Why Don't Commentators Discuss Pros' Racquets and Strings?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by smackit93, Jun 5, 2004.

  1. smackit93

    smackit93 New User

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    Considering the special relationship between players and their equipment (a relationship which is somewhat unique to tennis) I wonder why commentators so rarely discuss which racquet a player is using or the type of strings and tension. I would guess many fans would like to hear this subject discussed more often. Is this a secretive subject among the pros, or maybe it's simply because the broadcasters don't want to give the appearance of endorsing racquet or string brands?

    I know TW has a fair amount of info on players' equipment- anyone know of other sources?
     
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  2. ProStaffTour90

    ProStaffTour90 Rookie

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    Because they probably have as much idea about what their actually using as we do!
     
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  3. perfmode

    perfmode Hall of Fame

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    Re: Why Don't Commentators Discuss Pros' Racquets and String

     
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  4. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Because the commentators don't want to get sued by the racquet manufacturers by disclosing to the viewing public that the pros are actually using paintjobs.
     
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  5. dantyem108

    dantyem108 Rookie

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    i'm leaning more twords ProStaffTour90's comment on this one
     
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  6. Yeah, but I imagine that from commentators being on the front lines, they get a chance to pick up tidbits here and there from the players, coaches, stringers, etc. It would be nice for the stringers to have a voice during a telecast. If the commentators don't follow equipment too well, then have some of the stringers on air! John McEnroe talks about equipment, doesn't he? And Mary Carillo? Martina Navratilova? Commentators that know what they are talking about! But I know there are some commentator drones out there that seem to be into commentating as a side job or something, and appear to care less about anything other than mirroring whatever the chair ump says.
     
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  7. Re: Why Don't Commentators Discuss Pros' Racquets and String

    I don't think that falls under the definition of "endorsement." Please learn how to quote someone's post properly.
     
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  8. James Brown

    James Brown Semi-Pro

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    jmac sometimes mentions racquets. he talked about agassi's 'switch' and nalbandian's switch. not much info tho..*shrug*, good answers in the thread
     
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  9. a verrry large duck

    a verrry large duck Rookie

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    Yeah a little weird there. They always seem to have the attention to notice the "switch" in racquets, but that's all.
     
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  10. larrhall

    larrhall Semi-Pro

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    I think most commentators are not interested in equipment. I don't think most ex-pros are much interested in equipment. They, like most current pros, played the same racquet their whole careers, or maybe switched once or twice. Most probably used natural gut their whole careers. The fascination with pros' equipment comes from the subset of tennis players that shows up on message boards. Then tinkering with equipments becomes the moral equivalent of tuning the car...the pros know the hard way that 90-plus percent of improvement over a given period of time comes from practice and grueling workouts.
     
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  11. Brent Pederson

    Brent Pederson Semi-Pro

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    I've been meaning to ask this same question for a long time here. It almost seems there is an unspoken rule that you're not supposed to mention any brand names of equipment in the telecasts. Maybe they don't want to be giving any free plugs to one manufacturer or another. The only time in all my years of watching tennis on tv that I've ever heard anyone mention a brand name was when pmac mentioned luxilon a year or so ago. Would love to hear from an insider what the real scoop is on this though.
     
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  12. Unless I am mistaken I believe that they use to put up that kind of information in the eighties during broadcasted tournaments? Anyone remember?
     
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  13. Chanchai

    Chanchai Semi-Pro

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    I think it's a combination of what's been said above.

    For sure, I don't think the manufacturers want the broadcasters bringing up the subject of paintjobs. Or at least, outright declaring paintjobs.

    I'm guessing there certainly are some rules on what to mention and not mention.

    And in many cases, they are uncertain.

    Someone mentioned John McEnroe's comments on Agassi's racquet at the 2003 US Open. The other announcer said Agassi recently switched (his racquets were sporting the LM Radical cosmetic starting in Montreal I think, or was it Cincinatti? Thought he skipped Cincy). ANYWAYS, what JohnnyMac was saying was that he highly doubted Agassi was using the LM model because Agassi was clearly using a paintjob in the past when endorsing a "new racquet." Also, both announcers refrained from mentioning Head as the manufacturer of the racquet.

    I think in a way, the way the dialog went, it was an indication of how careful (if you can call JohnnyMac's comments careful) they were on the subject of the racquet. They kept some details vague. They even talked about the Luxilon strings Agassi was using at the time (and since, some ESPN announcers have also referenced it), but everyone's been careful not to say the brand name. They just talk about the characteristics of the strings.

    Also, according to a local pro in my area, paintjobs were clearly popular in the days of the wooden Dunlop Maxply (sorry if I messed up on the model name) since a lot of players used it but repainted it to look like the racquets belonging to manufacturers they were endorsing... Guess that implies that paintjobs have been around since Pro players were endorsed by racquet manufacturers... anyhow, there are tons of people here who know the whole history of paintjobs probably... But anyhow, I'M VERY CERTAIN THAT PAINJOBS ARE NOT A NEW TOPIC TO THE COMMENTATORS.

    -Chanchai
     
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  14. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Imagine McEnroe explaining Coria's Prince 'Experimental' sacrifice to French aviator Rolland Garros during the French Open. Like it is a paintjob of a current model that he does not use.
     
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  15. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Yes, I heard Rod Laver went as far as painting his wood Dunlop Maxplys to look like a golden colored aluminum racquet that he was endorsing for this Taiwanese manufacturer, the name of which for some reason I can't seem to remember right now. Can you imagine getting away with a using a wood racquet painted to look like a metal racquet with an open throat and everything? Pretty bizarre and you'd think it would be pretty obvious. :shock:
     
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  16. Morpheus

    Morpheus Professional

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    I was watching The Tennis Channel the other day and they were replaying an old match (Becker and Edberg) but using today's commentators. Luke Jensen said that it was universally common for players, even in the 80s, to use paint jobs, then backtracked a bit and said "I guess manufacturers probably don't want everyone to know that."

    He then compared Edberg to Rafter, even though the match that was on was played prior to Rafter's emergence, which was sort of funny, but understandably easy to do given the format.
     
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  17. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    I think it's because most of the viewers out there in TV land just don't care, and neither, probably, do the commentators. TW posters would LOVE, I'm sure, to hear about the tension of Safin's racquet or whether or not Guga's Liquid Metal is a paint job, but the mainstream sports audience doesn't want to hear such minutiae. It's boring. I'm a casual boxing and hockey fan-not a fanatic who plays the sports too, so why do I want to hear that some lug head defenseman actually prefers the old Baurs over the new CCM skates, or that Roy Jones uses Nike gloves with an Everlast paint job. Not in a million years to I want to hear that crap! Get it through your head: NO ONE CARES.
     
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  18. dantyem108

    dantyem108 Rookie

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    People didn't care back then
     
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  19. Chanchai

    Chanchai Semi-Pro

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    well... for those that want to know string and tension (at least as it's registered on paper I guess), there's always "Racquet Tech" :) For the slams anyways.

    -Chanchai
     
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  20. Steve Huff

    Steve Huff Legend

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    That old aluminum racket company was Chemold.

    I can hear the commentators now:

    Wilson sponsored tournament: "Federer really laid into that one. Good thing he's using that Wilson racket. He'd never have that great control with that piece of junk Andre uses".

    Prince sponsered tournaments: "Federer is really looking good today. It's a good thing he's such an athlete. He needs to be to be able to hit with that piece of junk he's hauling around".
     
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