Found this on the net: Federer racket theories?

Discussion in 'Pros' Racquets and Gear' started by AlpineCadet, Nov 2, 2007.

  1. AlpineCadet

    AlpineCadet Hall of Fame

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    (This is just to be shared and discussed, without any flaming, trolling, or harassment--AT ALL. You can debate this topic all you want, but please do not cause fights or on-going arguments/problems here. (As many of the informative Federer threads have been deleted due to user politics.) Take that stuff outside of this thread, please.


    "Tennis Rackets Of The Pros -- What Sticks Are They Really Using?

    The Racket Controversy And What Is A Paint Job?


    There are a lot of reasons for the controversy about the exact rackets that the pros use. The main reason for the controversy, as usual, is money.

    It’s common knowledge on the inside of the tennis world that many pros are using rackets painted to look like the retail version of a new racket that the manufacturer is marketing.

    Here’s a typical scenario. A pro has been using a racket for a long time and, the manufacturer with whom he or she has a deal, wants to introduce a new racket line into the marketplace. The pro may not really want to change rackets but may agree to have the old rackets painted to look just like the new racket. In tennis vernacular this is called a paint job.

    Of course, this is usually good business for the racket manufacturer as sales of the new and probably expensive rackets will increase. And, the player pockets the fee from the manufacturer and still gets to play with the rackets with which he or she is most comfortable. Whether or not this is good for the recreational tennis player is debatable.


    Most recreational players could never play well with the exact rackets that top pros use anyway.


    Often top pros use rackets that are not that powerful and are very heavy (even if the retail racket frames that you and I can buy are not heavy, many pros either add lead tape to make their rackets much heavier, or have them customized to be heavier).

    The pros can play with these types of rackets because they can generate tremendous racket head speed and power, and wouldn’t be able to control the ball if the rackets were too powerful.


    The average recreational player will feel that they can barely get the ball over the net with many actual pro rackets.


    So, even if a recreational player thinks he or she is playing with the same racket as their favorite pro, it’s actually a racket that is usually substantially different than the actual racket the pro is using. It may look the same and have the same name, but it usually isn’t the exact same racket.

    Of course, some recreational players customize their rackets with lead tape. And, they’ll try and find out how much tape certain pros use and where on the racket the players place the lead tape.

    You see, where the lead tape is placed on the racket dramatically changes the weight and balance of the racket and how it plays.

    In the final analysis, the smart recreational player goes to his tennis pro shop and demos a whole bunch of rackets before buying. And, the smart player will buy the racket that he or she plays with best as opposed to the racket he or she thinks Federer or Sharapova is playing with.


    The Controversy Over Roger Federer’s Actual Racket



    Among tennis fans today there is debate about the actual racket that Roger Federer plays with. There are as many conspiracy theories about Federer’s racket as there are about the Kennedy assassination.

    What is known is that when Federer was in the juniors he played with the classic Pro Staff 6.0 85. This is the same frame that Pete Sampras used.

    Next, Federer apparently played with a newer Wilson model called the Pro Staff Tour 90.

    And now, he’s apparently playing with a newer model again - the N 6-1 Tour 90.

    But, not everyone is convinced that Federer is actually using the new N 6-1 Tour 90!


    Here are two of the top conspiracy theories:

    • He’s still using the Pro Staff Tour 90 painted to look like the N 6-1 Tour 90.

    • He’s using a custom frame based on the original mold of the original Pro Staff 6-0 85.


    Obviously, there are small differences between the proposed rackets that Federer is using. Tennis fanatics actually take pictures of Federer’s racket in match play and magnify the images trying to look for little clues.

    They analyze everything from the grommets, the string pattern, and the number of cross strings in the PWS.

    According to one report from an unidentified source at Wilson, all of Roger Federer’s racquets are made from a modified ProStaff 6.0 85 mold. Apparently, Roger wanted to increase the head size from 85 sq. in., while trying to maintain the original features of the Pro Staff 6-0 85.

