Mac blaming racket teck...makes me mad!

Discussion in 'Pros' Racquets and Gear' started by timeyer, Mar 7, 2005.

  1. timeyer

    timeyer New User

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    John and Pat Mcenroe are constantly talking about racket technology ruining the men's game, leading to huge serves and forehand winners.

    I'm sick of it. Are they really that stupid??? Look at the top players, Fed, Guga, Safin, Ferrero, Agassi, even big servers, Like JJ, or wayne arthurs. All of these guys use heavy mid to midplus frames not too much unlike wood rackets.

    If we went to wood, not much would change. I think the game would see less topspin, and more mishits...that's it.

    What is Mac playing with now? Does he hit 130mph bombs because of his new weapon? NO!

    he should just admit how much better the game has become. More players playing and training smarter than ever before.

    I just feel like Mac lives in the past and feels superior for some reason. Maybe he's a little ashamed that he didn't do a little more with the most talent ever given to a tennis player. I just wish he would shut up about "racket technology"

    Put ME in my place if you think I'm wrong!
     
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  2. ibemadskillzz

    ibemadskillzz Semi-Pro

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    I don't care about what the macs say. Athletes are getting stronger, fitter, and etc than ever. racquet technology doesn't do ****
     
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  3. 12step

    12step Guest

    you are ***
     
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  4. Morpheus

    Morpheus Professional

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    You're wrong on most points. I agree that the pro game is less interesting today, but it sure is more fun to play with the new rackets. And more people can play at a higher level, making the competition that much better.
     
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  5. alan-n

    alan-n Professional

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    A few years ago I would have agreed with what the Macs have said about racket "technology" in the PRO MENS game. Today I do not agree, its in the recreational game that racket technology has help those with less than perfect form and less than perfect technique and ability to hit the sweet spot which is good for the game... it makes it fun for everyone. As for the popularity of the game declining, face it, tennis is just hard to learn and kids growing up would rather focus on baseball, basketball, football to get schoolarships and still make a rediculous living being a bench warmer.

    As for the pro game changing look at Roger Federer, and upcoming talents like Rafeal Nadal. They are smart all court players and use the entire court. The fundamentals of the game hasn't changed, its still tennis and it is still great to watch. The speed of the game today VS when Chang, Sampras, Agassi came up in the late 80s and throughout the 90s are the same.... As for topspin, thats another story as it looks more exteme today with more powerful racquets and stiff strings to tame the power and add even more topspin.
     
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  6. bamboo

    bamboo Rookie

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    Arthurs uses a Pure Drive + - not a heavy frame, although it does have a decent swingeight - stiffness of 70 quite a bit different from a wood frame's 20-40. If you're going to claim it has a ton of lead on it, it would help to cite a source, not just say that it must so therefore it does.
     
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  7. timeyer

    timeyer New User

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    Morpheus,
    I have in fact played with wood. It is often my "handicap" against my friends. I still serve big, but generally make mistakes on groundstokes (I hit lots of topspin) and end up with a tired shoulder.

    I think many players could hit with pros. If Johnny Mac played for real, he'd go down in flames. Top players would routinely beat him 0,1, or 2. Fortunately, he's usually playing exhibitions with them...need I say more.
     
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  8. alan-n

    alan-n Professional

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    LOL, Johnny Mac did play in the era of graphite and the power game and he still won big matches.... but by that time his body and mind could no longer handle the brutal strain of going 100% match after match after match to win a big tournament... As for single set or two VS todays pros, yeah at 45 the man has still got the gas in the tank for it.
     
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  9. gustavo33

    gustavo33 Rookie

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    just look at the atp´s top 10:
    federer - good serve and awesome groundstrokes.. he´s not pure power
    hewitt- lots of heart.. no pure power
    roddick - pure power
    safin - lots of power but he can do everything..
    coria - lack of power
    henman - classic game
    moya - lots of power but that´s not all in his game
    agassi - great power but understands the game
    gaudio - clay court
    nalbandian - good all round game

    the best players are not members of the "i have to hit hard and flat. ace is the way to go" club
     
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  10. Deuce

    Deuce Banned

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    If the pros went back to playing with 70 sq. in. wood racquets, most of the posters in this thread would be absolutely shocked at how much it would change the game from what it is now.

