View Full Version : How a firm believer in 'player racquets' (me) started using a 'tweener racquets'....

01-11-2005, 11:23 PM
After reading numerous posts on this subject, I decided to post my own experience. I used to be a firm believer in "player's racquets" because how they are supposed to be for the better players and since I had been improving my entire career, I never thought for a moment that things could change....

As some know, last summer I decided to switch from Wilson proStaff 6.1 classic's (used them for 6 years) to something new and more available. I just knew I needed to switch. My main reason was that a lot of my shots were landing short. This was affecting my tournament results greatly. I wasn't going to change my strokes. It was too late for me the way I saw it.

At first I thought I needed a stiffer racquet. Then I thought I needed a lighter racquet. My 6.1's weighed 13 ounces because the grip had to be built up. This made it pretty head light now that I think about it. Hearing all the good things about the Pure Controls and since they were the closest thing to my sticks that Babolat had to offer, I went ahead and got a few. (I decided to get something in the Bab line since it's cheaper for me through work).

For some reason, the only 'control' I got was when I used Kevlar Blend. With anything else, the balls would fly every which way. I tried playing with lead, string type, string tension for 2 months. Kevlar blends aren't available at my work and too expensive other wise. I tried poly and man they felt awful and vibrated alot even with a dampener. I wanted to use Polys because I break synthetics almost every or every other hitting session.

I decided to get rid of them and start looking elsewhere. At this point I was willing to buy something out of the Bab line. The only problem is that it's very hard to judge a racquet during demo sessions. I say this because I remember how every type of string with at different tensions played significantly different. With my Wilson's I had 6 years to try different settings and with my PC's I had 2 months. In a demo session, I might have a week with their string since most places won't let me re-string myself using my string. I started looking around work and see what was popular. I noticed a bunch of kids had switched to the Pure Drives.

I remember trying the Pure Drive a couple years back and the balls would just sail. I just remembered hating it and how it wasn't a player's stick, so I never looked at it again. No feel, no weight, Let me throw up.

Since a bunch of the kids had the PD's, I figured it might be worth another try since every kid uses a different string at a different tension. Can't beat free demo sessions with free string.

I played some matches with the borrowed PD's for 2 weeks. I hated the way they felt and how light they were. BUT, for some reason, I played well with them. GO freaking figure. My short shots had turned into deep shots. This was one of my main weaknesses in my game. On a side note, I swing pretty fast and usually try to kill the ball ;) I said WTH and ordered me some. No feel, but I'm hitting deeper and hitting just as consistent. Oh yah! How often will I hit a drop shot/volley anyways....?

My friends still can't believe that I'm using such a light racquet....but not to worry, read part 2 to this story....

01-11-2005, 11:32 PM
If it's working, go with it. I did the different path (from PD to "players" frame), but I'm pretty sure I will come back in the next... 5? 10 years? Who knows...
Good hitting!

01-12-2005, 12:41 AM
If it's working, go with it. I did the different path (from PD to "players" frame), but I'm pretty sure I will come back in the next... 5? 10 years? Who knows...
Good hitting!

go with what's right. i spent my last two years of college tennis switching from a two handed backhand to a one handed one. the reason? cuz a college that i teach kept telling me that with my height and strength i should be a great serve and volleyer with a one handed backhanded.

let's say my tennis game has dropped off immensely. i also switched from a wilson rok to a wilson n6 and ncode 6.1. tweener racquets aren't that bad, depends on what end of the spectrum your trying out. i still believe a PD isn't as bad a tweener, more like a player's racquet with less weight.

01-12-2005, 02:59 AM
make sure you try it in a match before buying!!! i thought my strokes were great, then i lost 6-0 to my dad with it and i beat him almost always.

01-12-2005, 05:16 AM
I think that it is a good decision even though I am a fan of player racquet. Look at all the pros using tweener racquets Andy Roddick, Carlos Moya it goes on and on. Just find what suits you.