    In order to meet Federer’s requirements, plus successfully market the Pro Staff Tour 90, Wilson modified a Pro Staff 6.0 85 mold to include the tapered flanges on the throat, increased the head size to 90 sq.in., and made slight modifications to the PWS shape in order to make it look like a Tour 90 to the untrained eye.

    Now, conspiracy theorists think that Fed is playing with this customized racket that has been painted to look like the N 6-1 Tour 90."


    For a direct source (2006): http://tennis-tips-tactics.blogspot.com/2006/11/tennis-rackets-of-pros-what-sticks-are.html
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2007
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  2. sapient007

    sapient007 Semi-Pro

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    i thought it's pretty much closed that he's using a custom k factor mold
     
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  3. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Huh? If you "modify" the PS 6.0 85 mold to increase the headsize to 90 sq. in., change the shape of the throat, and modify the PWS shape, then it's no longer a PS 6.0 85 mold at all. It becomes a PS Tour 90 mold since everything else about it, from the beam width to the box beam shape, are the same. BTW, we know Federer's racquet also has the 16x19 string pattern of the K90, so they obviously drilled it differently from the PS 6.0 85's 16x18 pattern.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20030402000359/www.tennis-warehouse.com/descpageRCWILSON-WT90.html
     
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  4. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Thank you.
     
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  5. Fee

    Fee Legend

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    He's using a custom mold, and the K Factor may be based on that mold. I was told 'no one is playing with Federer's racquet' and I choose to believe that comment was authentic. Would a racquet built to Federer's specs and desires really be that desirable/usable by the mass market?
     
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  6. Mike Cottrill

    Mike Cottrill Hall of Fame

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    You guys miss the biggest point all together. Fed got Wilson to put a top secret group together in St. Vincent to make his sticks when Sampras crushed his confidence early this year with sticks he took out of his trophy cases with ten year old gut. Only sticks Pete had on hand since Fed called him at the last minute. He broke the second set of strings in the second set after taking the first 6-4. Then he barrowed one of Fed’s sticks and said put this string in a St. Vincent and then you have a great setup. Once Fed got his new sticks, he got back on track. Now Fed is complaining because Pete is also getting his top secret St. Vincent sticks. Now what is Wilson going to do..
     
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  7. Racketdesign

    Racketdesign Rookie

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    In reality, the mold that creates Feds racquet will be unique. It may be the same profile / cross section and size as the K90(I dont believe it is) but his racquets certainly don't roll out of the same molds that the retail racquets come from. All racquet molds have a limited production life and for any decent player, the brand will open a dedicated mold to ensure its consistancy. Somwhere in China there is a Mold with the name Federer stamped accross it. So its a Custom mold for sure, and the racquets construction will also differ from the retail versions in weight, balance and stiffness. Doesnt that make it a Custom Racquet?
     
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  8. AlpineCadet

    AlpineCadet Hall of Fame

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    I did not write this blog--I found it while surfing the internet as I have already stated in the Subject line/title of this thread. :wink:

    There are many valid points in this article, and IMHO it is more insightful/informative than all the argument-ridden/pretentious threads that end up becoming deleted.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2007
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  9. Venetian

    Venetian Professional

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    Yeah I just thought you MAY have written it. It just seems like a compilation of multiple years of TW posts slapped together by some unknown person. I just thought after reading the thread title that the article was going to be from Sports Illustrated or something.
     
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  10. AlpineCadet

    AlpineCadet Hall of Fame

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    We'll the same goes for almost all of the threads/replies here on TW, but that doesn't mean all this info isn't informative or relevant.
     
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  11. Venetian

    Venetian Professional

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    Well yeah. Ok as for the article, I always have disagreed when people say that recreational players can not use pro's rackets effectively. The racquets are custom made but they don't way 22oz or anything. The pro may have a relatively light racquet that is just customized the way they like it. Or maybe the rec player uses a 13+oz racquet and likes them heavy.
     
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  12. Venetian

    Venetian Professional

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    I'm not too sure about the writer's claims regarding Federers racquet as I don't read many of those posts on TW. I know it's customized so I'm not sure that anything else about it really matters. I guess it would be cool to know the exact head size. Other than that though, weight or paintjob seem irrelevant.
     