    Most of you don't have a clue what you're talking about.
     
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  11. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Morpheus got it right. I would only add that the other significant change to rackets is the balance. Wood rackets had a different feel with regard to balance. They weren't as maneuverable as today's frames. That, combined with the fact that manufacturers can custom build frames to suit any player down to the cm/gram makes technology too big a player in the game today. I say make 'em play with a pro spec frame.
     
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  12. Morpheus

    Morpheus Professional

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    I agree wholeheartedly. The pro game would be different and the recreational game would change too. There would be fewer "good" players. Technology is a great equalizers. The game is easier today and it takes a lot less talent to be a 4.0 than if we were playing with 70 si wood rackets.
     
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  13. Nyl

    Nyl Rookie

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    i believe in fact, n reasoning......
    tennis mag used to featured mark philipoussis(sp?) served w/ both wood and his racquet. they used radargun to detect the speed and found out he served at 130s w/ both racquets...... the average diff is only 2 mph fast for modern racquet. Though i'm not surprised to see less topspin in the game.... in terms of power ? i wouldnt expect a big difference...

    some may say we have no idea what the difference is between wood n graphite .... and i would say, they have no idea how much stronger are the current players than the 80s n 70s, especially after the trainning evolution which agassi showed the world.
     
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  14. Colpo

    Colpo Professional

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    I'm getting a wee bit misty-eyed at you guys who would like to put the graphite composite genie back in its bottle, with John McEnroe at the top of the "If I could turn back time, da-da-da-da, ..." infractors' list. What's so great about a sport where the average player sucks? Not much. The graphite revolution made the game much, much more accessible and enjoyable to the average baller - that's a good thing. It also made it easier to improve, to hit winners, to not frame balls with regularity, and to give a go at crushing a sitter - that's fun, too.

    The suggestion of re-instituting wooden bats to the pro tennis game is equally silly, and a waste of breath. Ain't happ-nin'. I don't even want it to happen. Graphite has completely revolutionized for the better the clay court game - it's still patience-based, but it's not the loop-di-loop live poetry reading it once was (I dare you, make a mistake first). Guys can now crush their hi-percentage shots from backcourt to backcourt, making the clay game more viewable. I think these benefits are apparent, but to a lesser degree, on all other surfaces. Of course there are trade-offs, but it's not like the shooting/playmaking issues they have in the modern NBA. The pro game is in great shape. It's called technological progress and it's already well-entrenched - what are we, socialists over here?

    As for the women's game, make me laugh and tell me that a typical women's match was better with wood frames. Gimme a break!

    Last, let's not forget that Mac is always motivated by protecting his pro legacy. In the back of his mind always lurks the thought that he could've done better had he grown up in the current generation of players, with their equipment advantages. Also, if that were the case, it's less likely that he would've now been attracted to the 40-something Tatum O'Neal. That's what fuels his clear, quiet resentment on the graphite vs. wood issue, so take it with a sea of salt.
     
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  15. Fatmike

    Fatmike Semi-Pro

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    I played with a wood racquet a few weeks ago.... my game wasn't so different.... less powerfull but that's all....
     
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  16. ohplease

    ohplease Professional

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    Oh joy, we're doing this again.

    MacEnroe is the poster child for baby boomer self-centeredness. Things needed to change, to be shook up, back when he wasn't part of the establishment. Now that he IS the establishment, things need to change back to how they used to be in his heyday. Whatevs. He's probably just mad because the academy kids are going to hand it to him in the senior's tour just like they did on the regular circuit.

    It's never really about "The Equipment." It's just the last twitching ravings of a simple minded guy with a lousy work ethic, wasted talent, and poor impulse control before he's pushed off into irrelevance.

    This guy wouldn't beat me if we were playing with wood. This guy wouldn't beat me if we were playing with midsize graphits. This guy wouldn't beat me if we banned the pure drive. Wah wah wah. Dinkers, wah. Pure drives, wah. Baseline bashers, wah. Where's my mommy?

