Originally Posted by BreakPoint
Well obviously Dunlop had a version of the Maxply that had a stiffer hoop (as shown in the pic above) which would have played closer to the Jack Kramer Pro Staff that McEnroe used for many years, which also had a stiffer hoop. If this racquet was available to him, why would he choose to play with a racquet (retail Maxply Fort) that played completely different from the one that he was used to playing with and with which he won 2 consecutive US Opens? That would make zero sense.
I owned both the Maxply Fort and the JK Pro Staff so I know how differently they played. I played great with the Maxply but it was very difficult to control volleys or put away volleys due to the very flexible hoop. The JK Pro Staff, OTOH, had a much stiffer hoop so it was much better for volleying. They were completely different frames so I find it very hard to believe that anyone (including McEnroe) could volley so well with the JKPS and then turn around and volley just as well with the Maxply so quickly as the feel and control on volleys was night and day difference, and McEnroe's net game was based on feel.
I have still own to this day Maxply Fort, JK Pro Staff, Maxply Fort Graphite, and the Maxply McEnroe. There is NO Graphite inlay in his frame. He played with a standard Maxply Fort that was customized to his specs. They had customized the grip shape and the balance of his frames. You also seem to forget that before McEnroe played with the JK Pro Staff he played with the Maxply Fort. Also the Maxply Fort Graphite did not have the very thick shoulders of the Maxply Fort. I also own the 1981 article where McEnroe is interviewed about the Maxply Fort and the development of the Maxply McEnroe. They go into great detail about how the Maxply Fort was customized for McEnroe.