Make the Pros Tell the Truth

Discussion in 'Pros' Racquets and Gear' started by SVP, Feb 22, 2010.

  1. SVP

    SVP Rookie

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    There's always been speculation about the racquets the pros use, and whether the racquets they use are actually as advertised. Roddick has been quoted as saying something to the effect that (I know it's not an exact quote) the racquet he uses is basically the same thing you can buy from a tennis shop. Fine, let's take Roddick's racquet after a match and compare it to the retail. Ask other pros to provide their match racquets for comparison. Why be so secretive about it? If you were an elite tennis pro, wouldn't you want your talent to be attributed to your innate and developed skills, and not modifications to a racquet or a paintjobbed racquet? It's the same thing with performance-enhancing drugs: if I were a clean athlete, I'd gladly provide a blood/urine test to show that I don't need no stinkin' steroids to enhance my performance.
     
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  2. rosenstar

    rosenstar Professional

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    Because racquet companies are paying some of these guys millions a year to keep there mouth shut. I'm not sure the exact contract Roddick has with babolat, but I'd have no problem lying to the public (90% which don't care) just to pocket an extra few million.
     
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  3. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    There are two different scenarios possible.

    1. Pro player is advertised as switching to a brand new racquet that just came out (ie. Federer and the Wilson BLX). This is BS because a successful pro would not switch racquets every 2 years or so. Of course Wilson will want to keep hush hush so that the wannabes buy the new racquets instead of sticking to the old ones that the pro still uses.

    2. Racquet that a player had custom-made later on gets released to the public. Based on alot of discussions, I'd say the K-90 was something that was made for Federer, and then later on released to the public with the same specs that Federer uses. I'm guessing the "Roddick Pure Drive" was marketed like this as well? So chances are right now Federer uses the K-90 and Roddick uses the "Roddick Pure Drive".
     
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  4. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    Roddick does not use Cortex.........
     
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  5. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    It becomes kinda funny when you think about it though. The only pros who really changed frames en masse were those who made the transition from wood to graphite or more importantly standard sized to non-standard. Once they did make the transition, they pretty much stuck with what worked. They might have tweaked their gear, but wholesale changes in gear are definetly the exception and not the rule.

    If you want to know what today's pros use, you should probably look to what they used as juniors. True, most pros make one change when they sign an endorsement contract, from what I've seen, the majority are old Prince users who sign a "big" contract with another vendor. Notable are Hewitt, Roddick, Nalbandian, and Rios.

    IMO, the funny part comes in at exactly this point. Let's take Lleyton Hewitt as an example. Let's say, just for the sake of saying, that he plays with the same old RD-Tour 90 that he signed with Yonex after leaving his Prince Graphite behind. He has kept current with whatever paint job Yonex has had to keep his earnings maximized. Now there is a legion of wannabes who buy that frame because Hewitt advertises it. But, there is a small cadre of juniors who will make it to the pros. And, guess what.....they're going to use the current advertised stick, not the RD-Tour 90. And when they do become pros, they'll more than likely keep the same layup and frame as they started with.

    So, if you want to know what the pros are playing with, pay attention to the junior competition. :)
     
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  6. botticelli

    botticelli New User

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    Does it really matter what the pros use? Anyone that purchases a racquet because Federer or Nadal uses it is an idiot in the first place. Players need to use the correct racquet for his or her style of play not because a pro uses it.
     
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  7. Pioneer

    Pioneer Professional

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    I think it's more important that we know their lead set-ups rather than their actual racquet. Because after all (I don't know about non-Head pros btw) but most pros, even if they use a model that's available in the shop, get much lighter versions of it, then tweak it with lead tape. A few days ago I saw a thread of a guy who had got his hand's on a pro's cracked frame and the pro told him that if he wanted a similar racquet he can get a 300-310g headlight racquet and add X amounts of lead tape
     
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  8. JediMindTrick

    JediMindTrick Professional

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    Back when Roddick said that, it was probably true, so he didn't lie.
     
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  9. tennisntn3477

    tennisntn3477 Rookie

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    It would be great to know all the details about what frame a pro actually playes matches with, but it's not going to happen. I am as curious as anyone else about pro's frame choices/layups/swingweights/etc,..but any pro who thinks they have found an advantage because of customization would be crazy to share that information with their competitors.

