Sampras goes to Babolat! (pics incl.)

Discussion in 'Pros' Racquets and Gear' started by The Pure One, May 22, 2010.

  1. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    It's simple really. Not even Sampras could play with that log Wilson made. ;)

    Really, it's surprising, but Sampras got more from Babolat than Wilson in his heyday. From what I understand, Sampras got $0 for using the ProStaff. Babolat gave him free gut, I'm not sure about the $'s accompanying but the way he went through gut it wouldn't surprise me if he just got free gut.
     
  2. roundiesee

    roundiesee Hall of Fame

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    I've heard that Pete would have the Gut in all his rackets cut and then re-strung with fresh Gut before every match, even if he had not used them at all for practice. Wonder how much Gut he actually used in his active playing days (in dollar terms I mean)
     
  3. pug

    pug Semi-Pro

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    Haters make baby jesus cry......
     
  4. proracketeer

    proracketeer Professional

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    [​IMG]
     
  5. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    He wrote about it in his book. It was something like 56 sets of gut over a two-week period (i.e. a grand slam fortnight, on average).....at the time it was almost $2000 in string alone. He'd get all his frames strung fresh for each match, for practice he'd use day-old gut. IIRC, he'd travel with 9-12 frames, but only really use 3-4 of his "favorites." But, he'd have Nate Fergusson string them all up the day of a match.....tension dependent on conditions.

    As for what Sampras paid for string, not sure what the sponsorship terms were.
     
  6. Nanshiki

    Nanshiki Hall of Fame

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    His string was free, but he had to pay $40 a pop in labor. He spent $50,000 a year on stringing.
     
  7. marosmith

    marosmith Professional

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    so do babolats!!
     
  8. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Shame on Pete. Somebody should remind him that his signature is on the side of every single KPS88 out there.

    But more importantly, does this mean that he and Agassi have made up after that fiasco that happened on court during the Hit for Haiti doubles exo when Agassi made fun of Pete for being cheap?
     
  9. hoosierbr

    hoosierbr Hall of Fame

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    Sampras said in an interview that Agassi called him after the incident and things are fine between them. In the past.

    As for the racquet switch, I understand Pete moving from a 85 to a 90 then back to a 88. But to jump to 98 is one hell of a leap. Wonder if it will stick?
     
  10. olliess

    olliess Semi-Pro

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    The PS85 is an 85. The KPS88 has the the same head size and shape as the K90 (save some differences around the PWS bulges).

    The 98sq Babolat is bigger... and... it's...not...black! :eek:
     
  11. SirSweetSpot

    SirSweetSpot Banned

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    ^^Next Pete will be sporting an Adidas Barricade because they were on sale at TW.
     
  12. roundiesee

    roundiesee Hall of Fame

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    If this is accurate, then assuming Pete had played at least 10 years on the tour, that's easily half a mil on strings, and that's not even counting the costs of the gut.
     
  13. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Pistol Pete playing with a Babolat?



    The sky is falling, the sky is falling.
     
  14. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    The threadtitle reminds me of a song from the early 80s: Relax, Don't Do It, by Sampy Goes To Bollywood
     
  15. brinkeguthrie

    brinkeguthrie Semi-Pro

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    I think he could handle that cost.
     
  16. bsandy

    bsandy Hall of Fame

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    Source ?

    In 2006 at the RCA the tournamenet stringers charged $25.
     
  17. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    Sampras did not use the on site stringers. He used Nate Furguson.
     
  18. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    Maybe he's been reading TTW and switched to a larger headsize to win the French Open next year. Lol.
    I don't really think this is big for Babolat or bad for Wilson really.
    Think about it. Most of the younger players are going to be watching the current greats (Rafa and Fed et al) and buy what they are using. The older generation like myself who grew up watching Sampras are too old to really be influenced and buy what there former hero is playing with. Most of us anyway. Lol. The main beneficiary from this is Pete. More power to him.
     
  19. Excellent use of that phrase in your last sentence. I liked that. :p
     
  20. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    The 88 is still the most bizarre, beautiful, powerful, lovliest, awesomest, yummiest raquet ever.

    Screw Babolat.

