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-   -   Skill difference required to overcome a wood racquet handicap (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=458408)

Benhur 03-21-2013 04:45 PM

Skill difference required to overcome a wood racquet handicap
 
I would like to hear peopleís opinions on the level of skill difference required to overcome the difference in equipment between two players. For example, letís imagine a perfectly average 3.5 player with a modern racquet against someone playing with a classic would racquet. What level would the other player need to be to win most of the time?

My impression is that 4.0 would be enough to win the majority of meetings. And a 4.5 would never lose.

BrooklynNY 03-21-2013 04:59 PM

You are correct. This thread is absolutely hilarious to/for me

My buddy owns a pro shop in Long Island and about 2 yrs ago, I had an obsession with classic tennis and wooden racquets, he gave me a Davis Regency wooden frame and a few others and I had him string it up freshly. I played quite a bit with a wooden frame last summer too. I am a 4.5 but at the time I was still rated 4.0 by the USTA ranking system.


Anyway, I've actually played 2 4.0 singles matches with a wooden racquet. The guys were a bit older than I am so my movement may have helped neutralize the power. I also don't have overly western strokes and I would like to think I have an all court game.

On indoor hard I won 6-3 6-2 and on very dry and sandy har-tru, I won 6-3 5-7 10-5 in the breaker.

The one guy I beat in straights looked at me strangely, and I think it became more of a mental match. We played a tough match and at first it was tough to adjust to the weight of shot difference.

But... Once you get ahead against someone with a wooden racquet, and they realize you can actually play pretty well with it(if you can) it becomes a battle in their mind about between "How the hell can I be losing to a guy with a wooden racquet" and "Why is this *****hole really playing with a wooden racquet in a USTA match".

The other guy was super cool after and said he felt like he was playing Borg (haha) and that he had a Donnay Borg at home but had never thought of hitting with it, we actually went back out on the courts and I let him hit some balls with it.

I can see how someone might take offense to it, If someone showed up to play me with a wooden racquet I'd either be like WTF, or actually be very frightened.

If you play USTA tennis, you know looking at peoples match history is a big part of tennis sometimes, and I still kind of get ****ed(not really, haha) that there isn't an astrisk on on TennisLink next to those 2 singles matches I played to signify that I played with those 2 matches with a woody. :D:D


Anyway, this is probably my longest contribution to these forums to date, when I read the thread I had to reply, it's a true and funny story, was a great experience. If anyone in the NYC area wants to play some woody tennis, I have a few perfectly and recently strung frames if you want to hit. :D

Benhur 03-21-2013 05:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrooklynNY (Post 7294049)
You are correct. This thread is absolutely hilarious to/for me

My buddy owns a pro shop in Long Island and about 2 yrs ago, I had an obsession with classic tennis and wooden racquets, he gave me a Davis Regency wooden frame and a few others and I had him string it up freshly. I played quite a bit with a wooden frame last summer too. I am a 4.5 but at the time I was still rated 4.0 by the USTA ranking system.


Anyway, I've actually played 2 4.0 singles matches with a wooden racquet. The guys were a bit older than I am so my movement may have helped neutralize the power. I also don't have overly western strokes and I would like to think I have an all court game.

On indoor hard I won 6-3 6-2 and on very dry and sandy har-tru, I won 6-3 5-7 10-5 in the breaker.

The one guy I beat in straights looked at me strangely, and I think it became more of a mental match. We played a tough match and at first it was tough to adjust to the weight of shot difference.

But... Once you get ahead against someone with a wooden racquet, and they realize you can actually play pretty well with it(if you can) it becomes a battle in their mind about between "How the hell can I be losing to a guy with a wooden racquet" and "Why is this *****hole really playing with a wooden racquet in a USTA match".

The other guy was super cool after and said he felt like he was playing Borg (haha) and that he had a Donnay Borg at home but had never thought of hitting with it, we actually went back out on the courts and I let him hit some balls with it.

I can see how someone might take offense to it, If someone showed up to play me with a wooden racquet I'd either be like WTF, or actually be very frightened.

