Brad Gilbert clearly states Fed needs a racquet change

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

  1. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    Excuse me, Phil Jackson certainly did win a NBA Championships as a player. He played on 1973 winning NY Knicks team. That was the last time the Knicks were NBA champions.
     
  2. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I really don't think so. I think the pros can control the ball with anything, they'll adjust their tension and setup to do exactly that.

    The tennis industry was in upheaval when wood went out and other materials came in. Graphite won out as the material of choice.

    Manufacturers have spent the last 30 years now tweaking design, that's why everything is homogeneous. Yonex frames are more rounded, you don't see the egg-shaped Kneissel's, or the Snauwaert Ergonom, or any number of off designs that were the next "revolution". No, frames are down to 98 - 105 square inches, all basically weighted the same.

    Mid-sized frames, as much as some swear by them, are as pertinent to today's game as wood frames.

    From what I see, Gilbert has a very good point. While Federer can still dominate players ranked well below him, he does have problems with the new kids on the block. Maybe it's time Federer opened up his options.
     
  3. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I don't think so here either. The whole thing about poly is tension. Poly doesn't perform at traditional tensions. It should be strung looser. I'm an old fart and when I strung it in the mid to upper 50's, read traditional, my arm was fatigued. Now that I string it in the mid-40s, everything's coming up roses. It plays very, very well and I have zero fatigue. I just joined a tennis-only club here in town, and I'm playing 5 days a week with no ill effects.

    As far as string development, you can bet your last dollar the majority, if not all, will be in poly. It has proven itself to be a) cheaper to manufacture, b) a better fit for "today's" game, and c) more durable. The last point is where all these players came from. As juniors, they used poly because it lasted and cut their costs.

    If anything, I see natural gut as an anachronism. As poly becomes, and it has, more user friendly and softer, it will replace most all strings. I don't think you'll ever see nylon go away, and that covers the rest of the tennis playing public who come into a shop and say "I don't care, Prince Synthetic Gut is fine".

    The younger players aren't going to be bound to traditional gear or the parameters around them. I already see a major shift in tension, due once again to the pros, from tighter to looser. Consequently, more and more players are finding that poly plays better looser. That trend will only become stronger and poly will continue to gain a stronger foothold in tennis.
     
  4. Rafa4Ever

    Rafa4Ever Rookie

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    exactly. Technology moves forward and benefits the players. I'm sure laver was most comfortable with a wood racquet and swore by it, but he would have also understood that if he wants to play with todays modern players he would go to a modern frame with modern strings.
     
  5. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    So that means Brad Gilbert knows more about tennis racquets than Roger Federer? And that he knows more about what racquet Federer likes than Federer himself?
     
  6. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Thanks to the adoption of poly strings. Babolat racquets didn't become popular until players started stringing them with poly. Even Roman Prokes stated that in an article and he also said that the pros would not be able to control the power of modern midplus racquets without using poly strings. He said that the marriage of Babolat racquets with Luxilon strings was the perfect storm (no pun intended). :wink:
     
  7. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Yet, so many people on this board (and outside of this board from my experience) complain about arm/wrist/shoulder injuries from using poly even at lower tensions. Even at lower tensions, poly is still much stiffer than nylon or gut at higher tensions. I know that my elbow will start hurting after just 15 minutes of hitting with even the softest of polys, which never happens with nylon strings.
     
  8. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Well, maybe Sloane shouldn't have switched after all. :)
     
  9. Doubles

    Doubles Hall of Fame

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    I love that flawed logic, BP.
     
  10. gplracer

    gplracer Professional

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    The problem is how fast poly goes dead. Pro playersvcut them out after each match so it is not as muxh of an issue.
     
  11. ultradr

    ultradr Hall of Fame

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    Does poly's popularity have anything to do with current trend, power baseline
    game?

    Would they be still ideal string if tennis somehow returns to all court game in
    the future ? I found tightly strung natural guts suit much better for volleying
    than loosely strung polys, definitely.
     
  12. ultradr

    ultradr Hall of Fame

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    yeah, but general public tends to follow what pros use, though. :)
     
  13. off_the_bounce

    off_the_bounce New User

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    Well, lets see here, throughout the years Fed has been shanking the ball although more so nowadays. He's had arguably the greatest career in mens tennis, he holds just about every record and he's done it all with a fairly traditional stick.

    Clearly, there are factors that contribute to his horrendous play and I'll highlight a few of them.

    1) Not everyone plays perfect or their best tennis on every occasion. Fed, is no exception to this rule, everyone has a bad day and there really isn't much to do about it but to move on to the next day.

    2) Sometimes players get on a hot streak and they just can't lose, basically Fed of 05/06 as a great example. Yet even a journey man on a hot streak can still beat a top 10 player, and that includes Mr. Federer.

    3) Surface changes. Every single year, the surface will play differently, the ball will have a different action and there really isn't much a player can do about it but attempt to adjust. I'm not making the excuse that Fed lost because of the slippery grass or conditions, I'm just saying that it has an effect on play.

    4) Age. You're not going to be the same ball slinger you were when you were in your early 20's going into your mid 30's. You will lose considerable amount of speed and consistency as you get older because the body can't keep up that level of play forever.

