Rosewall's Racquet History?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by hoodjem, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I was just watching Laver versus Rosewall in the final of the 1970 Dunlop International in White City, Sydney, Australia on Youtube (thanks Krosero), and of course Laver is using his trusted Maxply Forte, but Rosewall appears to be using a woodie with a capital 'I' inked on the strings.

    Does anyone know Muscles' racquet history.?

    What would this racquet have been?
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2009
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  2. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Rosewall was endorsed by Slazenger and had a few autograph models that were early challenge #1 models. He is also associated with the Seamco aluminum model that had his autograph. During the same periods, many of the other great Aussie's played dunlop maxply models and Laver then had the Chemold aluminum model that he endorsed. I believe Hoad and Laver both had maxply photo decal models with thier pictures. Not sure what metal racket Hoad played ? Gonzales had many different autograph Spalding wood models and then played the alum smasher model.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2009
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  3. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    Joe,

    The Maxply's with Hoad decals are still available on the bay.

    I'm not sure if Hoad ever used a metal racquet - at least, not for any length of time and not professionally. I remember his wife, Jenny, saying that when he tried them (borrowed from Newcombe, Gonzalez, Rosewall and other players) he'd break them far too quickly. He'd break the wooden frames as well but, at the time, they were cheaper to replace. I think it's most likely that Hoad didn't switch from wood (not like he needed any more power) until something like the Max200G came along.
     
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  4. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    I have seen the Hoad maxply's, they dont popup too often. Dont think any of the players really liked the metals and Hoad and Laver sure did not need any extra power or pain :) I have heard the manufactures tried to get woody's paint jobed like metals so the players could play what they really like. Never seen one, must be really rare but would be a great piece of history for a collector or museum.
     
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  5. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    It's no wonder the pros didn't care for the metal sticks of the late 60s and early 70s. Most of the aluminum frames were riveted instead of welded and they rattled and twisted like an old Studebaker. My Smasher of the day only had two spacer/rivets in the handle...didn't take long for those to fail.

    The Chemold aluminum has to go down as one the the absolute worst rackets ever used by a top player. The steel T2000 was a Rolls Royce by comparison. When the welds in the metal frames held up, and some were pretty darned good and have lasted all these years(Wilson T series, YY 7500/8500, et al). They weren't really bad rackets but until the Zylon-type throats came on the scene to cut down on vibration and breakage, the riveted models just didn't play worth a nickel.

    Before the foam-injected handles became popular, there were a few metal frames with wood handles. The early Yoneyama/Yonex models as well as a chromed model from Slazenger. You could probably jack up a car with those things!

    The Seamless/Seamco model used by Rosewall(and one of our USC-the original- team players) had a lousy handle system, as well; but, the hairpin was one piece. The 'nylon' throat and string suspension system worked well until the racket had a few miles on it...then the squeaks and rattles started. Wasn't the easiest thing to string either.

    I now hit more with my Red Head Pro and YY8500 than with any of my current sticks. If you find the middle, they work! I had a group of kids gawking at me last week when I busted a couple of serves with an mid-70s T2000(with original International nylon). Fun!

    Ah, the good old days!!!
     
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  6. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    CoachRick, What you state is very true with the rivited constuction for many of the metals. The T2000 model that was the best was actually welded at the throat seams. Most were not. Another outstanding metal racket was the Rawlings TieBreaker that the Newk played. It was a beast of metal that was heavier and more powerful than the T2000. The most popular metal was probably the Prince Magnesium although it was not soo durable but a great performer.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2009
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  7. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    How I WANTED to play with the TieBreaker(I have one on my wall at home now)! Every one we sold broke; either in the throat or at the shoulders in the face. They also squeaked with the screwed-in-place throat...a problem with most of the metal frames that had the mainstrings routed in-and-out of the throat piece without looping through the frame(compare the TB and Wilson World Class vs Head Pro, Prince Pro/Mag). That 'bad' design allowed 6+- main strings to pull the throat away from the frame rather than securing the throat TO the frame.

    The TieBreaker suffered from a plastic handle that didn't help, as well. I think the much more solid YY7500 and 8500 stepped in where the TB failed(even though Newk could sell more rackets than Tony Roche at the time!).

    The Prince Magnesium had a loyal following. I remember how shallow the string channel was on top of the face. With just a bit of wear on the corners, the strings were exposed to any dragging or impact with the court...the individual grommets didn't help any, either.

