Juggling wood and metal

Discussion in 'Classic Racquet Talk' started by gpt, May 22, 2009.

  1. gpt

    gpt Professional

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    This is the age of precision matching of frame weight, balance, grip, swing weight, tension and blah blah blah.

    In the 70's it was common for players to alternate between totally different racquets from one week to the next. For instance, Newcombe played with an all metal Rawlings Tie Breaker in the US and won at Forest Hills in 73 , yet when he played in Australia or the UK the same year he used Slazenger woodies winning the AO in Jan 75. Rosewall, Laver, Roche and others had similar contactual obligations meaning they had to alternate between wood and metal.

    I think BJK made the Wimbledon final with a T2000 in 69 and subsequently went back and forth between them Bancroft woodies in the years that followed.

    Hitting with a T2000 compared to a Dunlop Maxply is a completely different experience. I cant imagine a modern day pro being able to successfully switch between two such different sticks. Is that because the game is more professional now or because the modern day player relies on equipment much more now that in the past? Or some other reason?
     
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  2. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    i think today's pros could do it too if they had to do it but they don't have to it so they don't.
    but it doesn't mean that the switch won't affect their games, some more so than others :)
     
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  3. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    It's psychological only. Any pro could adjust to any racquet and play well if they were so inclined and believed in it. In that sense, today's pro suffers from the same ridiculous delusion that TW posters suffer from, albeit to a smaller degree.

    Naturally, it's better to stick with consistent equipment, but in reality, you must adjust every day to wildly varying conditions.

    Most of the time spent on equipment is a waste of time, but it's easier than putting in the hard work on your game!

    In any case, I've seen both Sampras and Mcenroe switch easily between wood and graphite racquets. Agassi has switched racquets in matches and grand slam tournies, including going from 19mm to 31mm! Not a great idea in pro matches where 1 point can decide a match, but not actually that big a deal either.

    By that same token, Lendl made pros believe they had to have every racquet strung fresh for every match and put in garbage bags.

    If I were playing the tour, I'd have every racquet strung fresh by a team of stringers, so each racquet would be strung simultaneously. The team leader would call the exact moment each string should be pulled. This would occur exactly 9.5 hours before the match starting time. I'd have 5 batches done, in 1/2 hour intervals in case the match start is delayed. And to switch each 1/2 hour into the match. I'd also have an assistant follow me through the match, spraying the air with a humidiyer so that I could keep that variable more constant. As the tread on my shoes wore down during the match, I'd have a ballboy file down the tread on my back-up shoes to match. But what is overlooked the most is the weight, knot, and balance of shoelaces. It must be maintained or no consistency can ever be achieved.
     
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  4. gpt

    gpt Professional

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    Ha Ha .Just beautiful Datacipher. Thanks for that. ps i have no idea why this post went up twice.
     
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  5. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Haha. No problem. In any case, my real point is simply that these things become a bigger deal when WE MAKE a bigger deal out of them than they really are. Temperature could change more than 10 degrees celcius in some pro matches, as well as humidity, and many other factors, you can go from clay to grass in 1 week, on and on....I was always telling my juniors, the ones who make the adjustments best are the ones who DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT. haha. We act like our bodies can't adjust to a new frame, yet we puzzle over "new frame" zoning, when we hit out of our minds with a new racquet instantly. Why? Body can adjust quickly if you THINK the new frame will be great for you! (haha, then we slowly regress back as we subconsciously realize, actually, we're about the same level as before)

    If it were normal for pros to switch a lot today, and they had to for one reason or another, you'd see them doing it without much of a hiccup at all! Of course some frames are better suited for each of us, but Seles, one of the biggest women's hitters of all time, can play just fine with a Prince Graphite or a honkin granny stick the size of New York!

    As to TW gear junkies, like trying new frames for fun? Sure, go ahead! Want to actually get better? STOP expending energy thinking about new frames, pick ANY frame that feels reasonably good, make a commitment to it, start working on GAME!

    Even Edberg, who tried unsuccesfully to switch frames in his career admitted it was mostly mental (there was some arm soreness as well), he basically said he felt great with the new frame but then you miss a shot and think "I would have made that one with the old frame", once that begins, it's all downhill from there!

    As Mick said, since the pros today CAN have everything exactly as they want it, there is little reason not to, and i"m sure many of them think that all the little details count more than they do....though MOST OF them are nowhere NEAR as bad as the OCD, TW posters....who then wonder why some pros seem to know so little about the anal retentive details of equipment!
     
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  6. gpt

    gpt Professional

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    Hey Datacipher I agree with what you have written and after reading these TW posts for a couple of months, it now seems that the number of tennis enthusiasts with OCD is up there with those who follow golf. I reckon that might explain the minimal number of replies to this post. I guess people dont like admitting their condition.

    I remember a guy who played tournaments with me years ago who had adopted the habit of his hero Gerulaitis. He would re wrap his grip with gauze at every end change. He once left his stash at home and could barely continue a singles match with two game old gauze tape on his grip. Was endlessly asking others to loan him some- a real gauze junkie.

    I wonder how many club players out there now have to have the position of their water bottles just right.
    I posted this queston to see what others would have to say about it but the vast majority is silent.
     
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