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View Full Version : Is it wise to switch to an old classic for tournaments?


Chalk Flew Up!
03-17-2009, 09:49 AM
Okay everyone, here's my dilemma:

I purchased a Wilson Sting a few days ago (midsize) and I have been hitting with it against the wall and with assorted hitting partners. To sum it all up, it's a beast.:twisted: I feel like I'm hitting better, manipulating the ball in a way I wasn't able to do before with my PK 5g. I'm not spraying the ball, not hitting outside the baseline as often, the 1hbh is effortless and concise, and my concentration has never been better (probably due to the 85sq. in. head.) My strokes have pop and placement but I have not played a match with it yet. Also, I might want to string it up with some gut.

This racquet has exposed any irregularities in my technique, thus I'm able to concentrate more on playing rather than just trying not to screw up. However, I'm a little bit frightened to be matching power with players with the newest frames. Will the Sting break down? Will it inevitably let me down in crucial moments? Will there be immeasurable frustration, "Man, if I had my PK 5g that wouldn't have happened!" What does science say about the classics butting heads with the newest sticks? It seems to me that the Sting could hold it's own, but I might be wrong about this. I am a topspin player, SW grip, all courter.

I know there are a bunch of you who are tried and true vintage racquet players, I'm just looking for some feedback. The Sting is a very special racquet and I know there are going to be some "growing pains" with it, but in the long run is it practical to make the switch to this legendary stick?

vwfye
03-17-2009, 10:37 AM
how does it serve for you?

i love my Mono for doubles but i tend to struggle more with it for my 1st serve, so i don't use them for singles... i use more spin and kick for doubles and 2nd serves aren't an issue with the Mono, but my more flat 1st serve is much more consistant with my Mitt.

so, i said all that to say this... doesn't matter how good you hit with the Sting if you can't get a serve in. go serve with it and if it is good, use it!

retrowagen
03-17-2009, 11:09 AM
If you are a serious tournament player, then you will need probably four of one specific type of racket, strung and weighted the same... And the racket in question would be a model you feel really comfortable with and play decently with, and have had a fair amount of practice time with.

Doesn't matter if it was made in 1984 or 2004 or 1954.

Showing up for a tournament with a mixed variety of tennis gear isn't too wise. When strings break in your favorite racket, then you have to adjust to something different.

Bud
03-17-2009, 01:06 PM
Okay everyone, here's my dilemma:

I purchased a Wilson Sting a few days ago (midsize) and I have been hitting with it against the wall and with assorted hitting partners. To sum it all up, it's a beast.:twisted: I feel like I'm hitting better, manipulating the ball in a way I wasn't able to do before with my PK 5g. I'm not spraying the ball, not hitting outside the baseline as often, the 1hbh is effortless and concise, and my concentration has never been better (probably due to the 85sq. in. head.) My strokes have pop and placement but I have not played a match with it yet. Also, I might want to string it up with some gut.

This racquet has exposed any irregularities in my technique, thus I'm able to concentrate more on playing rather than just trying not to screw up. However, I'm a little bit frightened to be matching power with players with the newest frames. Will the Sting break down? Will it inevitably let me down in crucial moments? Will there be immeasurable frustration, "Man, if I had my PK 5g that wouldn't have happened!" What does science say about the classics butting heads with the newest sticks? It seems to me that the Sting could hold it's own, but I might be wrong about this. I am a topspin player, SW grip, all courter.

I know there are a bunch of you who are tried and true vintage racquet players, I'm just looking for some feedback. The Sting is a very special racquet and I know there are going to be some "growing pains" with it, but in the long run is it practical to make the switch to this legendary stick?

If your 5G is grip size 3, 4 or 5... and you decide to sell it, let me know :wink:

Apart from that, the 5G is fairly close to a classic player's racquet (especially when adding a leather grip and re-balancing to compensate for the heavier grip). It has the same heavy, solid thump when striking the ball and is very arm-friendly. To me it feels much like the classic Max 200G and more recently the KPS88.

You may find the mid Sting is too low-powered for your current game.

