Discussion in 'Pros' Racquets and Gear' started by tennisphotog, Aug 8, 2005.
Post taken out due to lack of knowledge and/or abundance of ignorance.
This article is always interesting to read.
I’ve played Challengers and warmed up pros at a few grand slams. I don’t think I ever met anyone that picky about their racquets. This must be something exclusive to like top 10 players that get wind blown up their asses about how they’re gods among mortals.
Sure many liked to customize their racquets with some lead tape here and there but believe it or not, most used off the shelf crap that they requested from their sponsors. I just used off the shelf prostaff Wilson racquets.
Some of this top secret modification stuff honestly sounds like a lot of BS mixed in with half truths.
Mariano Zabaleta does this. I know him.
Where is John Cauthen and his amazing, magic lump-of-lead-stuck-to-a-handle? I miss him!
Any sponsored tennis player can get custom racquets for free.
You have no idea what your talking about. A pro could beat most ppl with a walmart racquet.
Most ppl dont care who uses the racquet they care about how it feels to them.!!!
I'm not sure why some guy without a life has not sued these companies for false advertising.
1.) They are strongly implying or even blatantly stating that pros admired by many people use their "new" racquets when the racquets they used are not even being sold on the market anymore.
2.) If you ask the majority of racquet buyers, not us tennis fanatics, they would say they bought the racquet because they identify with someone they like watching uses them. (Use of credibility: If that guy uses that racquet, that racquet must be a good racquet.)
3.) This would mean that the no. 1 reason of sales for racquet companies is based upon a lie..
That would set interesting precedence and can be extended to all sports or any professional activity for that matter. Who would seriously expect that a race car used by a pro has anything to do with even expensive top of the line models of the same manufacturer. Or would any one think you can buy a bicycle that comes really close to the one Lance Armstrong uses? Or that pro musicians instruments have anything in common with the stuff hanging from the walls at Guitar Center?
As for the latter I can assure you that serious musicians tend to spend a lot of effort and sometimes top dollars to tweak and customize instruments for the increasing demands of their growing abilities. Just like in Tennis, pros and semi-pros end up with tools that have nothing in common with the consumer level things in the stores. You may consider that cheating but some aspects of my guitar rig may be as useless to the beginner as a formular 1 car to me. So who's going to sue Fender, Marshall, Gibson or Ferrari now?
It is not about the tweaking or customization that is going on. It is taking a a old model racquet that is out of production for the consumer that is still however in production for the players on Tour and making that old racquet look like the racquet the racquet companies are currently selling.
Nobody cares about pros tweaking their racquets. We do that all the time with lead tape just like the pros do.
However, like vsbabolat said, it is the fact that the pros will never even consider playing with the new line of racquets and sometimes the racquets are even from different brands.
If you are making money by deliberately lying to someone, that is a scam. No other way to put it. The only purpose of the pj is money by decieving. = scam.
I can't figure what all the fuss is about
I read and read gripes about the pro's using paintjob racquets. This is nothing new to sports, hell, it's been a known fact in golf for years. The clubs that Tiger uses are a 1930 design. The loft on his 8 iron is the same as an off the rack 6 iron. It is not deceptive, it is not lying, it is pure marketing. They take money from companies to push their products. The companies comply by letting the pro's play with the racquet of their choice....If the pro is not winning, nobody wants to buy the brands he/she is pushing. The clothes, shoes and racquets are all to the pros specs, like I said earlier, it has been a known fact for years. I can't understand why so much space is waisted talking about this. Yes it is interesting, but nothing to complain about. At least that is my humble opinion.
