So which slam with wood?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by BTURNER, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,604
    Location:
    OREGON
    the Sampras clip made me hungry. If you could pick one slam and enforce a wooden racket standard on all players, which slam would it be, grass clay hard? Seems a great idea to force those old rackets and balls on these guys and gals. Then there would be some prep events before hand, even a little wooden season. a silly hypthetical I suppose. I'd take Wimbledon.
     
    #1
  2. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Messages:
    5,544
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    This would never happen. Using wood would be an injury risk.

    Think about it. It's like asking a pitcher who throws overhand to switch to submarine. You'd kill his arm.
     
    #2
  3. Mick

    Mick Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
    Messages:
    8,363
    if there was such a slam, this would favor federer because his racquet plays more like a wood racquet than any other current racquet. like federer needs more of an advantage over his peers :)
     
    #3
  4. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,604
    Location:
    OREGON
    Cyborg, That is why I called it a hypothetical. Undoubtedly we are entering the Twilight Zone, I just want to know which episode folks want to watch, not asking which actors want to play a part. I think grass would be best
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2009
    #4
  5. matchmaker

    matchmaker Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Messages:
    4,040
    Wimbledon, off course.
     
    #5
  6. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    7,668
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    I'd really enjoy seeing the pros grind it out on Red Clay, best of five sets, at Roland Garros, the way they did it "old school". They could hold such a mock tournament and then they could go back to the modern frames for the real French Open.

    The shorter points at Wimbledon would make it a little less illustrative for me and easier in many ways. Yet, good volleyers would definitely benefit at Wimbledon if they tried wood racquets there. Hitting rifle passing shots with wood rackets is definitely not easy.
     
    #6
  7. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,604
    Location:
    OREGON
    the clips of wood racket clay tennis I have seen have been less than riveting. Not seen much hard court tennis with wooden rackets. I want to see players rewarded for point construction which includes the volley.
     
    #7
  8. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,590
    CyBorg
    Turner's having a bad day. He posts a thread in a section about pro players and snaps at you when you mention a player.
     
    #8
  9. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Messages:
    5,544
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    In that case I vote clay. Would love to see what Federer could do with the kind of equipment that wouldn't allow him to hit clean winners from the baseline.
     
    #9
  10. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    4,773
    Location:
    Hotel CA
    Concur !

    Whites, Woods, and lawn court tennis is the roots of the game. May even need to play white balls again. If this dream became reality, I think it may bring Sampras and McEnroe out of retirement, Federer would still be the top seed.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2009
    #10
  11. Dreamcastin

    Dreamcastin Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    Messages:
    396
    im glad im not the only one whoes ever thought of this. i dont think it needs to be a slam though, it would just be cool to have a special regular event like this. it would be nice to see them speed up some of the courts so we could get some net play back in tennis. i like the idea of speeding up wimby.
     
    #11
  12. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    4,773
    Location:
    Hotel CA
    Getting back to reality here, what Im suggesting is that someone should fund an exo type event that is played with woody's and invites a few of the old greats that can still compete like Sampras, Agassi, and Mcenroe, these guys grewup playing wood, and a few of the current greats like Federer, Nadal, and Murray, and hold a World Tennis Championships Throwback (WTCT) type event. It would get tons a publicity and probably get some pretty good TV ratings. Early December maybe a good time ? Maybe TTV could setup ? Who would like to see this ???
     
    #12
  13. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,604
    Location:
    OREGON
    love the idea, but not your early december time frame. i want a real off season for pros protected.
     
    #13
  14. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,863
    It would be fun to see... but the current pros would still have the upper hand...

    I actually played with a wood frame last night for the first hour of a mens night... (switched back to my regular racket the second hour). I played well... served well... the only major difference I felt was that I could not generate the same amount of spin as I do with the newer rackets and my power was muted... but only slightly.

    I think there was a study done by Tennis Magazine with the differences between serving with a wood and new frame... with Mark Philippoussis, I think the difference was not as large as people thought. Even back in the day people believed Colin Dibley served up to 140mph in the 70's (I don't think it was ever confirmed).

    So playing with wood would be interesting... the can still hit the ball hard but it would not be nearly as easy for them to keep the ball in play. And like a previous polster said... they would need to develope the points more... ahhhhhhhhhhh the good old days.
     
