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View Full Version : Are player's racquets overrated?


JennyS
01-08-2005, 06:58 AM
Venus and Serena use lightweight oversize racquets that are supposedly suited to intermediate level players and there are other pros using so-called tweener racquets. If some of the world's most skilled heavy hitters can use supposed "granny sticks" without hitting the ball 10 miles out then perhaps any racquet should be considered a player's racquet. Maybe racquet choice has less to do with ability and more to do with personal preference.

rich s
01-08-2005, 07:01 AM
Jenny-
Venus and Serena use racquets painted like those available to the general public. What is under the paint is not the same racquet thay you and I can buy.
These are known as paint jobs and are more common than you think among pros.

python
01-08-2005, 07:26 AM
Jenny-

I think your premise is fine as is without introducing the pro game into it. I've played and won matches before with both game improvement racquets and players racquets. They just require little adapting of tactics. In the end, I just settled for the compromise between power and control, hence the Volkl V1 I currently use.

b.
01-08-2005, 10:04 AM
Maybe it is the term "player's" too pretentious, and badly applied - as someone allready stated.

Power - controll rating is quite enough IMHO.

I'm not a "player", but like "player's" sticks for three main reasons:

1) I like to spend as much energy during tennis match as I can;
2) I can't controll trampoline racquets;
3) I like the feel of medium/soft sticks.

None of these reasons enhance my reputation as a good player.

Gaines Hillix
01-08-2005, 10:11 AM
The term players racquet is getting a little long in the tooth, so to speak. It once pretty well described the characteristics of a racquet used by professional or expert amateur players. Now the frame specs used by expert players are all not in such a narrow range. But, the term players racquet is still generally understood as a 12+ oz weight, 27" long with a headsize of 95 sq. in. or less and a flex rating of around 66 or less(that's what I think of anyway).

El Diablo
01-08-2005, 11:02 AM
Gaines
Wouldn't you say that 98 sq.in. or less would be a criterion given the very large number of "players" using racquets with your parameters but 3 more square inches? And yes, the term begins to have less and less meaning over time.

JennyS
01-08-2005, 12:24 PM
I know about paint jobs but no matter how Venus and Serena have their racquets customized, they still use oversize frames.

LafayetteHitter
01-08-2005, 02:48 PM
It's a conspiracy!

wolfpackfive
01-08-2005, 09:12 PM
I think the proliferation of western forehands (made popluar by Bjorn Borg) has expanded the use of lighter, larger, stiffer racquets. After Borg's success, coaches began teaching this grip, which enabled the use (by greater control of the closed face) of these racquets. The generation where this really kicked in are the pros of today. Add two-handed backhands to the western forehand, and the more powerful racquets become more controllable and more desireable.

I find that my old school eastern forehand is nearly impossible to control unless I use a heavier, smaller, more flexible racquet. I'm probably not thought to be good enough to use such equipment, but I find "modern" racquets frustrating to use.

Stormwolf
01-08-2005, 10:05 PM
"...I find "modern" racquets frustrating to use."

- Agreed. Taking one crack at a serve with a PD gives me instant...frustration - in the form of horrible elbow pain.
No control, no feel, no mass, and stiffer than my...wood...that composes my desk - the racquets of today are more than frustrating, they are downright terrible. It's no coincidence that most ATP Pros are STILL using Prestiges, Prostaffs, and POGs - all in their classic forms. When 90% of the pros are swinging PDs/Surges/other models of concrete feathers that are designed - I will say that the new generation of racquets has a place in the game of tennis. Sadly that may be sooner than later the way the juniors are not only trained (nothing against the western forehand, I use it myself, but someone teach them to volley!) but also equipped. Nadal is just the tip of the iceberg.
Luckily we have guys like Federer that are showing there is more to the game than bashing - him and Safin show that bashing is just a part of the all-court tennis game. Henman/Rusedski/Mirnyi are needed in the game of tennis to show that success can be had playing S&V. Was it not Mirnyi who beat Roddick just recently? He demonstrated that tennis is a dynamic game and it can be played with a variety of styles. Roddick can baseline bash, Mirnyi can volley, Federer can do everything - I can guarantee that Federer has never played a match with a Pure Drive.

Back in the day, there was no distinction between "game improvement" and "players'" racquets. Everyone used the same approximate size - everyone was a "player" - people were not judged based on equipment but on skill. In the game of today - specifically at the club level - people are opting for the easy way out and buy crates full of racquets that will not improve their technique - but WILL allow them to beat the ball senselessly, and they are satisfied. Will they improve? - No. Will they expend less energy and become fatter? - Yes.

Regardless of skill, everyone should be using a "player's racquet" - the exception being those who are physically not able to LIFT such a racquet - 80+ years old. Players in wheelchairs are using Prestiges.

alan-n
01-09-2005, 01:33 AM
I hit my one-handed backhad better with smaller head (95 or smaller), head light players racquet, flexible head (NCode 6-one 95).... Just about anyone who hits 1 handed backhand drives shots cleanly will use a players racquet. Less likely that the racquet will twist on off centered shots and additional mass of racquet in the handle helps drive through the ball.

