Who thinks Fed would play better with a 95" racquet?

Discussion in 'Pros' Racquets and Gear' started by Mickey Finn, May 18, 2007.

  1. Mickey Finn

    Mickey Finn Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    147
    Location:
    Near KØBENHAVN -- currently resting at bottom of B
    In this week's mailbag, Sports Illustrated writer Jon Wertheim speculates that Federer's recent troubles may be related to a switch to a smaller racquet head at the beginning of the year. Jon Wertheim has a lot of inside knowledge. Anyone know if Federer switched to a smaller-headed racquet?
     
    #1
  2. austro

    austro Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2005
    Messages:
    893
    I thought if anything he went larger...?
     
    #2
  3. Mickey Finn

    Mickey Finn Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    147
    Location:
    Near KØBENHAVN -- currently resting at bottom of B
    I have am not a good judge of frame sizes myself. I am only repeating what I read. Jon Wertheim usually has inside information; this is why I mentioned this. If it is true, it would be very relevant regarding Roland Garros and Fed's chances.
     
    #3
  4. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,915
    Location:
    Parts unknown
    #4
  5. austro

    austro Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2005
    Messages:
    893
    But he didn't slide since the beginning of the year - remember the AO?
     
    #5
  6. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    8,795
    Federer's "old" racquet and "new" racquet are the same head size. If Federer really did go from the N6-1 Tour 90 to the K6-1 Tour 90 the only change was in the layup.
     
    #6
  7. Craig Sheppard

    Craig Sheppard Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    2,361
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    What does Jon Wertheim know? He's just a reporter for SI... I have no idea where he's getting this stuff from. Just a few weeks ago, Gary Thorne (reporter/commentator) was "certain" that the Boston Red Sox's Curt Schilling painted his sock was in the World Series, and it was not bloodied... turns out he was flat wrong. Unless this guy says how he knows that, it's useless information.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2007
    #7
  8. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,915
    Location:
    Parts unknown
    In any case, i found it pretty funny that Wilson hypes this new racquet claiming that Federer helped to design <a racquet which nobody else on tour uses>, and then Fed immediately goes in the dumper (by his standards)...Wilson couldnt have been too happy about that.
     
    #8
  9. KoreanHB

    KoreanHB Guest

    From what I see. Fed did change his racquet to a smaller head. If you look at pictures of his ncode PJ and Kfactor PJ, the sizes seem different. I dunno maybe it's just me.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2007
    #9
  10. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    8,795
    There is one other player that I can think of that uses the K6-1 Tour 90. It is Julia Vakuleno on the WTA Tour from the Ukraine.
     
    #10
  11. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2006
    Messages:
    6,478
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Reporters report what they are told, and what they see. If the sources are wrong then so are the reports.
     
    #11
  12. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    34,756
    I have fired off a question to him now. We shall see next Wed what he says.
     
    #12
  13. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    34,756
    Federer helped design the Kompact Center in particular. That is used in several models other than the K90. So, it is not like he designed the K90 in particular.

    K Factor racquets also contain other groundbreaking technologies like Kan'tFight Back err Karophite Black, Konnector wings in the K1 model meant for people over 90 who plan to enter the tour (not that there is anything wrong with that) and Komfort Bloke err Yoke.
     
    #13
  14. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    7,884
    Location:
    Next door to Elisha Cuthbert.
    I think the SI writer meant he changed racquets (not from a large headed to smaller), but just a change and he described the racquet as a smaller headed type. You can't possible tell by pictures.;)
     
    #14
  15. Craig Sheppard

    Craig Sheppard Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    2,361
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    Where'd you get this little nugget of information? Federer moonlights as a racquet designer, and for a racquet he doesn't even use? Sounds like more Wilson sales rep bs to me.
     
    #15
  16. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    12,545
    Location:
    at the bottom of every hill I come to
    I agree completely here. I think he was saying that Federer changed rackets at the beginning of the year and the smaller was just description. Smaller than he had previously or smaller in general? I think he meant the latter.
     
    #16
  17. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    12,545
    Location:
    at the bottom of every hill I come to
    I think Wilson is referring to Federer "helping" by giving him the frame and asking if he liked it. Think back, Connors "helped" design the ProStaff, Kramer "helped" design the Auto. I'm sure they get feedback from the pros, but "helped" in the design may just be a synonym for "approved" the final product and recommended some tweaking; "too stiff", "string pattern too tight", etc.
     
    #17
  18. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    7,884
    Location:
    Next door to Elisha Cuthbert.
    I read the article again and it is just the way he worded it. :)
     
    #18
  19. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    7,884
    Location:
    Next door to Elisha Cuthbert.
    Exactly...the commercials make it seem as if he made the racquet himself...molded it and whatever else they do. They asked him what he likes and he told them. I still think its the same racquet he has been using since 2003.
     
