Brad Gilbert clearly states Fed needs a racquet change

Discussion in 'Pros' Racquets and Gear' started by RoddickistheMan, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. HRB

    HRB Professional

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    Seems logical..but fact is getting top level players to switch anything that they trust and has worked in the past is an almost impossible task. The lure of familiarity takes precedent over the fear of the unknown.

    I think if tennis actually had an "off season" besides the 3-4 weeks around Christmas, then a lot of players would be willing to contemplate a switch, but it takes too long to give up that valuable time for such a drastic change.

    This is predominant on the men's side, who are much more superstitious...the WTA player seem less "equipment focused" and seem to be able to change racquets as easily as outfits.
     
    #51
  2. Talker

    Talker Hall of Fame

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    This is a common mistake.

    Like a boxing coach telling the boxer what he needs to do, the coach doesn't have to be able to beat the boxer to know what he needs to do or to have been a great boxer himself.
     
    #52
  3. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    I find it hilarious that a guy who clearly knows nothing about equipment (as evidenced by his comments regarding strings), is making statements like these about racquets.

    Most times, he even misleads viewers by mistakenly stating what strings or tensions players even use.
     
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  4. RoddickistheMan

    RoddickistheMan Professional

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    What about Novak Djokovic, Murray and Tsonga. All have switched and have had positive results.
     
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  5. GregN

    GregN New User

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    Djokovic would nave been using the same spec racquet, head size, string pattern, weight, flex etc since he started with minimal changes, same for Murray. Tsonga has swapped to the Babolat APD but has failed to reach a grand slam final as he did with his original Wilson! As I said they are reluctant to change a winning combination unless they are really struggling or someone offers them a wad of cash, in which case they end up using paintjobs or the new manufacturer makes an exact copy of their original frame
     
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  6. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    Djokovic used the same Head frame when he was with Wilson. It was a pro stock frame, either H19 or H22.

    EDIT: On the racquet matter, Federer had tried countless custom made frames from Wilson. And it's not like he lost because he was shanking. More because he was playing like cr@p, beyond par on important points.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2013
    #56
  7. PrinceMoron

    PrinceMoron Hall of Fame

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    Funny!!
    Do really big feet help too?
     
    #57
  8. big ted

    big ted Hall of Fame

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    i think gilbert could have a point, and roger knows it thats why he says hes tried bigger racquets in past. maybe an equipment change could help him get more power or spin on his shots. or just switch to all poly. if it improves his performance by 1% it could be the difference btwn winning and losing.
     
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  9. Leelord337

    Leelord337 Hall of Fame

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    That could be true. I remember when Andre Agassi switched to the Liquidmetal instinct back in 2005 and he beat Richard Gasquet on a claycourt in straights w/that racquet.
     
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  10. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Um.....Rod Laver struck the ball pretty darn well with a 65 sq. in. wood racquet. And so did Connors with a 67 sq. in. steel racquet.

    Oh, and how many records does Agassi have as compared to Federer?
     
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  11. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    So Federer should ask Gilbert for advice on how to win Slams? :oops:
     
    #61
  12. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Yes, Agassi switched to a SMALLER racquet late in his career which rejuvenated his career. :shock:

    Maybe Federer should do the same and go back to an 85? :)
     
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  13. Leelord337

    Leelord337 Hall of Fame

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    lol, I didn't even think about Agassi using an oversized liquidmetal radical back then, I was just thinking of the radical which is a midplus. (but duhh in the 80s- the 2000s he used the OS donnay and radical. )

    James Blake once said that the equipment he uses is not really an issue, and "I can play with pretty much any racquet." or something along those lines. He's not too particular about his racquets supposedly. Goes to show that equipment isn't an issue for some pros. Idk if roger is one of them.

    And if Roger did switch to the 85 I'm sure he could still be in the top 10! Would be great to see.

    Gilbert would just tell Federer to hit 150mph serves and crank forehands as hard as he could, Lol
     
    #63
  14. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    Gilbert probably thinks Federer would improve his game if he had one of these too. :lol::lol:
    [​IMG]
     
    #64
  15. realplayer

    realplayer Semi-Pro

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    Except that prince couldn't make a racket that was close enough to his old dunlop and so he went back. Blake seems very particular about his racquets.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2013
    #65
  16. HRB

    HRB Professional

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    Why not, he already PAYS another non slam winner (Anacone) so yeah, might not hurt. Did you even comprehend what I wrote? Here you go, I'll make it more direct: MOST QUALITY COACHES NEVER WON A SLAM AND SLAM CHAMPS STILL USE AND PAY THEM!!!!!!!
     
