Pro Racket Paintjob - illegal ?

Discussion in 'Pros' Racquets and Gear' started by Tombhoneb, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. martin8768

    martin8768 Rookie

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    #51
  2. max200G

    max200G Rookie

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    Fraud:
    In criminal law, fraud is the crime or offense of deliberately deceiving another in order to damage them – usually, to obtain property or services unjustly.

    The racquet companies are deliberatly deceiving the public into buying racquets buy using paint jobs on the Pro's racquets.

    The issue is not that the racquets being sold are good or bad but that the Pro's racquets are painted and marketed as using what we buy. That is the fraud. A example is Agassi never used the Flexpoint Radical Oversize he used the Original Radical Trisys 260 Oversize but Head in every advertisement said Agassi used the Flexpoint Radical to sell racquets.
     
    #52
  3. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    But how do you prove that the customer was "damaged"? They still got a very playable racquet that is probably more appropriate for them to use at their level than a heavy, unforgiving pro spec racquet. I think the only way you can show "damage" is if you can prove that you can play tennis better (as well as the pro) with that pro's actual racquet than with the racquet that you purchased. Because only then can you prove that you received an "inferior" product and not the "superior" product that you thought you were buying.
     
    #53
  4. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    I have not found anymore info on the lawsuit. It is either still winding it's way through the legal system or Nike very quietly settled this case.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2008
    #54
  5. Charlie_Boy

    Charlie_Boy Semi-Pro

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    For the rafa thing it just says "Rafa Nadal uses Aero technology" on it or some crap like that.


    It even says it for the Aero Storm I got.

    But on TW when they say "used by Rafa Nadal", you could probably have some sort of case against THEM for false advertising.
     
    #55
  6. RFRF

    RFRF Semi-Pro

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    no read it again, what i brought was junk, the players use the good stuff, dont belive me then hit with any head prestige then hit with a prestige classic!
     
    #56
  7. RFRF

    RFRF Semi-Pro

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    #57
  8. Trevor

    Trevor Rookie

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    That don't say exactly what they use them for. For all we know when they say that someone uses a racquet they could mean they use it to wash their car.
     
    #58
  9. jmsx521

    jmsx521 Hall of Fame

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    Doesn't Davydenko use longer than 27" Prince Ozone Pro Tour?

    This TW review doesn't say he uses a longer version customized for him:
    http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Reviews/POZPT/POZPTReview.html

    "When switching racquets, most pros do it in the brief off-season before the Australian Open. Few change mid-season right before a big event. Nikolay Davydenko is the exception to the rule. At the 2008 Sony Ericsson Open in Miami, Davydenko took a gamble and entered the event with a brand new racquet. The gamble paid off as Davydenko added a second Masters Series title to his resume. On his way to capturing the Sony Ericsson title, Davydenko posted impressive wins over Andy Roddick in the semifinal and Rafael Nadal in the final."
     
    #59
  10. Tennisguy777

    Tennisguy777 Professional

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    :twisted:You Can't Handle The Pros' Racquets:twisted:


    That's why they make 9 - 12 oz. racquets for the rest of us weaklings.
     
    #60
  11. brinkeguthrie

    brinkeguthrie Semi-Pro

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    Borg used Bancroft in the USA and Donnay everywhere else. WHen the Bancroft deal expired, he painted over the Bancroft or the Donnay solid black to use in the USA. His next deal with Donnay, which intro'd the Borg Pro, was worldwide.
     
    #61
  12. LordRaceR

    LordRaceR Rookie

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    I really don’t care and don’t want to buy Nadal, Federer, Djokovic or Kendrick or Nishikori racquet. I want to buy best possible racquet that I like. For instance PS 85 (or Tour90 for me) or Prestige Classic are proven better racquets over the all new models. What are racquet company are doing, they research for new cheaper materials and simplify production lines in order to cut cost and make more money. By that, they offer lower quality products to the public and use professional tennis player for advertisement in order to sell those lower quality racquets as new best possible racquet technology. So, we all can just buy junk that pros wont event touch, with of course some exceptions.
     