    #19
  20. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,263
    Are you sure you're not just imagining things? His K90 still sure looks like a 90 sq. in. to me, just like his nCode 90 did. I think that's because its the same racquet under the paintjob.

    [​IMG]
     
    #20
  21. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,263
    BTW, why is it that whenever Federer loses a couple of matches, everyone blames his racquet. But when any other pro loses a couple of matches, nobody blames their racquets? :confused:

    Likewise, when Federer wins 3 Grand Slams in a year and over 80 matches, nobody gives his racquet any credit? :confused:
     
    #21
  22. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,465
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    Because they are idiots who want to pat themsleves on the back and their ridiculous argument that nobody has any business playing with a frame any smaller than 110 square inches.
     
    #22
  23. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,465
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    Oh, and I really doubt he is playing with a 85 or 80 square inch racquet.
     
    #23
  24. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    34,756
    It is from Wilson of course. I think you missed the sarcasm in my post ....
     
    #24
  25. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    34,756
    Because when any other pro loses a couple of matches, no one talks about it at all, let alone his racquets.

    Because Wilson made such a big deal about Federer and the K90, which was much bigger hype than Nadal and the APD.

    Because no other pro uses the K90, one other uses a 90, leading to the suspicion that Fed was winning inspite of his racquet.
     
    #25
  26. iplaybetter

    iplaybetter Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    3,441
    Location:
    behind you, but i have to be somewhere else by the
    maybe he will go to pj if he is not already
     
    #26
  27. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    8,795
    First off there is another pro that uses the K90 Julia Vankleno from the Ukraine on the WTA Tour. Also there are plenty of players using 90 sq.inch racquets. Off the top of my head Lleyton Hewitt uses a 90 sq.inch head size and all the players that use the Prestige Classic 600. Some of those Prestige Classic 600 players are Marat Safin, Gael Monfils, Agustin Calleri, Rainer Schuettler, Mariano Zabaleta, Mark Knowles, and Jose Acasuso.
     
    #27
  28. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,263
    That's pretty funny. Winning "in spite" of his racquet? Isn't it more rational to say that he's winning BECAUSE of his racquet?

    If he couldn't win a Grand Slam with it, I don't think he would be using it.
     
    #28
  29. hoosierbr

    hoosierbr Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2005
    Messages:
    1,837
    I'm pretty certain that Schuettler uses a 98 in racquet. And he switched to extended length in 2005/2006, interestingly around the same time his mega drop out of the Top 100 began.
     
    #29
  30. nBladed

    nBladed Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Messages:
    143
    Awhile I suggested that part of his slump may be due to change of rackets. I then was berated here for believing in some marketing hype. FU.

    When someone shanks that many balls, there is something off with their timing. Feds timing is usually spot on. I attribute it to that there was a genuine change in rackets. It is one of the only variables that has truly undergone change.

    If anybody does a search, you will find that Wilson and Fed went through many molds to get "it right". I personally don't believe it is the previous racket with a new pj.
     
    #30
  31. jelle v

    jelle v Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    Messages:
    2,965
    Location:
    The Netherlands

    I agree with this.. even when he was playing the AO he was shanking a lot of balls on his forehand. Ever since he started playing that k-factor (yes I do believe he is playing a genuine k-factor) his forehand has been off.. his backhand did get better, but his forehand is just off.
     
    #31
  32. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,465
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    I actually posted a response to all the "shank" conspiracy theories. Many people (maybe you included) went ballistic after the clay final against Nadal. Seemed like many people after watching that match, such as you are stating here, feel he was shanking too many shots .

    I re-watched the match and counted how many shots Fed AND Nadal shanked. The truth is, in that final he shanked 3 shots on his backhand (2 on serve returns). Coincidentally, Nadal also shanked 3 backhands. Furthermore, they both shanked about the same amount of forehands.

    So much for your "shank" theory.
     
    #32
  33. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,465
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    see above post.
     
    #33
  34. TennezSport

    TennezSport Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,885
    Location:
    Northern NJ, USA
    No change in size

    Having strung and measured both the N and K90's, I can tell you they are both the exact same size.

    The reason that Fed has more trouble on clay vs. other surfaces is that Fed likes to take the ball early, and with a true bouncing surface his timing is perfect and he makes it look easy.

    On clay however, the bounce is not true bouncing most of the time, especially when the clay gets rippled from a lot of ball bounces. This can make the ball take crazy bounces, which will put a lot of pressure on anyone trying to take the ball early.