    #14
  15. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    4,773
    Location:
    Hotel CA
    I agree it would be very fun to watch and I think generate alot of fan interest. I really think that Sampras and McEnroe may actually have an advantage over most modern players. Heck, Sampras can play with Federer pretty even with graphite and I think he would be more comfortable with wood. It would really be interesting to see what Mac would do again with a woody ...
     
    #15
  16. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,765
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    On a grass court in the summer of Australia, of course. Laver could be chair umpire, Rosewall as the tournament director.
     
    #16
  17. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    4,773
    Location:
    Hotel CA
    Would also be a great tribute to Jack Kramer. Down under in the aussie summer, Id sure like to be there !
     
    #17
  18. JoshDragon

    JoshDragon Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Messages:
    2,235
    No, that sounds like a terrible idea. What's the point anyway, wood racquets are old technology. It would be like holding a Nascar event where every racer has to use a model T car.

    It's cool to have an exhibition match every once in a while but not an actual tournament where the player's ranking could be affected by their proficiency with the wood racquets.
     
    #18
  19. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    4,773
    Location:
    Hotel CA
    It would obviously never occur on a sanctioned ATP event that could effect players rankings but not a terrible idea in every other respect. I suspect you never played in the wood era nor appreciate the tennis played prior to 1985.
     
    #19
  20. JoshDragon

    JoshDragon Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Messages:
    2,235
    The wood racquet era took place many years before I was born. I fully admit that my exposure to wood raquets has been through, You Tube and reading books on former touring players.

    I like the tennis pre-1985 but at the same time it seems kind of foreign to me. The strokes look different, the rallies are much slower, there's a lot of serving and volleying. I don't have the level of appreciation for wood that some do. Although, that's not to say that I don't appreciate, Borg's ability to rally from the baseline and come up with passing shots, using that small 65 sq inch head frame.
     
    #20
  21. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,464
    Think of it this way Josh. In professional baseball what type of bats do they use? They use wooden bats. Why? Because the aluminum bats that they use in college and many of the amateur ranks would not allow the pitcher any sort of chance at having a decent earned run average.

    In tennis today (and incidentally as a hacker I love the rackets today) almost any decent player can hit a winner off somewhat deep shot into the court. There is less strategy and less emphasis and skills as volleying, drop shots, lobs than there was with the wood rackets. Also with the smaller head and lesser strings, players would have far more problems hitting the heavy topspin today.

    Obviously there also would be far more mishits if player used the heavy loop swings of today which may force some of them to hit the ball much flatter.

    It would be interesting to see the skills of these players. Would Nadal still be able to hit his heavy topspin? Would Federer still be able to drive the ball (relatively speaking) as well as with the current rackets? Who knows?

    I think Sampras would do quite well with his serve and volley game but his game was based on the old Australians like Laver anyway.

    I think it would be a fun change of pace from the sometimes boring baseline blasting of today from most players.
     
    #21
  22. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,863

    I could not agree more... I do think Federer would be able to adjust since his game is as classic as anyone these days. Nadal would still hit topspin, it just would not be as effective as it is now.

    I actually used a wood racket for the first hour of a mens night last weekend and faired well. I have a very classic game since I learned to play in the mid 70's, I did not nearly hit with as much topspin... but that was ok since I am comfortable hitting a flatter ball. What was surprising was that my volleying was effective and there was only a little speed lost off my serve.

    It was a lot of fun... switching back to my Tour 90 took a little more effort.
     
    #22
  23. JoshDragon

    JoshDragon Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Messages:
    2,235
    I love the modern day racquets. Partly because I'm more familiar with them but I find it to be way more fun watching two players battle against each other, blasting aces and hitting winners. IMO, the entertainment quality of tennis has reached a new high because of the Nadal/Federer rivalry.

    I don't think there should be a yearly wood racquet tournament or anything but I guess, one exhibition tournament with wood racquets, would be ok.

    I'm not a big fan of it because I find wood racquet matches to be considerably less entertaining than regular matches, although they're still interesting to me.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2009
    #23
  24. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2004
    Messages:
    6,581
    Nope, that's just complete and utter rubbish. If the players went to wood it would do more to save their arm than damage it.

    Think about it. Instead of serving the first ball as hard as possible, because you know that your modern racquet and strings allow you to generate enough pace and spin on the second serve to keep your opponent on the defensive, they'll have to take some pace off it and go for a higher percentage and better placement. They'll know that, if they miss the first serve the second ball will be easier to attack.

    The wood racquet will also require them to use natural gut. That's going to be far better for their arm and shoulder than the poly they use now.