    Here's some news: that guy wouldn't beat you if you SHUT UP AND BROUGHT SOME GAME TO THE PARTY.
     
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  17. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    I hear what all you guys are saying. However, how do we explain the fact that tennis was MORE popular (in the U.S., at least) back when everyone used wood racquets than it is today when everyone is using supposedly "easier to play with" modern racquets?

    Could one reason be that many people find it boring to have their opponents blast service aces and groundstroke winners past them while they're standing helplessly on the baseline, not quick enough to get to the balls? Yes, they've made the racquets more powerful, but we still have the same old legs (at least on the recreational level). Back in the wood racquet days, you could actually have long rallies, and you needed to construct points and use a lot of strategy since it was very difficult to just put the ball away at will like you can today. It was more of a chess match. Perhaps that's why more people found the game more appealing back in those days that made tennis more popular? Just a theory.
     
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  18. Kevin Patrick

    Kevin Patrick Hall of Fame

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    I think you hit on something Breakpoint. This was from an article in Tennis Magazine by James Kaplan(who co-wrote Mac's book):
    tennis.com

    "I would like to propose a theory. Recreational players of my vintage—those of us who came up in the great times between the beginning of the Open era and the end of the wood-racquet days—have always had an active fantasy life when it comes to tennis. This, I believe, is because we grew into the sport at the last moment when it was possible to imagine (and I stress the word imagine) some points of connection between what professional players did on the court and what we did.

    I have no idea what young recreational players fantasize about today. How can you even begin to think that what you’re doing is in any way similar to what Andy Roddick or Taylor Dent do? Maybe this is why my local public courts are so much emptier than they were 20 years ago."
     
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  19. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    The whole Philipoussis experiment was misleading. How hard can you hit a first serve? That doesn't say how consistently can you hit a second serve. That doesn't account for what you do if the serve comes back. Sure, he could wallop a first serve, pro players have been doing that since tennis began. But ask Colin Dibley how far a fast first serve will get you. (Who is Colin Dibley you ask? Exactly my point. In the 70s he was touted as having the fastedt serve in the world.) Ask Roscoe Tanner how good a 140 MPH serve is on grass against Borg. The question here is what would the rest of his game do.

    Wood rackets do not allow for the same racket head speed as graphite ones. Wood rackets are harder to hit second serves with, which forces you to reign in your first serve to get your percentages up. Wood rackets are harder to hit volleys with. Wood rackets require an investment in time to get up to speed with. Wood rackets don't tear your arm off. :)

    You completely discount the possibility that maybe he's trying to protect the game? Tennis is the only major (?) sport where technology has taken over.
     
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  20. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    technology has changed another sport. it has dramatically changed golf (if you count golf as a sport) :) it's sweetspotsize, not materials. in golf you have huge headed clubs with huge sweetspots making it easier for people to hit it flush..while that is great for the hackers, it mostly desnt allow for the best ball strikers to rise to the top w. a couple exceptions like Tiger Woods...Jack Nicklaus says this and he knows a bit about the game..golfers dont carry 1 and 2 irons anymore because they really just arent good enough to hit a small bladed forged 1 iron flush. In tennis, i think it is the racquetheadsize that has changed the game. bigger headed frames benefit the return of server and also encourage a western forehand baseline game because you can get a decent hit out of a larger headed racquet with the steep angle of attack of a larger headed frame....ever see where Nadal pops his strings? like nowhere close to the center of the frame....put an 85 in head or smaller in his hands, and he wouldnt get away with that sort of game and would have to alter his strokes. as to the wood serving...you can indeed serve about as fast, but you get tired soooooo much faster swinging wood fast, and youjust can not consistently swing a heavy frame as fast as you can ligtweight graphite thru the course of a match. sampras was an exception of course
     
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  21. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, but you have to agree that the powers that be in golf have done more to protect their game than their counterparts in tennis. What am I saying? The only thing they've done in tennis is ban 1) spaghetti stringing, 2) the Big Bubba, and 3) that Head Titanium frame several years ago.

