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realplayer
06-08-2007, 10:24 AM
Nadal is almost invincible on clay. His game is based on bringing everything back with a lot of topspin and a winner when his opponent is out of position. Do you think that his game benefits from the new equipment. Does the luxilon strings and the more powerful rackets plus bigger headsizes gives him a big advantage.
Would he be just as succesful if they still would play with wooden rackets and smaller headsizes?

Nuke
06-08-2007, 10:28 AM
If everyone were using wood/small heads, then everyone woud be equally disadvanaged and Nadal would still be a good dirtballer. Just like Borg and Vilas were good clay players in their day, Nadal would be similar to them.

Moose Malloy
06-08-2007, 10:30 AM
No, he wouldn't but neither would anyone on tour today. Extreme western does not work with wood, they would all have to re-learn the game basically.
You need to swing more traditionally(low to high) to get any sort of depth/spin with wood, you can't just flick with your wrists.

Plus Nadal's racquet is what, 110 sq inches? Wood is 65. You don't hit the sweet spot, your shot isn't going anywhere. Everyone would be swinging a lot slower with that small an area to work with.

And the winners counts for matches on clay would be really low.

clymb420
06-08-2007, 10:48 AM
Yeah, I think his style is aided by his equipment. I don't think male pros should be allowed to play with racquets over 95sq in. Tennis association should make a rule...I liken it to metal bats in MLB. Big head on his racquet aids in his defensive skills too much, and his ability to hit winners from ludicrous positions. This wouldn't happen if he was using Fed's 90sq in racquet. He would miss-hit from those ludicrous positions much more. Defensive balls wouldn't come back as deep and penetrating. Pretty soon it will get to the point where associations will have to make more rules on racquet size and strings, when Nadals shots begin to hop too high. I also liken to boxers with different weighted gloves on (which is against rules)...it is like Nadal has lighter gloves on and makes it an easier sport for him. Would love to see tournament where every player was issued similar racquet (wood or early 75-85sq in graphite-type like black max or 200G max), might actually see some elegant tennis from someone besides Fed (who learned on wooden JK, btw). Similar to how boxers use similar gloves. Always felt like Agassi was cheating a little bit with his racquet as well.

Morrissey
06-08-2007, 10:55 AM
I dunno, he was born in 86 so wood racquets were long gone by then. It's 2007, not 1967. But I could ask the same question of Agassi who used a 107sq in frame. I'm assuming that your thread is making it out that Nadal is only good because of the racquet. But here's a better way of finding out how good he is. How many people out there play with Babolat or oversize frames and do the same thing he does on court? I can't really name a few. You're not going to deny that Agassi was only good because of his large frame? Nadal uses a smaller frame than Agassi did.

Voltron
06-08-2007, 10:58 AM
I dunno, he was born in 86 so wood racquets were long gone by then. It's 2007, not 1967. But I could ask the same question of Agassi who used a 107sq in frame. Agassi started tennis with wood, so a completely different scenario. I don't think Nadal would do well with wood, his style is based heavily on equipment.

NLBwell
06-08-2007, 10:59 AM
His game would be significantly different if he grew up with wood, but with his physical and mental talents he would still be at the top of the game.

SourmonkeyG
06-08-2007, 11:00 AM
thats just ridiculous, one of the reasons pro mlb players are made to use wood is a safety precaution in case they hit other players. also, you can only build baseball fields so big. yeah big heads on rackets aid his skills, but they aid everyone else's too if they chose to use them. they other players choose smaller racket heads, its not like nadal is the only one who gets one, its just that no one else seems to want it, and therefore doesn't have that advantage [though im sure that advantage is compensated for elsewhere in the rackets]. the racket is up to the player, everyone can pick a larger head, your argument makes no sense. besides, if you grew up playing a certain kind of racket, it wouldn't be right to force you to play with a different one. sure players are sponsored and maybe don't play with the rackets they're used to [and use PJs] but they're paid to, its not a mandate.

