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-   -   Laver quote from The Sunday Times.... (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=116642)

chess9 02-04-2007 09:03 AM

Laver quote from The Sunday Times....
 
"I'd love Roger to play with a wooden racket. It brings the skill out."

Ah, the Rocket thinks wood is good....

Is Laver too full of himself?
Delusional if he thinks Roger will play with wood?
A bloody genius?
Dead wrong?

Don't be shy, but please be nice. :)

-Robert

Nick Irons 02-04-2007 09:06 AM

I think his point is simply that the modern game is mostly about power.

(The tour needs to restrict the racquet technology similiar to the way the PGA does.)

Another thread.

chess9 02-04-2007 09:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nick Irons (Post 1227364)
I think his point is simply that the modern game is mostly about power.

(The tour needs to restrict the racquet technology similiar to the way the PGA does.)

Another thread.

Oh, I agree, Nick.

-Robert

mwitiiram 02-04-2007 09:17 AM

i was reading another tw thread about this power thing yesterday. yes its about power, but the skill is also needed. Anyone can swing to the moon but to be able to swing to the moon AND create angles, consistency, etc that takes a pro.

slice bh compliment 02-04-2007 09:32 AM

If Roger played with wood, yeah, it would bring the skill out. But he would lose a lot of matches.
If everyone else played with wood, too, Roger would have already won Roland Garros twice, I think. Two calendar Grand Slams. And counting.

chess9 02-04-2007 09:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by slice bh compliment (Post 1227428)
If Roger played with wood, yeah, it would bring the skill out. But he would lose a lot of matches.
If everyone else played with wood, too, Roger would have already won Roland Garros twice, I think. Two calendar Grand Slams. And counting.

Roger could play with a coffee can lid and "bring the skill out." :) His win over Gonzales has me dazzled....

-Robert

johncauthen 02-04-2007 11:20 AM

Gonzalez would have won the Final if he played with a high tech racquet, and Sharapova would have won if she could have played with a properly set up high tech racquet. They are already controlling the technology and determining who wins.

Roddick or Safin would have won and overpowered the court, so that the game doesn't even work, if they had been allowed to have properly set up high tech racquets.

If we used 1920's wood racquets, Safin or Roddick would have won by hitting cold winners time after time.

jackcrawford 02-04-2007 11:53 AM

In a fantasy time machine match, it's always a question of to bring the older star forward or the newer one back, and giving the mover a few weeks to adapt to the equipment. I think Laver just fancies his chances better in the latter scenario.

chess9 02-04-2007 03:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by johncauthen (Post 1227644)
Gonzalez would have won the Final if he played with a high tech racquet, and Sharapova would have won if she could have played with a properly set up high tech racquet. They are already controlling the technology and determining who wins.

Roddick or Safin would have won and overpowered the court, so that the game doesn't even work, if they had been allowed to have properly set up high tech racquets.

If we used 1920's wood racquets, Safin or Roddick would have won by hitting cold winners time after time.

WOW! Those are some strong words about the importance of stringing and tensions to the game of tennis. I may not feel as strongly as you do, but I think you are definitely close to the truth. Also, Sharapova did not show up at the AO. She was either intimidated by Serena or she wasn't feeling well. I'm not sure how much difference the racquet made. Regarding Gonzo, I think he poured so much into the first set that he had nothing left after. Federer has played at the top for quite awhile, while Gonzo has been near the top but drifting until recently. Gonzo also doesn't seem to have the endurance of Federer, passing the issue of ability. But, you seem to be saying that if Gonzo had something like an SW2 setup, strung low, he might have had a better chance? Interesting stuff from a guy with your credentials.....

-Robert

AJK1 02-04-2007 05:26 PM

According to "Technical Tennis" modern racquets are only about 2% more powerful than wood racquets. So where does this myth come from?

chaognosis 02-04-2007 06:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AJK1 (Post 1228231)
According to "Technical Tennis" modern racquets are only about 2% more powerful than wood racquets. So where does this myth come from?