    Thank God they banned the Big Bubba. Could you imagine Roddick serving with one of those?
     
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  22. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    rabbit i think all they need to do in pro tennis is make the headsize limit an 85 and they can use any material they wish..that would be enough to change the game IMO and to bring back some serve and volley and all court play, and to get more away from the western gripping boring baseline bashing game, and the best ball strikers and athletes would rise to the top..it's really the only change the game needs IMO..
     
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  23. Morpheus

    Morpheus Professional

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    If this were to happen, in your estimation, who among today's players would rise to the top?
     
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  24. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    i dunno Morpheus...let me think about this and get back to you...seriously. obviously Federer is already up at the top and using not much more than an 85 headize now..i think he used to use an 85 and had wilson make him a 90 which he uses now? that to me, makes his dominance even more special..the fact he is playng against people whose frames have a much greater margin for error and is still dominating. i would say players who already play all court ball and who are already good pure ball strikers would ramp up..i would say the likes of Safin who's serve would be much more dominating against returners weilding smaller headed frames and who (to me) is the new proptypical tennis speciman with huge moblity for a guy that big...i think alot of players would ramp up and alot would just fall by the wayside. what do you think?
     
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  25. Morpheus

    Morpheus Professional

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    NBMJ:

    1. Federer of course for all the reasons you mentioned.

    2. I think the best players of the past had really keen eyesight--not just 20/20 but an advanced ability to focus and track objects. The best returners are said to have great eyesight (Agassi, Connors etc), but what they mean by this is that they pick up the ball earlier and are able to track it well. So I can imagine that the best returners of today may have an advantage using a smaller, heavier racket. I don't know who the best returners are, but Agassi comes to mind.

    3. Speedy, baseliners may well do okay, ala Hewitt. And, I think, those with very sound fundamentals (Nalbandian comes to mind).

    4. And finally, the serve and vollyers may have a shot (Henman for sure, maybe Dent), but others, currently unheard of, would likely emerge in this category.
     
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  26. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    aha morpheus, but notice that agassi keeps tweaking his racquet head size larger.......dont think a nalbandian would shine..to me, he is a classic example of a very fit trained tennis player, but perhaps not someone with alot of athletic ablity..ie no serve for a big guy and an unthinkable volley if he ever volleys other than a decent drop volley..the point i was trying to make is that the larger headed frames benefit the service return game and not the serve, and that is one reason why you see so little serve and volley played..the percentages are really against you when guys can rip winners with the freedom of a much bigger sweetspot returning serve..also the larger headsize has permitted more western grippers which has lead to looping no risk tennis from the backcourt....try hitting western grip steep angle of attack groundies w. a small headed frame and see how much tougher it is, and notice how the baseliners in general are using the larger headed frames. borg was really the onlyone who could do it back then and he had the best eyes and still hit alot of frame balls especcially on his forehand side and the balls werent flying as fast back them mostly because the gear wasnt nearly as powerful. agree with you about the eyesight and the god given ability to see the ball sooner...ala borg and connors and agassi. i really think just changing the headsize to a max of 85 would make te pro tennis much more exciting and the best of the best would rise to the top....obvioulsy it is harder to hit the sweetspot of an 85 headsize ala sampras than it is the 100size or so of a Nadal..i dont think that is disputable.
     
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  27. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Why just stop with the pros? I wish everyone was forced to go back to 85 sq. in. racquets. I know I would win a lot more matches. I'm so sick and tired of playing these guys with the 120 sq. in. snow shoes, who have no strokes other than blocking the ball or wrist flicks, but they get everything back because it's nearly impossible to miss the ball with such a massive sweetspot. I know I have much better strokes and am the better tennis player, but I can still lose to these guys. It's very frustrating. These racquets allow people who can't really play tennis win matches. I think it's turning tennis into an ugly looking game when once it was a fluid, beautiful game to watch. As an example in the pro game, just look at the difference between watching Roddick versus watching Federer. Of course, the difference is even more extreme at the recreational level.
     