Chalk Flew Up!
03-17-2009, 03:10 PM
^^ Yeah you may be right and come to think of it, the 5g does have a classic feel to it. Maybe that's one reason I fell in love with it to begin with, that and I can actually fall asleep at night without my right arm throbbing after practicing a lot of serves. Maybe I was just mesmerized by the older racquet and was blinded by puppy love. :) It sure is fun to hit with, along with my Wilson Pro Select, from the Matrix mold, a sorta pseudo Pro Staff, which I hit with today and had a lot of fun with. Again, placing balls on dimes that I couldn't quite do with the 5g.
Maybe I'm just taking my 5g for granted, since I've been swinging it for so long. I should just go home with the girl that brought me to the dance, instead of flirting with all of these 'cougars'.:twisted: In fact the 5g is a classic in its own right, I own the older, mostly black version, and it is a mighty fine wand indeed. Something is lacking with it however, and I just can't quite figure out what it is.
I remain perplexed because I feel I could do well with the Pro Select and/or the Sting.

EDIT: Bud what are you doing to counter the weight of the leather grip? Head tape?

AndrewD
03-17-2009, 05:14 PM
but in the long run is it practical to make the switch to this legendary stick?

Mate, it's just a racquet. If you play well with it, use it. End of story.

jimbo333
03-17-2009, 06:03 PM
Well I suppose it could be argued they are all "just racquets", but if that was the case viewing these forums wouldn't be much fun would it?

I say make the switch for one tournament anyway, just for a change, what's the worst that can happen:):)

joe sch
03-17-2009, 06:54 PM
Okay everyone, here's my dilemma:

I purchased a Wilson Sting a few days ago (midsize) and I have been hitting with it against the wall and with assorted hitting partners. To sum it all up, it's a beast.:twisted: I feel like I'm hitting better, manipulating the ball in a way I wasn't able to do before with my PK 5g. I'm not spraying the ball, not hitting outside the baseline as often, the 1hbh is effortless and concise, and my concentration has never been better (probably due to the 85sq. in. head.) My strokes have pop and placement but I have not played a match with it yet. Also, I might want to string it up with some gut.

This racquet has exposed any irregularities in my technique, thus I'm able to concentrate more on playing rather than just trying not to screw up. However, I'm a little bit frightened to be matching power with players with the newest frames. Will the Sting break down? Will it inevitably let me down in crucial moments? Will there be immeasurable frustration, "Man, if I had my PK 5g that wouldn't have happened!" What does science say about the classics butting heads with the newest sticks? It seems to me that the Sting could hold it's own, but I might be wrong about this. I am a topspin player, SW grip, all courter.

I know there are a bunch of you who are tried and true vintage racquet players, I'm just looking for some feedback. The Sting is a very special racquet and I know there are going to be some "growing pains" with it, but in the long run is it practical to make the switch to this legendary stick?

You have to be confident with your choice so best to play many practice matches with success so you can expect the same in tournament play.

One mental edge with a heavier, smaller head classic racket is that you cant hold back or push. You will play knowing that you must swing out, hit more winners and control the outcome of the match. If your playing someone dictating the points because you are behind on your strokes then better to play new school. I can play close to the same level in match play using a standard head woody or a more modern graphite racket. The one area that I believe really makes a difference is if you playing dubs and at the net. Just not possible to have the same reactive time or volleying success playing old school. Return of serve is also similar if you are playing against a big server. Just make your choice and enjoy it, or have your backup racket ready incase of emergency :)

plasma
03-17-2009, 07:49 PM
it's not wise to switch shoes, girlfriends, racquets, diet or personal habits before a tournament...changing shoes or racquets before a tourament is suicide....

jimbo333
03-18-2009, 08:26 AM
Well it depends on the tournament:)

And also the girlfriend:):)

Chalk Flew Up!
03-18-2009, 09:48 AM
One mental edge with a heavier, smaller head classic racket is that you cant hold back or push. You will play knowing that you must swing out, hit more winners and control the outcome of the match.

