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View Full Version : I need racquet recommendations. Please help.


mdjenders
04-22-2008, 11:17 PM
Tennis season is upon me, and I don't currently have any frames to use. I was supposed to have settled on one a while back, but it is tough picking a frame when no demos have my grip size (4 1/4, sometimes 1/8)! Every demo feels like a log due to the chunkier grips, so demoing has been pretty worthless.

Here is some background. Let me know if I left anything out that would be useful.

My game style is an aggressive baseliner built around controlling the point with the fh. I hit heavy topspin off that wing waiting for an opening to aggressively flatten out the fh to end the point. My swing style is a modern windshield wiper with a semiwestern grip, swinging aggressively on most balls. My one-hand backhand gets run around whenever possible, and my only goal off that side is to loop the ball deep with topspin, usually crosscourt. I am short and pretty weak at net, so that is not an issue for me.

I want a frame that delivers solid control from the baseline and stable enough to go head to head with big servers and hitters; I can handle weight up to about 12oz, but if a frame is nice and stable in a lighter (or lighter SW) package, it would be great to hear about.

I am 5'6", 125#, so swingweights pushing 330 are too much for me to handle. My one-hand backhand seems to work best with head sizes <100. I can generate good topspin with most racquets, even dense patterns, but if a frame is anemic at generating spin, I would avoid that.

Recent racquet history is as follows: Prince Graphite Tour 93 for a couple months, played great but developed tennis elbow. The stiffness and harshness in the upper hoop did me in. If not for the TE (this was the first time I have ever had TE), my bag would be full of Graphite mids. A similar playing stick that is easier on the arm would be perfect!

Prince Ozone Tour for a month or so, loved the comfort, didn't like the feel on my backhand side, nor the lack of ball feedback, didnt play particularly well. Currently demoing the Dunlop Aerogel 200. I love the control, stability, and ease of swinging this one, but topspin is a little sporadic, and the frame seems very stiff, making a really metallic crack when hitting the ball (could it be the crappy strings on the demo?). My elbow cringes at the tinny feeling.

Agent Orynge
04-23-2008, 08:11 AM
Well, the key specifications I see needed for your game are thus;

Open string pattern (16 x anything) for spin.
Mid - mid+ headsize for one-handed backhand.
Standard length (27") for one-handed backhand.
Low stiffness for your elbow.
I would also go with as high a swing & static weight racquet as possible, for A) more plough through (power & shock absorption) and B) more stability. Remember, the heavier the racquet the stiffer it can be without causing harm to your elbow.

You can play with the rest of the specifications. If you haven't done so yet, try using the racquet finder; http://www.racquetfinder.com/search.htm

I don't have much experience with Prince, so I can't really give you any advice in that respect. But if you're looking for something similar to the Dunlop but with more spin, give this a look;

http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/descpageRCDUNLOP-DP1INT.html

kanjii
04-23-2008, 08:18 AM
I cuurently play with the APDC and Extreme Pro. Very spinny APDC, EP has spin but can flatten out more than the APDC. If you can handle the weight try the PDR. PDR has the power, spin, and plow through, but too stiff for my shoulder. No TE though.

fuzz nation
04-23-2008, 09:21 AM
I'm thinking of maybe the Prince Speedport Tour, Fischer M Pro, perhaps the Yonex RQ iS 1 Tour, and the Head MG Radical Pro.

mdjenders
05-02-2008, 12:31 AM
I demoed three Heads today: MG Radical Pro, MG Prestige Mid, MG Prestige Pro. I did not like any of them.

The Radical Pro was strung with a soft multi, still felt super stiff like a Babolat. The Prestiges were much more to my liking feel wise, but the mid was just too much racquet for me to handle. I had high expectations for the pro, with the low swingweight and open pattern, but it seemed to lack any control. Everything sprayed long. Unfortunately this one was strung with a 15L synth gut, so much of the benefit of the open string pattern was probably lost, but I cant see myself demoing this one again.

Might have to take the pain and just go back to one of the POGs, maybe in a smaller grip size just for the hell of it.

fuzz nation
05-02-2008, 07:13 AM
Sorry to hear about that bad outing with the Radical Pro.

One racquet that shouldn't be any issue for your elbow is the Donnay Pro One mp from TW. It's a really sweet hitter from the baseline with a ton of control and a forgiving old school feel. I'd put it a notch lower on the power ratings in comparison to some of the leaders in the arms race out there, but it could be just what you're looking for. In terms of its heft, I consider it to be a quite manageable 12 ouncer that's just heavy enough to have nice stability.

DomStar7
05-02-2008, 07:33 AM
Yonex RQiS 1 Tour is everything you asked for.

mdjenders
05-02-2008, 10:58 AM
thanks for chiming in. unfortunately no one has yonex for sale in my area, but I will put together a demo order from TW with the RQIS 1 in there. I have never used a yonex before, so I am looking forward to it.