    I think the general consensus is that the public doesn't truly believe everyone that endorses Gillette razors actually wakes up and shaves with them each morning. Should be the same with pros and the frames they endorse. Play with the best frame you can find from demos/match testing and just move forward.
     
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  10. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    ^
    True that. I have it on good authority that Federer's Gillette is actually a paint job of a Shick. The 4th blade is painted in....
     
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  11. big bang

    big bang Hall of Fame

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    yes its a pj but its actually a lady-shaver, I bought a used one last month:)
     
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  12. wilfreb

    wilfreb Semi-Pro

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    totally agree
     
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  13. jackson vile

    jackson vile Legend

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    Let the stupid people be manipulated, they deserve it!
     
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  14. tennisntn3477

    tennisntn3477 Rookie

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    Too funny, rabbit - think there's kevlar or twaron mixed in with the steel?<G>
     
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  15. tenis

    tenis Professional

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    YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
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  16. Bashi

    Bashi Rookie

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    but i think if a junior is good enough to become a pro, theyll use the racquet they like - not just pick one "because lleyton uses it"
     
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  17. rosenstar

    rosenstar Professional

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    I agree that it is interesting. I'd never buy a racquet because Fed used it, but I'd definitely be interesting it hitting a couple balls with it.

    Another thing I'd like to add is that professional tennis players are professional tennis players - not engineers. You think Roddick knows the exact balance, static and swing weight of his racquet? No. He knows what feels good and what doesn't. He knows his frame has some sort of head light balance and is somewhere between 11 and 13 oz, and that's it. Many posters on this board probably know more about Roddick's racquet than he does.
     
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  18. SVP

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    standards

    I'm not saying that it matters what the pros use, or that your racquet choice should be based on what the pros use. I'm just saying, there is a lot of speculation and interest on these boards about what racquets and strings the pros use.

    Look at NBA basketball. There is only one piece of basketball equipment: the basketball. No one questions Kobe Bryant or LeBron James about the basketball they use. They're superior athletes. That's all that matters. They perform at their high level because of their superior skills. But tennis, being the interesting sport that it is, is different. Tennis equipment is such an integral part of the sport. The interesting thing about tennis is that there are some many different levels of ability. Hell, there are even differently numbered levels of skill. Ever heard of a 3.5 basketball player? So it's not unreasonable for those of us less-skilled tennis players to ask the elite players what exactly do you use? I just want to try and improve myself. I want more information other than the usual " consult a qualified tennis professional, get into shape, improve your tennis skills." If Nadal, Federer, or whoever were to present their racquet for inspection and their racquet is just stock, then fine, they're the super-skilled player and I'll just have to work hard to get better. But my question is, why all the secrecy about what they use? Why all the questions asking is what he uses a paintjob or not? Does he lead up his racquet or not? If so-and-so pro lead up his racquet at 3 or 9 or wherever he puts the lead, can't I try it out too? The pro shouldn't mind divulging his secrets if he truly believes that he is a a superior tennis player.
     
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  19. brownbearfalling

    brownbearfalling Hall of Fame

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    SVP:
    I am sorry you feel overwhelmed and tired of reading all this discussion on the boards about pro's racquets. But some people like to speculate and all of this starts conversation. If you don't understand it or don't like it. Don't participate. Simple as that. Go over to the golf forum and try to find out what Clubs Tiger Woods uses. It is the same conversation and speculation.

    Your NBA comparison is USELESS. A huge part of basketball is the shoes. The public buys the shoes that "Kobe wears" or "Lebron wears" but are they the same? You tell me.
     
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  20. SVP

    SVP Rookie

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    sorry if I offended you

    My intent was not to demean the speculation on these boards about what racquets the pros use. Hell, I like to engage in such speculation myself. If you review what I said in my post about this, you won't see any reference stating that I think the speculation on these boards is idiotic or misplaced. As I said, "there is a lot of speculation and interest on these boards about what racquets and strings the pros use." If there is something in this statement indicating my belief that such speculation or interest is misplaced or idiotic, please tell me. My intent, as evidenced by the body of my post, was that all this secrecy about what the pros use has created a lot of speculation.

    Sorry, brownbear, you really misread me on this. No offense.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2010
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  21. DrpShot!