The Gorilla
06-08-2007, 11:06 AM
No, he wouldn't but neither would anyone on tour today. Extreme western does not work with wood, they would all have to re-learn the game basically.
You need to swing more traditionally(low to high) to get any sort of depth/spin with wood, you can't just flick with your wrists.

Plus Nadal's racquet is what, 110 sq inches? Wood is 65. You don't hit the sweet spot, your shot isn't going anywhere. Everyone would be swinging a lot slower with that small an area to work with.

And the winners counts for matches on clay would be really low.



no, you're wrong there, little bill johnston, who had a fernando Gonzales like Forehand, had a full western.

Anyway, he's pretty much exactly the same player as Borg so I think he'd do ok

Morrissey
06-08-2007, 11:06 AM
Agassi started tennis with wood, so a completely different scenario. I don't think Nadal would do well with wood, his style is based heavily on equipment.

His game would be similar to that of Borg's. Borg played a similar style to Nadal back in the 70's. If he were around today he would be Nadal, but perhaps better on grass.

Morrissey
06-08-2007, 11:08 AM
thats just ridiculous, one of the reasons pro mlb players are made to use wood is a safety precaution in case they hit other players. also, you can only build baseball fields so big. yeah big heads on rackets aid his skills, but they aid everyone else's too if they chose to use them. they other players choose smaller racket heads, its not like nadal is the only one who gets one, its just that no one else seems to want it, and therefore doesn't have that advantage [though im sure that advantage is compensated for elsewhere in the rackets]. the racket is up to the player, everyone can pick a larger head, your argument makes no sense. besides, if you grew up playing a certain kind of racket, it wouldn't be right to force you to play with a different one. sure players are sponsored and maybe don't play with the rackets they're used to [and use PJs] but they're paid to, its not a mandate.

You're right. But just think of how many pros use Babolat and can't do the things Nadal does. Roddick, Gonzo, Moya, Andreev, Massu and many other Babolat users. Even Ljubicic used it and never won anything big. They play good tennis but none of them are in the same league as Nadal.

Voltron
06-08-2007, 11:13 AM
His game would be similar to that of Borg's. Borg played a similar style to Nadal back in the 70's. If he were around today he would be Nadal, but perhaps better on grass. Yeah, but Borg played his entire life with wooden frames, Nadal has always had graphite, Borg would be better.

Morrissey
06-08-2007, 11:14 AM
Yeah, but Borg played his entire life with wooden frames, Nadal has always had graphite, Borg would be better.

I didn't say who would be better. I was just saying that his game would be similar to that of Borg's. Supreme fitness and mental toughness. Never say die will to win. They both have that.

sureshs
06-08-2007, 11:42 AM
Plus Nadal's racquet is what, 110 sq inches?

No, it is 100.

krz
06-08-2007, 11:44 AM
I think nadal more than anybody else would be effected by a change like this. Just because he plays a game afforded to him only by his racket and his pro hurricane strings.

He plays heavy heavy top spin and that just wouldn't translate to a wooden racket as well as say someone like fed, whos game who has more variation and the ability to play differently.

clymb420
06-08-2007, 12:58 PM
thats just ridiculous, one of the reasons pro mlb players are made to use wood is a safety precaution in case they hit other players.

I guess my analogy to the bats is that MLB would just be home run derby if they were allowed the metal, nullifying a large part of the game that is beautiful...I'm saying these racquets have created home run derbies, guys and gals just standing around the baseline banging the cr*p out of the ball, nullifying a large part of the game that is beautiful.

the racket is up to the player, everyone can pick a larger head, your argument makes no sense.

The boxing gloves analogy is the real analogy I meant to focus on in the post. Real men play with small racquet heads. Let the ladies play with the 100sq inchers. The argument is to restrict the size of the head, thereby keeping a player from choosing a racquet that makes the game inherently easier for them to compete. Anytime now, Roddick is going to have to go put down his ladies' Babs and go with a 120incher just so he can develop a net game (just lost in 1st round doubles).

sure players are sponsored and maybe don't play with the rackets they're used to [and use PJs] but they're paid to, its not a mandate.