    With all of those factors, in which I think are pretty logical and reasonable, I feel that a racket change could make things go either way, essentially it's a gamble.

    Sacrifice comfort and security for a possible increase in consistency and ease of play. It's a pretty high risk gamble for Fed at the moment, and Fed doesn't seems like he likes to go to Vegas often.

    Personally, I am at odds. I'm sure it can help him be more consistent with easing his shots for him, but the mental switch could be more of a damaging aftermath.

    At their level it's like one of us switching from right handed to left handed, sure it could be done, sure it could make us better in the long run but immediate results will diminish.
     
  14. MarTennis

    MarTennis Rookie

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    I hear you...

    ...but Gilbert coached Roddick after Slam win.
     
  15. gplracer

    gplracer Professional

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    The problem is that the 90 he is using is a very good stick. I wish Wilson could come out with a stick that his just like it but is a 95. They have mothing in their line of rackets that compares. The old Wilson ps95 did not play like the ps85. There was too much flex in the hoop. C'mon Wilson fet it done!
     
  16. ENJOY TENNIS

    ENJOY TENNIS Rookie

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    Good analysis.
     
  17. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Actually, the vast majority of pros do not cut their strings out after each match. This is taken from some analysis done by Luxilon.
     
  18. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    So far the only poly my arm can stand is Head Sonic Pro. But the again I started using it at age 34. If you are a junior player who had used poly from day one I'm sure that helps the arm build tolerance for it.
     
  19. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    I'm not so sure about that. Younger people do have more elastic tendons which also heal faster but I'm sure they are still doing some damage but since the tears are smaller and heal faster, they may not feel it as much right away. But since tennis elbow (and the like) are repetitive stress injuries, the damage builds over time so I'd bet years from now it will all catch up to these juniors and one day they'll wake up and won't be able to turn the doorknob to leave their bedrooms. :shock:
     
  20. Rafa4Ever

    Rafa4Ever Rookie

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    I have never met a junior or adult who is a competent tennis Player 5.0 ntrp/open level player that has ever had arm issue from polys. My coach has been using poly since he was young he has had no arm issues. He is a 6.0+ ex tour player and he has all his students use full beds of poly at the low 50s to mid 40s. Not a single client has arm issues. I can keep going if you want. If you have the game it wont hurt you at all.
     
  21. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Yet, plenty of 7.0 touring pros have arm issues from using poly strings.

    If polys don't injure your arm, then why are so many polys advertised as being "more arm-friendly than typical polys"? If polys were already inherently arm-friendly, there would be no need to focus on that in their marketing.

    BTW, how many of the students your coach teaches hits a one-handed backhand? Because if you hit flat one-handed backhand drives for 8 hours a day for 5 years using a stiff racquet and poly strings, I can pretty much guarantee you'll injure your arm.
     
  22. YesTennis

    YesTennis Semi-Pro

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    Not trying to hijack, but have a quick question. What make a one-handed backhand more susceptible to arm issue with a stiff racquet(and poly). Thanks in advance.
     
  23. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    More torque on the outer elbow with a one-handed backhand due to the extension of the one arm which puts more stress on the elbow tendon. With two hands, the torque, shock, and vibration is absorbed by two arms instead of only one.
     
  24. YesTennis

    YesTennis Semi-Pro

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    Thanks!!! That certainly makes sense.
     
  25. jackcrawford

    jackcrawford Professional

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    I think the issue here isn't so much about mids, it's about the Wilson 90 series. A fair amount of Head and Yonex players have continued to use those companies' mids in recent years, but very few to none of Wilson's players have used the 90 in at any given time in the past five years. The fact that Courier, Sampras, and Wilander all gave up on the frame as they lost a little of their skill hasn't helped the 90's rep.
     
  26. Backhanded Compliment

    Backhanded Compliment Hall of Fame

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    I wouldnt bet on Gilbert being smarter than Lendl. Besides the evidence in their pro careers where Lendl strategized and worked his way to greatness there is the fact that Lendl has coached Murray to two major wins and an Olympic gold when Gilbert did not while coaching the same player.
     
  27. Backhanded Compliment

    Backhanded Compliment Hall of Fame

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    I second this... also one handers often use their slice backhand more strategically and rather stiff rackets often don't work as well for wicked slice. On the pro tour Federer and Murray have the best slice one handed backhands and use frames that enhance that stroke's effectiveness.
     
  28. basil J

    basil J Hall of Fame

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    My shoulder/ ortho surgeon, who is a very active tennis player told me years ago that Poly strings was great for business! He has seen more tennis players over the last 10 years than combined for the 20 years prior. The common link, according to him, is poly strings. Older players who have less than perfect form who use poly strings jar their joints over & over again and effectively do enough damage requiring a doctors help. I asked about stiff racquets and he said that when stiffer racquets came into play years ago, people were still primarily using softer strings so he did not see much of a difference. It was interesteing to hear his perspective, and yes he did mention that he is seeing younger & younger players over time. Full poly string beds appear to have a negative health impact, even on younger players joints. Just one Doc's perspective. I found quite interesting. I myself use poly hybrids and have had minimal issues. Full poly and I would be icing down after an hour.
     