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  28. Morpheus

    Morpheus Professional

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    I feel your pain, but I also realize that I now have many more competitive opponents. More people can enjoy the game and play at a higher level. You, too, will someday enjoy a Snowshoe and it will extend your tennis life span, provided of course that you don't blow out your arm in the meantime.:)
     
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  29. Morpheus

    Morpheus Professional

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    NBMJ:

    Yes, now that I think of it, I recall that I used to frame my kick serves and they would fly off over the fence. I can't recall ever doing that with my 98si Volkl. The small head was a lot harder to brush on the serve. I had flatish groundies so I didn't frame those shots as often.

    It is hard to say whether the S&Vers would dominate or the baseliners, but I suspect that with the increased fitness and strength of today's athletes, we would see a resurgence of the S&V game.
     
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  30. Deuce

    Deuce Banned

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    Man, how I wish the ATP (and WTA) would just listen to us, and apply this stuff to the game...

    If it's broke (and it most certainly is) ... FIX IT!
     
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  31. BERDI4

    BERDI4 Semi-Pro

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    Vilas and Borg hit very heavy topspin with their small wooden racquets.

    I agree with Mac. It's like Formula 1. Each year the technology is getting more important.
     
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  32. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    Borg also hit tons of frame balls and the ball was traveling alot slower back then, and he arguably had the best eyes in the business. also all of the pros made tons more unforced errors back then, than now
     
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  33. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    Because sports is character driven and we don't have any Connors, McEnroe's, or Nastase's right now. Borg was even interesting because he was the complete opposite of Mac in personality and playing style.

    It's not about play, it's about characters/personalities. If Venus and Serena weren't black and from Compton and were instead Olga and Maria, two white girls from Ukraine, they would not have made nearly the same impact on the USA.

    The thing is the kind of life a kid leads to become a top pro isn't ideal for developing interesting personalities. They're relatively rich, sheltered, and they spend most of their teens learning how to be a professional athlete instead of an interesting person. And the tennis establishment sort of encourages people to be contained and boring. No wonder nobody gives a crap.
     
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  34. ohplease

    ohplease Professional

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    Bravo. Additionally, I quote myself: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=29340
     
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  35. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I agree somewhat, but I also think that the decline has been due to the play. The play today is so one dimensional that it turns people off.
     
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  36. spam

    spam Rookie

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    Absolutely agree,Mac seems unhappy with what he achieved,wishes he'd worked harder and feels he could've ,should've etc.Lets be honest,I grew up playing with wooden racquets but I enjoy the game so much more now ,for all its open stances,western grips,topspin and power.The modern game has evolved ,its better ,more challenging and has produced arguably the two best,most artistic all round players ever seen in Sampras and Federer ,everything else is just sentimentality.
     
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  37. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Lots of good points educating the author of this thread.
    I will add that "current racket technology HAS changed the nature of tennis" !
    Customized ultra stiff oversize graphite composite rackets with poly strings now enable open level players to blast baseline and service return winners from behind the baseline which has turned tennis into a "baseline blasting" game.
     
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  38. Brian Purdie

    Brian Purdie Semi-Pro

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    a long explanation is not necessary to explain the simple, petty, uneducated remarks of McEnroe. He is too old to compete with the top players anymore. He was never in physical shape to compete with the top players for the 2nd half of his career. Mac never blames himself. He blames technology for edging him out. BooHoo. Must've been all that technology Lendl had that was kicking his @ss day in and day out!
     
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  39. The Pusher Terminator

    The Pusher Terminator Banned

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    Its not the serves and forehands that have improved so drastically...its the return of serves that has become so huge!!!! The reason you see so few serve and volleyers is because the return game has improved so drastically.
     
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  40. bobdstrategy

    bobdstrategy New User

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    NBM: I definitely agree with your 85 sq in suggestion for the Pros (especially the men)for all the reasons you and others have stated. But I want to ask you and everyone:

    1. Does that have a snowballs chance of ever happening?

    2. If it did happen, would Federer be so far ahead of everyone else for a couple of years (or more) that no one would be able to take a set off him, much less a match?