This is exactly what has changed my entire outlook on the older racquet. I've gone from a steady, just get it over one more time until the unforced error wins me the point kinda player, to an aggressive shotmaker who is dictating play and improving point-construction. The serve out wide, then the putaway volley at the service line while the dude is still loitering around outside of the doubles alley. These changes were instantaneous with the older racquet. With the 5g I would just hope that the serve would go out wide enough. The same goes for rallies. I'm sure these strings have been on here for ages (decades lol)...I can't imagine what full gut would do!
Granted the 5g is a 22mm beam and my Pro Select is 16 or 17mm. I love how the thin beam slices through the air. If I want to put the ball closer to the baseline than the service line...voila! Not so with PK...it might just go a foot out!

Chalk Flew Up!
03-18-2009, 09:51 AM
how does it serve for you?

i love my Mono for doubles but i tend to struggle more with it for my 1st serve, so i don't use them for singles... i use more spin and kick for doubles and 2nd serves aren't an issue with the Mono, but my more flat 1st serve is much more consistant with my Mitt.

so, i said all that to say this... doesn't matter how good you hit with the Sting if you can't get a serve in. go serve with it and if it is good, use it!

I'm gonna give it the serve test today and get back with you on that. You're absolutely right, if its marvelous on groundies and volleys but I get 20% of my serves in...:oops: I've been a little gunshy serving with it because I'm a little afraid it's going to disappoint me, and I don't want the honeymoon to end just yet.:)

Granted I'll be serving with a 85 instead of 100, so there will be some trial and error with that. I will not blame that on the vintage as such until I get fluidity with the 85 first...then discern if the racquet is adequate. But I'll sacrifice some MPH for finite, laser-like precision that helps me construct points.

plasma
03-18-2009, 10:58 AM
you should bump down 3 square and find a 95 sq. in pro mono.
http://i39.tinypic.com/rbcmye.jpg
Not as unweildy as the 98 mono, plus it has vacuum pro technology as opposed to the fresh out the sweatshop no plough-thru feel of the Prince mono.

AndrewD
03-18-2009, 06:49 PM
Well I suppose it could be argued they are all "just racquets", but if that was the case viewing these forums wouldn't be much fun would it?

You've got to put it in context. The OP is talking about the racquet like it's something other than a racquet. While it might come with certain baggage, in terms of history, asthetics, and other less tangible things, it is still 'just a racquet' and meant for people to 'just play tennis with'. That's what I'm trying to get across. It's okay to romanticise an object but not to the point where it stops you from putting it to its intended purpose. The POG OS (early models) have a lot of resonance for me, as regards it and my history, but not to the point where I'd let that stop me using the racquet.

plasma
03-19-2009, 09:11 AM
I really don't see the OP as romanticizing the racquet in any way whatsoever. I don't understand your point. He only speaks of the playability characteristics and wishes to know from others on a concrete level if the performance of his tool will hold up under stress....????
http://i43.tinypic.com/aer79z.jpg
To answer his question concretely and honestly, I don't know. I know that the ps 85 performs better, more powerfuly, and more constistenly in the clutch than any modern racquets, but I really couldn't say about the sting. i assume it would provide the same consistency regarding performane if it were gripped and strung properly. I have hit with some less expensive wilson 85's, they play phenomenally and cost a fortune in their day...bring back all 85's, the Doobie Brothers and Free Love!!!!

Caloi
03-19-2009, 12:13 PM
You know what? I say go for it! My new found love for the Graphite Edge has me just chomping at the bit for league play to start. I've hit with it 3 times this week and each time it just gets better and better. Even took some video of serves with it today. I absolutely love this racquet and will find another to have in my bag.

Which brings me to the next point, have a backup of the same racquet. I am pretty lucky to have an Edge with a almost perfect grommet strip. This thing is flexible and shows barely any wear. The head is a little scuffed up, court rash, but I need to have a twin for it in order to feel I'm ready for seriuos play. If my next one needs to have some grommet work done I'll need to do that so I can have matching racquets, or at least close.

When I got back into tennis a couple years ago I broke the strings on my main racquet and had to play with a totally different racquet to finish the match. The backup was totally balanced differently and felt really strange. That taught me to get at least two of the same just in case. My Dunlops are going through some work now, adding lead to get them up in weight. But, my priority at the moment is to find at least one more Graphite Edge.