    :eek:
     
  21. Nanshiki

    Nanshiki Hall of Fame

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    He used P1, who charges something like $40-50 for labor, but string was free...

    The source is Patrick McEnroe's book "Tennis for Dummies."
     
  22. genius24

    genius24 Semi-Pro

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    i really hope he switched to babolat b/c he liked the racquet and not b/c wilson short ended him in some fashion like nike did at the end of his career. really cant understand how these companies wouldnt hook sampras up for life after all the exposure he provided them during his prime as one of the best players of all time (until fed arrived).
     
  23. Geoff

    Geoff Professional

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    With Sampras going to Babolat, what will be the fate of the KPS 88? Does that make the future of the KPS 88 similar to what happened when the PS 85 was no longer available?
     
  24. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    Wilson will stop production of the 88. Definitely.

    Kiss it goodbye for sure.
     
  25. jmverdugo

    jmverdugo Hall of Fame

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    This thread si so funny, people making excuses for Pete, mid user's taking it personal, die hard fans making explanations, out of nowhere everybody liked the PST and found it similar to the KPS ... so many broken hearts ...
     
  26. origmarm

    origmarm Hall of Fame

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    Pete wearing the "LOSER" hat :)
     
  27. The Baseline

    The Baseline Professional

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    its a shame to see sampras leave wilson, considering pete being american.
     
  28. proracketeer

    proracketeer Professional

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  29. shanked_it

    shanked_it Rookie

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    I don't think wilson is americanborn, or not owned by an american company atleast :confused:
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2010
  30. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    Sampras with the Babolat could be a short term thing.... Next "high profile" match (as in one on TV) he'll be back with Wilson.

    recently, Borg was using a blacked-out k90 while in Asia with a Head logo stenciled on sideways. When he played in the states, he had the full-on k90 Wilson get up. Last I saw on the internet, he's using the Dunlop AG100 4D.

    Since it's all for fun, these guys can hit with whatever they want.
     
  31. Butters!

    Butters! Semi-Pro

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    I can only imagine the power he must have now and with poly strings all his shots will stay in and have more spin.
     
  32. Butters!

    Butters! Semi-Pro

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    The purists have had a heart attack. But it was inevitable. Once you get the easy power, it's tough to let go.
     
  33. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, hes gonna do really well in Wimbledon this year, I'm really glad he switched.

    This is a good move at this point in his competitive tennis career.
     
  34. Butters!

    Butters! Semi-Pro

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    I'm sure he would probably win a few rounds now. But that K88 is going to go the way of Fischer rackets. Sticks that purists like don't sell. Once Fed retires that stick will disappear too.
     
  35. The Baseline

    The Baseline Professional

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    you can trust federers integrity when he signs a contract he vows to honor it
     
  36. gsquicksilver

    gsquicksilver Semi-Pro

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    sampras played for years with the ps85 without a contract from wilson because he never would switch frames or use a pj. back in the 90's, wilson had the turqoise pro staff pete sampras signature, made with the ps85 but different paint job. pete refused to use that paint job because he felt a difference in the racquets. therefore, he played with the ps85 out of love, not money. thus, wilson had a lot of free advertisement from pete back then.
     
  37. spindoctor673

    spindoctor673 Banned

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    Interesting occurrence of events.
     
  38. LPShanet

    LPShanet Banned

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    Wilson most certainly is American born. The company was founded based on a New York meatpacking company, although most of its historical operations were based in Chicago. It took the name Wilson in 1915 and produced gut strings and sports uniforms, among other things. (Gut strings were one of the main conduits for their transition from meatpacking to sporting goods.)

    It only became a holding of Finnish-based Amer Group in 1989. Amer has quite a few sporting goods holding in various countries (including the very American Atomic Aquatics), and they still allow Wilson to run most of their operations out of the US. (Amer is the largest sporting goods holding company in the world.) However, as with the majority of racquet manufacturers, the frames are made in China these days.