    #66
  17. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    Really? Why does Blake keeping going back to his old Dunlop's? He tried the Wilson BLX 6.1 Tour 90, Had HEAD make him a copy of his Dunlop, and then had Donnay make a copy of his Dunlop just always returning to his old trusty Dunlop that is from the 300 Tour MOLD.
     
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  18. uncooling

    uncooling Semi-Pro

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    you must be joking lol
     
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  19. coolschreiber

    coolschreiber Semi-Pro

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    Federer shanks because he half volleys a lot. But I guess age catches up.
    But if switching to a bigger racket size will help will forever be a mystery. Personally I doubt it because his whole game is built around that racket and the accuracy it provides him. He hits really REALLY accurate winners way more than he shanks.
    But again can he just go for say 93 and retain alllllllllmost the same degree of accuracy and get that extra boost in power???
    :D
    Let the debate rage on haha
     
    #69
  20. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    And how many Slams has Federer won since hiring Annacone as compared to before hiring him? I rest my case.

    Top players use coaches as hitting partners, for scouting opponents, and for making practice court and transportation reservations. Federer doesn't need anyone to tell him how to win a Slam nor what racquet to use. He knows better than anyone else on the planet.
     
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  21. bjsnider

    bjsnider Professional

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    When Federer developed his game and began on the tour, the equipment was much closer to what he's using now -- smaller sticks, hybrid string, or all-nylon in some cases. The game has moved past that, towards bigger, more forgiving racquets, and advanced poly string for both control and power. Even the all-time greats are going to stand there and watch the game pass them by if they don't change. No one is suggesting cutting-edge equipment would put Federer back to 2006 dominance.
     
    #71
  22. darrinbaker00

    darrinbaker00 Professional

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    Roger lost. The quarterfinal streak is over. Deal with it.
     
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  23. The Isomotion31

    The Isomotion31 Semi-Pro

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    There is no doubt he knows HOW. He's proven it. But there comes a time when an athlete hits a hump or a plateau and just needs another perspective to help them get over it.
     
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  24. HRB

    HRB Professional

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    #74
  25. RobFL

    RobFL Rookie

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    I'm surprised no one mentioned that Stakhovsky beat Fed with a 93 I think. Looked like the Prestige Mid to me. I could be mistaken, it could be a 98 MP.

    I'm currently playing with the K90 for about 9 months now, considering an equipment change....true. Not sure what my opinion is on this, I have my own 90 vs. 100 racket issues to deal with :)
     
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  26. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Hi RobFL...
    Today hit some with a PrinceGraphite93 for maybe 5 minutes.
    Was nice, solid, no mishits, and really good feel.
    I can now understand how you can volley so well with the K90.
    But blind as I am, I"m going to stick with 98's and 100's.
     
    #76
  27. iceman_dl6

    iceman_dl6 Rookie

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    IMO, i'm not in favor of him changing racquets. Reason being, from my personal experience, changing racquets means adjusting your own technique to suit the new racquet. Since Roger is a pro, he will feel even more the adjustment he needs to make if he changes. Also, there is the age factor, meaning that as you get older, you are less likely to adapt to a change, that is why those who switch racquets sucessfully do it towards the beginning of their career (ie: Fed when we switched to the 90 from the 85). I'm sure people are going to say, "well Sampras plays with a bigger racquet now that he's retired" Well my answer would be exhibition tennis is extremely different from competitive tennis, since in the latter, everything in your game including the racquet has to be most familiar to you (ie racquet being the extension of your arm)
     
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  28. RobFL

    RobFL Rookie

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    Hey Lee! i'm bummed I haven't been out to the Bay area lately. The Berkeley public tennis is the best "pickup" tennis I've ever seen in any part of the country, miss that. Just like pickup basketball except its good tennis, which is rare. Had my best national result ever in the Berkeley Cat 2 tournament in May, won 2 rounds, beat a seed, got to the qtrs, lost to the winner. Just a California hard court player stuck on the florida clay....
    Hope to see you soon and hit.
     