Craig Sheppard
01-12-2005, 06:37 AM
And when will Part 2 be up?

SC in MA
01-12-2005, 10:16 AM
I'm very interested in hearing "the rest of the story" in Part 2.

While waiting, here's my story. I also have used "player" racquets for many years. Over the last few years I've used the HPS 6.1, Bab PC (older, heavier one), and now the nCode95. I've mainly played singles on clay and for whatever reason, the weight of the racket is not really a problem for me playing singles on clay.

This year I started playing doubles indoors on hardcourts, which I found to be a much faster game. I found I was late on returns and volleys (especially one-hand backhand drive returns). So I started thinking about a lighter racket. I gave a 5.0 level hitting partner's Wilson H Tour 95 (lightweight, even balance) a try and loved it, which I did not expect at all. I found the H Tour95 surprisingly solid and very manueverable. I was able to really rip my backhand returns and I think every aspect of my game improved. In addition, it's really a very fun racket to hit with. So I hit with the borrowed H Tour for four sessions and then bought one for myself.

I played with my new H Tour for about a month and really played well with it. I just loved playing with it. Then the arm problems started. At first it was just a little soreness in the forearm area near the elbow and it would usually just go away after a day or so. However, after each hitting session it would take an increasingly longer period of time for the soreness to go away. I also began to get more "wristy" in my shots, so my wrist started hurting. I think I'm now on the verge of tennis elbow, so I begrudgingly decided to put away the H Tour and I've gone back to the nCode95 (at least until my arm gets back to 100%).

I just played doubles last night with the nCode95, and once again, I'm late on backhand return drives and the racket just seems sluggish in general. I think a player's racket is fine for me playing singles on clay, but not for indoor hardcourt doubles. I need to find something equally as solid as a player's racket, but a bit lighter and more manueverable. Some possible candidates are the LM Prestige MP and the Volkl Tour 10, which I guess are more player's rackets (heavier) than tweeners (lighter). Anyone know of tweener racket I might consider?

I guess an alternative to going lighter would be getting a bit stronger by doing some light weight work, which I'm going to start doing.

01-12-2005, 11:47 AM
SC in MA,

I have had the same experience as you regarding playing indoors/doubles and outdoors on clay or slow hard courts. Outdoors I can use an MP1 98 or a PSC 6.1 and do very well indeed. Indoors playing doubles however is quite the different story to be sure. The game is much faster and I pick up the ball... just a bit later. Bottom line is that I have to use an 11 oz - 102 Head size frame to play well indoors in doubles. Have a great day all!


01-12-2005, 12:35 PM
matchpoints, if you dont mind me asking, how old are you? Just curious to whether age played a factor.

01-12-2005, 03:45 PM

If you like PD, try a Surge someday. People say their are similar and in my opinion (tried both), the Surge played a little bit better in many aspects. I also used to feel some minor pain after hitting a PD but with Surge, no pain. Anyway, worth a try. my two cents.


01-13-2005, 10:09 AM
SC and Steve, maybe try the Babolat Pure Control, Pure Storm, Fischer Pro 1 or RDX500 MP?

01-13-2005, 10:21 AM

I have a RDX500 MP and I am spending a few court hours with it this week... Good call!! Thanks and have a great day!


01-13-2005, 10:28 AM
I'm not saying I'll never use a tweener, a.k.a game improvement, racket but I'll use a player racket as long as I'm physically able. I just don't like the way tweener rackets swing, feel, or look.

SC in MA
01-13-2005, 11:52 AM
SteveI: Does the RDX500 MP have the solidness and manuverability to be a good indoors hardcourt doubles racket ? Thanks.

01-13-2005, 03:39 PM

Have not used the RDX 500 MP indoors for doubles as of yet. Plays like dream outdoors from the baseline. NoBADMoJo did a great review of this frame vs the 200G vs the PK 5ik vs the Diablo MP. He did not love this frame for volleys. I will report back when I have the chance the play doubles indoors which will be in about 1 week. Overall the frame is very solid. You an create major spin off the ground and on serves. TW also did an excellent review of this frame and seems to be to right on the money except of their comments regarding "Flat-Bomb" serves. That serve seems to come quite easy for me... not sure why??? Guess that is why is always a sound choice to demo.. demo..demo. Hope some of this helps.


01-14-2005, 06:58 AM
SteveI, if you can hit good groundstrokes and serves with the RDX, volleys will be a cinch. Glad you can hit the big "flat bombs" which people seem to have trouble. As Mojo said, it's the operator, not the racket.

01-14-2005, 09:26 AM
I can sympathize. I played w/ players frames for the last 20 years. The last 6 years were with a C10. While I loved the C10, I was no longer having the results I used to. Getting older definitely had something to do w/ it. I tried a PD that was given to me by a friend. I too had tried them when they first came out and didn't like them. Then last spring my friend gave me one and it didn't seem anything like my earlier experience w/ that stick. Deeper shots, much better serves - flat, spin and kick. Volleys and return of serve are no problem. I've even developed some new weapons that I did not have previously - hard to do at 42. Sometimes in my matches I would play one set w/ the C10 and one set w/ the PD. Huge difference in the sets. The results would speak for themself.

I'm not saying the PD is the holy grail, just that a 'tweener' helped me after 20 years of 'players' sticks. Sometimes ya' just gotta change.

01-14-2005, 11:03 AM
I'm 26 going 48.

I kinda have to use Babolat simple because I get a deal on them. They endorse the establishment where I work.

You know, I have this thing I always tell beginners or people with bad strokes. I could be wrong but it's my opinion. I always tell them to start with a players stick. This way they can't cheat and swing the racquet like a fly swatter. Once they develop proper strokes, I feel that it's ok to go light and stiff like I did. Or I have them try to add some lead to the head and handle of their tweener. Seriously, if little kids and older folks can swing a baseball bat, they should be no reason for them to not be able to swing a 12oz stick. I also find it to be safer for the obvious shock reasons. Btw, My PD's weigh 12.2oz total.

01-15-2005, 10:20 PM
Hey SC,

If you use the Ncode and like the hammer H tour, you should definately try the Pro Staff Tour 95. Great feel, not to much power. Light enough to get around but heavy enough to feel like a player's frame. Give it a test drive, from what I hear from you this would be a great racket to consider. I have been using it for the last year because of elbow/wrist problems and have had very good success w/racket. Try it out and hope everything goes well.


SC in MA
01-16-2005, 08:52 AM
Hey thanks for the tip George. I just read the TW review and user's comments. Based on your input and what I just read, this definitely sounds like a racket I should try. I'll see if I can find a used one to give an extended try. Thanks again.

01-16-2005, 03:58 PM
Add another old timer who has gone tweener. My 12 oz + graphite frames weren't getting it done anymore. As many of you have stated, late to the ball became the norm. After an 18 month odyssey of at least 70 racquet demos , I revisited the Prince TT Hornet MP, which I hated first time around. With some customization to get it HL and closer to 11oz. it suddenly felt right. String and tension experimentation has refined it further. I like it a lot, but more importantly everyone tells me I am hitting the ball better than they can remember.

The thing to remember is you have to give it time and be flexible. If you try to move your heavy player's frame game to a lighter weight frame, you will be disappointed and give up. For instance, one thing I had to do was add more topspin to my game to take advantage of the increased head speed. Took me close to 6 months to get comfortable with a semi-western grip on the forehand. Now my groundies are weapons, more consistent and with added depth, where in the past they were annoyances I had to hit to get to the net.

Racquet head speed rules in today's game. If you can't generate enough with your current frame, it is worth it to experiment. Classic strokes don't mean much if you are getting ****n off the court. :)

01-17-2005, 08:39 PM
Hey SC,

Good luck and hope it works out for you.