Courier Gear Interview

Discussion in 'Pros' Racquets and Gear' started by jackcrawford, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. jackcrawford

    jackcrawford Professional

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    Between the two segments, about fifteen minutes. Of interest, he wishes he hadn't been stubborn and stuck with small head rackets because there is no advantage to a 90 over his new 102. He also says all recreational players should use poly in their stringbed, as at any swing speed it gives an advantage. Courier is one of the two best commentators on the pro game, an accomplished senior player as well as a former ATP #1, and his opinions on those subjects are at odds with many of the posters on these boards, but certainly carry more weight.
    http://www.tennis.com/gear/2012/09/gear-talk-jim-courier-part-2/39355/#.UE1iy1F62Sq
    http://www.tennis.com/gear/2012/09/gear-talk-jim-courier-part-2/39355/#.UE1iy1F62Sq
     
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  2. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    Delete Post.
     
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  3. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    And that's exactly what they are, his own personal opinion.

    I get no "advantage" from using poly strings. All I get is tennis elbow from them.

    I also get no advantage from using 102 sq. in. racquets from my 90 sq. in. racquets. All I get from larger racquets is a loss of feel and control.
     
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  4. galain

    galain Hall of Fame

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    interesting interview - thank you for posting the links.

    He certainly seems a lot more into his gear than many other pros or former players.
     
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  5. Sinner

    Sinner Professional

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    Good stuff...

    Here's the text-portion of it!
    http://www.tennis.com/gear/2012/09/nuts-and-bolts-97-jim-couriers-stories/39327/#.UE2piLLiaAp

    Justin diFeliciantonio: I’ve heard that you use a special grip size. What are the details?

    Jim Courier: It’s a 4 and 7/16ths—in between a 3/8ths and a 1/2. The thing is, I play with TournaGrip on my racquets, and that adds about 1/16th of an inch. What I’m looking for is a 4 and 1/2 [size], in total. And obviously, if I’m using a 4 and 1/2 handle, with the leather and TournaGrip, it’ll be bigger than that.

    JD: What’s the nature of your palette?

    JC: Underneath I use a custom leather grip that Roman Prokes [of **** Tennis] makes, and then I use TournaGrip. It’s more the Wilson shape. It’s the shape that I’ve used since I used a Wilson racquet, so I presume it’s the Wilson shape.

    JD: You used a pretty small Wilson Pro Staff when you were on tour. What was the weight?

    JC: You’d have to check with Roman. He has them exactly. But traditionally [on tour] I’ve played with 385 grams, all in, with string and grip. And I’ve come off of that, mostly out of the head. Roman is very good with the particulars. I just tell him what I’m looking for, and he does the work. Then I feel it, and if I like it, great; if not, we tweak it.

    JD: That’s a pretty heavy stick.

    JC: Yeah, 385g, all in. Pete was like 400g, and Andre was, I think, right around where I was. Some players are a little lighter. Like Rafa now, he’s in the 330s, very light. But he’s got a racquet that’s hollow and very powerful. And obviously, being such a strong guy, he has unbelievable acceleration with that light frame.

    JD: Did you feel very personal about your racquet when you were on tour? Your racquet, those of your opponents, is this something you paid a lot of attention to?

    JC: Not really. I wasn’t that concerned about it. I figured, my racquet was my racquet, and I didn’t worry too much about what the other guys were playing. I was just going myopically along. Andre, in his book, said that he would ask for racquets from players to sell them for his charity. And he would sell them for his charity. But first he would hit with them for a bit—test them out just to see what his opponents were using, just to see if he was missing anything.

    JD: Oh, really?

    JC: Yeah, Lendl used to do the same. Lendl would get racquets, say, whatever Mac (John McEnroe) or [Jimmy] Connors were using, and he would play with them to know what their racquets felt like. So if he could exploit any weaknesses in the racquet, he would have that information.

    JD: Really?

    JC: Yeah, it’s a whole ‘nother level, isn’t it? It’s like checking out the missile defense system of your opposition.
     
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  6. paulorenzo

    paulorenzo Hall of Fame

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    here's part 1. both links in the OP are the same. great find jackcrawford.

    http://www.tennis.com/gear/2012/09/gear-talk-jim-courier-part-1/39342/#.UE2vpe0TPZk
     
    #6
  7. paulorenzo

    paulorenzo Hall of Fame

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    btw, the editor/interviewer's name first read as Deliciano to me. :)
     
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  8. realplayer

    realplayer Semi-Pro

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    Jim Courier says Nadal plays with a very headlight racket compared to the norm because he needs to create head acceleration to do what he does and Federer on the contrary has a heavier racket in the head because he is driving the ball more through the court and he is an allcourt player so people at home can take a lesson from that.