If you play USTA tennis, you know looking at peoples match history is a big part of tennis sometimes, and I still kind of get ****ed(not really, haha) that there isn't an astrisk on on TennisLink next to those 2 singles matches I played to signify that I played with those 2 matches with a woody. :D:D


Anyway, this is probably my longest contribution to these forums to date, when I read the thread I had to reply, it's a true and funny story, was a great experience. If anyone in the NYC area wants to play some woody tennis, I have a few perfectly and recently strung frames if you want to hit. :D

Ok. That's very interesting. So it looks like from your experience, if you were to answer the poll you'd say a slightly better 3.5 with wood is all that's needed to beat an average 3.5 with a modern racquet. Right?
I'm glad I entered that option, which occured to me only at the last minute.

Seventeen 03-21-2013 05:20 PM

Great story BrooklynNY!

BrooklynNY 03-21-2013 05:28 PM

Thanks Seventeen!

Benhur: I mean, I would think that someone would need to be a half a level higher in order to win, keep in mind there was about 10-15 year age difference.

If I was playing someone exactly to my specs,age, and ability I don't think I would win. I firmly believe I was better than those guys I played, so to say a slightly better equal level player would win I don't think would happen THAT often, I don't know

They could have been one of those low level 4.0s, who are basically really 3.5s in disguise :evil:

DeShaun 03-21-2013 07:29 PM

I switched from mid to midplus very recently. I extra love the oomph I get on my forehands now, and the serve is improved too. But the loss of accuracy on my backhands is very noticeable. However, it's so nice having twice the size of sweet spot and framed shots still going back over the net. I will say this: playing with mids puts a huge onus on my feet and lower body because it I don't get into proper hitting position, I can just kiss the shot goodbye; but this is not the case when playing the midpluses. CONCLUSION- The skill level differential needed for playing 70inch woodies as well as if playing 98inch graphene, to my thinking, lies almost entirely with fitness i.e. movement skills. Many people say what sets 4.0s above 3.5s is the 4.0s can rally longer/are more consistent, while neither the 3.5 nor the 4.0 is going to be hitting very flashy looking shots per the norm. By the way, as I survey the 4.5s, their strokes are infinitely more technically sound than a 3.5s or a 4.0s. Yeah so I think somewhere between 4.0 and 4.5 is the answer to the poll, and not surprisingly, respondents have chosen 4.0 and 4.5 an equal number of times (4x)so far

Benhur 03-22-2013 05:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrooklynNY (Post 7294082)
Thanks Seventeen!

Benhur: I mean, I would think that someone would need to be a half a level higher in order to win, keep in mind there was about 10-15 year age difference.

If I was playing someone exactly to my specs,age, and ability I don't think I would win. I firmly believe I was better than those guys I played, so to say a slightly better equal level player would win I don't think would happen THAT often, I don't know

They could have been one of those low level 4.0s, who are basically really 3.5s in disguise :evil:

You should carry out more of those experiments once in a while with players you usually beat (but not too easily) to see if the result is very different. If they get offended, you can always explain you're doing tennis research. I've actually been trying to find out if any research of this kind has ever been done, I mean trying to measure exactly how much skill deficiency can the modern equipment compensate in actual play. I know there have been some tests measuring serve speeds by the same players with wood vs current racquets, but I haven't seen anything for actual play and how it would affect the average results.

GoaLaSSo 03-22-2013 05:29 AM

I have a couple wooden racquets and one of the first popular metal racquets strung with natural gut. I have almost no problem playing with them. They are really heavy and very easy to volley with. I barely have to swing the racquet and my shots go pretty fast.
The only problem with them is that my forehand is much flatter, but I don't miss too much unless I frame it. If I was given a few weeks to hit with it, I would probably be able to play with it at a slightly lower level than my current racquet.

Back in high school we used to have wimbledon days where our coach brought 30 wooden racquets for guy and girl varsity players to use in a big tournament. I have enjoyed wooden racquets ever since.

mightyrick 03-22-2013 05:46 AM

I think you guys are over-estimating 4.5 play.

I might be wrong, but at the 3.5 / 4.0 / 4.5 levels, I don't think the "handicap" would actually be that big of a deal. I think a lot depends on style of play.

Said another way, I think a 4.5 using a wooden racquet could beat a 4.5 using a modern racquet. Merely because I don't think the skill level with the racquet and the game is enough at this level for the difference to be that pronounced.