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  13. TheShaun

    TheShaun Hall of Fame

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    2002: roger federer uses a hockey stick painted to look like a tennis racquet
    2007: roger federer uses a modified garbage can lid (92 sq inch) with a stick through the handle painted to look like a tennis racquet....wilson makes millions off of unsuspecting recreational players.
     
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  14. Drona

    Drona Rookie

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    This makes me think of Indiana Jones, where at the end the ark is dropped off in a huge warehouse filled w/ other "unexplainable" items...
     
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  15. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    Yes it would be desirable. It is pointless and annoying to even create the K-factor k6.1 tour and market it as Federer's racquet when it is not. Lets look at the actual k-factor specs: 12.5oz, 90" head, meant for players 5.0 and better. So those specs alone would make the racquet useless for what, 95% of the tennis-playing population? Why not just sell the real mold as Federer's racquet when most players can't even play with the one they claim is Federer's anyways?

    Are people trying to say that 5.0 players cannot handle Federer's racquet?? That is crap. Federer is not exactly the strongest looking guy on tour. I doubt his racquet is in the 20oz range.

    And BTW, I wouldn't buy Federer's racquet regardless because I could care less, but I feel for the people who are deceived and waste so much money on crap that is not authentic like the K-factor.
     
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  16. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

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    The K90 is a great frame. Whether or not Fed plays it doesn't really matter (as you correctly state above). I am CERTAIN my frames aren't 'just like Fed's' because I customize them to my liking. But, of the stock frames currently available, the K90 is definitely the one best suited for me. ;) CC
     
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  17. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I won't doubt its a good frame, but lets be honest, so many people buy it because Fed supposedly uses it, not because its a good frame.
     
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  18. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    I have heard that Federer K-factor is not that different from stock K-factor frame. cliff Drysdale or pat Mcenroe said this, i am not sure which one.
     
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  19. AlpineCadet

    AlpineCadet Hall of Fame

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    There are very good points being made here, and I'm glad this thread is heading into the right direction. Keep up the good work guys. ;)
     
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  20. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Well, since you're encouraging me to comment, I guess I will. ;)

    Sure, there may very well be a mold somewhere in a Chinese racquet factory with Federer's name on it, but how do we know that this mold is not identical to the mold that's used for the retail K90 and that they made an exact copy of that mold for Federer's K90s so that, like you said, Federer can get more consistent frames from his mold since the retail mold will get used far, far more and so will wear out faster and consistency will deviate? So if the two molds are identical in design in every way, I wouldn't really call that a "custom mold" but a copy of the same mold that's only used for Federer's frames.

    Also, do you have some inside information that can confirm your statement that Federer's frames have different construction, weight, balance, and stiffness than the retail K90? If so, please do share. ;)
     
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  21. psp2

    psp2 Banned

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    Layup, folks.... the layup. I've was having a conversation with **** from Wilson about the PS85/95 layup vs. K90's layup. The so-called "RF mold" (if they actually exist) is the same as a standard N/K90's mold. What's different is the makeup of the actual racquet, which results in a much different "feel".
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2007
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  22. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Yes, we know that the layup will make a racquet feel very different but the question is does anyone have any proof that Federer's K90 layup is any different from the retail K90's layup? There's been lots of speculation but AFAIK, no concrete evidence has ever been presented.
     
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  23. psp2

    psp2 Banned

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    AFAIK, no concrete evidence to the contrary has been presented either.

    I'll simply retain the contents of my conversation with the Wilson guy (who, btw, is at a national level for the Racquet Sports dept.).
     
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  24. AlpineCadet

    AlpineCadet Hall of Fame

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    But let's just be realistic here. There is a good reason for why a lot of people question his racket choice.
     
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  25. AlpineCadet

    AlpineCadet Hall of Fame

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    Why isn't Federer capable of doing the same thing with a retail K90? Because he's actually using the PS 6.0 85 composite with a larger racket head, so it'd be impossible with the retail k90. ;) Silly.

    Honestly, who knows? You and I sure don't (that's for sure.)
     