    This is why so many clay courters like Nadal, Moya, Ferrer, etc., stand so far back to give them time to line up their shots. That is not Fed's natural game which will always make it harder for Fed to win the French.

    TennezSport :cool:
     
    #34
  35. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    8,795
    Schuettler experimented with the Flexpoint Radical midplus for a few months in 2005 then he switched back to the Prestige Classic 600. He has used the Prestige Classic 600 ever since.

    Here are some Pictures of Schuettler using the Prestige Classic 600 from the 2007 Hamburg Masters, 2007 BMW Open, 2007 Indian Wells, and 2007 Dubai.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    You will note that Rainer's Prestige Classic 600 has the new stencil from this year on the strings. Also Rainer's PC600 has a collar above the grip. The 630 cm2 head size racquet never had a collar and the XL version of the Prestige Classic 600 also did not have a collar.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2007
    #35
  36. @wright

    @wright Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,567
    Just another big headed and mouthed member of the media trying to sound like an insider. I don't believe that he switched racquets at the beginning of the year. The head size on the k looks the same as when it was painted as an n. Good experiment, drak, I think you've got it right. I bet if you were playing against Nadal, you'd shank more balls than he would, and Fed managed to shank less! I can't wait to see what happens in the hamburg final
     
    #36
  37. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,915
    Location:
    Parts unknown
    shanks shmanks..obviously you gotta also include misshits which create opportunities for his opponents to hit either outright winners or to press the point to conclusion in their favour..of which there are many, especially on the dirt and in windy conditons like in Miami this year.

    Fed is no longer so far ahead of the field that he can still give away many points by misshits and still recover and win..
     
    #37
  38. bluegrasser

    bluegrasser Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Messages:
    2,340
    I can think of a least three tour players that come to mind - Hewitt, that up and coming American kid who is originally from Serbia I think, also saw a French player using a 90 Prestige.
     
    #38
  39. Mick

    Mick Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
    Messages:
    8,346
    maybe for Federer, 90 is as big of a headsize that he would want to use. Everybody has his limit, otherwise, we would all be using 135.
     
    #39
  40. nBladed

    nBladed Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Messages:
    143
    drakulie,

    you didn't disprove my 'shank' theory. It was one match you are observing. And you are comparing Fed to Nadal in shanks per that match when that was never in contention.

    IT APPEARS TO ME that overall Roger Federer is mishitting many more balls this year than years previous. In an age where timing and athleticism are critical and he has optimized those variables I can only ask what may be the new variable that may be mishaping his game. ... his racket may be one.

    WE HAVE ALL DEMOED RACKETS. How many times have you shanked balls with a new racket. It is so easy to do. He may have won the AO with it but he may also may have been experiencing his "honeymoon" period with that racket at that time. Who knows?

    This is in no way definitive, so buzz off. It is just a theory.

    I am watching the Fed v. Ferrer match now and Fed just shanked another one. It's not like he hasn't played on clay before?!

    Nobody truly knows what is going on with Fed. Only he does and this is all speculation. My speculation is that he HAS changed rackets and IS mishitting more often than years previous.
     
    #40
  41. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,263
    You're absolutely right. Federer did help to design his current racquet and he probably did go through many molds and prototypes. However, all of this happened in 2002 when he switched from the PS 6.0 85 to his current racquet. He's been using the same racquet ever since.
     
    #41
  42. nBladed

    nBladed Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Messages:
    143
    Also, another bit of speculation....

    If I was Wilson and had k factor pj of pro staff rackets i would definitely have Jim Courier and Pete Sampras playing with them to enforce the marketability of my new product.

    But they still play with the nCodes. Maybe because the k Factors are truly different and Jim and Pete don't like them.

    or maybe because it has Roger's name on the k90 and they are too vain being former #1s.
     
    #42
  43. MordredSJT

    MordredSJT Rookie

    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Messages:
    297
    Perhaps it is because senior tour players who do no real marketing work for Wilson anymore are not very high on their free racquet priority list. They are giving them all to the players actually playing on tour. I'm sure eventually you will see Sampras and Courier with K-Factor paintjobs.
     
    #43
  44. nBladed

    nBladed Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Messages:
    143
    2002?

    Are you sure he was that spot on in the design process? Fed was still pretty much a nobody. He only had three titles in 2002.

    Didn't Wilson at that time say that the PStour 90 was designed for Pete Sampras and Roger Federer?

    This question is to everyone:
    If you understand anything about business, it gets super expensive to keep molds and make one shots of old stock. You make money in bulk.

    Why do you think Wilson tried to phase out the PS6.0 85 so many times? Not enough critical demand. But there was enough of a demand so I am sure they cost the costs somewhere.... which ended up being a different manufacturing process.