    Does anyone remember the Pro-Am(sp?) of the late 60s/early 70s? The magazine ad featured the racket standing in front of a nude female model(who was unfortunately was seated, facing the other way). As I recall, it was touted as a one-piece racket with no apparent welds/seams.
     
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  8. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    A really interesting read again:)

    I have a Pro-Am, it is indeed a one-piece Aluminium racquet. Impossible to play with though, I don't actually think it actually has a sweet spot, I literally couldn't hit the ball with it!

    I will try to put a photo up here of it at some point although I'd have to find it first so it may take a few days (or a week):)
     
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  9. dirtballer

    dirtballer Professional

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    If I recall, didn't the Slazenger wood that Rosewall used to use have an extremely square fat neck and throat. It was fine for players with flat strokes like Rosewall but it wouldn't have suited players like Laver and Hoad. I guess that's obviously why they used the Fort with the flatter throat.
     
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  10. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I had a Yonex 7500. It was a nice frame with terrific feel--for a metal racquet.
     
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  11. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    I also have 1 or 2 of these Pro-Am's. They were made in SCal and looked like they were cut out of an aluminum block. I may have a picture on my other computer, will try to look later. I was really impressed with coachricks memories of all those metal clubs.
     
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  12. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

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    The Slazenger chromed one brings back memories. I think I was about 14 or so and was a tournament player (but I did not have tennis parents at all, bascially went to tourneys with other kids or got dropped off--I played exclusively with wood racquets (Dunlop Maplys) and my parents gave me that Slazenger chrome model for my birthday--it was indeed shiny, the metal tube in the frame were rather flat (but the opposite direction from a Yonex), it was heavy and hit like a tuning fork. I think Vijay Armitraj played with it for awhile. I never had the heart to tell him that I never played with it and always took it with me. When asked, I always told them I loved it. Now I wish I still had it.

    Played with a Head Master and a Head Professional some in high school (and they weren't bad at all) but went back to wood for most of college.
     
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  13. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I had a Head Master also. (After the Yonex 7500, I believe.) We're dating ourselves.
     
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  14. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    Was that the 'Austral' style frame? Slightly smaller(!) face and very boxy throat. I believe Dunlop(actually named the Austral), Slaz and Spalding all made a similar design. As I recall, Margaret Court used one for a while.
     
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  15. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    Yes, indeed...I have one on the wall...oval tube design, individual metal grommets. Mine likely has the original strings. The wooden handle on these was formidable. I remember shaving one down for a lady(!) who got it as a hand me down from her husband(nice guy!). She had a compact swing before it was cool :) ; using our power and just blocking the ball back with that monster Slaz. The handle felt like petrified mahogany when I tried to shave it with a rasp, hardest wood I've ever seen(maybe it was Ipe).
     
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  16. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    Ha, ha! Thanks! But don't ask me what I had for dinner last night! :)

    It's fun to remember the old days. I was fortunate to work in a tennis shop that stayed on the 'leading edge' in equipment. We learned to string and demo just about anything! I remember showing up at the USC(the original) PE courts with the Aldila Cannon rep. He was carrying 6 new rackets for us to demo.(That was over $1200 in tennis rackets...in the 70s!!!). He was a VERY good player and I was known to many of the students as being the local hotdog from THE tennis shop. We had quite an audience just for a simple demo session! Ah, to be young again!
     
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  17. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    True words there. One of my few life's regrets is that I didn't take tennis as seriously when I was young as I do now.

    "I coulda been a contender."


    (Nah, but a lot better than I am.)
     
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  18. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Yes, here is a picture:

    http://www.woodtennis.com/laver/austral1.jpg
     
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  19. Kirko

    Kirko Hall of Fame

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    I remember >>>>>>>

    Rosewall endorsed a Slazenger frame in 1980 so beautiful ! had his and Margret Court's photograph in black & white on the sides of the throat made in Australia a wood frame the pro where I lived in Reno, Nv used them he was an Australian. Rosewall used the wislon ultra from it's birth until and beyond it being discoed. used the ultra II for many years. sa him play Mal Anderson senior tennis and WOW had a dark greasy spot in the "sweetspot" they were playing on clay. the Seamco racket I heard was VERY NICE playing frame ! he also used the wilson world cup. a pal of mine in Australia says he now uses a Babolat GT Roddick standard leaded up pretty good.
     
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  20. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Where does Kenny live these days?
     
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  21. MAXXply

    MAXXply Hall of Fame

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    Last time I looked, he lived in the leafy, well-to-do Sydney suburb of Turramurra. A long way metaphorically speaking from his origins as a grocer's son in less-salubrious Kogarah.
     
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