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View Full Version : Nadal's nemeses: guys with heavy racquets?


travlerajm
08-11-2006, 12:52 AM
We know that Nadal is 0-2 against Blake, who plays with a 13.4-oz racquet.

And now he is 1-2 against Berdych. Anyone have specs on Berdych's racquet? By the way the ball comes off his racquet, I would guess that his racquet is in the 13-oz range.

Anyway, it's no secret that a heavier racquet works much better against heavy spin. If Nadal's style becomes more popular on tour, I expect that the heavy-frame players will rise as well, since they are naturally better able to counter high rpm shots.

subtleskeptics
08-11-2006, 02:17 AM
Actually, I think Nadal mainly has trouble with handling there certain strokes. Blake and Berdych drive through and hit a much flatter ball than most other pros. With Nadal's incredibly quick upwards brushing motion, it is more difficult to counter a fast, flat, low ball as opposed to one with more topsin. In other words, it is harder for Nadal to produce the amount of topspin that he usually does off a flat ball.

BabolatFan
08-11-2006, 06:15 AM
Nadal is much more vulnerable on fast surfaces <period> Brad Gilbert mentioned one time that Blake's racquet is above 14oz. True? Anyways travlerajm is right about heavier racquets. They do add alot more driving power at contact.

LowProfile
08-11-2006, 06:39 AM
Also, Nadal is often rushed by the fast, flattish shots produced by players like Blake and Berdych. He often doesn't have the time to take a full upwards cut at the ball when it's flying at him that fast and is forced to simply push it back without major topspin, upon which he finds it crammed down his throat by another big shot.

RacquetDoctor
08-11-2006, 06:51 AM
Blake's stick isn't anywhere near 13.4 oz...

It's about 328g unstrung.

travlerajm
08-11-2006, 08:39 AM
Blake's stick isn't anywhere near 13.4 oz...

It's about 328g unstrung.

Jura weighed it himself at the 2005 French Open.

travlerajm
08-11-2006, 08:44 AM
Also, Nadal is often rushed by the fast, flattish shots produced by players like Blake and Berdych. He often doesn't have the time to take a full upwards cut at the ball when it's flying at him that fast and is forced to simply push it back without major topspin, upon which he finds it crammed down his throat by another big shot.

I agree with this. Big flat hitters are a tough matchup for Nadal as much as heavy spin players are easier matchups for players with heavy racquets and high tensions. It's also interesting that Blake is 3-0 against Andreev, a guy with a similar Nadal-style uppercut forehand.

RacquetDoctor
08-11-2006, 10:20 AM
I actually own a number of them...

again, between 327 and 328g...

BreakPoint
08-11-2006, 10:28 AM
Blake's stick isn't anywhere near 13.4 oz...

It's about 328g unstrung.

I find that very hard to believe. Unless it's also balanced even or head heavy with a very high swingweight. Do you know what his strung racquet's swingweight is? From how hard he hits the ball, I'm guessing it has to be at least 340-350.

BTW, is 328g before applying lead tape?

coolblue123
08-11-2006, 10:52 AM
I think Nadal just had a bad day. Look at Federer, had a bad day too, lost a set and bagels Tursunov in the third.

KennyNguyen
08-11-2006, 10:56 AM
I actually own a number of them...

again, between 327 and 328g...

SInce he owns some of them, maybe he's talking about the dunlop 200?

travlerajm
08-11-2006, 11:05 AM
I find that very hard to believe. Unless it's also balanced even or head heavy with a very high swingweight. Do you know what his strung racquet's swingweight is? From how hard he hits the ball, I'm guessing it has to be at least 340-350.

BTW, is 328g before applying lead tape?

I trust Jura's data. Using Jura's posted specs, Blake's strung weight and balance come out to 13.4 oz and 12.2" ( 10 pts HL).

Still no responses on Berdych's specs?

ShcMad
08-11-2006, 11:28 AM
You might already have heard it, but I hear that Blake, Haas, and Berdych all use the same mold from Dunlop with somewhat similar specs. I'm not 100% sure, so please don't take my word for it. Another interesting fact is that Berdych asks stringers to string his frames one piece.

As to why Nadal loses to guys like Berdych and Blake...I think it's because they have such penetrating flat strokes that skid through the court. Plus, they're guys who usually go for broke. They hit either a great 100mph+ forehand winner or they hit the bottom of the net. On the other hand, you have Roger who's more of a point constructor, and puts significantly more topspin on the ball than Blake or Tomas.

Anyways, Berdych's power amazes me because he doesn't seem to put much effort into his strokes.

travlerajm
08-11-2006, 11:38 AM
You might already have heard it, but I hear that Blake, Haas, and Berdych all use the same mold from Dunlop with somewhat similar specs. I'm not 100% sure, so please don't take my word for it. Another interesting fact is that Berdych asks stringers to string his frames one piece.

As to why Nadal loses to guys like Berdych and Blake...I think it's because they have such penetrating flat strokes that skid through the court. Plus, they're guys who usually go for broke. They hit either a great 100mph+ forehand winner or they hit the bottom of the net. On the other hand, you have Roger who's more of a point constructor, and puts significantly more topspin on the ball than Blake or Tomas.

Anyways, Berdych's power amazes me because he doesn't seem to put much effort into his strokes.

I wouldn't be surprised if Berdych's specs are similar to Blake's. And because Berdych strings about 10 lbs looser than Blake, it explains why the ball seems to shoot off his racquet even when he doesn't seem to be swinging hard. It might be the one of the most powerful setups on the tour.

