Should tennis emulate swimming?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by sureshs, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    The recently concluded FINA meet in Rome was the end of an era, or end of an error, as SI says. The era of full-body length polyurethane swimsuits by Speedo and rivals, which decrease hydrodynamic drag. 43 world records were shattered in this meet, prompting everyone except the manufacturers to say that it was due to the suit. Phelps also agrees, saying "Now we can talk about swimming again." From Jan 1, only suits made of traditional textiles and of specified length will be allowed.

    Should tennis give a finger to the manufacturers and mandate wood racquets of no more than 65 sq inch head size and natural guts?

    Please don't use this thread as an excuse to start a fight about how Nadal and Federer will fare from Jan 1, if tennis goes the way of swimming.

    Note: Table tennis went to bigger balls a few years back to decrease pace and spin, and banned the use of "speed glues" last October.
     
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  2. DarthMaul

    DarthMaul Professional

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    That would knock a few top 10 out of their spots right away...
     
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  3. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I bet Breakpoint will be thrilled
     
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  4. sh@de

    sh@de Hall of Fame

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    ...? What's the reason for such an absurd suggestion?
     
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  5. Gen

    Gen Banned

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    Once tried playing with an ancient wooden racket with a ridiculously small head ... Don't know how Bjorn Borg managed tp generate so much spin with similar equipment. I could hit only flat. Spin is a very important element of modern tennis. Will current players be able to spin and slice effectively with this timber? If not, the quality level of the game may go down.
     
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  6. slicefox

    slicefox Banned

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    borg was a master, that's how
     
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  7. Gen

    Gen Banned

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    Thanks, pal. I'd've never guessed that, delusionally thinking that Borg and me play in the same league till the end of my life.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2009
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  8. jamesblakefan#1

    jamesblakefan#1 G.O.A.T.

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    No.

    10 characters.
     
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  9. lawrence

    lawrence Hall of Fame

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    do the records that got broken get put back into place? because that seems really unfair. i mean imagine your record getting obviously broken by a suit, and then having that suit banned the next day
    i would be pretty annoyed
     
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  10. Golden Retriever

    Golden Retriever Hall of Fame

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    Should car racing emulate swimming? Should cycling emulate swimming? Should we go back to racing with the Ford T-model?

    Some sports, like tennis, are more about the equipment. Some, like swimming, are more physical in nature. For the former, equipment advancement is part of the game.
     
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  11. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    I'd be more than okay with some racquet regulation. I play just fine with a Maxply or a Kramer Pro Staff. I'd even be okay with the shorter shorts......in the new materials, though.

    Just please don't make me give up my Babolat shoes.
     
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  12. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Tennis federations made a mistake in the 70s, when they did not regulate the size of the racket nor the material. I think baseball regulated the material, wood, for the pros, while amateurs can bat with everything. The swim suits and the record flow show, what equipment really means.
     
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  13. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    ^Fully agree. They totally sold out.^
    As much as I think a Maxply is just perfect for men's tennis, I get the commerce angle and I'd even be open to open-throated wooden frames with an 80 sq in head...maybe some composite inlays. See: Slazenger V-24. But metal, all graphite....oversize...widebodies....that's great for the recreational player, but I wish college and pro tennis stayed more pure.
     
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  14. ninman

    ninman Hall of Fame

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    But in tennis you're playing the man on the other side of the net. Something like golf for example, where you play the course equipment makes a much bigger difference. In tennis everybody can use the same equipment so it balances out.
     
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  15. sh@de

    sh@de Hall of Fame

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    Really there's no such need. The two sports are different. In swimming, world records matter a lot, but they don't so much in tennis. I mean for example, would you rather hold the record for the 50m sprints in swimming? Or would you rather have the fastest recorded serve in tennis history... I'd pick the former. That's why it doesn't matter if equipment improves in tennis whereas it does in swimming. In tennis, if you have a better racquet and can hit harder, so will your opponent. But in swimming, if you have a better suit and swim faster, the guy who previously held the world record can't do anything to stop you from using that suit to break his record. It's just different.
     
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  16. Ambivalent

    Ambivalent Hall of Fame

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    Pff, that table tennis rule was established to try to weaken the Chinese teams, but they are still dominant.
     
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  17. Terr

    Terr Semi-Pro

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    I think the argument lies in the fact that a tennis player would have to alter their style of play in accordance to their racquet/string setup. Whereas a swimmer would have the same technique whether swimming naked or in a shark skin suit.

    It's a case of who can be faster in swimming. But if one athlete is wearing trunks and another a shark skin suit, it's hardly fair, since it's not up to preference like in tennis, but scientifically proven to make you more streamlined in the water.
     
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  18. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    Exactly.

    So if both players have wood, the tennis changes. Some would say, in men's tennis, for the better. Some, for the worse.

    I feel the game has changed, even though we just play the man.
     