AndrewD
01-09-2005, 02:12 AM
Yes, I think the term can be quite misleading, especially for those new to or outside of tennis.

I think the best way to read the term 'players racquet' is that it refers to a racquet which requires a person to 'play' the ball (provide solid contact, provide pace and control) rather than a racquet which does more of the work for you (provides the power, doesn't require long stroke and fast swing etc).

Yes, there are frames used by top professionals which contradict that definition but I think it's likely the best way to describe to someone how many regular players might differentiate between frames.

Not really sure what the best system would be or if there is one. In the old days (80's lol) there were just frames, no ratings. You had to hit with them and work out whether you liked them and could play well with them. Perhaps thats a better system. Less information and more left up to the individual.

JennyS
01-09-2005, 05:42 AM
"...I find "modern" racquets frustrating to use."

- Agreed. Taking one crack at a serve with a PD gives me instant...frustration - in the form of horrible elbow pain.
No control, no feel, no mass, and stiffer than my...wood...that composes my desk - the racquets of today are more than frustrating, they are downright terrible. It's no coincidence that most ATP Pros are STILL using Prestiges, Prostaffs, and POGs - all in their classic forms. When 90% of the pros are swinging PDs/Surges/other models of concrete feathers that are designed - I will say that the new generation of racquets has a place in the game of tennis. Sadly that may be sooner than later the way the juniors are not only trained (nothing against the western forehand, I use it myself, but someone teach them to volley!) but also equipped. Nadal is just the tip of the iceberg.
Luckily we have guys like Federer that are showing there is more to the game than bashing - him and Safin show that bashing is just a part of the all-court tennis game. Henman/Rusedski/Mirnyi are needed in the game of tennis to show that success can be had playing S&V. Was it not Mirnyi who beat Roddick just recently? He demonstrated that tennis is a dynamic game and it can be played with a variety of styles. Roddick can baseline bash, Mirnyi can volley, Federer can do everything - I can guarantee that Federer has never played a match with a Pure Drive.

Back in the day, there was no distinction between "game improvement" and "players'" racquets. Everyone used the same approximate size - everyone was a "player" - people were not judged based on equipment but on skill. In the game of today - specifically at the club level - people are opting for the easy way out and buy crates full of racquets that will not improve their technique - but WILL allow them to beat the ball senselessly, and they are satisfied. Will they improve? - No. Will they expend less energy and become fatter? - Yes.

Regardless of skill, everyone should be using a "player's racquet" - the exception being those who are physically not able to LIFT such a racquet - 80+ years old. Players in wheelchairs are using Prestiges.

I disagree with this. I've tried both types of racquets and had success with both, but simply liked the feel of the PD OS better. I think it has plenty of control and feel. I hit pretty hard too, and expand plenty of energy. And I've improved a great deal while using this stick.

I think one of the reasons that today's up and coming player's are enjoying the "tweener" sticks is because that's what they grew up with. The $25 recreational racquets that are sold at Target and Walmart are oversize lightweight titanium frames and many of today's kids are learning the game with these. It's only natural to use a lighter, OS racquet when you're used to it.

I would guess that most of today's club players grew up using wood racquets or midsized graphite frames, so they have stuck with them. But now, people are starting with 10 oz 110 sq inch frames. It's all what we're comfortable with.

Morpheus
01-09-2005, 06:47 AM
I pine for the days of serve and volley; of broken frames; of short cropped hair and tennis whites; of elitism and sportsmanship; but most of all, the Dunlop Maxply. If we'd only known then what changes the Prince Oversize and its brother the Prince Pro would bring, we would have said, "NO NO NO. TAKE YOUR FANCY RACQUETS AND SHOVE THEM." But we couldn't and we didn't and here we are...sore elbows and all.

Steve H.
01-09-2005, 10:51 AM
It's fun to talk about racquets, but too bad that people sometimes get snide about other players' choices -- critcizing someone for using a "player's" frame is about as silly as criticizing someone for _not_ using one. In the end, I think everyone around here is trying to help but sometimes the language gets a little judgmental.

Let's just agree that it's a trade-off -- a bigger, stiffer, and head-heavy frame gives more pop; a smaller and flexier one more control and comfort. It all depends on what you like, what you are used to, and what you think will help you play better and enjoy the game more.

Zverev
01-09-2005, 12:46 PM
Playing couple of hours a week, lolly-popping ball over the net and recieving ball from other lolly-poppers - there is no problem with OS light weight sticks.

But...when you get a hard-hitting partner, whos serve will twist that pensil with strings in your hands, when you start to hit hard yourself, and not for two, but for 10-20 hrs a week, when your elbow starts to sore, then...
you will crall back to graphite, to >12oz, to <60 flex, to gut , to multi......

