James Blake Racket

Discussion in 'Pros' Racquets and Gear' started by csg4005, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. csg4005

    csg4005 Rookie

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    Any body know what racket hes playing with in the us open?
     
    #1
  2. Blaxican10s

    Blaxican10s Banned

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    It's a Donnay, assume its a custom mold.
     
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  3. cluckcluck

    cluckcluck Hall of Fame

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    He told me that it's a painted Donnay. The mold is his Dunlop.
     
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  4. The Meat

    The Meat Hall of Fame

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    You've personally spoken to Blake? How is he off court?
     
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  5. cluckcluck

    cluckcluck Hall of Fame

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    yeah, at the Farmer's Classic this year. He seems pretty nice. He was talkative and said goodbye and was quite polite.
     
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  6. The Meat

    The Meat Hall of Fame

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    Awesome, he does seem like the down to earth type. Hope I can see one of his matches before he retires. :)
     
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  7. harryz

    harryz Semi-Pro

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    hmmmm...

    does this mean that it's the same Major/ Technifibre mold that he's been using all along?

    Glad to ready that he's a down to earth, humble guy. Losing parents does that to a person..
     
    #7
  8. Nikeman

    Nikeman New User

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    james is a really nice guy especially to kids. and yes cluck is right i have talked to him too and he said the same thing.
     
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  9. db10s

    db10s Hall of Fame

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    Yep, he's a pretty cool guy, talked to him a few times. I think he uses a Dunlop mold.
     
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  10. niktub

    niktub Semi-Pro

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    i thought that he had only 3 racquets left :confused:
     
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  11. PBODY99

    PBODY99 Hall of Fame

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    Of his old Dunlops,yes that is correct, The Donnay's that they made for him are close enough for him to use, unlike Prince's efforts
     
    #11
  12. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    No, It's the same Dunlop mold he has been using along. Dunlop came up with the mold and used it first. It dates back to the late 90's. Dunlop still use the mold with the 300 Tour.
     
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  13. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    #13
  14. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    At the Farmers Classic last year - not this summer but last - I watched Blake on the practice court and actually overheard a convo he was having with another player, I think it was Rajeev Ram, about his new frame. He said he'd been looking for another frame for years, but Donnay finally produced a frame that 'felt like my old one.' Said he actually went to some factory in Austria, they had several different frames to try out, and when hit with the one, he knew it was for him and said 'How many do you have?'; they said '13' or something like that and he said, "I want each one," and also placed an order for like 30 more.

    So maybe it's a Dunlop mold, but it's not the exact Dunlop he'd been playing with for so long with simply new Donnay paint. At least as of that conversation last year.
     
    #14
  15. Disgruntled Worker

    Disgruntled Worker Rookie

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    Yeah. The foam-filled feel of a Donnay is pretty solid. I remember a couple of years ago at the 2010 Australian Open, Blake was using a retail BLX90 and took JMDP to five sets before losing in a tiebreak. If he had a Dunlop mold racquet customized with the materials of a Donnay and leaded up to 13.5 ounces, that would probably be a beast to play with.
     
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  16. niktub

    niktub Semi-Pro

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    Does that mean that he is using some Head racquets painted by Donnay?
    Head replica of the Dunlop mold paintjob by Donnay :shock:

    Blake felt the time might be right, and agreed to the proposal. On his way from the US to the Stockholm Open, James and his coach started the testing programme in Kennelbach. During his visit, the personable American took advantage of the chance to meet with HEAD technicians, see how the racquets are manufactured and generally get a feel for the company.

    From the initial development stage of inputting his personal data into the computer to the drafting of technical specifications for production of his new racquet, Blake asked his questions and was given detailed explanations about the entire process. He was impressed with what he saw and learned. "I never thought what effect even small changes in the structure of the racquet can have," he said.

    The player spent four days in Kennelbach taking every opportunity to test various racquet configurations. The first session began with 11 models of different weights, balance points and flexibility. From this group, he selected three prototypes which were revised overnight and ready for more testing the next day. In three other testing sessions Blake played the potential racquets under competitive conditions, which brought further insights..........

    "It was inconceivable for me to find a racquet in three days, which corresponds to the way I play and the way I move," said an amazed Blake, who could barely contain his praise of the technical wizards in Austria. "What the HEAD team has managed is really incredible. I have full confidence in them."
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
    #16
  17. cluckcluck

    cluckcluck Hall of Fame

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    You might be right. I did get to hold one of his Donnay's while at the tournament and it didn't feel like 13.5 ounces. My Donnay is about 12.7 and it felt heavier than Blake's.
     
    #17
  18. niktub

    niktub Semi-Pro

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    His Head replica of the Dunlop mold paintjob by Donnay is probably more headlight than yours:neutral:
    Not a Donnay apparently.
    Austria...Nothing is really sure there.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
    #18
  19. classic tennis

    classic tennis Semi-Pro

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    His old racquet's, now that's a surprise :-|. another company parting with bucks for nothing.
     
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  20. brinkeguthrie

    brinkeguthrie Semi-Pro

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    my last Donnay was the Borg Pro. Bought one sight unseen except for an ad, string 'er right up, didn't playtest back in those days.