You sound like a racquet salesman. All hail the market, beautiful sport of tennis be damned.

J-man
06-08-2007, 01:08 PM
Nadal for sure would not be hitting with as much spin as he does now. But if everyone did play then everyone would be equally disadvantaged.

For sure Nadal game benefits from the technology and strings, rackets ect (it goes for every player). Without it he wouldn't be playing the same as he is now

sureshs
06-08-2007, 01:08 PM
they other players choose smaller racket heads, its not like nadal is the only one who gets one, its just that no one else seems to want it, and therefore doesn't have that advantage

So many players use the same head size as Nadal does. In fact, only couple of players or so use the 90, some use 95, rest use 98 and 100.

dirkgnuf
06-08-2007, 01:08 PM
His game would be similar to that of Borg's. Borg played a similar style to Nadal back in the 70's. If he were around today he would be Nadal, but perhaps better on grass.

When you make this statement Morissey, are you saying that Nadal would hit with a semi open stance, neutral semi -western forehand and a heavy low to high swing? Or that he would play a topspin game, and that is what Borg did.
Borg was all about getting the ball back, being a human backboard who could crank winners off the baseline. His French Open success shows his willingness to play all day, and that along with his fitness level, yes, do seem to match with Nadal in certain aspects.

fastdunn
06-08-2007, 01:12 PM
it would be very hard to hit a winner against nadal with a woody.

Teh_pwnerer
06-08-2007, 01:18 PM
the rule to make racquets smaller wouldnt work, pros racquets are so customized that they will find a way to make it play like a bigger racquet or something like dat.. neways if u compare a 90 sq to a 100 sq is not that much of a diffeence its just that the frame is thicker

clymb420
06-08-2007, 01:37 PM
the rule to make racquets smaller wouldnt work, pros racquets are so customized that they will find a way to make it play like a bigger racquet or something like dat.

You're right 'bout custom and tech...tech in 90sq in wilson K-racquet makes it play like a bigger racquet. The tech in 100sq in racquets make them play like a bigger racquets, also. Thats what I'm saying, soon enough tennis will be like pong video game, just sliding left and right, no option to move forward and back because technology has eliminated it from the game.

.. neways if u compare a 90 sq to a 100 sq is not that much of a diffeence its just that the frame is thicker

When you get to the level of the top few in the world, the differences are in the minutest details...especially at their racquet speeds. The diference between 10 in the world and 3 in the world is nearly invisible. 5sq in of racquet head is enough to make big difference at that level.

Fries-N-Gravy
06-08-2007, 01:38 PM
Nadal would be almost as good with a wooden racquet. It's not as stiff as the new racquets but it has enough mass to translate to power.

i think many of you buy into the racquet marketing schemes. level of play is not as heavily based on equipment as you think. Fed's racquet is essentially a 90sq prostaff. bigger head size, balance, mass, is just a preference.

clymb420
06-08-2007, 01:54 PM
bigger head size, balance, mass, is just a preference.

I agree that wieght and mass characteristics are "just" preference (just like a bat), but I think a spec like headsize is a factor that can make the game easier for a guy/gal who needs it to be while competing with a superior...ESPECIALLY for guys/gals that rely on defensive shotmaking. Hitting surface is a spec that can definitely aid inferior players, just like a thicker bat would aid inferior hitters if it was allowed in baseball.

tricky
06-08-2007, 01:54 PM
Nadal's FH style, as would Federer's, would probably be impossible to control with a wooden racquet. Any stroke with that much hand acceleration would be a nightmare with wood.

I don't think Nadal would have been very successful against Borg on wood, as again it would limit what Nadal could do with his strokes. It would be about speed vs. speed, endurance vs. endurance, muscleman vs. hippie rock star. Borg would win on all 3 accounts.

