Sharapova: bad racquet, torn rotator cuff

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by Marius_Hancu, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    [I'm reposting this in this forum too, as it's very important to protect ourselves against such occurences]

    As you probably know, Sharapova won yesterday and W/O-ed today:-[

    Just before the match, in an interview with the French-Canadian TV, she mentioned her recurring shoulder problems and that she's currently working with Prince to develop for her a more flexible racquet, which would help her shoulder.

    I think she said (didn't record) that she's already playing with this new racquet.

    Anyway, she should have listened to my advice:

    Best arm friendly racquets?
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=58089
    where I recommend a stiffness under 65.

    Using racquets rated 70 for stiffness will not help your career.

    Hope others will heed this advice.

    Plain stupid, short-view coaching in her case, I guess

    She seems to be getting poor advice for her money. It seems the tear has been discovered only here in Montreal, after an MRI. Anyway, only after this incident.

    ------------
    Maria Sharapova will sit out the U.S. Open because of a bad right
    shoulder, the first major championship she'll miss since her Grand
    Slam debut in 2003.

    A doctor who looked at tests on her shoulder from April and this week
    told Sharapova she has been playing with a torn rotator cuff tendon
    since the spring.


    "He actually couldn't believe that I've been playing this long with
    this injury. You can imagine that I was not very thrilled to hear that
    my medical team did not see this tear in my shoulder back in April
    ,"
    she said. "The good news is that it didn't get much worse since April,
    but we could have started the healing time back then instead of now."

    Sharapova will go to Arizona to work with a specialist for rehab and
    strength work.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/news;_y...slug=ap-usopen-sharapovaout&prov=ap&type=lgns
    ---------
     
    #1
  2. tennis_hand

    tennis_hand Hall of Fame

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    she or her teach of people around her don't even know this? I doubt so.

    They must have liked the rackets for giving her so much power, etc. but too bad, this is what she has to sacrifice.
    and time shows your deficiencies.
     
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  3. SteveI

    SteveI Legend

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    Marius,

    It is very hard to think that her "Medical Team" (should be the best money can buy) could have missed the torn rotator cuff tendon. It is possible that they did not miss it and "Team Sharapova" decided it was not a serious as it was? Anyway, 70 can be quite stiff for heavy, fast hitters. I do see many older folks out there using stiff frames but their slow swing speeds do seem to protect them from injury. BTW... they almost never use polys. Most of the time is a soft syn gut or multi.

    Keep up the good work.

    Steve
     
    #3
  4. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

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    1) Sharapova does not as far as we know use a 70 flex racquet. The 03 White is rated 65, relatively flexible by currrent standards, and is a famously comfortable racquet among currently used sticks. Her 03s were noted by Roman Prokes in an earlier thread to be minimally customized, so we have no reason to believe it is stiffer than stock.
    2) Most of her contemporaries (WTA players) use racquets stiffer than this. It is unfounded to suggest her racquet has something, or even anything, to do with her injury. One simply cannot tell. If it did, we'd expect others with stiffer racquets to develop this injury first.
    3) As Sharapova has one of the biggest serves on the women's tour, a more sensible conclusion is that her huge swing has more to do with this injury than her racquet.
    4) Switching to a flexier racquet may or may not help.
    5) There is simply no data to support what seem to be the assertions made here.
     
    #4
  5. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

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    NOTE -- Sharapova very recently was seen using what looks like a Speedport Black, a stiffer racquet, but this is long after the injury occurred.
     
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  6. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

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    I generally agree with Marius on this recommendation, but do we know the flex of the racquet she used? Apparently not....

    She is very thin and a bit stooped, which suggests some muscle weakness in her upper back/posterior shoulder is possible. It's impossible though for us to diagnose her on the internet. ;) And my MD is not in medicine. ;)

    -Robert
     
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  7. Sentinel

    Sentinel Talk Tennis Guru

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    Marius,
    Could you comment on whether full poly setups (strung low, like 50 lbs) can cause shoulder injuries /strains. Or is it only racquet related ?

    thanks.

    edit: I checked the link you gave to arm friendly rackets. it mentioend strings. But are poly strings bad for the elbow/wrist only, or shoulder too.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2008
    #7
  8. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

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    I'm not Marius, but string a stiff racquet with full poly and you are asking for trouble, IMHO. If you have any tendon issues, the poly will aggravate them. Even a flexible racquet strung low with full poly will give people issues. I've never had any tendon problems until I strung my 63 flex Vantage with Timo, a fairly stiff poly. My wrist started bothering me, so I dropped the Timo.

    -Robert
     
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  9. Sentinel

    Sentinel Talk Tennis Guru

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    Is it not true that maria had taken time off last year or so and changed her serve motion to make it easier on her shoulder.