It has nothing to do with the inherent power of the racket, and everything to do with the size of the head and the string set-up. Big modern rackets make it far, far easier to hit with topspin than in the past, meaning you can hit with more power and still keep the ball under control. Of course, Bill Johnston was hitting with bucket-loads of topspin in the 1920s and earlier, so it was always possible, just took a lot more skill to do so. And those who weren't hitting with topspin, like Ellsworth Vines, needed to have absolutely minimal net clearance every time, hence their more erratic play. Laver is 100% correct that wooden rackets bring the skill out, in that they reward good form more and bad form less, whereas the modern technology is much more forgiving. Federer, of course, would be even farther ahead of the current field than he is now if they all used wooden rackets. Then again, if the current crop of players had grown up using wood, they'd be a lot more technically skilled, rather than just banging the ball back and forth the way that they do. Sampras had it right, I believe, that everyone should grow up using wood; I even think McEnroe has a point, that pro tennis should only be played with wood. Certainly, today's players would be better than they are, and more like the players of Laver's generation and before.

Jet Rink 02-04-2007 08:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chaognosis (Post 1228300)
It has nothing to do with the inherent power of the racket, and everything to do with the size of the head and the string set-up. Big modern rackets make it far, far easier to hit with topspin than in the past, meaning you can hit with more power and still keep the ball under control. Of course, Bill Johnston was hitting with bucket-loads of topspin in the 1920s and earlier, so it was always possible, just took a lot more skill to do so. And those who weren't hitting with topspin, like Ellsworth Vines, needed to have absolutely minimal net clearance every time, hence their more erratic play. Laver is 100% correct that wooden rackets bring the skill out, in that they reward good form more and bad form less, whereas the modern technology is much more forgiving. Federer, of course, would be even farther ahead of the current field than he is now if they all used wooden rackets. Then again, if the current crop of players had grown up using wood, they'd be a lot more technically skilled, rather than just banging the ball back and forth the way that they do. Sampras had it right, I believe, that everyone should grow up using wood; I even think McEnroe has a point, that pro tennis should only be played with wood. Certainly, today's players would be better than they are, and more like the players of Laver's generation and before.

Gnosis - you are a gentleman and a scholar. I'm teaching my kids with wood racquets for exactly the reasons you outline here and I concur mightily (and have done so probably too many times here before) that pros should use a standardized wood racquet. It works in MLB, why not in pro tennis?

I know, I know... here it comes.

Jet

chess9 02-05-2007 12:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AJK1 (Post 1228231)
According to "Technical Tennis" modern racquets are only about 2% more powerful than wood racquets. So where does this myth come from?

2% is a HUGE difference at the top of any sport. If I won an Olympic Gold Medal in the 100 meter breast and beat the second place swimmer by more than 1%-about .55 seconds or so it would be very unusual. Ditto for most running races at the top.

In pro tennis, where, say, a few topspin forehand cross-courts at a crucial time might make the difference between winning and losing, then 2% is an enormous number, or so it seems.

Am I wrong here? My understanding of the technical issues is far from perfect, so I have an open mind.

-Robert

chess9 02-05-2007 01:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jet Rink (Post 1228639)
Gnosis - you are a gentleman and a scholar. I'm teaching my kids with wood racquets for exactly the reasons you outline here and I concur mightily (and have done so probably too many times here before) that pros should use a standardized wood racquet. It works in MLB, why not in pro tennis?

I know, I know... here it comes.

Jet

Kids might benefit from a smaller headed, head light racquet in the 11-13 oz range. I'm not sure it has to be wood. But, I'd like to hear from the top coaches on this issue. Guys like Yandell, Bolletieri (he'd probably oppose it), Van der meer, etc.

Have the lighter, bigger, more powerful racquets brought more kids into tennis? Actually, I don't think that's the case. The 70's were huge for tennis, but now you have to watch the AO at 2 a.m. in the States. American tennis is not on the ropes, but we aren't experiencing a Renaissance. Neither is Australia or England, two of the historically strong tennis powers. Of course, you can't be 300 lbs and play tennis, and all three countries are facing varying degrees of fitness erosion.

My personal view is that kids enjoy a challenge just as much as adults do, so they might benefit from both the old technology and the new, integrated into a comprehensive training program. You want them disciplined enough to be able to hit with a small racquet head, but they need to compete with the best modern equipment, especially strings.

-Robert

johncauthen 02-05-2007 04:19 AM

Laver’s racquets had weight centered around the shoulders. That type of balance meant that he had to swing the racquet back, wait for it to gather itself, then swing it forward without letting it get out of sync with his body. You can see the 50’s and 60’s players doing that. They played tennis in slow motion. That was the insider secret to world class tennis: don’t do anything too fast: don’t just rip.

When racquets got better, the Prince Pro was the first, its balance was still centered around the stringbridge, but the stringbridge was low and the racquet was faster. It almost had an immediate response, which caused traditional players to say the game was losing its class because you could just go out there and rip.