    Ok, can anybody explain what Jim is saying here cause Nadal has a racket with a much more higher swingweight(360 plus) than Federer(330 plus) and Federer has a much heavier and much more headlight racket than Nadal.

    This sounds like the opposite of what Jim is describing??!!
     
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  9. MAXXply

    MAXXply Hall of Fame

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    I like Courier's ability to throw in expressive turns of phrase like the bolded example above. He does enliven the commentary booth and has grown on me in recent years.
     
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  10. chippy17

    chippy17 Semi-Pro

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    I would say he got it the wrong way round but I am an amateur...
     
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  11. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    Did he also mention how often they need to restring? Sounds like a bad advice to players who do not change their strings until they break and don't break poly strings ever.
     
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  12. ramos77

    ramos77 Semi-Pro

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    he has red hair..

    close thread
     
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  13. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    This guy is Genius. So All amateurs should use poly. I did not know that. i thougth it was mostly only for guys that likes to use lots topspin on their shots.

    Which poly does courier use ?
     
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  14. pug

    pug Semi-Pro

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    Excellent interview.
     
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  15. T21D

    T21D Semi-Pro

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    Great interview and input.
     
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  16. bjsnider

    bjsnider Professional

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    I watched this when it was posted on tennis.com, and I thought Courier's statement that he tells rec players to use poly is strange. The stuff dies after a few hours, and is hard on the arms. He should be telling people to use gut, dammit.

    I'm also not sure I agree that the tennis is better now than it was, say, in the 70s. Those guys were surgeons. The racquets were scalpels. They weren't necessarily the fastest, fittest humans on earth by four thousand orders or magnitude, like today, but they didn't have to be.

    The problem Jim identified, games over too fast, short rallies, happened after the end of the dead-ball era, and as a result of the abandonment of traditional equipment. So the solution was to also abandon traditional string?

    There's a reason pickle ball has become so popular -- pickle ball courts are replacing tennis courts around here -- and I think if you look at how fast and heavy the ball is these days, I think you might have the reason.
     
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  17. Wilander Fan

    Wilander Fan Hall of Fame

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    I am going to agree with Jim in that Nadal's racket is headlight. Ive played with the stock APDs and they are extraordinary headlight. If you lead them up, it just reduces swingspeed so its not a big improvement...still Nadal probably does lead them up somewhat or he would be push around all over the courts on returns.
     
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  18. realplayer

    realplayer Semi-Pro

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    These are the specs of Nadal and Federer. Nadal is not playing a headlight racket with an almost even balance and an extreme high swingweight!!

    Nadal = 335/33,8/365 sw

    Federer = 360.5/31.6/330 sw
     
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  19. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    335 is pretty low for a top tour level player. these guys do so much training that even at SW of 350, i was told racket feels like feather to them. Their Core and shoulder strength is very high. Us amateurs will never know that kind of strength and conditioning.

    At 335, the racket must feel like ping pong paddle to nadal
     
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  20. realplayer

    realplayer Semi-Pro

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    weight is nothing. swingweight counts. Point is that Nadals racket is not headlight. period.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012
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  21. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    i got that in reverse. roger has a super low SW. i was wrong, i thought he was like pete sampras and had super heavy racket
     
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  22. paulorenzo

    paulorenzo Hall of Fame

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    i dont think he's recommending anyone who uses gut to switch to a full bed of poly. he goes on to say he doesn't like using a full bed of poly since it makes finishing a point harder with his already spinny strokes. he instead uses a cheap nylon/synthetic in the mains with a co-poly cross which is a pretty comfortable setup, IMO.
     
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  23. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Well, that would explain why Nadal plays tennis like it was ping pong. :shock:

    He uses those "ping pong-like" forehand topspin strokes. Wasn't Uncle Toni a former ping pong champ or something?
     
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  24. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    I guess that proves that a heavier racquet is superior to a lighter one since Sampras used to beat both Courier and Agassi on a regular basis. :wink: LOL
     
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  25. paulorenzo

    paulorenzo Hall of Fame

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    glad that's cleared up, all this time i thought sampras was just the better player. now to look for some lead tape.
     