    #78
  29. the green god

    the green god Semi-Pro

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    He can change to however big of a frame you guys would want him to, he is still going to have 32 year old legs. It's never going to be 2005 again. He is only going to get worse, get used to it.
     
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  30. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Good stuff, I can live my competitive tennis career vicariously thru you!
    Had a fun hit with Shoud today, same courts. TW guys are the best!
    I've been flooding TW here for a past several years worth, so if you come back around here, we can maybe set up some good tennis.
    Unfortunately, the guys at SanPablo are getting crowded out by junior league instruction, which take 3 courts, for only 8 kids....:(
    Hope everything is well with you.
     
    #80
  31. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    *rested case* wouldn't seem a pretty big stretch.

    Federer was showing signs of decline even in 2009 as his competition went from being basically just Nadal to also include quickly maturing Murray, Djokovic and Del Potro. Additionally his uncharacteristic losses to other players started to come more frequently.

    Come post-Wimbledon 2010 he hired Annacone to shore up his fine-tuning and, as Djokovic and Nadal really hit their primes, he didn't make many inroads for about a year. Post Wimbledon 2011 he begins an approximately 12 month run of success that ends with him making Djokovic look like a mug at Wimbledon and then the same to Murray after a shaky start.

    Federer may not need someone to tell him how to win majors but it's telling that he made some subtle changes in parts of his game after Annacone came on board (in particular, stepping up his serve and hitting out earlier in rallys). I don't know how much percent of his run you can attribute to Annacone's influence but even if it was 5% that was probably enough to be the difference between hero and zero.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2013
    #81
  32. sunof tennis

    sunof tennis Professional

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    According to the stats, Federer had far more winners than errors (It was like 56 winners to 14 UFEs), so he wasn't shanking every other shot. Unfortunately for Roger, the other guys was even better like 71 winners to like 17 errors (don't shoot me, I am just going by memory)
     
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  33. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    The idea that rackets can make a night and a day difference for a player is in my opinion poppycock. As long as Federer is not playing something like a Big Bubba 29 or an old Dunlop Maxply his racket choice is hardly relevant. I think it is more important to get the strings you like and experiment with a good racket balance.

    But when you hit a ball wide it goes wide with any racket.
     
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  34. BumNoodle

    BumNoodle New User

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    I don't know if it has been mentioned or not but Federer was asked if he has thought of switching to a larger head size racquet in his Reddit AMA maybe a month ago and Federer himself said something along the lines of he's not opposed to the idea but it's tough to find time in the season or off season to get comfortable with a new racquet so he hasn't tried it yet.
     
    #84
  35. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    he's down to like 10 tournaments/ year.. loses 2nd round and has 4-6 week breaks between some tournaments. Not enough time? At that rate he'll need to be retired. Either he wants to switch or he doesn't. It's simple. Obviously he doesn't. It's not rocket science. Switch, practice for a few weeks then play a 250 to see how you like it. Then stick to it or don't. This isn't complicated
     
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  36. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Um...how exactly am I not "dealing with it"? :confused: I'm advocating that Federer keep using the same racquet that he lost with so that he can keep on losing. His match against Stakhovsky was my favorite match in many years. So great to see a competent serve and volleyer take it to Federer, who had no answers how to respond. Loved it! :)
     
    #86
  37. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Brad Gilbert had a ton of tennis ability. He undersells it to keep the "Winning Ugly" image going, but he was #4 in the world. I don't care how ugly your game is, you don't become #4 in the world without a huge amount of tennis talent.
    He certainly knows tennis very very well, but so does Federer. I'll trust whatever the player chooses. Some have benefitted from racket changes, some have ruined their careers.
    If he switched to a larger-head racket, he may have to go to all poly strings to keep the control.
     
    #87
  38. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    And you think top players hire coaches to tell them what racquet they should be using? ROTFLMAO!!!
     
    #88
  39. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Federer's consecutive Grand Slam semifinals streak ended soon after he began working with Annacone. I think that's telling. I seriously don't know why Federer wants Annacone as a coach. Federer hardly ever serves and volleys nor chips and charge so obviously he doesn't value Annacone's advice.
     
    #89
  40. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    No it didn't. He started working with Annacone after he'd lost in the quarter-finals at the French and Wimbledon. Within weeks of that he also dropped to #3 - the first time he'd dropped out of the top 2 since November 2003.