    Thanks, Bob
     
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  41. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Here are my opinions of your questions, bobdstrategy:

    1. No.

    2. Yes.
     
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  42. bobdstrategy

    bobdstrategy New User

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    Thanks for your opinions, BreakPoint. And it's sure looking tough for the rest of the tour to get a set off Fed even with those larger racquets.
     
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  43. GugaGuga

    GugaGuga Rookie

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    Personally, I don't think the modern frame has hurt the sport at all. It has changed it a bit, however. The fact is that the balls are now heavier than they were during the wood racquet era, and "conventional tactics" have evolved over time to account for the new possiblities created by this equipment. I do admit that I prefer to play and watch tennis on slower surfaces, but tennis is still tennis. It's match play--always one person against another--so there is now way to compare eras.

    The last 5 years of Roland Garros have given us some of the most entertaining clay court tennis ever seen. The game has just evolved over time-- like all games do.
     
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  44. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Technology and Training are changing the nature of sports.
    In basketball, players are bigger, faster, stronger and jump higher so the team game of pick/roll and passing to get baskets has been replaced by the one on one beat your man and explode to the basket for a slam dunk. In tennis, with ultra stiff light rackets strung with poly string, swung by bigger and stronger players, the game has evolved into just swing as hard as possible and blast a service return or baseline winner. Why bother risking a net approach ?
     
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  45. ferrari_827

    ferrari_827 Professional

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    I am slightly amused that in a way, Mojo is for smaller head racket head sizes, at least in the pros.

    When I think of the consequences, I think there would be a larger gap between those with those with good technique and those without. The technically superior players would be killing those with lesser technique, and this would be most apparent at the nonprofessional or recreational level (!!)

    Tennis would become more elitist, and you would see a more classic style of play, not all these extreme grips and spins. Western grips would lose popularity. Would this be good ? I'm not sure.

    I'm not sure I would benefit because returning serve would be that much more difficult with 85sq.in.
     
    #45
  46. dgordon

    dgordon Guest

    Mac blaming racket teck

    Having played this game for about 49 years...a USPTA member, college palyer/team captain, various rankings in different sections and age groups...the players are bigger stronger faster...the new technology allows more power, more consistantly particularly off the ground. In the wood days, if you hit a good low approach in the corner, you were in good shape. Now folks hit huge passing shots falling backwards, off balance with a flick of their wrists.
     
    #46
  47. Scorch

    Scorch Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2004
    Messages:
    158
    To the poster who mentioned the improvement in return of serve - I could not agree more. Since the mid to late 90s the game has become less boom-boom imo, at the height of Sampras, Ivanisevic, Becker, there seemed to be far more short points resulting in uninteresting matches. Tennis is in better shape nowadays.

    Secondly new tech rackets allow better defending also, so yes you can hit the big shots off balls where wood rackets would not allow but you can also defend against these shots better so the advantage/disadvantage is more equal than many think.

    Thirdly has anyone actually watched a classic match from the wood era recently? Now everyone is entitled to their opinion but having watched the famous Borg vs Guerilitas Wimbledon not so long ago I would argue that whilst entertaining it is incredible how slow the play seems. I know that I want to see the modern game instead of the slow (artistic, etc blah) game of yesturday. There is truly no going back, the old game loos so, well, old! The appeal from the McEnroe Borg era really was character driven because the game today is more entertaining for those who look past the lack of swearing, abuse towards officials etc.
     
    #47
  48. johnmcc516

    johnmcc516 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2005
    Messages:
    528

    Im in this boat. I have no clue what tennis was like with wooden racquets. I just keep my mouth shut about this topic and read. :)
     
    #48
  49. Lambsscroll

    Lambsscroll Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2004
    Messages:
    1,471
    Location:
    United States
    If the technology helps so much with the serve wouldn't we see more tiebreaks in the pros than in the days of the wooden racquet or am I looking at this the wrong way?
     
    #49
  50. Deuce

    Deuce Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2004
    Messages:
    5,270
    Location:
    A not so parallel universe...
    Today's racquets also make the return of serve easier. Ergo... etc.

    Heh... wasn't that the original intention of sport - that those with the most talent shall rise to the top? It's simply the way it should be.
     
    #50

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