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  26. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Maybe Sampras was the better player because he was more able to handle a heavier racquet? :)
     
    #26
  27. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    I think Jim's assessment of Roger and Rafa's rackets are wrong. I also think the specs for Rog and Raf in this thread are not quite right.

    Rafa is HL but only 2-4 points HL, with static weight under 12 oz and SW in the 350-360 range.

    Roger is HL but around 6-8 points HL, with static weight around 364 grams, and SW in the 350-360 range. I have seen several analysis of Roger's racket and never saw a 330 SW. See Greg Raven's analysis and other TW threads.

    I agree with Jim that good 3.5+ level and above players can benefit from poly if they use it wisely. My opinion is using poly as a cross is good for most of us if you want more directional control, a touch more spin, and far less string movement. You will need to change strings every 10-20 hours. If you have a really fast swing or a really powerful tweener style racket than using poly mains with a synthetic cross is fine for rec players.

    I was last rated 4.0, was rated 4.5 about 2 decades ago and played 5.0 USTA league 30 years ago and won about 30-40% of matches but official ranking never went to 5.0. I like playing with poly strings for the reasons cited above.
     
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  28. CDestroyer

    CDestroyer Professional

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    You and Jim are wrong. Nadals racquets are only 2 points head light. Courier should have said they are light weight(static weight) but 2 points is not very head light at all.
     
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  29. RF20Lennon

    RF20Lennon Legend

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    Nadal switched to a heavier one this year long after the quote
     
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  30. realplayer

    realplayer Semi-Pro

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    Hi TennisCJC

    Here is the link from Greg Raven's website. He has measured two of Federer's rackets.
    The specs are accurate.

    http://www.hdtennis.com/grs/toc_information.html
     
    #30
  31. ben123

    ben123 Professional

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    lol... specs got measured unstrung, ever thought about this? smart guy...

    n btw i do not trust this site to 100%. why should i when there is a thread with real photos in this forum? that guy bought nadals/djokers/federers and other racquets.. and he showed with pics how he measured the specs etc..

    nadals weight is around 340+ now he said himself he added 3 gram at the top to the beginning of this season. swingweight will be around 360
    federers weight is always 364,2g with swingweight around 355
    etc etc blabla
     
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  32. Shangri La

    Shangri La Hall of Fame

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    I think Courier meant Nadal's racquet is light in weight, not headlight. Then all his comments are in line with what's agreed here on the boards.
     
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  33. Setmatch45

    Setmatch45 Rookie

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    No doubt that JC knows his stuff and he is a nice guy as well I played in a pro-am he did. As far as poly being good for everyone we know that can't be. But overall a good inteerview.
     
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  34. realplayer

    realplayer Semi-Pro

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    ....................
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012
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  35. realplayer

    realplayer Semi-Pro

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    Well Einstein, Maybe you should take a look again as it is definitely measured strung and I included the three grams of Nadal.

    Here is another thread about the guy that you were talking about. He has the original and real racket of Federer.

    The weight is 364 STRUNG!!!!!!!!!

    Check post #173

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=347886
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showt...=347886&page=9
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012
    #35
  36. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Love Courier, but he is dead wrong.

    I remember when Navratilova and Mcenore were commenting on the strings todays players use. They stated that the poly used today, is much more powerful than the natural gut they used. :roll: Clueless.

    Fact is, most players and even commentators know **** about equipment. Nothing, zero, squat. They have no idea how poly could *enhance* spin, if in fact the players swings hard enough to get the benefit, which most recreational players can't.

    What ends up happening is they get less power, less spin, less comfort. To add, they unlike pros, don't re-string every day, so end up playing with a dead string.

    To give you an example of how often players re-string, Courier, who doesn't even play on tour anymore, had me re-string his frame 3 times for a champions series match (gosen og micro in mains, alu power in crosses).
     
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  37. jackcrawford

    jackcrawford Professional

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    Even Pete has joined the modern world, now using a 98 and poly:)
     
    #37
  38. sruckauf

    sruckauf Professional

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    Courier is an ex-pro. You can't get much higher in skill set than a guy like him in his prime, and is still active and successful in post-pro tennis. He was able to wield and use a racquet with one of the smallest heads ever at the top of men's tennis, and able to generate incredible racquet head speed. He swung and met the ball like a bat and baseball, remember? Any idea how hard that is? But I'm getting off the point.