    #62
  13. kabob

    kabob Professional

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    What does that have anything to do with it? My point is that I don't buy my racquets based on what player is hitting with what. That is so moronic, it defies belief. Who gives a crap if a player's using a PJ'ed racquet. He has to because he wants/need that racquet sponsorship. What sense would it make for Wilson, Prince, Dunlop, Head, etc., to pay a touring professional to use a 10-year-old racquet that reaps the manufacturer zero profits?
     
    #63
  14. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    This forum is ridiculous half the time claiming a 19 year old is using a paint job of a frame that came out out when he ws three. I am happy to see all these Head Microgels being used by the male pros at this years US Open,
     
    #64
  15. superstition

    superstition Hall of Fame

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    Yep.

    Bait and switch isn't normal business.
     
    #65
  16. RanchDressing

    RanchDressing Semi-Pro

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    yeah if they do that.
    But then again its not because almost every single pro has drastically different specs (wheight)

    I think they could just play a "racquets vary due to needs ect... and he is paid to and undercontract he does play with blah blah blah racquet"

    But there is all that stuff with the warranty.

    Maybe a lawyer would know.
    But im assuming its somehow a loophole, otherwise somone would have sued wilson or babolat or prince a long time ago.
    EDIT:
    And they could say he just practices it.
    He could use it like 2x or somthing at home or at some practice or somthing and then they can legaly claim nadal uses bab aeropro drive
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2008
    #66
  17. RFRF

    RFRF Semi-Pro

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    Your The Man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
    #67
  18. ESP#1

    ESP#1 Professional

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    While it may not be illegal it is certainly unethical, its also bad business and bad for our sport. I mean think of all the people who were disillusioned when they figured out that Agassi never used a flexpoint or Nadal doesn't use the cortex. This is where Sampras stands alone. Pete was offered more money to change his racquet or to at least paint his racquet to look like some new wilson product but he refused. More players should follow this example, if pros want to show class, start by not decieving your fans for more money.
     
    #68
  19. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Yes, and the great majority of those are older racquets painted to look like Microgels.
     
    #69
  20. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Yeah, but Sampras didn't do what he did because of ethics. He tried a lot of other racquets and just didn't like any of them better than his PS 6.0 85's. He talks about it in his book. He didn't want a paintjob because he preferred an all black racquet, and he was so sensitive about his racquets that he says he could tell if there was too much ink used for the "W" stencil on his strings. Can you imagine what a different paintjob would do to his concentration? :shock:
     
    #70
  21. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    I think it was more of just superstition personally. I think his mind was so set that he had so much success with one racquet, that he didn't want to switch racquets to see if it would improve his game or not.


    It did eventually caught up to him near the tail end of his career, when more powerful racquets and better strings were available. I don't blame him though, why switch from something that won you 14 slams.
     
    #71
  22. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Yes all those 19 year olds are using discontinued Heads from 1987 painted to look like Microgels.
     
    #72
  23. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    I hate to break it to you but many of them are using discontinued Heads from 1993. However guys like Gael Monfils and Robin Haase are using the Prestige Classic 600. The Prestige Classic 600 is technology from 1986.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2008
    #73
  24. LordRaceR

    LordRaceR Rookie

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    that is what i am talking about
     
    #74
  25. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Well they must be updated by now. Monfeils wasn't even born yet when that old outdated useless in today's pro game 600 came out.
     
    #75
  26. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Yes, many of them are (such as Donald Young) because they are better racquets than most of the newer garbage.
     
    #76
  27. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    But what does having being born yet have anything to do with it? If a racquet from 1986 plays better than a racquet from 2006, does it matter when you were born? The racquet doesn't know when the player was born, does it?
     
    #77
  28. ESP#1

    ESP#1 Professional

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    I have not read his book so I dont know the details, I can see where the extra ink on the W would change the feel because its located in the sweet spot. My point is that Pete wasnt going to sell out and paint his racquet for extra money, he was more concern with winning grand slams, I would like to think that he also thought it was unethical but he would never say it just because that would insult all other pros and thats not Petes style.
     
    #78
  29. leon505

    leon505 Rookie

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    if the racquet still carry's the same name then its not really illegal for a pro to paintjob. Essentially a paintjob is a modified version of a stick they actually play with, whether that being an older racquet or just modifying the new ones.
     