With that said, the reverse would not apply. Even if Borg were raised on the modern game and racquets, he probably wouldn't have a FH like Nadal. After all, nobody else does. It's not just the spin he generates, but how low the ball comes back given that crazy bounce. Or the surprising pace he can generate on his running shots.

Wood is just a different game.

TheNatural
06-08-2007, 02:03 PM
I think the strings and rackets help his opponents more than they help him. He would wear them out even more with wood.

Nadal is almost invincible on clay. His game is based on bringing everything back with a lot of topspin and a winner when his opponent is out of position. Do you think that his game benefits from the new equipment. Does the luxilon strings and the more powerful rackets plus bigger headsizes gives him a big advantage.
Would he be just as succesful if they still would play with wooden rackets and smaller headsizes?

Moose Malloy
06-08-2007, 02:09 PM
Nadal would be almost as good with a wooden racquet. It's not as stiff as the new racquets but it has enough mass to translate to power.

I'm guessing you've never played with a wood racquet. Its deficiences are not about power, but accuracy & spin. When you have a 65 sq inch frame to work with, it not easy to hit hard consistently with spin, without a huge amount of errors, which is why they swung so much slower in the 70s. Its impossible for anyone on tour today to be able to play the same way they do with wood racquets, in terms of everything, grips(western only became common when they switched racquets), style of play etc. I saw Gaudio & Nalbandian play with woodies in an exo last year, & it wasn't pretty. They completely wiffed a few times. The way Nadal can swing so hard without making errors/mishitting is simply impossible with wood. But the same is true of Federer, a wood racquet would eliminate the accuracy of his forehand as well. You can't hit as many winners with wood.

I guess my analogy to the bats is that MLB would just be home run derby if they were allowed the metal, nullifying a large part of the game that is beautiful...I'm saying these racquets have created home run derbies, guys and gals just standing around the baseline banging the cr*p out of the ball, nullifying a large part of the game that is beautiful

its not just that, but metal bats would effectively end anyway to compare the stats of players over the years(which baseball is big on)
batting averages would go through the roof, in essence players would be playing an easier form of baseball & the public doesn't want the game to be easy, thats not why it is popular. so many foul balls, easy outs would now be hits with metal bats. its funny that logic was never considered in tennis, making the game easier has made it more exciting for many, & it has effectively ended anyway to compare players, they are playing a completely different sport.

Thats what I'm saying, soon enough tennis will be like pong video game, just sliding left and right, no option to move forward and back because technology has eliminated it from the game.


I think we're pretty much there already. The game on clay, grass, hardcourt is pretty similar these days, just baseline bashing, back & forth, no forward movement. They even seen to be hitting less overheads than only 10 years ago.

With that said, the reverse would not apply. Even if Borg were raised on the modern game and racquets, he probably wouldn't have a FH like Nadal. After all, nobody else does. It's not just the spin he generates, but how low the ball comes back given that crazy bounce. Or the surprising pace he can generate on his running shots.


The thing is people were saying the same things about Borg in his prime, like how is is possible for him to generate so much spin, etc(I have a TIME magazine article where they actually breakdown his shots). His opponents talked about how exhausting it was to constantly have to return his high bouncing topsin shots. And I've seen him pull of some crazy shots on the run, off some extemely low bouncing balls. Just ask McEnroe.
I think Borg was farther ahead of his peers in generating spin than Nadal is from his. If Borg could be so far ahead of everyone else in his time, not sure why he wouldn't be able to stand out in another time.

mileslong
06-08-2007, 02:25 PM
If he were around today he would be Nadal, but perhaps better on grass.oh you only think borg is perhaps better than nadal on grass? lmao

djsiva
06-08-2007, 03:17 PM
I still use Jack Kramer and Dunlop Forts. You can hit just as much spin. Pros can adapt to wood pretty easily. Even though rackets these days have 110+ square inches, pros consisently hit within a dime on the racquet bed for every shot. Watch some Vilas and Borg. And they could even hit more spin if they wanted too.