    In the 70's you had players like Nastase, Laver and Court chopping and changing between wood and metal. None of them ever had a problem with their arm or shoulder.
     
    #24
  25. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Messages:
    5,544
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Um, obviously I am referring to a sudden shift from one kind of technology to another. The OP is even talking about switching interchangeably.

    Nastase/Laver/Court grew up with one kind of technology and honed their games with it. They hit the ball a particular way with certain grips, wind ups.

    The OP is however referring to a hypothetical whereby at some point in time in a season the modern players put away their graphites and use woodies like the ones they had 30 years ago. Just to see how they'd do.

    Realistically, this would be an injury risk. Guys would have to alter their mechanics considerably and this would inevitably result in different kinds of problems, particularly arm, elbow, shoulder.

    Even making one single change can be a very bad idea if you're past a certain age. Watch the old matches and notice how differently they hit the ball and imagine Federer with that kind of technology - he would have to hit the ball in ways that his body is not accustomed. Hence the pitcher analogy.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2009
    #25
  26. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Messages:
    5,544
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Don't bother reasoning with him. He's a mongoloid.
     
    #26
  27. classic tennis

    classic tennis Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    Messages:
    606
    Joe it would be great to see, Perhaps at Forest Hills? anyway it could happen if the guy's didn't demand $100K to front up.....I know where they can get the racquets ;-)
     
    #27
  28. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,863
    To those that pose that the use of wood rackets would be a problem... I don't see it I have lived through all the changes in tennis over the last 35 years...

    I started with a Adidas Nastase (wood frame)> Head Pro (extruded aluminum)> Head Arthur Ashe Comp 2 (aluminum sandwiched between boron and fiberglass)>Wilson Prostaff 6.0 85 (braided graphite)>Dunlop Max 200g (injection molded graphite)>Dunlop Impact 95 (wide body graphite)x>Dunlop Maxply McEnroe>Wilson Tour 90 and many frames inbetween.

    I played a decent level of tennis with classic strokes and an attacking all court game,have never sustained a serious injury and I have survived 4 decades of tennis with various equipment without ill effect.

    As a matter of fact I actually used a wood frame on the weekend on a mens night and won all my matches with it... I had minimal lost of power... the one thing I felt was missing was heavy topspin.

    The racket is just a tool... and there is nothing wrong with the tools of yesterday... the pros today could still hit well over 125mph on their serves. They could still hit the big forehands and backhands... they just may not be able to do it on demand.

    The other thing they could do is limit the power of the new rackets... follow what golf has done. Allow the companies to create new rackets but limit them to the power of the old wood frames... or... those oversized balls to slow down the game (circa 1980's?).

    Anyway... back to the point of the thread... any slam would be great except for the French.
     
    #28
  29. max

    max Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Messages:
    2,682
    Actually, I would like to see the weight of pros frames: the 13 oz. wood might well be doable for them.

    The thrill of blast-it tennis is understandable: instant gratification. But the OP's right to note that earlier wood tennis required a lot more effort, mentally and tactically. What I miss are the amazing angles you could get with a wood.
     
    #29
  30. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    4,773
    Location:
    Hotel CA
    pc1, I agree with your post. You maybe self abusive when you claim to be a hacker but your logic indicates to me you have lots of playing experience and speak from wisdom. I am an advanced player who grewup playing wood and then transition materials rackets and ofcouse can now take advantage of the modern OS rackets. Players can play the modern game, open and more western strokes with wood rackets, they would just have a few more unforced errors. I think Federer game would most efficiently adapt to the wood rackets as compared to most of the other modern players. Roddick and Nadal would really struggle with unforced errors and need to make more adjustments.
     
    #30
  31. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    7,668
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Imagine Borg's power and spin with a modern frame folks, if he could generate the shots he did with his old frames. I submit that it would be quite scary to face him if he was playing with, for example, a modern Babolat when he was anywhere between 20-25.

    Think about his serve, forehand, and backhand with that frame in his hands or say a modern Head/Wilson/Technifibre. He could CRANK his serves and his topspin forehand would PUMMEL other baseliners and volleyers alike. Also, how do you think his returns/passing shots would be? The guy was STRONG, so his power/pace/spin would be off the charts. Add on his retrieving skills (he was one of the fastest/quickest players EVER), and play on Clay and all other surfaces and he would be a force of nature most likely.

    John McEnroe would also be VERY SCARY in his prime with the frames of today.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2009
    #31

Share This Page