Racquets report from an ITF futures tournament

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by 0d1n, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. 0d1n

    0d1n Hall of Fame

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    Over the past week I've seen as many matches as possible from a futures tournament held in my city. Had the chance to take a look up close at the equipment of various players (the stringer of the tournament is a buddy of mine).
    Well, as you may expect, there was a mix of all types of rackets around.
    No Sampras 88's or Federer 90's that I could see :). Also...no Volkls that I could see :p (these 2 facts settle a long going debate on the boards that the "insiders" may be aware of...).
    Some Prestiges (mostly "new tech", MG and "youtek"), some 6.1's (BLX, few K-Factors), LOTS AND LOTS of Radicals and Kblade 98's. Seen 1 Kblade tour. Some Tecnifibre's.
    A couple of Aerogel 200's and 300's. One Prince "o3 tour", one Head Speed MP that I can remember.
    Not as many Babolats as I would have expected...only remember a few actually.
    Anyway...enough generalities...let's get specific...with regards to the 4 semi-finalists.
    - 1 Wilson K Factor KTour, not sure if it was stock or not as I didn't touch it...strung with some yellow poly that looked like Kirshbaum to me (from a few meters away). 23 yo attacking baseliner, pretty good serve. #3 handle, 1 overgrip wrapped "normally", 2hbh, losing semifinalist, ranked in the 500's.
    - 1 modified KBlade 98. Lighter than my own rackets (which are 343-344 grams), but seemed heavier than stock. Swinging not THAT much different than stock ... but heavier. Could be due to the heavier poly anyway...I've playtested the KB 98 strung with a multi, so that may be the difference right there. Can't remember the actual strings he was using but they were poly. 27 years old, mostly baseliner. #3 handle, 1 overgrip wrapped "normally", 1hbh, ranked in the 500's, losing semifinalist.
    - 1 stock (or very close to it...as I couldn't spot lead anywhere...and it was swinging like stock-ish to me) T-Fight 320 VO 2 Max. This was the heaviest racket in the semis. He's 33...so it makes sense, he grew up with slightly heavier rackets...but still it was by no means a "log" ...it was actually swinging very similarly to my own rackets. Strung with TF Red code @ around 23ish kg's (with slight adjustments). The guy was playing the strings 'till they broke. #3 handle, 1 overgrip wrapped "normally", 2hbh, losing finalist, ranked in the 600's.
    -1 VERY slightly modified Youtek Radical MP. Stringer talked to the coach of the guy, and he had just a couple of grams under the bumper. Swung and felt LIGHT. Strung with Luxilon Alu Power...low (22-24 kg's). Changed rackets every set, or even more often for the fresh strings, didn't wait for them to break. Defensive baseliner, 1hbh, heavy spin from both sides, could attack short balls, but usually was running like a rabbit 3 meters behind the baseline :). #3 handle, 1 overgrip with lots of overlap (overgrip was actually maybe 2/3's up the handle due to this).The guy was 18 yo and ranked in the 400's.

    Bottom line, there were rackets with playing weight (strung, overgrip...etc) in the 350-maybe 360 grams range (prestiges and 6.1's), but also rackets with playing weight in the 320 grams range.
    All semi finalists used rackets below 340ish grams. Didn't see any stability problems in the winner of the tournament's racquet as he was ripping his 1 hbh up the line with his stock-ish radical MP ;) (no pt57x, not "tgk" this, that or the other, just a production line youtek radical).
    The end, go play tennis and stop paying 400 dollars for 1 racquet you intend to play with...it's not the racquet...it's YOU. If you are a collector and the racquet is autographed by some player, then go ahead, but otherwise...
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2010
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  2. ayuname

    ayuname Semi-Pro

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    Cool story. :)
     
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  3. Gee

    Gee Professional

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    You're right... It is the player not the racquet but you can still improve the performance of your racquet by customizing.

    I bet that many players don't have such an in depth knowledge like some die hard TT TW members and I guess they didn't read/understand articles like this one from racquetresearch.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2010
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  4. jackcrawford

    jackcrawford Professional

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    Great information, even Pete no longer swings a Sampras 88 :)
     
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  5. Gee

    Gee Professional

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    Nevertheless he used to add a lot of lead at 3 and 9. Even during an exhibition in 2009 against Agassi. See this thread.
     
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  6. jmverdugo

    jmverdugo Hall of Fame

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    No pictures!!! :( - j/k thanks for sharing. I also had the oportunity to attend a Future last year, my experience was very similar but I did see a lot of Babs. Smallest head 95in and in general very few lead, eventhough I did see some Pro Stock Head sticks
     
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  7. Gee

    Gee Professional

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    Are you sure about that lead? They often seem to place it under the bumper guards.
     
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  8. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    Yay for the Ktour! Nice report, thanks!
     
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  9. jmverdugo

    jmverdugo Hall of Fame

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    ^^ Not really sure since I did not do a detailed search. You can see the pics here. (shameless thread h/j... sorry):neutral: - But I only saw 2 0r 3 racquets with visible lead at 3 & 9.
     
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  10. anirut

    anirut Legend

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    Nice info. Thanks.
     
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  11. 0d1n

    0d1n Hall of Fame

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    Yeh, he's swinging a Babolat. That was a bit of a punch in the gut for all the "purists" around here.

    Yup, sorry, no pictures :|

    My pleasure :)
     
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  12. Pioneer

    Pioneer Professional

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    Nice point - a top 400 player swinging a stock radical doesn't have stability problems, yet guys here who play once a week need a 400g+ racquet.

    I do believe a good racquet is important and helps improving your tennis skills (I really improved since switching to my current racquet) but I find it ridiculous that some people think adding 20g of lead tape will just miraculously double their aces in a set. Another thing I find funny is searching endlessly and spending $400 on a pro stock tgk, pt57 or whatever, when you can just get a stock model and customize it to your liking with lead tape and trust me, it will play similar.


    I went to some davis cup matches and watched some top juniors here and I saw a lot of babolats too. No midsizes, no lead tape. Just stock babolats. It's inevitable that juniors will play lighter sticks watching Nadal but don't feel bad about it, at least in a few years the forum members won't have to wield 400g PS85s to keep up with pro gear
     
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  13. 0d1n

    0d1n Hall of Fame

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    ^^ Yup, some of my points exactly...
     
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  14. AirK

    AirK Rookie

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    yea imo most of the stability issues people have on here are probably just them not being able to get their weight behind the shot and/or not hitting the ball in the sweetspot consistently..?
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2010
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  15. Bottom_Edge

    Bottom_Edge New User

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    Thanks for the info. Just goes to show what we know deep inside. Its the player, not the stick, no amount of spending on the stick can change that
     
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