) with wood

Kirko
03-28-2007, 11:00 AM
I recall Jimmy making a public plea for anyone with a T2000 in the early 80s, they didn't make them for many years.

to the op, evert used a wood racquet & beat many players using graphite in the early 80s.

borg beat lendl(who used graphite) with wood
He sure did. I remember him saying he only wanted the reg. T-2000 hopefully with the short grip not the "two-handed" version.

GS
03-28-2007, 11:21 AM
Refresh my memory---what was the first racquet Connors switched to after the T-2000? The semi-widebody midsized Estusa, or Puma? I remember him saying after the switch, "I should of went to graphite years ago---I would of won alot more tournaments."
I have a T-2000, and years ago almost bought a used, larger head T-3000, until I was told it was previously owned by Rene Richards....

Moose Malloy
03-28-2007, 11:26 AM
He played '84 W with the T2000 & played '84 US Open with ps 85(even did commercials for it) He then went back & forth with t2000 until '86 or so.

I'm sure there are clips on youtube for confirmation.

Rabbit
03-28-2007, 12:13 PM
The advertising for the ProStaff said that Connors was involved in the design and build of the frame. He was the first pro signed to play with the ProStaff. I remember back in '85, I saw Connors play in Memphis. In the early, non-televised rounds, he played with the T2000. But when the lights and camera came on, he switched to the ProStaff. I can't imagine a pro today doing something like that, REALLY switching frames in mid-tournament. There's precious little way Wilson could have comsmeticized a T2000 to look like a ProStaff.

Rabbit
03-28-2007, 12:18 PM
Yes, he got lucky when Billie Jean King turned over her supply. After 1974, many pros were quick to change to the T2000 only to find they couldn't control the power. King was one of them. Connors was very particular, as noted, about the model T2000 that he used. King used the exact same one and gave him every one she had.

Moose Malloy
03-28-2007, 12:22 PM
I remember back in '85, I saw Connors play in Memphis. In the early, non-televised rounds, he played with the T2000. But when the lights and camera came on, he switched to the ProStaff.

looks like that wasn't a smart decision:

28-Jan-85, I, Carpet , Draw: 48
R32 Gunnarsson, Jan (SWE) (49) 4-6 6-4 6-0
R16 Shiras, Leif (USA) (56) 6-7 6-2 7-6
Q Curren, Kevin (USA) (12) 7-6 6-4
S Edberg, Stefan (SWE) (19) 1-6 4-6

raftermania
03-28-2007, 06:30 PM
Refresh my memory---what was the first racquet Connors switched to after the T-2000? The semi-widebody midsized Estusa, or Puma? I remember him saying after the switch, "I should of went to graphite years ago---I would of won alot more tournaments."
I have a T-2000, and years ago almost bought a used, larger head T-3000, until I was told it was previously owned by Rene Richards....

haha it's ok to play with Rene's stick.. haha get it? hahahaaha

thomas martinez
03-28-2007, 07:29 PM
After Wilson, he went to Slazenger where he developed with them the Panther Pro Ceramic. He used both the black and the white versions of this frame, best known for the white one. After that, the Slazenger Phantom midwide frame. Then to Estusa, and then to AmerPro, then to Prince. He actually hand weighted his frames. And hewas usually off by only a gramme or two in weight and roughly the same in terms of balance with the cm. Shocked the hell out of many stringers when he came in with his stuff to put on the scale and balance beam.

Mahboob Khan
03-28-2007, 07:39 PM
Rackets are important; afterall you hit the ball with your racket! This is the reality. Having said, "it is not the gun, it's the man behind the gun" and the man behind the gun was Jimmy Connors .. the warrior! You can see the racket, shoes, balls, you can measure the speed of the shots, but is there any dip-stick to measure the courage and mental toughness? To me Jimmy Connors will stand out to be one of the greatest fighters in any sport, period .. maybe only behind Muhammad Ali, the greatest Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World!!! When you talk about courage and maximum effort these two names will always come to mind.

cadfael_tex
08-26-2009, 10:16 AM
Resurrect!!

Was about to ask a question about Connors and the PS 85 after watching the us open special on him on the Tennis Channel. I remember the ads for him (and Evert too?) when the PS came out.

How long did Connors play with the PS and how long did he go back to the T2000 before moving on to Slazenger?

Rabbit
08-26-2009, 10:30 AM
Resurrect!!

Was about to ask a question about Connors and the PS 85 after watching the us open special on him on the Tennis Channel. I remember the ads for him (and Evert too?) when the PS came out.

How long did Connors play with the PS and how long did he go back to the T2000 before moving on to Slazenger?