Most people in my club use light-weight sticks, some have elbow problems but most don't. Though... they spend more time eating cakes than playing.
They have more chances to get cake stomack than tennis elbow, so they better be worried about what kind of spoon they use not about the type of the stick they play with.

Venetian
01-09-2005, 01:13 PM
It's nice that so many of you grew up playing with wooden racquets and small head sizes on flexible frames, but that's how YOU grew up. That's not what we (the young crowd) like to use anymore. Get over it already. The times they are a changing... A good player is a good player no matter what they use. Skill has nothing to do with the racquet you use. Someone can get used to playing with any type of racquet if they use it long enough.

I'm in the Air Force, we don't go around flying prop jobs from the 1940's simply because the times have changed. There are still old guys out there who hate jet fighters and swear that you aren't a "real" fighter pilot unless you fly a P-51 Mustang or a Hellcat. But I'd like to see them win any wars with those.:) The bottom line is people get frusterated with change and want things to go back to how they were when they were growing up. But it ain't gonna happen so just get used to lightweight frames with huge heads. It's OUR turn now:)

JennyS
01-09-2005, 01:23 PM
Playing couple of hours a week, lolly-popping ball over the net and recieving ball from other lolly-poppers - there is no problem with OS light weight sticks.

But...when you get a hard-hitting partner, whos serve will twist that pensil with strings in your hands, when you start to hit hard yourself, and not for two, but for 10-20 hrs a week, when your elbow starts to sore, then...
you will crall back to graphite, to >12oz, to <60 flex, to gut , to multi......

Most people in my club use light-weight sticks, some have elbow problems but most don't. Though... they spend more time eating cakes than playing.
They have more chances to get cake stomack than tennis elbow, so they better be worried about what kind of spoon they use not about the type of the stick they play with.

My sister and I hit the ball very hard and we have no problem whatsoever.

I did not write this thread to bash people for using player's racquets. I wrote to in defense of tweener racquets, because some people on this board make comments that stereotype tweener racquet users as 60 year old ladies. My sister and I are both in our 20's are great athletes and use them.

JennyS
01-09-2005, 01:27 PM
It's nice that so many of you grew up playing with wooden racquets and small head sizes on flexible frames, but that's how YOU grew up. That's not what we (the young crowd) like to use anymore. Get over it already. The times they are a changing... A good player is a good player no matter what they use. Skill has nothing to do with the racquet you use. Someone can get used to playing with any type of racquet if they use it long enough.

I'm in the Air Force, we don't go around flying prop jobs from the 1940's simply because the times have changed. There are still old guys out there who hate jet fighters and swear that you aren't a "real" fighter pilot unless you fly a P-51 Mustang or a Hellcat. But I'd like to see them win any wars with those.:) The bottom line is people get frusterated with change and want things to go back to how they were when they were growing up. But it ain't gonna happen so just get used to lightweight frames with huge heads. It's OUR turn now:)

Great post. I agree with you about skill having nothing to do with a racquet. Everyone has their own preference, but a racquet can not make someone a good player. If someone has no tennis skill whatsoever, their not going to play well with an 8 ounce superdooperoversize racquet.

danniflava
01-09-2005, 01:28 PM
Would you say that players who are 4.0+ SHOULD use player's racquets because they know how to control the ball. Or do you think that it would be foolish to use player's racquets because IF you know how to control the ball, why wouldn't you want a more powerful racquet???!

OnyxZ28
01-09-2005, 02:07 PM
Jeebus, this whole thing reminds me of the neverending manual vs automatic thing us F-body guys got goin'. I agree with Steve H; different strokes for different folks. If you like using tweeners, more power to ya. Personally, I don't make any assumptions about my opponent based on the stick in their hand, but that's just me.

David Pavlich
01-09-2005, 03:53 PM
It's fun to talk about racquets, but too bad that people sometimes get snide about other players' choices -- critcizing someone for using a "player's" frame is about as silly as criticizing someone for _not_ using one. In the end, I think everyone around here is trying to help but sometimes the language gets a little judgmental.

Let's just agree that it's a trade-off -- a bigger, stiffer, and head-heavy frame gives more pop; a smaller and flexier one more control and comfort. It all depends on what you like, what you are used to, and what you think will help you play better and enjoy the game more.

Uh oh...commons sense.

David

David Pavlich
01-09-2005, 03:56 PM
Venus and Serena use lightweight oversize racquets that are supposedly suited to intermediate level players and there are other pros using so-called tweener racquets. If some of the world's most skilled heavy hitters can use supposed "granny sticks" without hitting the ball 10 miles out then perhaps any racquet should be considered a player's racquet. Maybe racquet choice has less to do with ability and more to do with personal preference.

You use the frame that you are comfortable with. Whether that's a 135 sqin snowshoe or a 90 sqin club, it's the frame that you think enhances YOUR game, not someone that's answering your post.

David