I dont know why but i always come back to this thread. its so interesting
it is pretty interesting. i think alot of people are looking into this topic way to much. I play DIII tennis and I would bet my bottom dollar that pete sampras/roger federer/any DI or WTA Player could whoop my butt with a frying pan. Im not taking anything away from myself but the truth is these pro's are so naturally talented and fine tuned to perfection that a racquet would hardly make a difference. I do belive that this is important when talking about pro vs pro though. If you look at another sport that uses insane modifications its cycling. Those guys have their bikes modified by freakin math magicians. I think it just goes to show that most every sport uses modifications to their equipment and that is soley due to the incredible talent that athlets bring to their respective sport.
tomorrow's St. Petersburg Open finalist Sergiy Stakhovsky on his website talking about his racquet says;
Are your HEAD Prestige Microgel racquets customized or their specs are the same as retail HEAD Prestige Microgel which people can buy in a store?
My racquets are the same as in a shop, the only difference is weight and balance.
He's probably only saying that for marketing purposes.
Is the new Blx a paintjob of the k90 or even the prostaff because they look and feel similar. The specs are somewhat similar as well
This could mean that marketing is based on mind-ilusion
It's a matter of principle. I don't like being misled.
I don't understand why more people don't understand this principle. Marketing is fine up to a certain point, but the materials and labour used in today's racquets simply don't compare with older, classic racquets, which were of genuinely high quality.
Racquet companies today want to make as much money as possible (nothing wrong with that of course), but misleading the public as they do, is just not right. Unfortunately it's all about the bottom line these days and standards are just disappearing.
Have a browse in the Classic Racquets sub-forum to find out more about the classics and how good they were - and still are. Many, many players are still using them today, in preference to modern sticks.
The racquets used by victor amaya
Is there someone that can tell me what racquets playing with Amaya?
Did he use a Kawasaki? Please help me Thanks a lot
Has anyone used the Penn XXX balls, I found a smashing deal for em but want a review 1st
The face on Hewitt is classic! LOL
It makes a difference because they aren't playing us they are playing other pros.
what support is there for the assertion that racquets of old were made of better materials. I saw plenty of racquets break back then, saw racquets delaminate, saw pieces fall of them. You sound like my grandmother whining that they don't make 'em like they used to. I don't buy it. They seemed better back then because they were HEAVIER, which connotes a feeling of substance and quality, but players now favor lighter racquets which of course SEEM flimsier and are less substantial. This is not a reflection on quality of material but a change in preferences.
And the only reasons why a lot of pros prefer some older models is because they grew up playing with it.
Buy a racquet that suits the game you play, This information is only what the pro's like, not what some of the people on here like.
Olli, I'm not sure of the structural materials used, but the PJ quality has definitely gone down hill. Wilson's and Head's paint quality are getting poorer and poorer with every new model coming out. You can practically rub the paint off of these racquets with your fingers these days. I could probably drag my old racquets behind me in my car without paint chips, but just one lead tape job on my Head's and Wilsons, and the paint is peeling off!
There's plenty of anecdotal evidence to confirm I'm right about the better quality of racquets made in the 80's. It's nothing to do with weight - it's the type of graphite used, combined with the manufacturing process.
Your grandmother is probably right by the way and to describe grandmothers as "whining" is less than gracious. But then, why am I not surprised about that?
can you give some evidence to me? (Links to tt.TW posts / topics are fine)
ah nice, thanks for the post... hadn't heard about this.
I'm very interested to learn more about this. Can someone please send a link or more information
They do this with food too, really. Tv Dinners anyone?
Fact: companies that sell products are, on the norm, profit driven.
Speculation: to continue increasing profits, one of the easiest ways is to cut down on material cost without making it noticeable, either by (1) using lower quality of the same material, or (2) using less of the same material and incorporating "new technology" material that costs less while still appealing to the consumer in terms of playability.
On the other hand, new technology doesn't immediately equate to an inferior product. If a company finds some magical yet cheap combo of materials, who knows, maybe people will love how the racquet plays.
Disclaimer: I'm far from a business expert, but this seems straightforward.
Paint jobs? I will add this. Back in 2000 I held three actual players racquets. The players were Sampras, Agassi, and Rafter. These were the "real" racquets that the actual players used on the tour. These were brought in by one of the head figures of the USRSA who was giving a conference to my program and educating us on the difference between what is sold and what is actually used. He brought in both.