People weren't using as much extreme topspin back then because coaches and teachers and analysts said it was impractical. So we had to wait for those old guys to be proven wrong. Just like ten years ago every TV commentator would say swing volleys had no place in pro tennis. Now everyone swings at volleys. And believe me I can hit swinging volleys too with a 65 square inch 35 year old racket. Playing with wood seems impossible, but really if you have good fundamentals even with western grips its not a problem at all. I recently beat a top 30 nationally ranked boys 16 year old with a Jack Kramer. And I'm 37.

Andres
06-08-2007, 03:38 PM
I saw Gaudio & Nalbandian play with woodies in an exo last year, & it wasn't pretty. They completely wiffed a few times
Did you actually SEE it? It was an exo in the Luna Park (indoor hardcourts) vs. Vilas & Clerc, if I recall correctly, and I was lucky to see it on TV!!
Is it on Youtube?

edberg505
06-08-2007, 04:02 PM
I still use Jack Kramer and Dunlop Forts. You can hit just as much spin.


Prove it. I'd like to see a video of you hitting a tennis ball with a "Full Western" grip with a wood racquet. It's just one of those things I have to see to believe. I have no doubt that it can be done with an eastern, continental, heck probably even a semi western (as my friends and I can do it but not without hitting the frame 40 to 50 percent of the time). But a full? I'm not buying it.

djsiva
06-08-2007, 04:28 PM
As you can tell by my age I don't know the technicalities of using u tube,but I'll try my best. Really its not that difficult. If you hang around the nasdaq or french open or most tournaments some pros carry wood rackets like i use to 15 years ago in their bags. We use to pull them out and play for dinner with them.

The Gorilla
06-08-2007, 04:32 PM
Prove it. I'd like to see a video of you hitting a tennis ball with a "Full Western" grip with a wood racquet. It's just one of those things I have to see to believe. I have no doubt that it can be done with an eastern, continental, heck probably even a semi western (as my friends and I can do it but not without hitting the frame 40 to 50 percent of the time). But a full? I'm not buying it.

Bill Johnston
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other persons named Bill Johnston, see Bill Johnston (disambiguation).

William ("Little Bill") Johnston (born November 2, 1894 in San Francisco, California died May 1, 1946 in San Francisco, California) was an American tennis champion. He was the co-World No. 1 player in 1919 along with Gerald Patterson.

Until "Big Bill" Tilden began to defeat him regularly in 1920, Johnston had been the best American player for a number of years. He remained competitive with Tilden for the next seven or eight years, but was never again able to beat him in an important match. Together they won seven consecutive Davis Cup trophies, a record that still stands as of the early 2000s.

Johnston was a small, frail-appearing man who suffered ill health from his Navy service in World War I. He was renowned, however, for the power and deadliness of his forehand drive, which he hit shoulder-high with a Western grip, and which was universally considered the best forehand of all time until the advent of Pancho Segura and his two-handed forehand in the late 1940s. Johnston died of tuberculosis in 1946 at the age of 51.

Johnston was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1958.

[edit] External links

edberg505
06-08-2007, 04:32 PM
As you can tell by my age I don't know the technicalities of using u tube,but I'll try my best. Really its not that difficult. If you hang around the nasdaq or french open or most tournaments some pros carry wood rackets like i use to 15 years ago in their bags. We use to pull them out and play for dinner with them.

Yeah, I used to carry around a wooden racquet in my bag as well. But I use an eastern grip so I don't really have much of a problem hitting with it. Actually I was a junior when I first tried out a wooden racquet. I had broken all the strings in my other racquets and tried using a wooden one. It was wierd at first but then I got used to it. But my friend used a semi-western and he was doing sorta ok with it. He was framing a lot of shots though.

edberg505
06-08-2007, 04:36 PM
Bill Johnston
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other persons named Bill Johnston, see Bill Johnston (disambiguation).

William ("Little Bill") Johnston (born November 2, 1894 in San Francisco, California died May 1, 1946 in San Francisco, California) was an American tennis champion. He was the co-World No. 1 player in 1919 along with Gerald Patterson.