    #79
  30. Tofuspeedstar

    Tofuspeedstar Banned

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    Fischer claims all it's players on tour use the exact frames you can buy in stores.
     
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  31. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Yet, Sampras had no problem paintjobbing his shoes. He used to wear Wilson shoes with a Nike swoosh drawn on the sides. His racquet choice had nothing to do with ethics. It was just what he played best with and he didn't want to fool with it.

    If he was really that ethical, he wouldn't have accepted all those appearance fees just to show up at tournaments in Asia and at smaller events in the U.S.
     
    #81
  32. schwuller

    schwuller Rookie

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    to establish that an advertisement is false, a plaintiff must prove five things: (1) a false statement of fact has been made about the advertiser's own or another person's goods, services, or commercial activity; (2) the statement either deceives or has the potential to deceive a substantial portion of its targeted audience; (3) the deception is also likely to affect the purchasing decisions of its audience; (4) the advertising involves goods or services in interstate commerce; and (5) the deception has either resulted in or is likely to result in injury to the plaintiff. The most heavily weighed factor is the advertisement's potential to injure a customer. The injury is usually attributed to money the consumer lost through a purchase that would not have been made had the advertisement not been misleading. False statements can be defined in two ways: those that are false on their face and those that are implicitly false.

    what's being discussed here seems to clearly fall within definition number 2 and definition number 3, at the very least.
     
    #82
  33. schwuller

    schwuller Rookie

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    this is a legal issue that has not come to a head yet. but, it will. it only will take one lawsuit before the labels arrive "this product is not actually used by rafael nadal in tournament play." one lawsuit will bring that about. they are getting away with it now, because no one really gives a damn.
     
    #83
  34. mtommer

    mtommer Hall of Fame

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    If people aren't buying racquets because pros use them, then why the need for a paint job in the first place? Free advertising on TV? Hardly. Consider that quite a few do in fact want their favorite player's "racquet", especially kids whom racquets are marketed towards.
     
    #84
  35. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

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    Endorsements such as these are generally allowed by existing law because they make no claim of benefit to you. If they said the racquet will enable you to play like Nadal, then there is a case. If you went to court and said you bought the racquet so you could play like Nadal, you would be laughed at. I doubt you will see any court rule against a manufacturer for this kind of advertising. And civil cases require not only evidence that wrong was done but that you were "harmed" as a result. Telling the court you spent $200 on this particular racquet rather than $200 on a different one is not very compelling indication of harm.
     
    #85
  36. schwuller

    schwuller Rookie

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    it's not an endorsement if a manufacturer strongly suggests that a professional is using this particular product, and even goes so far as to paint and conceal what said professional is actually playing with, again in order to convince you that you too can purchase the same item. that's not the same as a person endorsing a product, or suggesting that a person was part of the development of a particular product. the manufacturers are attempting to fool the buying public with techniques such as these paintjobs, and with the novak djokovic kblade commercial. that commercial clearly is designed to give us the impression that this professional is currently using this particular product they are selling, which he is not. they don't say uses it, but they strongly imply it. that's false advertising.
    other industries have already been punished for this over the years. it's only a matter of time before it happens here.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2008
    #86
  37. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    But Djokjovic does use a "K-Blade Tour". What the commercials don't specifically tell you is that you can't buy HIS "K-Blade Tour" in the stores. You can only buy the RETAIL "K-Blade Tour" in the stores. But Djokovic does indeed use a "K-Blade Tour", just not the SAME "K-Blade Tour" that's available for sale to the public.
     
    #87
  38. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    That is called bait and switch. Which is illegal....

    When Dunlop was selling the Max 200G and said McEnroe and Graf used it you could really buy the same Max 200G that they used.
     
    #88
  39. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

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    Other industries have been punished? What industry has been punished over a celebrity endorsement, where no claim is made of specific benefit to the consumer? I'd be very surprised. Companies are given enormous latitude in this regard, and it's not even clear to me that one could prove somebody doesn't use a product. Has he EVER used it? Has he used it in practice?
     