    Does a "huge swing" contribute to shoulder issues. Are you suggesting that a shorter one is better for those prone to shoulder strain ? Could you give an example.
     
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  10. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

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    I'm only pointing out that if one is looking for risk factors here, the "size" of Maria's serve differentiates her more from most of her peers than her racquet does. The OP suggests that racquet stiffness was a crucial factor here; I don't follow that, since her racquet is not known to be particularly stiff, and indeed may be less stiff than what is used by most of the players on that tour. Whatever she may have changed in her swing, she still takes a pretty big rip at the ball. Is that the problem? I don't know. Could be genetics, some other aspect of training, an annoying father, whatever.
     
    #10
  11. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    People might want to consider that her shoulder problems might have started by her chasing her bad ball toss around and forcing the serve to work for an extended period of time. She has/had the service yips for an extended period of time..no wonder she has a shoulder prob

    I also doubt she could have been playing w. a torn RC..that would be painful not to mention that she likely wouldnt be able to reach her hand about her head let alone serve

    Also, just because a racquet is lighter and stiffer doesnt mean it is bad or even uncomfortable.

    Beyond technique, I've seen more rotator cuff injuries stemming from racquets which are too heavy and smaller sweetspotted than light and stiff
     
    #11
  12. xnarek

    xnarek Rookie

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    Wow a lot of shoulder injures on this site.
     
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  13. Sentinel

    Sentinel Talk Tennis Guru

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    Intriguing comment, are you referring to head light racks or does the balance not matter ? Do PS 6.0 users have more shoulder problems ?

    (I was asking some time back whether very HL racks contributed to rotator cuff injuries but got no answer.)

    Could be some of us are moving to heavier racks to save from elbow pain and getting shoulder problems instead ??
     
    #13
  14. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    for sure..cant tell you how many times i've seen this with people using racquets w. too much swingweight for their skillset. midsized coupled w. the high swingweight is the double whammy as misshits send lots of shock up to your shoulder..couple this with less than good technique and you've got a trifecta thing going on.

    people should use the right swingweight and headsize for their skillset, no matter what it is....a concept which escapes many around here. dont buy into the myths perpetuated on this forum. same thing w. elbow pain, as sometimes the elbow pain is caused by the same thing..goes w.o saying that less than good technique can cause problems for those who hit the ball hard enough to cause damage
     
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  15. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    nobadmojo, just curious what to you is a too high swingweight? should an intermediate player not go from a midplus to a mid to help with precicion or to "grow into it"?
     
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  16. Mashafun

    Mashafun New User

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    She have problems with shoulder, not 'arm', in tennis when you think arm-friendly racquet you find racquet for tennis elbow problems. If someone think that more flexible racquet can help shoulder problems caused by wrong motion on serve and forehand should rethink it ... definitly.
    More flexible racquet can decrease vibrations but vibrations are not the source of Sharapova's shoulder problems.
     
    #16
  17. crazytennis

    crazytennis Semi-Pro

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    Could it also be because of her weird forehand motion ?
     
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  18. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

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    No, it's most likely weak stabilizer muscles like her scapula stabilizers. She probably didn't do her rotator cuff exercises and seated rows, or didn't do them right. Or, it might simply be the little hitch in her service motion that caused the problem (more likely the hitch is the result of a muscle imbalance, per above).

    -Robert
     
    #18
  19. Mashafun

    Mashafun New User

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    Yes, could be. That type of forehand Nick Bollitieri named 'american topspin'. Usually pro's uses that reverse whip on forehand when hitting ball too late, but sharapova liked that type of finish so much that she uses it too often and it's putting a mojor stress to her shoulder. Let me say that I'm using it at times, and sometimes I end up with pain in shoulder. I only can imagine what kind of stress it is causing on shoulder, when You using it as often as sharapova...
     
    #19
  20. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    Bingo - most people I talk and play with are left with this choose of a heavier racquet for elbow problems or a lighter racquet for shoulder problems.
     
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  21. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    no man...use a MP or larger if necessary and in the very rare case where you could possibly benefit from a move to a mid, do that after you've reached the 5.0 level or so..a Mid almost never helps anyone w. precision...it usually makes them less precise <more misshits and less depth control> . there is absolutely zero that a midsized racquet can do for you that a MP cant and you dont have any of the downsides of using a mid. i can easily say this after giving a few thousand tennis lessons. as far as the swingweight goes..that very much is an individual thing and is very much a function of technique and age rather than a function of physical size/strength

    i cant tell you what she does off court, but i've hit on the court next to her practice court a couple of times and can tell you that she has a very solid detailed structured warmup procedure, cool down procedure, and workout procedure. has a great coach and physio. as i stated before, i believe her problem stems from having the yips..chasing a bad toss all around isnt a good healthy thing to do for an extended period of time
     
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