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  26. Venetian

    Venetian Professional

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    I'm pretty sure it's been stated in at least one published article that Fed does still use a custom mold. Maybe somebody could dig up the article or tell me I'm wrong. :)

    What I don't understand is why anyone would believe he does use a stock racquet. He has Wilson's Pro Room at his disposal just like every other touring pro. Why would he not be using it?
     
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  27. Venetian

    Venetian Professional

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    I guess the story from Wilson IS that they worked with Federer to design the racquet, but I guess I don't believe it.

    It's the same thing with guitars. Famous players come out with their signature guitar, and supposedly Fender worked with them for years to develope it just the way they like it. Then it comes out and nobody buys it because it costs $500 and everyone knows that said famous guitarist does not use a $500 guitar, therefore it is not the same.

    EDIT: I will of course concede that Federer COULD be using a regular K90, but I don't believe he is.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2007
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  28. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Probably more graphite rather than Carbon Black and sand fillers, as in the N and K series. If the composition is different, it is really a different racquet, not the K90.
     
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  29. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Please show us a quote from Wilson that specifically said that the nCode 90 we can buy in the stores is the exact same racquet that Federer uses. You can search all you want but you won't find it because Wilson never said it. This is why for the K90, Wilson specifically stated: [FONT=Arial,]"This is one of the very few times in history a company has introduced a racket a consumer can buy in a store that is the actual racket the world’s top player is using," Jon Muir General Manager of Wilson Racket Sports told Tennis Week. "This is exactly the racket we're sending him, it’s the racket he pulls out of his bag and now consumers can go out and buy Roger’s racket."
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial,]
    BTW, Federer did in fact use a retail PS Tour 90 for a period of time. If you do a search, you'll find pics of him using a stock PS Tour 90 with the 5 crosses at the PWS. It was only later that he switched to the custom drilled frame with the 4 crosses at the PWS. In any case, Wilson also never claimed that Federer's PS Tour 90 was the same exact racquet that we can buy in the stores as they have said over and over and over about the K90.

    [/FONT]
    All you said is that he has a different layup which is not really saying anything at all. As we know from Wilson's poor quality control, no two racquets that Wilson produces are identical so you can say that no two racquets that Wilson produces has the same exact layup.
     
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  30. Venetian

    Venetian Professional

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    I just personally believe that his racquet is not stock.
     
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  31. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    I would say the odds of Fed using a stock k90 with just normal lead modification are remote at best.....the oddsmakers might have it at 10,000 to 1 or something along those lines.
    Most people who know stuff about tennis would think this I would think.

    Suffice it to say that Fed uses racquets which look like the k90
     
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  32. Richie Rich

    Richie Rich Legend

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    just because wilson says this you believe them?
     
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  33. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Yes, because they couldn't have made it any clearer if they beat you over the head with a K90. They made their statement so clear and specific that even a high school kid without a law degree could sue them for millions and win in under 5 minutes if it weren't true.
     
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  34. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Federer now has a contract with Priority One, so Priority One will customize his K90's with any lead tape, mold his handles, and/or wrap his overgrips for him on his retail K90's. Oh yeah, they will even string his racquets for him with Wilson natural gut mains and Luxilon BB ALU Power Rough crosses, believe it or not. ;)

    Yes, the Wilson Pro Room used to drill and paint his K90s to look like nCode 90s, but now they don't have to anymore since he's now using the same paintjob as the general public. :D
     
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  35. Richie Rich

    Richie Rich Legend

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    but they clearly deceive the public with numerous other painted frames used by the pro's. why believe Wilson now?

    do you believe Wilson when they put out this press release? you must believe that Fish uses a k95 and so does Tursunov. I mean, it's in writing so according to your logic it must be true.

    http://www.wilson.com/wilson/racque...>cnt_id=10134198673982786&bmUID=1175253232420
    BTW, Tursunov uses a racquet that is nothing like the k95.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2007
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  36. flyboy1

    flyboy1 New User

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    Why is it so difficult to understand what BreakPoint is saying????

