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dode
08-18-2011, 07:09 PM
Ok, here is the deal. After playing 6 days a week in juniors and 5 days a week in college as a pounding baseline singles player. Well that was in a former life about 10 years ago and 60 lbs ago. I have played with a wide variety racquets, but Wilson's and Head's have been my mainstays, mainly very head heavy racquets. Currently I have a pair of very heavily worked over Wilson Hammer 7.3's. They were not my first choice, but I traded for them a couple of years ago and worked them over to be usable for me.

Fast forward to know in that I have been asked to play on a USTA doubles team this fall. I played my first "match" in 10 years the other day, and realized that I absolutely cannot play with these racquets in doubles. They are just not suitable. I still string racquets pretty regularly, but I am not familiar with currently available racquets. Can anyone give me some suggestions that would work for a previous 4.5+ level singles player that is moving into lower level doubles after a long layoff? I need something I can still hit with, but that will be maneuverable enough to volley consistently with. I know it is hard, but with no place really close to me to go play some racquets, I need some place to start.

Thanks in advance!

John

PhotoBlue
08-18-2011, 07:12 PM
I would recommend something pretty flexible and still has decent feel for dubs. I'd try something like the babolat pure storm gt.

thebeast73
08-18-2011, 07:33 PM
I second the pure storm. It's reasonably flexy, very maneuverable, and for how light it is pretty stable. From Head, the radical series is always great for everything. Maybe the blade 98 from Wilson. A little closer to even balance so it would feel a little more familiar yet still headlight for maneuverability.

fireball11
08-18-2011, 10:20 PM
I agree with the above.

I've never used the regular pure storm (only the ltd), but definitely try out the BLX Blade 98 and Radical Midplus. They're great sticks. I thought the Blade was especially good at net.

fireball11
08-18-2011, 10:22 PM
Oh also try out the Dunlop 4D 300 Tour - I like the Blade 98 better, but it's worth trying out.

Bud
08-18-2011, 10:32 PM
The Pure Storm (non-tour) is a decent suggestion for a doubles stick :)

You can pick one up with the 2009 cosmetics for a good price.

TennisCJC
08-19-2011, 07:58 AM
The blx blade 98 is a good stock option. A bit HL and sw around 335 which is good for someone that once played fairly high level. You could also try the blx 6.1 95 as it is even more HL at 8 pts HL, but the static weight is 12.3 oz. If you can handle the higher weight of the blx 6.1 95, it is very good "doubles" racket. It is 8 pts HL which makes the weight maneuverable and it has the perimeter weight system which is a bit of extra weight at 3/9 o'clock on the frame. Most pro doubles players play with heavy, high SW, and very HL rackets similar to blx 6.1 95. If fact, 6.1 95 is very popular for pro doubles and singles players.

gregor.b
08-20-2011, 03:03 AM
The blx blade 98 is a good stock option. A bit HL and sw around 335 which is good for someone that once played fairly high level. You could also try the blx 6.1 95 as it is even more HL at 8 pts HL, but the static weight is 12.3 oz. If you can handle the higher weight of the blx 6.1 95, it is very good "doubles" racket. It is 8 pts HL which makes the weight maneuverable and it has the perimeter weight system which is a bit of extra weight at 3/9 o'clock on the frame. Most pro doubles players play with heavy, high SW, and very HL rackets similar to blx 6.1 95. If fact, 6.1 95 is very popular for pro doubles and singles players.

Ditto from me.Went from the 98 blade (n code) to the 6.1 95 (k factor) and the only real difference is the overall weight.Swingweight is similar but the blade is a bit lighter overall.Still a stable stick,just a little more maneuverable than 6.1 95.Got to say though,if I was only ever playing dubs,I would go back to the blade for the ability to take first serves on the rise with a drive (f/h or b/h return).The 6.1 is a little too heavy for that (I am 42 single hbh).

dode
08-21-2011, 05:43 AM
Well on the suggestion of a friend I went to a tennis place here in town yesterday. I really didn't know where I was going or what they had, but he knows the owner so I thought I would check it out. It was a really nice place and they have a really nice website to go along with it. I was just figuring on putting my hands on some of these racquets, but come to find out they have like a 2/3 width court with a ball machine to hit right there in the shop. SCORE. What a great find. My planned 45 minute or so trip turned in to 3+ hours. I talked with the owner and he was quite helpful, and actually suggested many of the racquets listed here, so kudos to you guys. I hit with probably 15 different racquets. I really did not like the Babolat's at all. They just did not have a good feel to me, and I really found it hard to develop topspin with them. The Head Youtek and Radical racquet seemed like good racquets to me, but nothing special. I really liked the BLX Blade 98. It was about my favorite initially, other than being hard to develop spin (what's with all the dense string patterns?) Then I saw they had a demo of the tour version of the same racquet. I liked the added mass of the racquet, but did not like the decrease in power and spin that came with it. I told him what I thought of those, and he went in the back and came out with a racquet that wasn't originally in the demo display. It was the Wilson 6.1 BLX 95 16x18 (kudos to those who selected this one!). It was basically what I was looking for. Easy to get spin without overhitting, very good feel, and very solid. I really like the stick.

Before I left, I decided to just pick up a couple of other sticks that were a little different and try them, since I was already there. Just based on feel, I thought I would try a Dunlop Biomimetic 600. It is really quite different than those I just hit with, but wow I really liked it. It was very easy to hit and develop the spin I was looking for on my ground strokes. He was really surprised at how I hit with it, and frankly so was I.

Now I'm not sure what to do. If I had to guess, I think in the short term the Dunlop would be a better racquet. It seemed a little more forgiving, but in the long term the Wilson is probably a better fit. Anyone ever ended up liking two very different racquets? At any rate, I was just very happy to get my hands on some of these sticks. The selection of racquets that are available is amazing!!

Decisions decisions....

John

dode
08-21-2011, 05:44 AM
By the way, can anyone tell me about that Dunlop? It didn't seem to be a real mainstream racquet with a lot of info on it.

John

TennisCJC
08-21-2011, 06:11 AM
I have not tried Dunlop Bio 600 but from the specs I personally probably would not like it. I caution you to try it in real play against equal competition before buying. It is stiff (71) and light (SW 300). I have tried similar wide body, stiff, and light rackets but felt they do not have the control needed for competitive play. They hit the sitter ball real nice due to the maximum power but they don't handle incoming pace as well. Touch 1/2 volleys, and blocking hard serves is not great for me either with the more powerful rackets like Bio 600. Also, hard to see a SW 300 being a really great volleying or slicing racket. If you like the wider body and max power, maybe try BLX PRO OPEN. It is a bit wider beam but stiffness is only 66 and SW is 318 and it is 4 pts HL. I would think a stiffness of 71 like the Dunlop might be hard on the arm in the long run if you are taking full swings at the ball. I have not tried the Dunlop Bio 500 Tour either but its' specs would probably be better for a 4.0-4.5 level player. The 500 T is not quite as stiff and has a bit higher SW but it is a little, thicker beam racket like the Bio 600.

prjacobs
08-21-2011, 06:23 AM
Strangely, a couple of years ago when I came back to the game, the two frames I really liked were the dunlop 4D 500 tour and the K 6.1 95, 16 X 18. (Similar to your choices).
After a year and a half, the stiffness of the dunlop hurt my shoulder and I'm moving on to a heavier frame, possible the BLX you like. The new bio 500 tour is, spec wise, a little less stiff than my 4D 500 tour, so maybe that we work out for you. I found that in the beginning of my "comeback" the lighter weight was great, but as I got into better shape, I missed the solidity of the heavier frame. Good luck.