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  19. JeMar

    JeMar Legend

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    So, what will that mean to all the records that were broken using the new suits?

    If swimmers aren't allowed to use the new suits, it will become almost impossible for those records to be shattered, won't it?
     
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  20. fedtastic

    fedtastic Hall of Fame

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    If they only allow wooden rackets with 65" headsize, no doubt Federer will win 3 Calender Slams for the next 3 years.

    That would be bad for tennis.
     
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  21. rommil

    rommil Legend

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    Good Lord, when I read the title I thought Nalbandian would have a heart attack if they asked the players to wear Speedos.
     
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  22. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    No -

    IIRC - Not all swimmers could get thier hands on the streamlined suits, some couldn't afford them, others could get a suit, but they weren't as good as what the other swimmers are wearing.

    In tennis, all the players have access to basically the same equipment. You can argue that Brand X's tennis rackets or strings are better, but for the most part, the rackets the pro's use are pretty similar and rarely make the difference in the match.

    If racket tech was really out of hand, how does Fed dominate a with the K6.1?

    You could also hand any pro an APD, but that doesn't mean they are going to beat Nadal.
     
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  23. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    LOL, actually the speedos would go well with his chest hair and gold chains. It's a lifestyle and only the biggest Guidos can truly commit to it. Though Nalbandian is not an actual Italian-American, I think he'd fit in nicely up here.
     
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  24. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    The official reason was that it made the sport easier to follow on TV
     
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  25. rommil

    rommil Legend

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    Hahaha leopard print?
     
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  26. LES

    LES Semi-Pro

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    It's too late. Pandora's box has been opened.
     
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  27. Grass_for_cows

    Grass_for_cows Semi-Pro

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    I think players should be able to wear stream-lined suits in the WTA.
     
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  28. bladepdb

    bladepdb Professional

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    If tennis were to emulate swimming, then Federer's and Sampras's records mean nothing. The GOAT argument would involve Laver, Borg, Rosewall...Lendl, Becker, Agassi, Sampras, Federer, Nadal, etc. would all be washed out of arguments. Doesn't sound like fun :p

    Tennis is already not a widely popular sport, and that move would push it even further down.

    Popularity aside, the game would go back to emphasize S & V without a doubt. The success of current players would significantly change.

    Those who say Fed would dominate, I disagree. I dont' think ANY player would dominate. It would be a game to see who doesn't screw up more, not about court tactics, power, heart, etc.

    I guarantee you if you give a 65 sq in wooden racquet to even Federer, he would have a fairly long learning curve. Granted, that learning curve would be supremely steeper than a recreational/club player, it would still be pretty long.


    Players would start with a clean slate, and you would see huge ranking changes week in and week out. Sound much like the WTA?
     
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  29. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    This is obviously pure speculation, but I think Federer would dominate. I also think the Agassis, Changs and Hewitts would have some trouble. Rafa might do fine, but his legendary RPMs would be a stretch with the smaller head. Same for Guga.

    The top ten would be guys who can play a varied, all-court game....and generate good power and spin with a small frame (Borg and Nastase). I'm all for that.

    I think Mac might still be relevant in some way if everyone used wood.
     
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  30. Noveson

    Noveson Hall of Fame

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    I think Murray would come out of this very well. His strokes are super simple and solid, and he has a beautiful touch game around the net. Both Fed and Nadal have so much racquet head spead on their forehands that they would miss a tremendous amount. Federer already does frame a large amount.
     
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  31. mattp420

    mattp420 Rookie

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    Why is Hewitt listed here? The largest head size he's used since joining Yonex is 95 sq. inches (RQiS 1 Tour). He's used the SRD Tour 90 for most of his career and is currently using the RDiS 100 93.

    All the other people mentioned in your post are using 100+ sq. inches.
     
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  32. Drago

    Drago New User

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    Definitely no, tennis should not emulate swimming.
    Reasons :
    1. As we see the Hi Tech racquet of Djokovic doesn't make him a super-tennis-man and multiple grand slam winner (The new racquet makes him only more wealthy)

    2. The big head racquets DO improve the quality of tennis (enter one additional dimension of the game - spin, and slightly improves the pace)

    3. The swimsuits doesn't improve the swimming, but can make you champion.

    4. By tradition - the swimming doesn't have additional equipment (there is no flippers, hand-flippers etc.)
     
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  33. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    Nothing to do with headsize, really. My opinion is that people like him, Simon and Chang would get tooled (they do not generate their own pace as well as the larger, stronger guys).
     
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  34. TennisNinja

    TennisNinja Hall of Fame

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    Exactly what I was going to say.
     
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  35. Fedfan1234

    Fedfan1234 Rookie

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    No why? Don't you like tennis as it is now?
    It would be like changing back from a Ferrari to a T-ford. Once you have experienced the Ferrari you don't want to switch back to that lame car. It would most likely result in a decrease in tennis fans all over the world. I don't know if I would still be watching, probably not.
     
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