Wood racquet tournament this weekend

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by bluetrain4, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    The local college team where I live is having a fundraiser wood racquet tournament this weekend.

    So, last night, for the first time since I was probably 10 (I'm newly 40), I hit with a wood racquet. Given how long it's been since using a wood frame and considering that I use a Pure Drive Roddick and hit a pretty spinny forehand, I didn't think I could do much at all. But, surprisingly, I could, and it was really fun and different. The stroke adjustments came pretty naturally.

    Backhand adjustment wasn't that big, since I hit my backhand often fairly flat. I had to "push" more, driving my body forward, making sure to get the heavy wood frame though the contact point, and had to aim up a little more. it was interesting how the ball didn't just fly off the frame. Some fairly hard shots I thought would go out, just didn't.

    Forehand, I obviously didn't try to hit my PDR forehand. I was much more deliberate, much less whippy/spinny. Got the frame back early, focused on meeting the ball and then drove through it, and sometimes at the last moment imparted a little spin on the ball by brushing over it. During rallies, the forehand chop/slice became absolutely imperative. With my PDR if I can't take a full swing, I can always just whip my wrist, but with wood, when I wasn't in position to take a full swing, I went to the chop/slice and it worked great.

    Volleys were obviously tough due to the small head size, but I hit a few good ones.

    Serves were fine, but really inconsistent when I tried to hit harder. But, I could get it in consistently, letting the weight of the frame do the work. And, I even got a few heaters in, though not consistently.

    It was really fun constructing points and really having to think about what you did with every shot. I'd recommend it to anyone just for the novelty of it. I was hitting agaisnt someone else using a wood frame. Obviously, if I has hitting against a good player using a modern frame, hitting tons of hard spin, I probably wouldn't have been as consistent.

    BTW, I used a Chris Evert Pro, and a Davis (or Davis Cup) Classic.

    The whole experience makes me really respect what the top players were able to do with wood. Really looking forward to the tournament.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2012
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  2. TeflonTom

    TeflonTom Banned

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    yeah, its a shame. really think tennis would be a much better game today if itf had been like baseball, cricket, etc and set strict rules about preserving the traditional nature of the equipment when the technology started to come in

    the technology has taken over and a lot of the nuance has been taken out o the sport
     
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  3. Baxter

    Baxter Professional

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    I saw a teenager with a good game playing with a wood racquet yesterday. I'm going to pick one up just for the hell of it and give it a try.
     
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  4. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    I wish they would do something like this around here.

    [ ... ]

    I used to use Davis racquets back in the 70s. Also the Dunlop Maxply and Wison Kramer, among others. Post some videos of the tourney if you can.

    I agree. It's great to watch the YouTube vids of guys like Amritraj, Ashe, Newcombe, Nastase, Fraser, Laver, Rosewall, Borg, McEnroe, etc. etc. do what they did with wood racquets.

    I'm glad that major league baseball has stuck with wood bats.
     
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  5. rabidranger

    rabidranger Rookie

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    Well, if they allowed composite bats at the major league level we'd probably see a few fatalities.
     
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  6. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    :) Good point.
     
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  7. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    I've always wanted to use the Donnay Borg Pro wood frame, or whatever it was that he used that was black.
     
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  8. zcarzach

    zcarzach Professional

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    Borg Pro and the Donnay Allwood. Both hit supremely well (I have several of each). Another great hit is the Donnay Fiberwood.
     
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  9. texacali

    texacali Rookie

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    I had a Maxply Fort. Dragged it out a few years ago and it vibrated so much, it felt like an earthquake in my hand. If we had a wood racket tourney around here, I would try it. Would need to find me a Stan Smith Auto though...loved that thing.
     
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  10. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    It was fun to experience, but I cant stand playing with them. You can feel the damn thing flex as you swing it cause its so heavy and not nearly as rigid as modern rackets. Also feels incredibly squishy. I like the very dead feel of dampened high tension rackets, so its completely opposite of what I like.

    It is nice to see what the pros used to use before the "metal" era.
     
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  11. tennytive

    tennytive Semi-Pro

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    Where is this tourney being held??
     
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  12. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    I run a big Round Robin in Atlanta and I think it would be a ton of fun to do one with wooden racquets. But I just can't figure out how to make the logistics work out. I don't think that enough people have wooden racquets laying around that I can just throw the doors open. But I also don't think that I could find enough cheap wooden racquets that are playable to provide one for everyone.
     
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  13. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    Where I live, Springfield, Illinois, the guy who runs the Park District tennis program, and who has coached the local college team for a long time, is in his 70s and has collected frames his whole life. At the top of the all the walls in the tennis house at the main public facility, all the way around the room, and in his office, are all sorts of frames on display - a ton of wood, early metal, early graphite, etc. Plus, he has just as many frames that aren't on display. So, he basically has enough wood frames for anyone who wants to play. Plus, the tournament won't be that big.
     
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  14. Lefty Spin

    Lefty Spin Rookie

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    Bluetrain, I didn't realize Mr. Velasco was still around. His son and I went to school together. Great to hear that he is still out there.
     
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  15. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    Yep, Manny is still around. Great guy who everyone loves. Great atmosphere out at the tennis facility, which was renamed the Velasco Tennis Center a couple of years ago.
     
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  16. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    As lead up to the USO, CBS sports network has been showing some historical matches from the USO... some of the late 70's early 80's semis and finals. A lot of fun to watch. A different brand of tennis, for sure.
     
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  17. goober

    goober Legend

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    On the pro level maybe. On the rec level I am not sure. I think most people would think rec players now have a more enjoyable game since they can make shots easier, hit with more spin, ect.
     
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  18. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    yet more people played rec tennis in the 70s than now. I guess they still had an enjoyable time with that equipment.

    you just explained the answers to many of the complaints that some have when watching old matches("why did so many have crappy fh's back then compared to today?" "why did they serve so much slower than today?")
     
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  19. goober

    goober Legend

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    I am not sure I understand that line of reasoning. More people enjoyed TV as their main source of their at home entertainment in the 70s than today. Yet I doubt that anybody would trade in their current flat screen 60+" TVs in HD for a 25" CRT models from the 70s. Sure people enjoyed it back then because that was all they had.
     
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  20. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    With all the extremely talented engineers and entrepreneurs, and all the money to be made from advancing racquet technology (at least somewhat due to the surge in popularity with the rise of Borg, et al.), I doubt that tennis could have preserved the tradition of wooden racquets in the way that, say, major league baseball has preserved the tradition of wooden bats. Of course, with baseball, there were more or less static objective criteria that had to be considered.
     
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