    In the immediate 4 majors after he hooked up with Annacone he had two semifinals, a final and another QF - which, depending on how long a time-period you consider to show any reliably indicative trends in form, he had a period of improved results. Then from post-US Open 2011 he was the most consistent performer in the rankings for close to a year.

    Whether Annacone helped, or how much he helped - the results Federer achieved in that period were basically equal to or better than both Djokovic and Murry (I'll leave out Nadal because of the injury thing) - two guys in the peak of their playing ability.

    It's hard to know really - but his indication in some interviews was that Annacone helped him see a few things here and there which he might have missed himself (or with Luthi). So far as him not valuing Annacone's advice - how do you know that he is giving "serve and volley or chip and charge" advice? Maybe he's not at all because he can see it still wont work in many situations. Just because that's what Sampras did more of after he came on board it doesn't mean Federer got the same pep-talk. If that was the case then it was a pretty obvious one, so why bring Annacone on at all?
     
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  41. RobFL

    RobFL Rookie

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    To stir the pot, what about Haas playing some of the best tennis of his career with essentially the same size frame? And the drubbing Haas gave Djoker in Miami with it? As a K90 user, to me its about the surface speed. I've had my best tournament results on medium fast surfaces with the K90 but on har-tru I might favor a Pure Drive, but that's not practical to use different frames for different conditions.
     
    #91
  42. Rafa4Ever

    Rafa4Ever Rookie

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    haas uses 95" prestige mp
     
    #92
  43. RobFL

    RobFL Rookie

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    My bad. I've never seen a 95 Prestige. Are you saying he uses one of the 98 frames that really measure around 95? Or is it a total custom?
     
    #93
  44. Doubles

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    Head measures their frames differently, so a 98" is actually a 95".
     
    #94
  45. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I will have to give a nod to Breakpoint, he's definitely the standard bearer for mids around these boards.

    I and the rest of the people on these boards have little in common with Roger Federer. However, I do think that we do share one trait. Federer has to commit to an equipment change.

    From a club player standpoint, I know two things are true. One, equipment changes are tough. I used the C10 for 9 or so years. When I did change racquets, I changed racquets and changed racquets.... I've found one now that I am truly comfortable with. And two, there are enough racquet choices out there now that any player should be able to find something that compliments his game at a particular stage in his playing life. Maybe Federer is due a tweak in gear.

    Maybe Gilbert has a point...
     
    #95
  46. Praetorian

    Praetorian Professional

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    What experience are you speaking from? He isn't some chump picking up a PDR at your local club proclaiming he went from a 3.0 to 5.0, after hitting for 5 mins.

    Please don't give us a "I don't have to be a pro to know."-BS, as I'm sure there are difficult aspects in your life, Mr. Federer could say... "Easy, just do xxx. This isn't complicated"

    Typical Unqualified Anonymous Internet Authority speak.
     
    #96
  47. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    I've played futures and I hit with pros regularly. While not at the level of Federer, Nadal or w/e, a racquet change is not such an earth moving experience. Pros that want to change and like the feel of new racquets will do so just fine. If Federer can't find a racquet that feels as good to him as his current one then he's not going to change. It has nothing to do with his canned responses on twitter about not having enough time. Bottom line is he doesn't want to or feels the need to. If he wanted to he'd do it.

    Think of it this way. If Fed switched racquets at the start of the year to something he feels is better for him, even with the time it takes to adjust, do you think he would have had better, worse or the same results up to now? He just lost in the 2nd round of Wimbledon and barely scraped himself an atp250 title. He's not going to be doing any worse with a new racquet.
     
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  48. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    I chuckle at the folks that think Gilbert is a "Know Nothing" former journeyman on the tour.

    Granted, the "Gilbonics" may get abit old but the dude knows his stuff and probably achieved more with less (ability) than anyone in history, or damn close.
     
    #98
  49. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    Some of you talk as if the thought of trying a different racquet never entered his mind. Do you people realize that it's very, very likely that he frequently tries other racquets?

    If another racquet raised his level he would already be playing it.
     
    #99
  50. Shangri La

    Shangri La Hall of Fame

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    Do you think Phil Jackson can beat Michael Jordan/Kobe Bryrant in a 1 on 1? Then why would Jordan/Kobe ever listen to Phil Jackson?
     

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