Sampras pro staff 6.0.....Nothing you can buy.....ever. It was a completely different mold. I have played with every pro staff 6.0 that was ever made for the public. The Sampras racquet was different all around. The frame was thicker in all dimensions. The Grommet holes were much small er and had custom grommets to compensate for this. It was kind of like a pro staff on steroids. Obvioussly it was much heavier. There were no multiple layers of lead tape at 9 and 3. Just one layer. All that added weight we hear about is from the frame itself which is noticably thicker. I didnt measure the beam but it was around the thickness of a wood racquet. I would say 1-2mm thicker than stock. The throat was also thicker. We were told that if you cut the frames we would notice that the stock pro staffs are hollow while the actual Sampras racquet is not.
Agassi radical.......cant buy it. Its a box beam. Its also thicker, heavier, smaller grommet holes. You cant buy it.
Rafters (Titanium) frame looked pretty much like the stock frame mold. I could not spot anything. It was heavier but that was about it. Could have been weighted but I dont know for sure. We were told it was a painted version of his old precision that he used in 97 and that it was also more flexible than the stock version due to a larger composition of fiberglass in the manufacturing process. It was said to measure in at around 12.6 ounces unstrung.
Thats all I can add from that experience. The Sampras frame was the most interesting. I have never seen anything like it. Truely unique. Nothing modern about it.
Back in the 80s you could buy the frames the players used to some extent. In todays market they are somewhat toylike clones to that which is actually used.
I have seen Agassi's frames as well. He used the Original Radical Trisys 260 Oversize MOLD (Radical Tour 690 in EU) with a 20x21 string pattern and with the standard 18x19 that was sold. The later Radical Oversizes that were sold to the public are nothing like the Original Radical Trisys 260 Oversize.
Sampras used the same Made in St.Vincent Wilson Pro Staff Midsize that was sold to public but customized for him. You are right He never used the Made in China Pro Staff 6.0.
I dont belive the original Trisis 260 mold was a box beam so as of around 2000 when I was able to handle the frame I dont think he was useing the trisis mold any more. I am talking a real box beam here. Like a pro staff 6.0 or the older head composite master type frames.
The Sampras racquet was not the St. Vincent (I used to play with St. Vincents). He may of used that at some point in his career (obvioussly early on) . At some point he had a custom mold designed and they used the Pro Staff paint scheme. These frames were thicker all around. I am guessing 20mm. Anyone familiar with pro staff would notice the difference right away.
Its really difficult to pick up on television.
I always believed he played with the St. Vincents. I was very surprised when I actually got my hands on one of his frames. Its a different mold. You cant buy it.
Same goes for the Agassi frame. Different mold. Throat bridge, throat, and head have a noticable thicker cross section. You cant buy it.
Rafters frame looked like a stock mold but the materials were said to be different (fiberglass, more flex, more weight). You cant buy it.
These racquets were given to the USRSA from the players themselves (believe he said at the US Open).
Oh......and you cant buy them.
Yes the Original Radical Trisys 260 Oversize was boxbeam. Agassi used and still uses the Original Radical Trisys 260 Oversize today with the current cosmetics. You could buy the same Mold that Agassi used/uses with the Original Radical Trisys 260 Oversize/Radical Tour 690. The Mold changed on the Consumer Radicals in 1999.
Here is aguy that owns one of Agassi's frames:
Check Out this site:
Pete used the Made in St.Vincent Wilson Pro Staff Midsize until he retired in 2002. At the end of St.Vincent production the racquets were wider because the molds were worn out. They ended up being 18mm. I have 3 frame from the last ones made in St.Vincent.
That may be one of Agassis old radicals but thats not the same mold he was useing in 2000. I guess I should clarify. When I say box beam I mean square beam. The edges are not rounded. Yhe inside corners of the throat did not look like that. Its was more similar to the older head grapites from the 80s. Obvioussly thats not what it was but I am just trying to give you a description of the type of angles used in the actual mode of the agassi frame.