    Man it felt like a board. no give at all. didn't last long.
     
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  21. Lefty78

    Lefty78 Professional

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    ^Borg's personal racquets actually had extra reinforcement in order to handle his high string tension, so if you thought the retail version felt boardy....
     
    #21
  22. Miami Tiburon

    Miami Tiburon Semi-Pro

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    Donnay took well over a year of prototype testing to finally make a frame that Blake liked . The frame that Blake is using is the Donnay Pro One 18 x 20 Exactly like the one you can buy . The only difference of course is that it's Custom weighted and balanced for him . The reason it's the same frame is Once Blake decided on this frame Donnay had to MFG a lot frames for him and decided to put them into their line .
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2012
    #22
  23. Gus88

    Gus88 New User

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    Blake uses a dunlop mold. Strings? Technifibre?
     
    #23
  24. niktub

    niktub Semi-Pro

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    Why would the testing have happened in Austria if not Head/Kennelbach?
    Thanks by the way.
     
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  25. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Do you think Blake's frame is 68 RA though? I would imagine he'd have more flex.
     
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  26. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    Blake went to Kennelbach in fall of 2010 and had HEAD make him some racquets. He then went back to his Dunlop frames in 2011 and he had DonnayUSA make him a copy of his Dunlop. The Donnay frames Blake uses have nothing to do with what HEAD did for him.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012
    #26
  27. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Blake is a devoted user of Luxilon ALU @ 68 pounds.
     
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  28. niktub

    niktub Semi-Pro

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    Not in Austria!

    Thanks for the clarification
    So, what has been said on post 14 is a mix-up and is totally irelevant :confused:
     
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  29. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    Can we buy the james blake Donnay racket at TW website ?
     
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  30. classic tennis

    classic tennis Semi-Pro

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    No he uses a SMU.
     
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  31. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    What ? what does southern methodist university have anything to do with this ?
     
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  32. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    [​IMG]
     
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  33. themitchmann

    themitchmann Hall of Fame

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    James is now working with Craig Boynton (Isner's coach), who spoke with us at the GSS Symposium. I asked about Blake's gear, and he explained that the issue was the specific graphite composite used in Blake's Dunlops came from the airplane industry. Apparently, Donnay was able to track some of the material down in an airport in China. Then, they made Blake's new frames from the aquired material.
     
    #33
  34. floydcouncil

    floydcouncil Semi-Pro

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    Sounds like hogwash to me.... It is VERY difficult to believe a fairy tail that Donnay tracked down rolls of pre-preg (which would probably be in cold storage) to make racquets for a player who is close to retirement.

    again... I think that is total BS....
     
    #34
  35. themitchmann

    themitchmann Hall of Fame

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    It was coming from James' new coach...not sure he has any reason to lie about it.
     
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  36. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    How does one track down material in an airport in these days of security? Maybe it means they were able to locate a supplier based on some info from the airport?
     
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  37. themitchmann

    themitchmann Hall of Fame

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    No idea. Maybe it was being stored in a hanger?
     
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  38. Tennisguy777

    Tennisguy777 Professional

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    I love james been his fan for 10 years but at this juncture what is he trying to prove? He's 30, got a newborn and a girlfriend, guess he finally got the racquet he wanted maybe the missing piece was this coach.
     
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  39. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    The raw materials prepreg has to be stored at -15 degrees Celsius. I find that story far fetched.
     
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  40. themitchmann

    themitchmann Hall of Fame

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    I didn't question the story, but that fact does make me wonder.
     
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  41. Lefty78

    Lefty78 Professional

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    Haven't you guys seen Days of Thunder?

    Robert Duvall tells Tom Cruise that he put a "special" set of tires on the car. Cruise then has the confidence to pull off a daring pass on the last lap to win the race. Cruise later discovers there was nothing "special" about the tires after all, Duvall was just telling him what he needed to hear.
     
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  42. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    For whom? You just cannot go and take things from the freight area!
     
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  43. themitchmann

    themitchmann Hall of Fame

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    The material is apparently used in the airline industry. I'm sure someone was willing to sell for the right price.

    Of course, this assumes the story is actually true.
     
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  44. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    Carbon fiber is used in the aircraft industry, automobile industry, aerospace industry, formula 1 race cars, boating. But in Prepreg form it still needs to be stored at -15 degrees Celsius or the epoxy resins will cure.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012
    #44
  45. Fed Kennedy

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    He played better with feds racquet.
     
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  46. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I agree. I just found the airport story strange. Though I think it was a matter of insufficient detail. The summary is that they got a higher grade graphite (if the story is true).
     
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  47. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    real question is does he really play with Donnay or it is some other brand he painted over ?
     
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  48. Hidious

    Hidious Professional

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    It would make more sense if the story said he found some material in an aircraft factory in China instead of an airport...
     
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  49. Cnote

    Cnote Rookie

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    I wholeheartedly agree.
     
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  50. Praetorian

    Praetorian Professional

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    What do you mean by, "..what is he trying to prove?" Did he say something? I can only guess that you're questioning why he's still playing after 30 - clearly we all know he's not going to win a slam, or even get back to the top.
     
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