I have been interested in the donnay since tw got it, but I am scared off by the posts on this board claiming that the sw really feels like 330+. If it does swing as light as the rdc value here at tw shows, I would be all over it. too bad no demos for that one.

Agent Orynge
05-02-2008, 12:02 PM
If you can't demo a racquet, find a used one in the classifieds and then 'demo' it for as long as you want...and sell it again when you're done.

fuzz nation
05-02-2008, 12:05 PM
Fortunately those Donnays are around in the classifieds on and off in case you decide to "buy it to try it". Of the ones that I picked up, none cost me more than $70 with shipping.

Hope you get a good outing with that RQ iS, too.

mdjenders
05-02-2008, 12:17 PM
tough to snag these racquets in 1/8 grip, but I will keep looking

EDIT Looks like they dont even make the donnay in 1/8 :(. How does the grip size compare to say, Prince.

Doc Hollidae
05-02-2008, 12:35 PM
Give the SP Tour a spin. Probably a little better suited for your 1HBH and not far off of the Ozone Tour.

superstition
05-02-2008, 12:39 PM
Recent racquet history is as follows: Prince Graphite Tour 93 for a couple months, played great but developed tennis elbow. The stiffness and harshness in the upper hoop did me in. If not for the TE (this was the first time I have ever had TE), my bag would be full of Graphite mids. A similar playing stick that is easier on the arm would be perfect!
I don't suppose you tried natural gut before dumping the racquet? What about a lower string tension with a 17 gauge soft multi like NRG-2?

mdjenders
05-02-2008, 02:16 PM
I don't suppose you tried natural gut before dumping the racquet? What about a lower string tension with a 17 gauge soft multi like NRG-2?

No, and I realize that was a mistake. If I go back to this frame, it will be with a natural gut or something like PSGM or NRG2 in the low 50's. One of the other problems was that the grip size was too big for me. I hold the handle far down with my pinky hanging off the buttcap, and the gap between my middle finger and palm was huge. I figure I can go down a grip size and then wrap the toura a little looser or overlap more to bulk it up if necessary. I had it stretched hard against the leather with no overlap before.

cujays
05-02-2008, 03:52 PM
give the SP black a try
or maybe the donlop 300 series (mfil/areogel)

mdjenders
05-02-2008, 05:08 PM
The 300 is on my demo list, but the nearest (only) shop that has it is an hour away. I played well with the 200, but it was really metallic.

BallBeemer
05-02-2008, 06:17 PM
I just got done demoing the extreme pro and it feels nice.

mdjenders
05-02-2008, 06:33 PM
I took the Prestige Mid and Radical Pro back to the shop and was disappointed that they did not have the Becker Pro, so I decided to keep the Prestige Pro for the weekend. I will try to focus not on the crappy 15L strings and my shots flying long, but rather the feel of swinging the racquet. I really think a nice 17g multi strung in the low 50s would be sweet on this one. The specs are so perfect for my game that I need to give this one some time.

Macdaddy1129
05-02-2008, 06:37 PM
Sounds like a pure storm tour could be an option with the 63 stiffness it shouldnt hurt your TE and is a solid racquet

mauricem
05-02-2008, 06:54 PM
The 300 is on my demo list, but the nearest (only) shop that has it is an hour away. I played well with the 200, but it was really metallic.

i found the mfil 300 much more "metallic" than the mfil 200

mfil200 16*19 was pretty solid as well and tw have these in 1/8's at a bargain price

meowmix
05-02-2008, 08:22 PM
This probably won't make your demo list, but try the G325 by Gamma. It's nothing exceptional, but it has that old school feel (much like your pog). It's got a nice LOW swingweight (if memory serves me correctly, under 310) and weighs in at 12 ounces. Headsize isn't particularly large- 95, and it isn't very stiff. Plus, you can get it for about 70-80 bucks.

mdjenders
05-03-2008, 12:23 AM
So tonight I hit with a friend's old 28" Chang Graphite 95 and wow, I have never had so much fun ripping forehands as with that stick! It was pretty lousy for one-hand backhands, but as good as my forehand was, I really didn't care. This one felt so much more solid than the POG Longbody I tried last year; that one was unstable and a vibration machine, while the Chang was comfy and rock solid at the same time. I can't find a stiffness rating for the Chang 95, but I am wondering if it was a good deal stiffer than the recent POG LB. Anyways, no use getting excited about a long discontinued, unavailable frame :(.

also, thanks for the tip, meowmix! I guess I was guilty of ignoring Gamma frames, because I had no idea this one even existed. Those specs look really nice. At that price, I might just buy one to demo.