Case in point, watch this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_kiapu3ZHY

One guy with a wooden racquet. One guy without. At the 7:30 minute mark, they start playing points. These guys are very solid players. At least 4.0. Probably 4.5. And their practice rally goes for over 30 shots.

At these levels, I think it's just a matter of getting used to the feel of wooden racquet.

cknobman 03-22-2013 06:07 AM

I agree with mightyrick

mellowyellow 03-22-2013 07:27 AM

Agree too, think it depends more on style or type of strokes. If they are very modern/loopy adjusting to wood will be difficult, if fairly flat and variety is the norm probably wont matter too much. Weight of racket could play a big part in acclimation too wood if modern/loopy strokes too.

PBODY99 03-22-2013 09:32 AM

Capt a USTA 3.5 team, with a player who went undefeated playing wood frames. He has won about 65% of his 4.0 matches over the last 4 seasons

NatF 03-22-2013 09:44 AM

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sport...uet-tech_N.htm

This is what the pros say about wood raquets.

Fedex 03-22-2013 10:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Benhur (Post 7294030)
I would like to hear peopleís opinions on the level of skill difference required to overcome the difference in equipment between two players. For example, letís imagine a perfectly average 3.5 player with a modern racquet against someone playing with a classic would racquet. What level would the other player need to be to win most of the time?

My impression is that 4.0 would be enough to win the majority of meetings. And a 4.5 would never lose.

Great question.

sam_p 03-22-2013 11:02 AM

The Bryan brothers picked up wooden racquets for the first time and played with them against the Jensen brothers (over the hill, I know!) playing with modern racquets and whooped them pretty good.

Do not underestimate how much of this game is the player and not the stick. There is a tendency in these forums to bow down to the stick. If you put a woody (or a 25 inch juniors racquet) in the hand of a top pro, they would still be an awesome force and would destroy most anybody who bothers to post on these forums.

pkshooter 03-22-2013 04:11 PM

Its the adjustment that makes people think they can't play with a woody.

goran_ace 03-23-2013 02:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Benhur (Post 7294030)
My impression is that 4.0 would be enough to win the majority of meetings. And a 4.5 would never lose.

I'd agree with this assessment.

I've played woodie tournaments/pro-ams before. The adjustment isn't that tough for a high level player because of solid fundamentals. You soon figure out what you can and can't do and you figure out how to play. For example, for me the adjustment was getting used to a sweetspot that was a little farther away from the handle and the small head/dense pattern means you don't get as much bite on the ball as you would with a modern racket. Against a 3.5 player a 4.0 or 4.5 player still has the advantage in the mental game. A typical 3.5 won't have the weapons to hurt you and once I get into the net there really isn't a lot of difference between playing with a wood racket and playing with a modern racket (unless you get into some quick volley exchanges then you realize just how sluggish it is).

slowfox 03-24-2013 02:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrooklynNY (Post 7294049)
If anyone in the NYC area wants to play some woody tennis, I have a few perfectly and recently strung frames if you want to hit. :D

I'll bring my own... :) Sometimes I play at McCarren.

MethodTennis 03-24-2013 04:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NatF (Post 7295326)
http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sport...uet-tech_N.htm

This is what the pros say about wood raquets.

good article

Benhur 03-25-2013 09:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mightyrick (Post 7294794)
I think you guys are over-estimating 4.5 play.

I might be wrong, but at the 3.5 / 4.0 / 4.5 levels, I don't think the "handicap" would actually be that big of a deal. I think a lot depends on style of play.

Said another way, I think a 4.5 using a wooden racquet could beat a 4.5 using a modern racquet. Merely because I don't think the skill level with the racquet and the game is enough at this level for the difference to be that pronounced.

Case in point, watch this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_kiapu3ZHY

One guy with a wooden racquet. One guy without. At the 7:30 minute mark, they start playing points. These guys are very solid players. At least 4.0. Probably 4.5. And their practice rally goes for over 30 shots.

At these levels, I think it's just a matter of getting used to the feel of wooden racquet.

I agree. But there is also the conventional wisdom according to which the graphite revolution helped the casual player most of all.


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