Until "Big Bill" Tilden began to defeat him regularly in 1920, Johnston had been the best American player for a number of years. He remained competitive with Tilden for the next seven or eight years, but was never again able to beat him in an important match. Together they won seven consecutive Davis Cup trophies, a record that still stands as of the early 2000s.

Johnston was a small, frail-appearing man who suffered ill health from his Navy service in World War I. He was renowned, however, for the power and deadliness of his forehand drive, which he hit shoulder-high with a Western grip, and which was universally considered the best forehand of all time until the advent of Pancho Segura and his two-handed forehand in the late 1940s. Johnston died of tuberculosis in 1946 at the age of 51.

Johnston was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1958.

[edit] External links


Forgive me if I don't believe this. Just about anyone can edit Wikipedia. But a video or a picture of him using a western grip would probably convince me more.

FitzRoy
06-08-2007, 04:36 PM
Bill Johnston
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other persons named Bill Johnston, see Bill Johnston (disambiguation).

William ("Little Bill") Johnston (born November 2, 1894 in San Francisco, California died May 1, 1946 in San Francisco, California) was an American tennis champion. He was the co-World No. 1 player in 1919 along with Gerald Patterson.

Until "Big Bill" Tilden began to defeat him regularly in 1920, Johnston had been the best American player for a number of years. He remained competitive with Tilden for the next seven or eight years, but was never again able to beat him in an important match. Together they won seven consecutive Davis Cup trophies, a record that still stands as of the early 2000s.

Johnston was a small, frail-appearing man who suffered ill health from his Navy service in World War I. He was renowned, however, for the power and deadliness of his forehand drive, which he hit shoulder-high with a Western grip, and which was universally considered the best forehand of all time until the advent of Pancho Segura and his two-handed forehand in the late 1940s. Johnston died of tuberculosis in 1946 at the age of 51.

Johnston was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1958.

[edit] External links

Excellent post, Gorilla. I was about to point this out myself, after seeing the thread. Contrary to popular belief, the Western forehand did not come around with graphite racquets, but was actually contemporary with the advent of the Eastern forehand. They were named like that because of the parts of the U.S. that Johnston and Tilden were from.

FitzRoy
06-08-2007, 04:37 PM
Forgive me if I don't believe this. Just about anyone can edit Wikipedia. But a video or a picture of him using a western grip would probably convince me more.

edberg, in this instance, Wikipedia is spot on. There's articles about Johnston on TennisOne.com, if I recall. Maybe on tennisplayer.net too. It's a pretty well-established fact that Johnston and Tilden were the creators of the Western and Eastern forehands, respectively. I believe Jack Kramer talked about it in that book about the greatest shots of all time, as well.

edberg505
06-08-2007, 04:43 PM
edberg, in this instance, Wikipedia is spot on. There's articles about Johnston on TennisOne.com, if I recall. Maybe on tennisplayer.net too. It's a pretty well-established fact that Johnston and Tilden were the creators of the Western and Eastern forehands, respectively. I believe Jack Kramer talked about it in that book about the greatest shots of all time, as well.

Thanks for the info FitzRoy. Very interesting. I wish there were videos of it. I would just love to see it. Why can't stuff like this be on youtube?

FitzRoy
06-08-2007, 04:43 PM
Very interesting. I wish there were videos of it. I would just love to see it. Why can't stuff like this be on youtube?

I've seen video of it, but I can't remember where. I'm trying to find it. I think it may have been in that TennisOne.com article.

Nadal_Freak
06-08-2007, 04:45 PM
Nadal would still be the best. :D

arnz
06-08-2007, 04:49 PM
I've seen a video of the western forehand by little Bill or whatever his name was, and yes he does the full western grip, but he hit it differently than anyone now.

The video looks funny of course because he was wearing long pants and a baggy long sleeve shirt while playing. tennis players back in the late 19th and early 20th century looked like they were going on Dancing with the Stars instead of playing tennis. :confused: