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View Full Version : a tale of two racquets..which one would you use?


markwillplay
05-12-2008, 05:06 PM
I have 2 totally different sticks that I am playing with right now. I have demoed so many sticks over the last year and fallen in and out of love but I have now found two different extremes that seem to serve me well. Both would be classified as players sticks for sure.

#1 Yonex RDS 002 tour This one is a mp and medium stiff (65). So far it has not given me any real arm trouble. I have not really dialed in the string tension with it and it is 12.5 oz (10 pts headlight). This has me spraying the ball a bit on groundies and having to really prepare. It is one of those 4.5 or better sticks (I am about a solid 4.0) and I do feel that it may be a bit over my head as I see many errors off the ground. Ball just seems to shoot like a lazer and not naturally come down as quick with topspin. Balls that I normally don't have to really think about are sailing long. I have not been playing with it but about 2 weeks and it seems to be getting better. It has less spin with my stokes than many others I have tried and seems to shoot lazers. Just seems to have more power I guess.....which brings me to the best part..the serve. I am winning games easier on my serve (I am a serve and volleyer) than I have with any other stick I have ever played with. I can control it and it has more pace with slice than I am used to. So with this one, I feel like if my game could catch up to my serve, I would be deadly. I have struggled against some really flat hitters and shorter pushers with this one because balls seem to just go deeper with it....however, I also see more winners when the ball is in my wheelhouse.

#2 Donnay Pro One This one is oversize and weighs in at about 11.9 (6 pts headlight). It has a stiffness of 64 but it feels much softer to me. The entire stick feels softer. I can keep balls in with it all day and it feels like it naturally gives more spin with the same stroke. Much more loopy ball but still good power to put away a flatter ball with effort. Feels a little more manueverable than #1 as I move around the court...just lighter. Volleys well if just a bit less stable than #1, and also doesn't naturally put as much pepper on the volleys (not as deep with same volley). Don't have the trouble of punching volleys too deep either so that is a trade off (I could get used to either). Here's the kicker, serve is not as powerful any way you put it. This one just does not have the pop of the other one. It has great kick and spin but not the velocity that I can get with the same effort with #1. This is not in my mind, I played with both today and the other guy noticed it. Although he said my serve was effective with both, he was getting good wood on ballswith #2 that he was not with #1.

So the question, should I play with #2 and develop more serve with that one (while the rest of my game is better), or, should I stay with #1 and try to improve my ground game to match my serve.

0d1n
05-12-2008, 11:31 PM
I would go with the Yonex because I have a bias against oversize rackets :P.
Kidding. I think you should shoot for something "in between".
I suspect the reason for hitting long with the Yonex is not the inherent power of the racket ... but rather the high swing weight which causes you to hit either late or with not enough racket head speed to create the necessary spin in order to bring the ball down.
It would be a tough choice for me as well :confused:.
"Consistency is the name of the game" as they say ... so that seems to favor the oversize...but also "you are only as good as your second serve" which seems to favor the Yonex :P.
You should have a think about the kind of player you are. If you have a very aggressive style and win your matches by hitting winners then go with the Yonex. If you rely on consistency then go with the Donnay.
The serve is important regardless of style of play though ... so I would suggest using the yonex exclusively for a couple of months...and if you still are not able to bring the ball down fast enough ... drop it despite of the serve...having a good serve is not really enough...you need something to back it up with.

samster
05-13-2008, 06:45 AM
I have 2 totally different sticks that I am playing with right now. I have demoed so many sticks over the last year and fallen in and out of love but I have now found two different extremes that seem to serve me well. Both would be classified as players sticks for sure.

#1 Yonex RDS 002 tour This one is a mp and medium stiff (65). So far it has not given me any real arm trouble. I have not really dialed in the string tension with it and it is 12.5 oz (10 pts headlight). This has me spraying the ball a bit on groundies and having to really prepare. It is one of those 4.5 or better sticks (I am about a solid 4.0) and I do feel that it may be a bit over my head as I see many errors off the ground. Ball just seems to shoot like a lazer and not naturally come down as quick with topspin. Balls that I normally don't have to really think about are sailing long. I have not been playing with it but about 2 weeks and it seems to be getting better. It has less spin with my stokes than many others I have tried and seems to shoot lazers. Just seems to have more power I guess.....which brings me to the best part..the serve. I am winning games easier on my serve (I am a serve and volleyer) than I have with any other stick I have ever played with. I can control it and it has more pace with slice than I am used to. So with this one, I feel like if my game could catch up to my serve, I would be deadly. I have struggled against some really flat hitters and shorter pushers with this one because balls seem to just go deeper with it....however, I also see more winners when the ball is in my wheelhouse.

#2 Donnay Pro One This one is oversize and weighs in at about 11.9 (6 pts headlight). It has a stiffness of 64 but it feels much softer to me. The entire stick feels softer. I can keep balls in with it all day and it feels like it naturally gives more spin with the same stroke. Much more loopy ball but still good power to put away a flatter ball with effort. Feels a little more manueverable than #1 as I move around the court...just lighter. Volleys well if just a bit less stable than #1, and also doesn't naturally put as much pepper on the volleys (not as deep with same volley). Don't have the trouble of punching volleys too deep either so that is a trade off (I could get used to either). Here's the kicker, serve is not as powerful any way you put it. This one just does not have the pop of the other one. It has great kick and spin but not the velocity that I can get with the same effort with #1. This is not in my mind, I played with both today and the other guy noticed it. Although he said my serve was effective with both, he was getting good wood on ballswith #2 that he was not with #1.

So the question, should I play with #2 and develop more serve with that one (while the rest of my game is better), or, should I stay with #1 and try to improve my ground game to match my serve.

Man, both of these two are nice rackets (I have both). You can't go wrong with either.

Zachol82
05-13-2008, 06:54 AM
Definitely stay with the Yonex RDS 002 Tour. I have one myself and I know exactly what you're talking about. It took me a good 2 months to get used to it. Get your racquet-head speed up and you should have no problem with putting topspin on the ball; it is a heavy racquet so it's not so easy to increase racquet-head speed so becareful to not injure yourself.

Another reason for staying with the Yonex is because you serve better with it. Service is extremely important and usually the hardest to get down. If you can serve well with a stick then you're good to go, other factors such as groundstrokes and volleys are a lot easier to get better at than a serve. At least for me =/

counterpuncher
05-13-2008, 03:06 PM
I would also probably suggest the RDS002 Tour as I agree with time or different strings and tension you can dial in your groundstrokes given that you already have your serve working well.

If you are still demoing and you can get your hands on one there is also the UL spec (310g unstrung) of the RDS002 Tour. I had the SL version (330g unstrung) and just never got comfortable with it, mostly because of the weight but also the grip size now running larger in Yonex racquets IMO. I have now just received the UL version and can't wait to try it out.

markwillplay
05-13-2008, 04:09 PM
I will stay with the Yonex I think. I am in a little ladder where the others are as good or better than I am and I think official matches will actually help me a bit. I do agree about the swingspeed now that I think of it. I don't think it is a matter of strength (I am in really good shape) but it may be a matter of simply not having enough time "behind the gun" so to speak. Honestly, the yonex does not really feel that heavy to me. One is 10 pts and one is 12 pts hedlight with the replacement grips and overgrip respectively. I am just not as quick with them for sure so maybe that will come. I have been used to 12.3 or so and about 10 pts headlight with my old princes that I sold so these sticks hover right around that range. I have 2 Donnays, one is 3/8 with heatsleeve making it 12.4 and 10 pts headlight and the other is 1/2 with no sleve and is 12.0 and 7 pts headlight. All 4 seem to swing (feel) close to each other really. Because I am coming from the old POG OS, I am probably addicted to the oversize sweetspot which I am sure just gives confidence. Funy thing is that when you put the yonex up beside the Donnay, it is not that far off and I really think the sweetspot on the yonex is big for a MP. Then, of course, there is that soft oldschool feel in the Donnay that is so sweet. I think I wil put the Donnays up for a while and make myself play only with the yonex's.

Here is something odd though...every now and then I take the old Dunlop max 200G (12.7 oz and 5 pts headlight) out for a spin and I hardly ever hit balls long with it. Maybe that I just played with that one so long when I was younger that I automatically change my strokes from memory without thinking about it. I guess I have no muscle memory for the yonex. We'll see. Thanks for the advice and I really appreciate the hands on experience that some of you have. I definately am an agressive player and win matches against good apponants playing serve and volley and and playing agressive and not a steady baseline game. It is just the way I am most comfortable playing and what I enjoy.

ThA_Azn_DeViL
05-13-2008, 04:15 PM
like some other poster said, try to get the best of both worlds, but if u would have to pick, i'd say yonex.

markwillplay
05-13-2008, 04:39 PM
I also thought that 65 was a bit stiff for me as someone who has had arm surgery in the past and I am really protective. So far, the yonex has not really bothered my arm even though it is not as "soft" as the Donnay. I sort of like that "pop" feeling as long as my arm does not tweak. Bottom line is that it is hard to put down a stick that you serve best with. I also think the weight of the frame helps with the serve. Funny how the Donnay is supposed to be 64 stiff but feels much flexier than the yonex to me. I guess another good thing about these yonex's is that psg plays really well in them. I have one with psg and the other with tech biphase and I swear that the syn gut is more controlable if not quite as powerful on serve. I have NRG2 in the Dopnnay and some wilson syngut in the other one (got it free with the stick).

[K]Topspin
05-13-2008, 05:18 PM
Use the Yonex. Yonex are great frames, and as you get used to it, it will get better.

markwillplay
05-15-2008, 08:30 AM
wow, I just got one strung and it is 12.4 oz abd swuibngweight of 323. I guess adding a different replacement grip made the swingweight lower. Boom, no more excuse for hitting long I guess. Actually I hit with them yesterday and I think I am strting to dial it in.

rod_b
05-15-2008, 09:49 AM
Do you have an idea of which part of your game you could learn or improve with each stick. Like, could you improve your serve if you stuck with the Donnay or would it be easier to improve your ground game with the Yonex. Which part of your game is strongest? I would pick the racket that enhances your strength\advantage and work on what you're missing. I've never had any success with Yonex rackets and, as I'm sure you've read here, I'm a big fan of the Donnays. But in your case, it would seem that the Yonex provides the foundation that you should build the rest of your game on. Good luck

markwillplay
05-15-2008, 10:55 AM
I am going to give the yonex a couple of months of real playing to see. If I build on my strength, I think I would stick with the one I can serve best with now. It seems to possess more power and acuracy than the large head for some reason. After 2 months if I am not really clicking with it, it will have to go.

markwillplay
05-18-2008, 08:40 PM
I am such a liar, I went out and played a pusher the other day and dog on if I just could not get comfy with the yonex. I have not had them long but I have played 5 or 6 matches with them and hit with ball machine as well. I just can't figure it out. I know I can swing a stick with a swingweight of 323 and 327 (that is what they measure on rds machine). I actually do wonder if my stroke has just gotten used to an oversize. I figured what the hell and took the Donnays out today against a 4.5 player who hits very flat and shot (little stinging shots) and lost in 3 long close sets. He said my serve was heavy. Trust me when I say I gave this one away. I am not so sure I can serve harder with the yonex's, I hit some pretty hard serves today but mainly sliced them hard and they have great action for sure. I am playing a tournement (first one in years) this weekend and I am leaning towards the Donnay actually. Shucks, I even thought about just bringing my max 200 g and showing my age. I hit well with it. That is what is so weird, that head is probably 85 or less and I have no trouble with it.....of course the entire string bed on that stick is just about a sweet spot.

This might sound strange and you can flame me if you want, but I am really wondering if the more rectangular grip shape is throwing me a bit. Seems like I end up leaving the face too open more causing the balls to sail. I have actually really tried working on this but every now and then, it will happen. Guess I played with the more round grip shapes more than I thought. It is just silly though, I should be able to hit decent with any stick at my level which I think is a pretty strong 4.0 (at least by the rated competition that I play around here). I don't know, frustrating to lose to people youusually beat (especially when making so many unforced errors), and that is what is happening to me now.

And as an aside, there ain't no way these sticks are the same stiffness. The Donnay clearly plays more flexy which is probably another reason I feel a little more "at home" with it. I just like the way the yonex "pops" when you hit the ball clean....tight pop. Anyway, Just wanted you all to feel my pain. My wife won't listen to my tennis woes so I will vent here.

basil J
05-19-2008, 07:15 AM
Mark, I am in the exact same boat as you regrading the RDS 002 tour. I serve monster bombs with this frame, but I cannot control the length on groundstrokes for the life of me. I have picked up a couple of aerogel 200's and my ground game immediately came back, but my serve has lost about 20Mph. The yonex grip is different than a dunlop or wilson grip and I do find that the exact same stroke with my dunlop provides different results than with my yonex. I have been blaming it on an open string pattern, but maybe I need to adjust my grip. I can rip more spin with my dunlop than with my yonex and that just does not seem right. I may try to up the tension to 65# and work my way back down to see where I can get back my range. I think the frame swings light, so I never thought that the weight could be limiting my spin, but it could very well be. What I like about the yonex is that it is extremely comfortable, even more so than the aerogel 200's. I mistakenly sold my muscle weaves for some quick money, thinking that the yonex would be easy to transition to and I have to say, that I have lost my last 3 matches to guys I have always beaten in the past due to many unforced errors that are very untypical of my style of play. have you tried some decent poly strings to help with added spin? I am going to try some 17' poly mains with gut on the crosses and see if I can master this frame. I like the aerogels but they aint no muscle weaves

markwillplay
05-19-2008, 12:06 PM
yea, we sound like the same person. You know, I really think the yonex gives great spin. I would not want to string it any tighter than it is now. 63/60 NRG2 17. I really think I get caught with the wrong grip too much. I like that grip for serving though. Anyway, the Donnay has a very similar grip but I think because it is oversize, the margin of error is a bit bigger, still, I have hit some fliers with that one as well. I really think I will trae them eventually for something else. I agree that the swing weight is fine and not a problem really. My max 200G swings like an ax and I have no trouble bringing the ball down and I am satisfied that it is becaseu the grip is a little rounder and easier for my stroke (which has probably become accustomed to it). You just know when you pick up a stick and start to groove with it or feel the potential. I am going to play with the Donnay's in the tournament this weekend as the name of the game there is winning. Will probably string them with a poly gut hybrid to control them and swing away. In the long run, I may look for something else with a different grip shape. Seems I have tried so many though that I am getting frustrated with myself for not just sticking with something and living and dying with it....but I can't stand not being able to execute shots I normally can. If I play oversize, I wil play with the Dopnnay's. They are really that good to me and I have played with pogs galore and head os's as well. If I go midplus, not sure what I will do really. I suppose it is a good thing that I have a buddy who has tons of sticks including a wilson 6.0 95 that he might move. He keeps telling me that it would be perfect for my game but I have not really tried it. I just want to play with something fairly new. Anyway, we'll see.

markwillplay
05-19-2008, 05:26 PM
basil, did you ever try a poly hybrid on your yonex's? I was wondering about using something like ALU in the mains with a soft string in the crosses at a lower tension to see if that would help. I just had a hit with my buddie's head mic prest pro and man, no balls flying at all. Has an even more pronounced rec grip. I have a feeling, it may hav been the strings at work as well. I do hate to give up on this frame until I have tried everything, but if you have and no better, might save me some bucks.

travlerajm
05-19-2008, 11:20 PM
I would suggest finding a mp frame with more flex. A standard length OS has shorter distance to the sweetspot, so it won't be as powerful on serves as a mp given the same weight distribution.

fuzz nation
05-20-2008, 06:52 AM
Sounds like most of the confidence has gathered behind those os Donnays for now - definately a good thing if those racquets continue to deliver the goods for you. I had a go with the 002 T's that was right along the lines of what you and basil described and I keep wondering just how great those frames would be (for me at least) if Yonex had produced them with a flex rating down around 61.

In case you want to get some more flex in your diet and do some more looking around, I think that the Volkl C10 should stay on your "someday" list of racquets to try out. Between those frames and the few mid and mp Prince NXG's I have around, I don't worry anymore about putting down the 002's and the mp Donnay Pro Ones.

markwillplay
05-20-2008, 06:52 AM
makes sense. actually really liked that prestige pro....oh boy.....

basil J
05-20-2008, 12:08 PM
I have one strung with prince poly on the mains 62# and PSGD on the crosses 60# and it plays better than any other set up to date(including VS gut). I think you should try a "soft" poly hybrid set up(not BB) and see if you can tame the frame a bit. I wish this frame was a tad more flexible.If my feet are really moving well and I prepare early on every shot, then the 002 tour is awesome. I love it for S&V. I just picked up an aerogel 200, strung it with Klip legend at 64# and I was immediately dialed into the frame after 5 minutes. I personally think I do better with 18 x 20 frames. That's what I learned to play with and that's what I always gravitate to. I am not going to give up on my tours, but I am selling two of them , just because I know I will be using the Dunlops as my primary stick. I do everything better with it except serve and I will work diligently on my serve with the dunlop since the rest of my game is much more solid with it vs the RDS002Tour.

markwillplay
05-20-2008, 04:14 PM
how do the Dunlops swing compared to the tours? I am wondering if the 1820 might be good for me as well.

basil J
05-20-2008, 06:30 PM
They are a bit lighter but more evenly balanced so they a comparable. They have a softer flex according to specs, but they feel pretty close in stiffness when you actualy use them.The yonex is a much better racquet to serve with, but My serves are starting to come along with the dunlop and the control with the dunlop is exceptional.My confidence in my game is slowly coming back as I don't have to doubt where my shots are going anymore. I say give it a try if you don'y mind an 18 x 20 frame. I personally like it much better.

markwillplay
05-20-2008, 09:06 PM
thanks, I may try and demo one with the mic prestige pro.