Every other racquet was engineered to feel like the Prince Pro. Traditionalists have hated the Prince Pro. Everybody else loved it and tennis boomed. Becker’s racquet happened to be the best Prince Pro clone.

But lately, traditionalists have fought back. They are making racquets with the weight centered higher in the frame, more like the racquets Laver played with. Those racquets slow you down. We could go back to playing tennis in slow motion, never letting our bodies exceed the speed of the racquet, which was the secret to classy and successful tennis in Laver’s time. That tennis required a certain discipline but was less athletic.

It was classy, but Federer and Gonzalez have just showed us what the highest version of modern racquets can produce. How did Gonzalez get this racquet balance? Because Gonzalez’s game was in serious trouble. He was almost ready to quit tennis in the early rounds of the Australian. He was down on himself, and he has an influential coach, so his coach apparently got him some of the best state of the art racquets Babolat could produce.

The state of the art was no longer exclusive. Six-out-of-eight doubles semifinalist used the same racquet at the Masters. The doubles was spectacular. Federer came to the Australian with that racquet in perfect tune and played amazing tennis. Somehow, Gonzalez through his influential coach got this racquet balance technology. In two matches after he wanted to quit tennis altogether, Gonzalez had 65 winners and 5 errors.

In the Final neither Federer nor Gonzalez played well. That was probably because the traditionalists want to go back to 1950’s balance and they were actually offended by the tennis Federer and Gonzalez were playing. Traditional tennis is where you conform to the speed of the racquet. Gonzalez and Federer were both playing intuitive tennis, where you move the racquet as fast as your body could move. The tennis was inspirational. Tennis had achieved the pure athleticism of other sports.

It only lasted until the Semifinals of the Australian. That tennis was not seen in Chile yesterday as Gonzalez lost early. Nor at Delray Beach where Blake had the same racquet he used at the Australian, but it wasn’t at the level of Gonzalez’s racquet when Gonzalez beat him.

There is now another side to the “racquets are ruining tennis argument”. We’ve seen what perfect racquets can produce. They make tennis inspiring, which makes us think perfect racquets might be just what tennis needs.

Meanwhile, there is a war between racquet philosophies. Prince is slowly turning Sharapova’s racquet into Laver’s racquet balance. But Wilson decided on that occasion to give Serena the best racquet they could make. Sharapova got 3 games.

chess9 02-05-2007 05:23 AM

What was Serena's racquet John, and how was it weighted? Any idea?
You certainly are thinking out of the box. I'm going to have to read that several times to understand your point of view. :)

-Robert

jorel 02-05-2007 06:36 AM

its always possible for Roger to play with a wooden racquet in some type of exhibition. if he wants to or not is another question, i heard a while back that courier and sampras played a throwback match where both of them used wood racquet spec;d out to their current frame and both of them were still destroying their groundstrokes

Ronaldo 02-05-2007 06:51 AM

John are you adding weight to the handle just above your grip? Added 2-2.5 oz to a pr of PK racquets, amazed by the improvement.

jackcrawford 02-05-2007 07:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chess9 (Post 1228931)
2% is a HUGE difference at the top of any sport. If I won an Olympic Gold Medal in the 100 meter breast and beat the second place swimmer by more than 1%-about .55 seconds or so it would be very unusual. Ditto for most running races at the top.

In pro tennis, where, say, a few topspin forehand cross-courts at a crucial time might make the difference between winning and losing, then 2% is an enormous number, or so it seems.

Am I wrong here? My understanding of the technical issues is far from perfect, so I have an open mind.

-Robert

Check out pgs 132-133 of Technical Tennis - modern racquets can put four times, or 400 %, as much topspin on the ball, leading to much faster swings because the topspin will bring the ball down into the court. A ball that can be hit totally flat like an overhead on top of the net is where the 2% figure would come in.

chess9 02-05-2007 10:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jackcrawford (Post 1229177)
Check out pgs 132-133 of Technical Tennis - modern racquets can put four times, or 400 %, as much topspin on the ball, leading to much faster swings because the topspin will bring the ball down into the court. A ball that can be hit totally flat like an overhead on top of the net is where the 2% figure would come in.

Thanks, Jack. I have the book upstairs, but haven't read it recently. I'll look at it tonight before I go to bed. Regardless, I think you are right on about that. I hit with my Jack Kramer woodie occasionally and only get modest amounts of topspin with it compared to my huge and modern RDS001 mid strung with gut and SPP HEX.

-Robert


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