For the life of me I cannot remember the paint job of that agassi frame. There have bben so many. I think it was painted like the titanium version sold on the shelves. I know it doesnt really matter but I am trying to give you some sort of time frame here. I wish I would of brought my scale with me so I could have weighed them. We did not have that equipment at the facility I was at. I had maybe 90 seconds to look the frames over.
As far as the Sampras frame goes. Like I said, I played with St. Vincents for a long time. They were not St. Vincents. The were not the China Pro Staffs. They were not pro staffs. They were just painted like them. It was a totally custom mold. The frames were noticably thicker in all dimensions. Grommets were custom. Nothing was the same as any prostaff I have used (and thats pretty much all 6.0s).
If I could relate the Sampras pro staff to anything in terms of external dimensions I would probably say it was close to the 85 version of the Jim Courier prostaff stars and stripes that was sold to the public. I remember those being around 20mm and thats pretty much where these were. The cross section of the throat was thicker as well though. Way heavier as well. And this was not just lead tape. The head only had one layer of tape.
This was all confirmed from the USRSA. Sampras had a custom mold. Believe me....people were asking a lot of questions about the Sampras frame.
This whole St. Vincent/ Sampras thing is a bit over blown. I am starting to think its a hogwash put of there by racquet sellers. I have and watch a lot of old tennis matches. 1995 US Open.....McEnroe states during a broadcast that Courier uses the "old" prostaffs that are not made anymore and he was searching the country to scrounge up all he could. I believe they are the St. Vincents but not 100% sure (what else would they be?). He states that the current pro staff that wilson makes for Sampras is too stiff for Jim and heavier than the older versions (St Vincent). Jim had been trying to take 10 grams off the head of the current stock frame and was having problems.
Sampras was playing with the current (at the time version) of the prostaff in 1995. Sometime between then and 2000 he went to a completely different mold. I have heard that it was a weight thing. He just wanted to up the weight again. I have always wondered what the weight progression of his racquet was through the years.
If you look really, really, and I mean realy close at some of the closeups in television broadcasts you can see there is something slightly different about the Sampras prostaff in the late 90s. I have been converting hundreds of vhs matches to DVD the last two years and I could see it here and there in the 1999 wimbledon matches. Until I actually held one of petes sticks it never even occured to me. A few times I remember thinking it looked thicker but thought it was just some optical illusion. Then I was watching a match where he broke a string and they did a close up and .....there it was. The thoat, beam width, grommet holes etc. It was the version that I held.
That Pro Staff in the link is The USRSA's Sampras Pro Staff Midsize that they have in their collection. The Agassi racquet you seem to describing is the Prestige Classic 660. It was sold to the public. Agassi only used it in 2003 U.S. Open.
Here is Agassi with the Original Radical Trisys 260 Oversize with Flexpoint Radical Oversize Cosmetics:
See the grooves in the bridge. Is not flat like the Graphite Master.
Here is Agassi with the Original Radical Trisys 260 Oversize that has the Cosmetics of the LiquidMetal Radical Oversize. Notice the Bridge design. It has grooves at both ends of the bridge. It is NOT flat like a Graphite Master.
But Here is Agassi at the 2003 U.S. Open playing with the Prestige Classic 660 (AKA the Classic Midplus) with LiquidMetal radical cosmetics. Notice the bridge design. It is flat just like the Graphite master. In fact the modl is very similar to the Graphite master except the Prestige Classic 660 has a wider beam by a few MM.
The frame mold in those last few pictures looks pretty darn close. That must be right. These racquets were painted like the titanium radicals. Kinda interesting. Looks like Agassi actually switched molds quite a bit. Your explanation of the Prestige classic 660 seems spot on. I think what I held was a 660 type mold with the titanium paint job.
Now that you mention all this I remember we were all thinking the head size was slightly smaller and the shape was a little different.
I have only seen Agassi during the Titanium Radical days with the Original Radical Trisys 260 Oversize.