    My point is, that means with an 85 sq. in. head he was able to nail the sweet spot over and over and over. So to a guy like him, poly makes complete sense. As long as you hit the sweet spot almost all the time, have awesome hand-eye coordination, and can generate the racquet head speed necessary to get the benefits of poly, ya do it at all levels.

    The trouble is, the rest of the world doesn't hit the sweet spot all the time, even with 100 sq. in. heads.

    Why would anyone take his opinion on what's good or usable for consumer level tennis? He probably means well, touting the obvious benefits of poly, but come on.

    [This has nothing to do with my own opinion of poly, which I may or may not support. I'm just commenting on his value of opinion on equipment for consumer level tennis of 2.0 - 4.0, which probably accounts for most of the regular joe tennis world. If you're an accomplished 4.5+ level player, the benefits of poly in full or hybrid are obvious, if your body can handle it long term.]
     
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  39. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    No wonder Sampras hasn't won a Slam since he switched to the bigger racquet. :shock:
     
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  40. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Hmmm.....I guess you never saw Laver, Rosewall, Smith, Nastase, Ashe, Borg, Connors, McEnroe, etc. at the top of men's tennis with their 65 sq. in. racquets?
     
    #40
  41. Dave M

    Dave M Hall of Fame

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    A guy who is sponsored by a company that gives him a 102 inch racquet and poly strings to use and advertise says we should use a 102" racquet and poly strings.....Must be true.
     
    #41
  42. YesTennis

    YesTennis Semi-Pro

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    drakulie- based on your information, could you make a general string recommendation for a 3.5-4.0 player?
     
    #42
  43. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Years ago I listened to Johnny Mac talking about Rafa saying you should go with the lightest racket possible. I listened to this advice and that led to my first elbow injury. I won't listen to the playing pros anymore for equipment advice.
     
    #43
  44. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    I you are not a string breaker, then natural gut. If that is too expensive a proposition, then any multi. There are a lot of good ones out there:

    NXT
    NXT TOUR
    Sensation
    Xcel,
    x-1 biphase
    xR1
    Pro Supex Maxim Touch
    Genesis Explosion
    Premier LT


    Good luck!

    Unfortunately, and ironically, they simply give bad advice/information about equipment vs good info. Same goes for most teaching pros.
     
    #44
  45. samster

    samster Legend

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    So recreational players can get tennis elbows?

    I agree with drakulie. Recreational players have no business using polyester strings.
     
    #45
  46. realplayer

    realplayer Semi-Pro

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    Great to hear that but also confusing cause all the experts from top stringers/former players have complete opposite opinions but I prefer this opinion as it saves me a lot of money and is better for my arm and i'm lucky cause i can continue with my favourite and cheapest synthetic gut(toalson gold) which I like better than the expensive x-1 biphase or x-cel. It's very personal I guess.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2012
    #46
  47. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    LMAO....I heard the same thing. Navratilova's most recent comment was that polys were like "toys". They opened up areas of the court that she used to not be able to hit. Based on her backhand, I wonder how much good a poly does for a really solid slice.

    And that's the problem. The pros, touring and former touring, really don't live in the real world of equipment. All their stuff is catered. The real deal in advice probably is better found with the journeyman player who has to live with his choices in equipment. When I strung for a satellite that was here a few years ago, there was very little poly. Most of those guys were using Wilson NXT. Why? Because they got it free and it didn't hurt would be my guess.

    That is hilarious. Back even further, McEnroe was commenting on a Michael Stich match. He said, and it is true, that Stich used an unusually light frame for a pro; around 315 grams. McEnroe went on to say that he didn't know how Stich's arm didn't fall off. McEnroe said the rule of thumb was to play as heavy as you could.

    I don't think McEnroe's specs have changed any since his C10 days.
     
    #47
  48. realplayer

    realplayer Semi-Pro

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    Her style of play is not even suited for poly. Maybe in a hybrid but not full bed.
     
    #48
  49. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    I wouldn't consider any former player an "expert" on anything related to equipment. They really do not have any clue. Trust me, I've strung for enough of them to know.

    As for top stringers, could you give an example?

    Bingo!
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2012
    #49
  50. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I would second Xcel and LT for comfort. I used both of them before finally switching to the Wilson Shockshield for arm safety.
     
    #50

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