    It's not like he's saying that whatever Wilson says is gospel. What he's saying is that he's inclined to believe them because:

    a) this is the first time they have claimed that the public has access to the racket that Federer plays

    AND

    b) there is no empirical evidence to contradict Wilson's statements

    Now.....was that sooooo difficult?!
     
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  37. AlpineCadet

    AlpineCadet Hall of Fame

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    I'm glad there are more of the same opinions which mirror my own. I would imagine that RF's rackets are essentially a PS 6.0 85 with a bigger head, along with a thinner beam width (taken from the original 85 mold, and not from the retail Tour 90 mold) to maintain the same feel to whatever he's grown accustomed to using and/or prefers.

    BTW Do you know why Marat Safin prefers and still continues to use a Prestige Classic 600? It's because he's accustomed to using that frame from years of experience with it. I'm sure that a switch to something new and different (i.e. LiquidMetal/Flexpoint/Microgel) would negatively affect his game. With each new racket "technology" that comes out every few years, would switching rackets really help improve Marat's game at his specific level of tennis? I don't think so. Supporting the newest technology from your sponsorship is one thing, but actually using it in your racket is another.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2007
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  38. saram

    saram Legend

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    You hit the nail on the head here in terms of Marat. A new stick would not help him any more than some time on the practice courts or motivation. He has a precise serve, groundies in the 80's to 90's when he wants and all the control in the world when he's on. I agree pro's stick with the same sticks because it just 'works' for them and has for many many years. All of us that have played with a certain stick for years and try to switch, generally revert to the old stick that has served us well.

    Pro tennis players do not have the convenience of spending a few months adjusting to a new stick. It is November, and in January, the AO begins. Less than two months to adjust to everything new is not enough time to go and try and win the AO with a new stick, new feel, new pace, new string pattern, etc...

    I agree with BP as well. I think Wilson is the only company to officially declare that a top sponsored professional is using a certain stick and NOT a PJ. If they are taking that risk, it must be true.
     
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  39. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    So where exactly in that press release does Wilson state that the K95 we can buy in the stores is the exact same racquet that Tursunov or Fish uses? :confused: Please show me because I must have missed it.

    And, yes, I believe Fish uses a "K95". It's just not the same K95 that we can buy in the stores. Unlike Federer and the K90.
     
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  40. AlpineCadet

    AlpineCadet Hall of Fame

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    I think that quote can also work if you take it from Wilson's aesthetic stand-point.

    Yes, which precisely is based from one of the above theories in the OP.
     
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  41. AlpineCadet

    AlpineCadet Hall of Fame

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    I prefer to use some logic in determining what he actually uses, as opposed to just mindlessly believing something to be true.
     
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  42. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    You mean the same logic that says that there's no way that Davydenko could switch from a Head Radical to a Prince O3 Tour, and that there's no way that Nalbandian can switch from a POG to a Yonex RDS, and that there's no way that the Bryan brothers could possibly switch from a PS 6.1 Classic to the Prince Speedport Black, and that there's no way that Ljubicic could switch from a Babolat Pure Drive to a Head Microgel Extreme, and that there's no way that Hewitt could switch from a SRD Tour 90 to a RQiS Tour 95, and that there's no way Agassi could switch from the POG to the Head Radical, and that there's no way that McEnroe could switch from a wood racqet to a graphite racquet, and that there's no way that Federer could switch from an 85 to a 90? Oh, OK I see, THAT logic.
     
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  43. Blank

    Blank Rookie

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    Nice!! Couldn't have said it better myself.

    Some addition:
    a) this is the first time they have claimed that the public has access to the racket that Federer plays, BEFORE customisation by Priority One or Wilson Pro Room.
     
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  44. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Exactly!

    It is only BECAUSE Federer is NOT using a paintjob with the K90 that Wilson is making this kind of statement for the first time. They know that the public knows about paintjobs, which is why they went out of their way this time to make it abundantly clear that this time it's not a paintjob but the ACTUAL racquet that Federer uses and it's EXACTLY the same one that Federer pulls out of his bag. If Wilson had thought the public did not know about paintjobs, this would have been a very odd statement to make because then people would think - what do you mean "one of the very few times in history", and that's it's the "actual racquet used by Federer", and that it's "exactly the same one Federer gets"??? Aren't ALL racquets that we buy in the stores the actual and same exact ones that the pros use?