    #89
  40. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    Since you seem to be a lawyer or know a lot about the law maybe you could look up this case in the California Law Journal for us.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2000/aug/23/sports/sp-9017

    Unfair-Business Practices Suit Says Nike Golf Ads Lack Accuracy
    August 23, 2000 in print edition D-10

    Tiger Woods endorses “Nike Tour Accuracy” golf balls in TV and magazine ads, but he really plays with custom-made balls unavailable to everyday duffers, Nike acknowledged Tuesday after being sued in federal court.

    Nike Inc. said the balls the long-hitting Woods uses have a slightly harder inner and outer core than the balls sold to the public.

    In the suit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, a nonprofit group called Public Remedies Inc. claimed Nike, based in Beaverton, Ore., was engaging in unfair business practices. It asks that Nike’s “ill-gotten gains” be restored to the public.

    “Tiger Woods does not play the Nike Tour Accuracy golf ball, but instead plays one with a different composition and performance characteristics specially made for him … and not available to the general public,” the suit said.

    Mike Kelly, marketing director for Nike Golf, said it’s common practice in the golfing world to sell the public different products than what the pros really use.

    Joe Gomes, a spokesman for Titleist, said its players use the same products they advertise. And if a player uses a “tweaked” version of a club, he said, a consumer could special order it.
     
    #90
  41. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    But I don't really see it that way. The commercials just say that "Djokovic uses a K-Blade Tour". Nowhere in the commercial do they claim that people can buy his "K-Blade Tour". Just like if Levis claimed that "Djokovic wears Levis 501 jeans", even though people can't buy the same "Levis 501 jeans" that he wears because his are custom made to fit him exactly, whereas, the rest of us can only buy the mass-produced retail versions in pre-set sizes. But Levis is still making an accurate statement when they say that "Djokovic wears Levis 501 jeans". Or if Chevrolet says that some professional race car driver "drives a Chevy Impala" without ever claiming that he drives the same "Chevy Impala" that's sold in the Chevrolet dealerships. I don't think too many people have a problem with that.
     
    #91
  42. Tombhoneb

    Tombhoneb Rookie

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    I think most of us understand that we will not be getting an identical racket. However, my issue with all this is when they say its a new technology a pro is using. I use the ADP w/ cortex and since using it my slight TE pain has gone, so my choice in purchasing that racket was not because Nadal uses it but for the technology in it. So for me i am not losing anything. BUT. A lot of adults and teenagers i know have bought an APDC purely because Nadal uses an APD with the cortex. They want the same technology a pro is using. In my view they have lost out on the cost difference between an APD and an APDC, purely because a company is false advertising a product.
     
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  43. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    But do they like the APD or the APDC better? If they like the APDC better, then what's the problem? They bought a racquet that they like better than the one that Nadal uses. But if they like the APD better but bought the APDC anyway just because they think Nadal uses it, then they really don't have anyone to blame but themselves for not buying the racquet that they like better, do they?
     
    #93
  44. schwuller

    schwuller Rookie

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    breakpoint: what you're saying makes perfect sense of course. but, common sense says that 'the contents of' the mcdonald's coffee cup is hot. they were still sued over not making this point clear enough in their packaging (among other things) and LOST the suit. several pharma manufacturers have been sued and are being sued for not making packaging clear enough (going way beyond common sense). audi was successfully sued (class action in fact, if i recall) for (basically) not making it clear that a person must apply the brake before putting their automatic transmissions into drive or reverse! now the cars are placarded for such.

    so, in courts, manufacturers are held to standards far above common sense all the time. this is not new. that's why our products are labeled with all sorts of foolish warning: all of that is the result of (mostly successful) civil suits.

    the problems with this paintjob issue are based on an attempt to deceive the buying public. that's where things go wrong with this practice. they don't say that i'll be able to play like djokovic, or woods, by buying this product (something weightloss product ads are careful to avoid saying due to past lawsuits, and make very clear they are not promising). the problem is they are going to lengths to strongly suggest something that is false: that a particular touring professional is USING this product, and that this product is available for me to purchase. that's the falsehood. not the promise of similar performance, but rather that the tool this athlete is currently using is available for purchase, should i want it. they even go to extraordinary lengths to support this claim by: custom making a racket to appear to be the racket i can buy, painting this racket to appear to be the racket i can purchase. this is clearly designed to deceive the consumer. that's the problem.
    djokovic can endorse it, he can have a hand in developing it; he can even say he HAS APPROVED it. but, they are strongly suggesting he is actually using it in professional tournament play. that's a falsehood that they are going to 'extraordinary lengths' to present to the consumer. and there is the problem. that is false advertising.