    I am only approaching this from a economics standpoint of supply vs. demand.

    IS THERE ANYONE WHO TRULY KNOWS WHAT RACKET COMPANIES KEEP ON HAND TO SATISFY THEIR PLAYER'S OLDER RACKET NEEDS?

    I refuse to believe that Head, Wilson, etc. will just say to any player, "Oh you are using this racket from 1993 that is no longer in production but you are the only person on Earth with this special request and guess what....? we will remanufacture 15 or more of them for you for thousands of dollars (because that's how much it will cost for that limited supply) just to keep you happy and somewhere in the top 50 where your name recognition means diddly to our overall worldwide sales.

    anyone in top 5 becomes a different story.

    heck Prince didn't even make a special racket for James Blake. What does that say about their economics?
     
    #44
  45. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    8,795
    HEAD is a bad example because most of the Players they sponsor use either a Pro Tour 630, LM Instinct, or Prestige Classic 600. With HEAD they still manufacture 50,000 racquets in Kennelbach, Austria for the players on Tour ONLY. While to cut cost they outsource all of the consumer production in China.

    Wilson has not changed molds for a really long time. Wilson still uses the PSC 6.1 95 mold for today's K6-1 95. Also the mold for the Pro Staff Tour 90, N6-1 Tour 90, and K6-1 Tour 90 are the same. The only change for the K6-1 Tour 90 was the shorter pallet and a different drill pattern.

    Federer racquets are the same mold as before. Now whether or not the layup has changed on his racquets only Federer, Nate Ferguson, and Wilson know.
     
    #45
  46. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,465
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    It *IS* in contention as I was referring to the final on clay Nadal and he recently played. As I stated, immediately after that match there were several threads started in which the OP and several other responding began stating Fed "shanked" many balls, and therefore concluded he needed to switch to a larger racquet. As I already pointed out>> he shanked just as many balls as his opponent.

    Lots, regardless of it is a new racquet or not. And anyone saying they never shank balls with "their old racquet" is an absolute liar. Everyone shanks balls. Even pros.

    Your point is what? Just to confirm he shanked a ball? NEWSFLASH>>> EVERYONE SHANKS BALLS.
     
    #46
  47. nBladed

    nBladed Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Messages:
    143
    Drakulie,

    you don't get it or you are not hearing what I am saying Mr. Newsflash!

    Of course you can shank balls with your old racket. But the more familiar you become with equipment, the less that possibility arises.

    Y'know I don't care what your conversation is with previous people here. I was never part of your Nadal v. Fed shank match or if he should switch to a larger head "BS". I was never part of it so please leave you laundry back there.

    He shanked WAY more balls than Ferrer in this match! What about that? Why don't you rewind the tape, watch it again 3x and tell me how many shanks there were?

    I am shocked that you may perceive that Federer is not mishitting more than usual. That was my only opinion in MY POST.
     
    #47
  48. Mick

    Mick Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
    Messages:
    8,346
    You and drakulie are quite good tennis observers. I cannot tell if a player has shranked a ball from watching it on tv.
     
    #48
  49. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,263
    Wilson was already doing special things for Federer that they weren't really doing for other lower-ranked pros in 2002 because they knew that Federer was expected to be the next big thing and he had already beaten Sampras at Wimbledon, which not too many players can say they've ever done. First, Federer was the only pro to use a PS 6.0 85 with a red paintjob made to look like a HPS 6.0 95 Tour (Euro model) in early 2002. Then later in 2002, they gave him the PS Tour 90 still painted red to look like the same HPS 6.0 95 Tour. Then they custom drilled his PS Tour 90 with wider string spacing in the middle and gave him the shorter handle pallet. he's been using the same racquet ever since.

    Wilson tried to phase out the PS 6.0 85 not because of the lack of demand (look at how many TW sells and how fast they sell out), but because it is the most expensive racquet for Wilson to make, thus, their margins are very low. It uses very costly graphite braiding manufacturing techniques and also contains 20% kevlar, which is very expensive. The newer racquets can be made much more cheaply because they contain much less of the good expensive stuff, but a lot of filler. That's why older racquets tend to feel so much better and smoother than most of the newer racquets.

    And Prince is making a special racquet for Blake. He couldn't use any of their existing racquets nor the O-Port technology. So Prince is basically copying his current Dunlop-mold racquet and making it a Prince model. It should feel and play almost like his current racquet. This new model is due out at retail soon.

    BTW, if Bosworth can make custom racquets for a few hundred dollars each, so can Wilson or Head and probably much cheaper.
     
    #49
  50. jakshemash

    jakshemash Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Messages:
    164
    tennezsport, where did you string fed's k90
     
    #50

Share This Page