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View Full Version : Remember the Conchita Martinez Kelme racquet?


Kevin T
06-18-2010, 08:15 AM
I miss the days when a lot of the European clothing manufacturers (Le Coq, Adidas, Lacoste, Fila) also made tennis racquets. But this is one frame I've never seen talked about on the TW boards. Before Conchita sported Donnay and Wilson, she was sponsored by Kelme and sported a green racquet with the Kelme "paw" logo. I can't even find a pic of it on the web. Anyone ever seen one in person or hit with one? I'm sure only the European posters would have had a chance to see it up close. Thanks.

retrowagen
06-18-2010, 09:51 AM
I miss the days when a lot of the European clothing manufacturers (Le Coq, Adidas, Lacoste, Fila) also made tennis racquets. But this is one frame I've never seen talked about on the TW boards. Before Conchita sported Donnay and Wilson, she was sponsored by Kelme and sported a green racquet with the Kelme "paw" logo. I can't even find a pic of it on the web. Anyone ever seen one in person or hit with one? I'm sure only the European posters would have had a chance to see it up close. Thanks.

I think it was the green/black 1988 Head Elite Pro, after her contract with Head lapsed, just prior to her Donnay signing.

Kevin T
06-18-2010, 10:11 AM
I think it was the green/black 1988 Head Elite Pro, after her contract with Head lapsed, just prior to her Donnay signing.

I actually thought about that but her racquet had the large Kelme logo on the strings. The head shape also seemed wider at the top, not the long/narrow Head-type shape. Like I said, I can't seem to find a decent web pic but I recall the frame being all teal green with a white bumper. I also found an info blurb about Kelme sponsoring tennis clubs in Spain right after signing Conchita.

retrowagen
06-18-2010, 10:44 AM
Hmmm. That iteration of Head Elite Pro had a white bumper.

I played in Europe at that time and can't recall ever seeing a Kelme-branded racquet, although I did from time to time see players in Kelme clothes and shoes.

Kevin T
06-18-2010, 11:08 AM
Hmmm. That iteration of Head Elite Pro had a white bumper.

I played in Europe at that time and can't recall ever seeing a Kelme-branded racquet, although I did from time to time see players in Kelme clothes and shoes.

Interesting. I really appreciate your responses, Retro. Did you ever try the Le Coq and Fila frames? I was a kid during the 80's but for me, it was the golden age of frames. Seemed like there were at least 25 or 30 companies making frames back then. Watching the World Cup and seeing the Kelme logo reminded me of Martinez. I never saw Kelme frames either but it seems odd she would plaster the Kelme logo on another brand's frame (not like the paint job fiascos of today).

vsbabolat
06-18-2010, 11:56 AM
As Retro said it was the green 1988 HEAD Elite Pro with Kelme stencil on the strings.
http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w50/vsbabolat/Martinez_1990_US_Open.jpg

Kevin T
06-18-2010, 12:43 PM
As Retro said it was the green 1988 HEAD Elite Pro with Kelme stencil on the strings.
http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w50/vsbabolat/Martinez_1990_US_Open.jpg

Thanks VS. Other than the many times pros switch racquet companies, black them out and put on the new company's logo, can you think of a time when a pro just straight up painted another sponsor's logo on a stringbed? I don't think I've ever seen a pro without a racquet sponsor put their clothing/shoe sponsor on the stringbed. It would be like Sampras putting the Nike swoosh on his Wilsons while they weren't paying him.

El Diablo
06-18-2010, 12:47 PM
I glean from this thread that you've never hit with any of these oddball racquets that the marketplace apparently "voted" out of production. What exactly do you miss about them?? There used to be more brands of cars too, when you could buy a Yugo, Renault, or Simca here, but I can't say that I particularly miss any of them.

Kevin T
06-18-2010, 01:03 PM
I glean from this thread that you've never hit with any of these oddball racquets that the marketplace apparently "voted" out of production. What exactly do you miss about them?? There used to be more brands of cars too, when you could buy a Yugo, Renault, or Simca here, but I can't say that I particularly miss any of them.

I have hit with these "oddball" racquets, having used Rossignols for years. The Le Coq Noah frame was a nice hit.