I've set my racquet up like Blake's before - it's very nice for blasting flat groundstrokes. But I need to string it tight like Blake to keep the ball in the court consistently. And it feels better for singles than for doubles, because in doubles it's more important to be able to hit the dippers, for which Blake's setup is not ideal. I think Berdych's inconsistency is partly due to the nature of his powerful setup - he can overpower people when he's on, but if he's a little off, his error count goes way up.

johnkidd
08-11-2006, 12:00 PM
When I saw Nadal/Berdych in Cin'ti last year it seemed Rafa framed quite a few shots because they were hit hard and flat right at the baseline.

BreakPoint
08-11-2006, 12:15 PM
Anyways, Berdych's power amazes me because he doesn't seem to put much effort into his strokes.

That comes from using a heavy racquet. He can swing slower but still put a lot of momentum on the ball.

TnTBigman
08-11-2006, 12:23 PM
did Berdych always use Donlop?

Marius_Hancu
08-11-2006, 02:09 PM
I trust Jura's data.

Using Jura's posted specs, Blake's strung weight and balance come out to 13.4 oz and 12.2" ( 10 pts HL).


Jura's data are one of the few things I trust here.

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=68263

Player grip size weight(unstrung) balance(unstrung) Lengthcm String brand String type diameter Tension

Blake, James (USA) 4 364 30.2 68.5 LUXILON ALU POWER 1.25 31/31

RacquetDoctor
08-11-2006, 02:21 PM
Again, having strung for him, and owning a few....


http://users.adelphia.net/~racquetdoctor/images/JBRQT.JPG

http://users.adelphia.net/~racquetdoctor/images/JBRQTBAL.JPG

Racquet is unstrung, weighted and balanced to his specs.

jackson vile
08-11-2006, 02:26 PM
I trust Jura's data. Using Jura's posted specs, Blake's strung weight and balance come out to 13.4 oz and 12.2" ( 10 pts HL).

Still no responses on Berdych's specs?


It should be 13.4 then as Blake adds a lot of lead like Haas, but how is it 10pt HL, is he adding lead to the handle also?

jackson vile
08-11-2006, 02:29 PM
I wouldn't be surprised if Berdych's specs are similar to Blake's. And because Berdych strings about 10 lbs looser than Blake, it explains why the ball seems to shoot off his racquet even when he doesn't seem to be swinging hard. It might be the one of the most powerful setups on the tour.

I've set my racquet up like Blake's before - it's very nice for blasting flat groundstrokes. But I need to string it tight like Blake to keep the ball in the court consistently. And it feels better for singles than for doubles, because in doubles it's more important to be able to hit the dippers, for which Blake's setup is not ideal. I think Berdych's inconsistency is partly due to the nature of his powerful setup - he can overpower people when he's on, but if he's a little off, his error count goes way up.


Good points.

I also have heard the they all used the same frame, but IMO blake's or at least now, his racket looks to be bigger and widder.

If Berdych uses the same set up then it should be around 14oz as that is what Haas racket is supposed to be, this information comes from those that own his racket that was handed to them buy Haas himself on the court.

travlerajm
08-11-2006, 02:31 PM
It should be 13.4 then as Blake adds a lot of lead like Haas, but how is it 10pt HL, is he adding lead to the handle also?

Yes, most of his added weight is in the handle, much of it in the "hilt" region.

RacquetDoctor
08-11-2006, 02:32 PM
rubbish...

jackson vile
08-11-2006, 02:33 PM
Again, having strung for him, and owning a few....


http://users.adelphia.net/~racquetdoctor/images/JBRQT.JPG

http://users.adelphia.net/~racquetdoctor/images/JBRQTBAL.JPG

Racquet is unstrung, weighted and balanced to his specs.

Wow that is really light, That is the tour mold same as Haas. And dunlop does put the name of the player on their rackets like this, very iinteresting.

The thing is that is even lighter than the retail 200g reg and xl?

What is the balance?

travlerajm
08-11-2006, 02:36 PM
Again, having strung for him, and owning a few....


http://users.adelphia.net/~racquetdoctor/images/JBRQT.JPG

http://users.adelphia.net/~racquetdoctor/images/JBRQTBAL.JPG

Racquet is unstrung, weighted and balanced to his specs.

Was this before or after his layoff? Perhaps he used to use a lighter frame. But after his layoff he switched to his current 13.4-oz. club?

This explanation would make sense, as it seems to me that his game was not nearly as "big" in his pre-comeback days.

jackson vile
08-11-2006, 02:37 PM
Was this before or after his layoff? Perhaps he used to use a lighter frame. But after his layoff he switched to his current 13.4-oz. club?

This explanation would make sense, as it seems to me that his game was not nearly as "big" in his pre-comeback days.


You know you would have to look back but I do remember something about him adding more weight

uxnaitoahz
08-11-2006, 05:26 PM
Actually, I think Nadal mainly has trouble with handling there certain strokes. Blake and Berdych drive through and hit a much flatter ball than most other pros. With Nadal's incredibly quick upwards brushing motion, it is more difficult to counter a fast, flat, low ball as opposed to one with more topsin. In other words, it is harder for Nadal to produce the amount of topspin that he usually does off a flat ball.

I totally agree. I have the exact same problem, although my forehand does not have as much kick as Nadal's.

uxnaitoahz
08-11-2006, 05:28 PM
Also, Nadal is often rushed by the fast, flattish shots produced by players like Blake and Berdych. He often doesn't have the time to take a full upwards cut at the ball when it's flying at him that fast and is forced to simply push it back without major topspin, upon which he finds it crammed down his throat by another big shot.

EXACTLY. That is EXACTLY how I lose to one of my hitting partners. It makes me so mad.

deluxe
08-12-2006, 08:57 AM
Believe me, I play with a very heavy racquet, and I am not one of Nadal's nemeses.