  29. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    You know, that's a great point. The only thing the Wilson 90 and Dunlop 100 have in common is head size. The Wilson is a hunk of lumber and the Dunlop is actually pretty playable.

    That said, if you're not playing a lot, the Dunlop is not too user friendly. :)

    I have found that lower tensions with poly,45 in my case, are the solution. I will be 55 in August and play with absolutely no fatigue. I recently joined a new club and have been playing 5 days a week which translates to about 12 hours on court. I am using Lux 4G 1.25 at present.
     
  30. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    the top pros likely do, but yeah i can't imagine the lower level (MOST) pros doing it, as you indicate. makes sense.
     
  31. jrs

    jrs Professional

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    Federer - one of the greatest tennis players ever be able to decide for himself if he needs a new racquet or not? He has access to the greatest tennis coaches and no doubt all racquet manufacturers - if he needed another racquet I am sure he can get it (or they'll give it to him or he can have it built).
    Why would anyone think he has thought about this issue?
     
  32. RoddickistheMan

    RoddickistheMan Professional

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    Sorry for all the people aka breakpoint for wasting their time claiming that Fed doesn't need a racquet change and that it was a terrible idea but he is in fact testing one or many out as we speak and is going to use it at hamburg. I guess the greatest tennis player of all time thought it was a good idea....
     
  33. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Um....Federer has been testing racquets just about every year since his pro career began. So what else new? Just because you haven't seen him testing racquets before doesn't mean he's never done it before. For example, have you ever seen Federer sitting on a toilet? No? Does that mean he's never done it before? LOL
     
  34. RoddickistheMan

    RoddickistheMan Professional

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    The point is that he's actually thinking about doing it and playing with it in matches something you refuted and claimed wouldn't be a logical alternative to helping his game. So sorry bid you were wrong.
     
  35. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    How do you know? Did Federer tell you personally?

    How do you know he didn't also consider using the 100 other prototypes he's tested over the past 15 years in matches?
     
  36. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    So you accept heresay evidence about Federer using the toilet, even though you've never witnessed this yourself?



     
  37. RoddickistheMan

    RoddickistheMan Professional

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    Your rebuttals are as significant as comments made by Pam Shriver during tennis matches.
     
  38. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    The sad fact is that not only is his racquet redundant but so too is his one handed backhand.

    And moreover the Prestige mid is to be reworked in a 16/19 pattern with a 300 gram unstrung weight.

    Fed's Wilson will soon be as dead as the dodo.
     
  39. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    If they 'rebirth' Fed's racquet as a 93 under Dimitrov's sponsorship and he is reasonably successful the racquet may have another good ten years left, otherwise not.
     
  40. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    Best not to reply to BP. he once argued with me over the notion that Federer switched to the 90 from the 85. He's senile, and will argue until the end of time, even if he has no argument and no reason. Hence the 35k posts.
     
  41. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Yes. I also assume Federer uses toilet paper to wipe afterwards as well.
     
  42. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    You're assuming this time is somehow different than the 50 other times that Federer has tested a prototype racquet that he thought about switching to, not that there's any evidence of him considering switching this time.
     
  43. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Yet, at the recreational level, there are still tons of players winning matches using the Tour 90 and one-handed backhands. That's all that matters. Wilson makes money selling racquets to recreational players, not to pros. That's the real world.
     
  44. Chico

    Chico Banned

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    Absolutely agree. I love this racquet for my 1HBH. It is just incredible and no other racquet can compare. At least in my case.
     
  45. gplracer

    gplracer Professional

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    the tour 90 is fine for 4.5-5.0 players. It has good control and a predictable feel. The ball at this level only moves so fast....
     
  46. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    They have to look to the future. The current crop of old club players will be replaced by younger ones.
     
  47. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Agreed. It's one of the best (if not THE best) racquet currently on the market for 1HBHs.
     
  48. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    I agree. I play 1hbh and use a PS85. I have never felt comfortable with frames in the 95+ range often because they don't work for my backhand alone. My forehand and serve are fine, just not the backhand and, often, volleys.

    Seeing Federer using a Blade seems a little odd to me, possibly a red-herring as much as it is evidence he's switching to a Blade. I could understand if he moved to a larger head size within the type of frame he uses - a box-beam - but not such a big sideways step into something as different as a Blade.

    So far as testing a 95 (for example) I'd have imagined if he was testing with an eye to change he would have a mould supplied in about 10 different flex/solidness variations to see where the transition window was comfortable enough once they sorted the stringing also. The process - unless he is far more adaptable than I give him credit - could take days of multiple restringing then hitting etc to find a ballpark comfort zone.
     
  49. souledge

    souledge Semi-Pro

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    Will be interesting to see him hit his 1HBH with the new 98.
     
  50. sam_p

    sam_p Professional

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    I was for a time in the camp of those who thought their 1HBH was better with a midsize, but I recently converted to the church of the Extreme 2.0 and have never hit my backhand better or with more top. Slice is fine too.
     

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