    it's not nuts to imagine a group suing wilson, stating consumers are currently purchasing some of their products based on claims in advertising which wilson knows are false and are acting to conceal. that is not far fetched at all.

    about the racing car issue: a reasonable person can clearly and easily see that the version that is for sale and the version on the track are not the same vehicle, not even close: not the same size, not the same shape, not the same length, etc etc. can a reasonable person clearly see that novak's racket is not the same kblade that is currently hanging on the shelf for sale? no; because wilson has taken great measures to conceal that fact from the consumer. so these two examples are not comparable.

    sorry for the length. i'm done. but it's an interesting topic.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2008
    #94
  45. crosscourt

    crosscourt Professional

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    This all gets very murky. If a company paints the racket a pro uses -- say a ProStaff Classic 6.1 -- to look like part of its current line -- say a K95 -- (and I use this example because I understand it is the most common PJ on the men's tour) it is difficult to complain. The company is only promoting its brand. It is when the company says that X plays with Y racket, where he does not play with Y racket, that things become objectionable. There appears to be a misrepresentation and we assume that the purpose of the misrepresentation is to sell rackets. If extra rackets are sold then there has been a benefit to the company. There may be a good argument against this, but at present I am not sure what it is. It may be argued that consumers have choice and that if they buy a racket they must do so because they like it. It may also be that the rackets used are sufficiently similar to those available that there is no basis for objection. There obviously are difficulties in these sorts of areas, in particular in relation to recovering putative losses. That is one of the reasons why there are laws enforceable at public expense in many jurisdictions about misleading advertisements.

    cc
     
    #95
  46. PimpMyGame

    PimpMyGame Hall of Fame

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    These are great examples of a company's negligence/oversight which at some point will result in damage/injury to a consumer. I don't see how such damage can be caused by selling a racket that looks like one used by a pro.

    In fact, it would be extremely difficult to prove in a court of law and I would suggest that in defence the racket company and pro him/herself would claim that they could not give away secrets to their actual gear as this would place them at a competitive disadvantage.
     
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  47. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    The McDonald's judgement was knocked way down on appeal.
     
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  48. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    The Wilson commercial just says "This is Djokovic's K-Blade." http://ww.youtube.com/watch?v=T3AdBvkTaLs
    Your comparison with a pair of Levi 501 should be more like this: Djokovic gets his 501's with the button fly and the denim is made out of 100% Cotton. While the consumer gets the new easier fly front with a zipper and new more durable fabric made from Dupont 100% Polyester. The 501's that Djokovic wears and the 501's that are sold to the public are two totally different pair of pants. Just like Djokovic's racquet is totally different from what is being sold to the public. Different head size different layup. It is not that Djokovic's racquet is customized to his weight, balance, and swing weight. It is the fact that Djokovic's racquet is a different mold and made from different layup than what is advertised the K-Blade Tour. Djokovic's racquets are made to play like his old HEAD racquets.
    http://www.protennisfan.com/2005/12/djokovic_signs_.html
    "I tried to play with 15-20 different models of Wilson and no one is conform to me. Then they made a copy of my Head racquet, and he is absolutely the same."

    The K-Blade Tour plays closer and is made to compete in the market place with the Microgel Prestige MID.

    Schwuller, great post and I agree with you.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2008
    #98
  49. orangettecoleman

    orangettecoleman Professional

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    wouldn't it be amazing if PJs were illegal? it would be a totally different world for racquet marketing, and we would know exactly what the pros use. oh well, not gonna happen. As the poster above said, Rafa can hit one ball in one practice with a APDC and they can advertise it as being used by Rafa.
     
    #99
  50. orangettecoleman

    orangettecoleman Professional

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    anyway, if people buy a racquet just because some pro uses it then that's their problem. even if it is the same racquet there is no reason to think that it would make that particular person play better. people just want to be seen on the courts with the Fed racquet or the Rafa racquet. let the racquet companies milk these people for profits, i pick whatever helps me play best.
     

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