This is the from the link from someone who has taken the Sampras St.Vincent Pro Staff Midsize from the USRSA collection and analyzed it. Please read it.
Notes on Pete's racquet
This racquet is in the USRSA collection. The USRSA got this racquet to take to Kids' Day at the U.S. Open some years ago.
The layers of lead tape at 3 and 9 o'clock were beautifully applied by Nate Ferguson, of Priority One — which provides racquet services (including stringing) for touring pros.
The differences between this racquet as measured (and pictured, see below) have to do with the strings. Where Pete used Babolat gut, this racquet is strung with nylon. The USRSA received this racquet without strings, and nylon seemed more appropriate for a racquet to be used by kids than natural gut. Also, the stringing method for this racquet was the straight Wilson one-piece, not the around-the-world or box method used by Nate. Finally, the USRSA applied the "W" stencil, not Nate.
Because of the historical importance of this racquet, I have not removed the overgrip and/or grip to see what might lie beneath them. However, the only thing that might possibly be of interest is the shape and/or dimensions of the pallet, as Sampras is said to have requested pallet customization. Any lead tape under the replacement grip is unimportant because if you are attempting to match your Pro Staff Midsize measurements to match those of Pete's racquet, it doesn't matter where the lead tape is on Pete's racquet. It only matters where you have to put lead tape on your racquet to get it to match Pete's, and these locations are almost certain to be very different. If you don't understand this point, then you probably don't understand how to match racquets, so you're better off having a master racquet technician do the work for you.
And the photos of Pete's St.Vincent from the USRSA Collection:
QUOTE] In todays market they are somewhat toylike clones to that which is actually used.[/[/quote]quote]
That's because the majority of the "players' rackets" are sold to tournament juniors.
I have a hard time agreeing with this post. I love my Babolat Aero Pro... Cortex and wouldnt trade it for my friend's crappy pro staff for anything.
Although, I have to admit, for some weird reason (I'm sure it's the weighting) I do hit a much cleaner backhand with his racket.
I can't speak for anyone else, but I think that it is shady that players promote using a particular racquet, when in fact they are using something else. The worst is when they actually claim in words or writing to use a different racquet than the one they are really using. "I use racquet X because it does Y for my game. If that's your game, then you should consider using racquet X too!"
It's lame, especially when they are obviously lying.
Yet, it's very common in professional tennis. I find it strange that so few people seem to actually care.
Andy Murray's game is Prestige, not radical... just throwing that out there for the million and first time! ;P
Please explain that claim.
Sorry dude, actually Andy Murry's paintjob situation can technically still be called a "Radical" if only because the PT57 mold his racquet is based on was used with both Midplus Radicals and Pro Tours back in the '90s. When Head changed up things in '99, the Radical line got a new mold (which Djokovic is supposedly using the MP mold of) and they kept the PT/TK57 mold for the iPrestige, went away from it briefly for the Liquidmetal and Flexpoint Prestiges and then brought it back (or a variation of it) for the Microgel and Youtek Prestiges. Head seems like they're on a mold changing mode as of late as the Radical line got yet another new mold starting with the Youteks...of which Maria Sharapova is using a Youtek Radical Pro mold painted to look like the new Youtek IG Instinct, which from what I can tell from pictures, has even the Instinct line with yet another new mold...I just got my hands on a Youtek IG Extreme Pro and I know for sure they just changed that mold as well...speaking of the Extreme Pro, I think it's way funny how players like Richard Gasquet and Svetlana Kuznetsova use Liquidmetal Instinct Pros painted to look like Extremes...gotta love this whole paintjob thing. I prefer to see the humor in it rather than get upset. Do I think it's shady that racquet companies do it? Sure, but at the same time I understand that marketing tricks and big business go simpy go hand and hand. In Murray's case, I think Head should've at least either come out with a Radical Pro that has CAP grommets or make the grommets two-tone with a white center part that doesn't make it so obvious his racquet isn't what is marketed to be.
Separate names with a comma.