Do you ever contribute anything positive or interesting to a thread? Practically every post is a snide or less than humorous remark. I'm not sure what's missing in your life that encourages you to take this approach but I hope it's soon filled. You practice the very habits you constantly criticize.

brinkeguthrie
06-18-2010, 06:32 PM
Interesting. I really appreciate your responses, Retro. Did you ever try the Le Coq and Fila frames? I was a kid during the 80's but for me, it was the golden age of frames. Seemed like there were at least 25 or 30 companies making frames back then. Watching the World Cup and seeing the Kelme logo reminded me of Martinez. I never saw Kelme frames either but it seems odd she would plaster the Kelme logo on another brand's frame (not like the paint job fiascos of today).

Fila wood frames were FANTASTIC. I used the "Fila Wud1One" (Wood One) and loved it. great power, control, and juuussst stiff enough. Put VS in those, and got a lot of pop.

Always wanted to try the Rossi Strato (Solomon) and the Wilander racquet, forget the name, had an inverted bridge (F40?) and the Nastase Adidas frame- do I understand he never used it, but played a Maxply Fort with Adidas graphics?

I had read Laver was with Dunlop for years, signed for some aluminum frame named Chemold, and then tried to make the aluminum frame look like a Maxply.

dreamcatcher18
06-20-2010, 06:46 AM
I have hit with these "oddball" racquets, having used Rossignols for years. The Le Coq Noah frame was a nice hit.

Do you ever contribute anything positive or interesting to a thread? Practically every post is a snide or less than humorous remark. I'm not sure what's missing in your life that encourages you to take this approach but I hope it's soon filled. You practice the very habits you constantly criticize.

I agree with you. This guy's comments are usless. I find his slick style of writing really annoying. A complete waste of time. Just ignore him.

retrowagen
06-23-2010, 11:19 AM
Interesting. I really appreciate your responses, Retro. Did you ever try the Le Coq and Fila frames? I was a kid during the 80's but for me, it was the golden age of frames. Seemed like there were at least 25 or 30 companies making frames back then. Watching the World Cup and seeing the Kelme logo reminded me of Martinez. I never saw Kelme frames either but it seems odd she would plaster the Kelme logo on another brand's frame (not like the paint job fiascos of today).

Hi Kevin,

Yes, I did try the Fila Champion, and the Le Coq Sportif TXM and TCO (the Yannick Noah wood-composite). Interesting frames for sure; these models certainly added to the color and glamour of tennis in the 1980's. I played Kneissl myself at the time, switching to those green 1988 Austrian-made Head Elite Pros in '88. Still have them, and play them regularly, in fact. Some of those Fila composites were made in Belgium by Snauwaert, so although there were dozens of "brands," there were slightly fewer actual manufacturers than brands (Kennex being chief among OEM's for many "branded" frames, including Prince, Wimbledon, Antelop, among others sold in the USA).

You know, before the "paint job" phenomenon as we now recognize it, there were some obvious logo/stencil/paint oddities in the pro ranks in the 80's and 90's. Think of Lendl's use of PJ'ed Kneissl White Star Pros, until Adidas got their factory up and running to make a similar frame for Lendl (and the public) in France. Navratilova had a falling-out with Yonex and played one AELTC with crudely blacked-out Dunlop Max 200g's! And Edberg, when his Wilson contract to play the Pro Staff Mid lapsed, had a sort of strange trial of the Adidas Delta series of frames and then wound up back with a Wilson in his hand, minus the "W" stencil. Towards the end of his ATP career, John McEnroe played tournaments with Dunlops with Snauwaert stencils, and Snauwaert with no stencils, and Voelkls with Snauwaert stencils, and... and... (well, maybe I exaggerate on Mac.) Also recall that many Euro pros had the Babolat two stripes on their strings (although this was admittedly prior to Babolat's marketing of their brand of frames, their stringsets were widely identified by the stencil - in many cases the only stencil on a journeyman's strings).

MiniMunchkinsTennis
06-28-2010, 08:35 AM
Hi Kevin... i have 2 Kelme racquets in really good condition and they play very well... not the green ones youve been talking about... they are a dark metallic blue and are called a Kelme Drop Shot K1015