I don't know that he ever fully committed to the PS 85. Like I indicated, he played some really big matches with it, but I seem to remember him falling off the graphite wagon and going back to the T-2000. As a matter of fact, I'm sure he did because for a couple of years, he went un-stenciled with the T-2000.

He may have played 6 months to a year with the T2 after giving up on the ProStaff before going to his next bout with graphite. I truly think the only reason he went to graphite full time was he couldn't get any more T2's.

BTW, I've heard from one of his former stringers that he strung with 16 or 17 gauge gut at around 57 - 58 pounds. Every turn was tubed.

cadfael_tex
08-26-2009, 02:33 PM
Thanks Rabbit. Wonder just how different the specs on the Slazenger were from the PS that he "helped design". I think it must have been the lack of T2000's that drove him to it. Wonder why he didn't go back to Wilson? Was he sick of them or vice versa?

LttlElvis
08-26-2009, 03:44 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNFVnNUy4Fo

Rabbit
08-27-2009, 12:14 PM
Thanks Rabbit. Wonder just how different the specs on the Slazenger were from the PS that he "helped design". I think it must have been the lack of T2000's that drove him to it. Wonder why he didn't go back to Wilson? Was he sick of them or vice versa?

I really don't know. I know Connors for the longest time played Wilson, then he went ProStaff, then he was unstenciled for quite a period. And then, it was almost like he changed his endorsement every year. I thought that odd from a guy who for so long made it look like the racquet really mattered to go into a mode where he'd play with anything.

Of all things, he wound up with the Prince Mono, which I found at the time unplayable, and Connors still uses and apparently loves it. He said once if Prince had made it when he was on the tour he'd have played another two or three years.

cadfael_tex
08-27-2009, 12:49 PM
Thought of something else. Someone mentioned the 82(?) Final versus Lendl. The Adidas GTX that Lendl used was about a close to wood as you can get I think (played the Kneissl White Star Pro Masters myself). It's head wasn't much bigger than standard, it was super flexy, and it had a thick shaft that was joined most of the way up before it split.

(I miss that racquet :( )

film1
08-27-2009, 01:07 PM
He used lead only on one side of the frame for example at 9 o clock.
By always keeping the weighted side up on both wings s he was able to tame the t2000. The weighted side of the racquet would slightly close at contact helping to keep the hard hit flat ball in the court.

The t2000 was one of the last racquets to fit his style but with lead on one side it fit his game with great success.

diamondgeezer
08-27-2009, 01:57 PM
So was the Estusa ProLegend Classic he was using a remould of the Slazenger Phantom Stick he was using?

cadfael_tex
08-27-2009, 02:20 PM
So was the Estusa ProLegend Classic he was using a remould of the Slazenger Phantom Stick he was using?

When I was searching and found this thread i found another one that said that it was. I wouldn't be surprised if that were true.

CEvertFan
08-29-2009, 06:12 PM
Connors hit so hard and flat - remarkably so with that racquet - but if he had one major weakness in his ground game it was the forehand which sometimes was a bit dicey. His backhand was superb though - I was watching the '76 US Open final on TTC and Connors hit some amazing backhand winners on the clay, against speedy Borg. It was fascinating to watch.

hoodjem
08-30-2009, 05:12 PM
Because he's Connors.

jrepac
09-10-2009, 12:59 PM
Yes, perhaps Connors with a golf club in hand still might've won slams...certainly the player is more important than the racket.
I've played w/wood, aluminum, steel, graphite, etc., etc.
I have a T2000 hiding in my basement...one of the original ones. It is quite an interesting racket, but not for the novice. Get the ball in the sweetspot and sonova gun, it flies....but, that sweetspot is very small. Good racket for Jimbo, not for us amateurs who need a bit of "help" from the stick!

RE:the Pro-Staff, Jimmy switched over to it in mid-84....I think it was a good move. He played great with it....USO semi against Mac, won a final end of year against Lendl. Then sometime in '85, he got cold feet w/it and went back to the t-2000. He had a very long drought of wins...86 was not a good year for him. I think Tom Martinez has the sequence right. In '87 he started swinging a Slazenger..there was a black one, then the white one (Panther Pro Ceramic)...I thought he played quite well with that...certainly at age 35 in 1987 he was keeping up with the pack (he was the #1 US player that year and had a #4 ranking). I forgot that he had the Phantom for a bit...then next thing y'know that yellow Estusa frame. Then, on the senior tour, he had the Mono from Prince, which was designed for him, it was a very unusual racket. I may have that buried someplace as well....nice for hitting groundstrokes...felt like a wood frame...but I hated serving with it...could not get any pop.