    DrpShot! Semi-Pro

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    Not really, look at the 'shooter's sleeve' thing Iverson started, serves no real purpose, but the marketers say it helps to keep the muscles from vibrating, which can help to alleviate symptoms of tendonitis...right. If Federer wore that thing so would half the people playing tennis. There's also shoes, they go through the paint job thing with those too.
     
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  22. SVP

    SVP Rookie

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    Please

    Please posters, if you're going to quote me, quote the entire paragraph. Dropshot just referred to the first couple of sentences to my paragraph, which just happened to be followed by approximately 20 sentences. If you read the entirety of the paragraph, you will see that the point I'm trying to make is that superior athletes don't have to rely on special equipment, e.g., NBA basketball, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant just have to put the basketball in the hoop or whatever, so why should elite tennis players have to be secretive about their equipment? Jeez. How do you long time posters have the stamina to deal with this kind of crap?
     
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  23. OliverSimon

    OliverSimon Hall of Fame

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    Under Pressure!
     
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  24. naturallight

    naturallight Rookie

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    Just repeating what everyone else has said, but they are secretive because it helps sell more racquets. It's not really rocket science.
     
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  25. MethodTennis

    MethodTennis Hall of Fame

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    yep roddick uses a second or possibly a thrid gen (unlikely) leaded up like hell
     
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  26. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    It's pretty simple, they keep this info a secret because:

    1. They are paid millions to promote the most current version of their sponsor's rackets.

    2. If they feel their modifications give them an advantage or if they feel an opponent's knowledge about their modifications could give away an advantage, they won't share that information.

    The fact the a pro customizes their racket to match the feel they they want does not call into question their athleticism or skills. Any competitor in any sport will try to gain a competitive edge, be it clubs, skis, skates, rackets, shoes, set up for their racing car, etc.

    As for the recreational player - are you saying that you don't want an honest answer? Because for the recreational player, really the only way to get better is to practice (maybe with a pro), get more fit and improve your skills. Knowing Nadal's set-up or Fed's set up is not going to help the average player.

    Putting so much emphasis on these customized rackets is like looking at the easy 0.01% of improvement in the game and ignoring 99.99% of the hard work they need to put in to really improve.

    If the recreational player wants to maximize their game through their equipment, the best thing to do is to demo and buy a racket that fits their game the best and ignore what player X is playing with. If there are small adjustments to be made, then you can find tennis shops that will modify your racket or you can do some research and learn how and why to add lead, etc.
     
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  27. mtommer

    mtommer Hall of Fame

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    Most people's style of play is based on wanting to be like x pro. Federer's idol was Sampras. Was Fed an idiot for wanting to use "Pete's stick" in the beginning? He didn't know at the time he was going to be number one in the world or even 100. Wanting to be like the pros is a huge motivational factor and it makes sense and shouldn't be considered derogatory if one wants to use what the pros use.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2010
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  28. AllDownTheLine

    AllDownTheLine Rookie

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    You're missing the point entirely. They aren't guarded secrets against other pros who might "steal it". The other pros have zero interest in others equipment except how much they got paid.
    I think most fans who are interested in what the pros actually use have no intention of using the same equipment.
    They/we just happen to have an interest in tennis equipment and the decisions that the pros make in order to maximize what works for them.
    For example: I can't tell you why I find it fascinating that Blake is playing with a Blacked out pj'd racquet and black tape over his Nike's so you can't see the swoosh even though you can easily see the air max bubbles. Actually I can tell you why, it's about my interest in the business side of the game.
    I also enjoy knowing how tight he strings his sticks. I watched him in doubles in Delray this weekend and for some reason this knowledge enhanced my pleasure. But I have no plans to get electrical tape for my Adidas and I play with a racquet that I know not one pro uses.
    I can't speak for others but I figure there are a lot more out there like me.
     
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  29. OliverSimon

    OliverSimon Hall of Fame

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    Pros using PJ's is a good idea.

    -OS
     
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  30. PED

    PED Legend

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    +1....great summary of how I feel as well
     
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  31. wgmh128

    wgmh128 New User

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    Beat me to it, I totally agree. Many players emulate their favorite players in more ways than racquets. Some emulate the serve like Federer, Djockovic and many other pros who used to idolize Sampras. Almost all the croatians serve like Goran too.
     
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  32. SVP

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