    If it wasn't true, they wouldn't have gone way out of their way this time to say - HEY, THIS TIME IT'S NOT A PAINTJOB. IT'S THE ACTUAL ONE THAT FEDERER USES AND IT'S EXACTLY THE SAME AS THE ONE SOLD IN THE STORES.

    How anyone can misinterpret this is beyond me.
     
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  45. Richie Rich

    Richie Rich Legend

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    of course it doesn't state that either Fish or Tursunov use a k95 that we can buy in stores. but that isn't the point. the press release clearly states that Tursunov uses a k95. it's clear that he does not. wilson is deceiving us. it's clear they want you to believe that Tursunov uses a real k95. otherwise, why go through the bother of a press release announcing it or painting his racquet like a k95?



    no one is misinterpreting what Wilson has said. it may be true, it may not. why you choose to believe them now is the question.

    why do you suddenly believe wilson about Fed's racquet when history shows that they lied about other players using their racquets?

    i know why - it's only because Wilson's press release regarding the Federer racquet supports your opinion. everything else that might give someone reason to discount your theory gets ignored. just because wilson puts something in writing doesn't make it true
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2007
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  46. jaykay

    jaykay Professional

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    992
    New York Times' Paul Berger does say that Fed uses a Wilson K Factor Six One Tour...

    ...which is heavily customized by Priority One and consequently would be nothing like the stock frame avlbl in the retail stores. The precise wt (and consequently, the balance and the swingwt) is a secret.

    See http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/18/fashion/18customside.html?ref=tennis

    Copy-pasting the article below for your perusal:

    Federer Unstrung

    By PAUL BERGER
    Published: October 18, 2007

    TENNIS fans may lust after Roger Federer’s racket strung with Roger Federer’s string. But if they bought a racket customized to his specifications, they might regret the choice.

    For one thing, such a racket would be hard to control. “You either have to have a real Roger Federer fetish or really good skills,” said Nate Ferguson of Priority 1, based in Florida, who does customization work for Mr. Federer and other top professionals like Novak Djokovic. “Of the 100 guys out there at the top of the game, none of them play with Roger’s racket.”

    Ordering a racket strung the Federer way is a bit like ordering a Starbucks coffee. Just ask for “a Wilson 16 gauge gut main string and a Luxilon Big Banger ALU Power Rough cross string,” and then hope you won’t have to say it again. The racket itself is a Wilson K Factor Six One Tour with a 90-square-inch head. The precise weight of his customized racket is a secret.

    Assuming you’ve overcome the hurdle of ordering the strings, you would also need a bit of cash.

    At the Madrid Masters tournament this week in Spain, Mr. Federer is playing with 12 rackets, swapping on or near every ball change and alternating string tension depending on the bounce of the ball (and his mood), so a full arsenal of customized Federer rackets would cost about $3,500, including the cost of the rackets.

    “The racket gives you very little as a player,” Mr. Ferguson said. “It’s Federer’s God-given talent that creates the pace and spin.”
    ...PAUL BERGER
     
    #46
  47. saram

    saram Legend

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    So am I to understand that Nate is suggesting that Roger is not playing with a standard stick afforded to the general public as Wilson claims? Or, am I to understand that Nate customizes it in a way and he will not reveal the secrets? I guess we still don't know if Roger is playing with a stock/available stick as the general public can purchase....hmmm...
     
    #47
  48. Shangri La

    Shangri La Hall of Fame

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    Wilson and Federer have been proven guilty -- use pj and make the public think Federer was using an n90 or whatever. When they make the same claim this time again that Federer is using a retail Winson racquet (although they may be phrasing differently this time), people would reasonably question their credibility. Thye're guilty AGAIN until proven otherwise.
     
    #48
  49. Richie Rich

    Richie Rich Legend

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    Feb 24, 2004
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    would anyone here bet the mortgage on Fed really using a retail k90, as per Wilson's claims??????
     
    #49
  50. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    34,797
    No .......................
     
    #50

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