    As for various posters' sentiments on this thread about loyalty, etc., that's a pretty maudlin way of looking at tennis racquet contracts. For years, Pete played with Wilson, and he stuck with them primarily because he didn't want to switch frames and was superstitious about his equipment. His unwillingness to use current models or paintjobs cost him quite a bit in endorsement money over the years, and there was no reason to expect loyalty between him and Wilson from either side. Pete resented that Wilson didn't pay him more, and Wilson didn't like the fact that he wouldn't at least paint his frames to look like a current model. Racquet contracts are a financial arrangement, and Wilson did their best to pay him as little as possible, since he didn't want to switch frames. Pete's agent did his best to get him as much money as possible, given the circumstances, and the limited value of his endorsement. In a nutshell, it's a business arrangement, not a friendship, marriage or magic spell. The idea that Wilson would unnecessarily give him a lifetime contract as a way of saying "thanks" is ludicrous. Similarly, the idea that Pete would keep using a frame that wasn't of his choosing any more just out of loyalty to a brand, and without being paid is also ridiculous. I think everyone has been watching too many romantic films.

    Oh, and by the way, it's a Pure Storm Tour GT.
     
  39. The Baseline

    The Baseline Professional

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    the 88 kfactor was a way of saying thanks. you would think pete would use this frame after retirement because of the late release, but utimately pete turned his back on wilson and joined the bandwagon. wilson made that frame for fans of pete and a way of saying thanks to the loyal pro staff fans, ultimately pete didnt get that message.
     
  40. marosmith

    marosmith Professional

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    Wilson made the frame to make money not to give Pete warm fuzzies.
     
  41. ManuGinobili

    ManuGinobili Hall of Fame

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    Like Shrek 4, Wilson made that frame to squeeze out any juice left on the Sampras bandwagon.

    Couple things I find funny:
    1. Ouch! Slap to the face to the Kblade Tour!!
    2. I highly suspect that Pete will use another racket at the next tournament, and I also highly suspect this whole saga will start all over again... don't get me wrong, this is FUN... First time I had posted in the Pros Gear section in a while!
     
  42. The Baseline

    The Baseline Professional

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    for the pro staff fans it sold well- so why did pete jump ship? pete could have moved onto the k 6.1 95 that del potro was using--but instead pete gave into the "babolat hype" and wanted to be part of the crowd. pete had several options at wilson and the least he should have done was test them especially since hes retired
     
  43. Shankapotomus

    Shankapotomus New User

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    to all you die hard wilson loving, babolat hating posters, i quote sean connery from SNL jeopardy:

    "Suck on it Trebek. Suck it long, and suck it hard."
     
  44. Meaghan

    Meaghan Hall of Fame

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    Hilarious.....Imagine Pete wanting to be part of the crowd. These are pro players, rackets are tools of their trade, Im sure he's tried a few including the wilson 95's and he's said to himself I cant do this Ive gotta go with Babolat, everyone else is !!!

    Babolat frames are no better or worse than most of the junk out there, their top frames I suspect dont have the same quality as Head or Wilson pro stock but they do a job and are very easy rackets to use. Im sure the likes of Nadal, Moya, Gonzalez, Roddick, Tsonga etc etc cant all be wrong.....

    Good on Sampras for going with his gut feelings, he has no real responsibility to any manufacturer and it actually shows what a good base mold the storm series is.
     
  45. TennisNinja

    TennisNinja Hall of Fame

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    So weird to not see him with Wilson.
     
  46. LPShanet

    LPShanet Banned

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    No, it wasn't. It was a business deal. Not sure where this concept of "thanks" comes from, but it's inaccurate at best.
     
  47. lucasschneider

    lucasschneider New User

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    Who cares?! No kid is going to care who Pete Sampras is.
    Roger Federer is king of the Slams and the GOAT.
    Pete is old and no child is going to care what he is using.
    Both Babolat and Wilson have great rackets, and I think Wilson Blade 98 is the best racket
     
  48. Fee

    Fee Legend

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    How do you know that Pete hasn't spent the last year testing every frame that Wilson makes?
     
  49. lucasschneider

    lucasschneider New User

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    Probably every company would be happy to pay Sampras more than Wilson.
    Wilson already has the GOAT..you don't need Pete when you have Federer.
    Plus, it's different now that he is retired. He can just go for the money.
    He doesn't care as much as he used to and he would probably play with that stupid two handled racket if they paid him enough
     
  50. Butters!

    Butters! Semi-Pro

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    Pete can do whatever he wants with his choice of rackets.
     

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