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    I feel a strange kinship with Medvedev

    For the first time, there is an ATP Pro who seems to play almost every shot with the shot selection I would do in that moment. One reason is the backhand. He’s the first ATP pro I’ve seen who uses a similar backhand technique to mine. Every time he lines up for a backhand, I instinctly know...
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    I kind of love it when Rafa embarrasses...

    ... big servers who suck at serve-and-volleying by returning their serves from 25 feet behind the baseline. It’s like he’s rubbing it in their faces that their giant serves can be totally neutralized because they never bothered to learn how to play real tennis. He did it for an entire match in...
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    My first tournament in a few years!

    Just finished playing my first singles tournament in 3 years. It was on red clay. Format consisted of first 3 matches in round robin groups, with group winners qualifying for QF, then Semi, and Final. It was essentially a club championship for the local public facility near where I live...
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    Babolat Pro Xtreme - Unique Properties

    I stumbled into this string when I was searching for a viable substitute for my go-to kevlar setups, as kevlar is not easy to find in South America. I’ve never been a poly guy. There are several properties about poly strings in general that I hate. First, I hate the feel when poly crosses...
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    OVERrated / UNDERrated

    O: Gasquet backhand / U: Gasquet serve O: Sampras serve / U: Sampras athleticism O: Federer 2019 / U: Federer 2006 O: Roddick 2009 / U: Roddick 2003 O: Big3 2019 / U: Top10 1992 O: Murray meltdowns / U: Murray forehand O: Djokovic 2019 / U: Djokovic 2011 O: Modern fh / U: Old school fh...
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    Sliced Open My Finger - Bleeding

    When I picked up my new BLX Tour 90 from the stringer yesterday, strung with Pro Xtreme (a stiff, wiry, glassy-surfaced poly), I held the handle in my left hand and grabbed the side of the bridge area and flicked it to give the frame a whirl. Little did I know, the stringer had left the tails...
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    Bogota, Colombia - Aug 16-18

    Who’s ready to play some high-altitude tennis?
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    Hardcourt Tennis at 5000’ Elevation

    I played this morning in Medellin on hardcourt, and had a really difficult time adjusting to the conditions. I have been playing on red clay near sea level the last several months, and it seemed like the conditions today were the complete opposite. At 5000’, topspin hardly affects the ball’s...
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    Medellín, Colombia 31-July - 04-August

    4.5-5.0 player looking for some tennis
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    Sampras is Back!!!! tennis world usa .org/amp_tennis/news/Tennis_Interviews/74459/a-new-sampras-legacy-on-the-way-on-the-atp-pro-tour/
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    Medellin, Colombia July 31 - Aug 3

    Where is the best place to line up a match?
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    Talk to me about the Burn FST 99

    This frame seems unique. 19mm beam at top of handle, and 18mm At tip. Yet stiff with 22mm beam at widest point near bottom of hoop in between. 18x19 pattern. Upside-down-egg head shape like a Prince O3. It’s a Wilson with Yonex-like feel and character. And quite a bit of room for...
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    Suddenly, Out of Nowhere, Serving Bombs

    It happened unexpectedly. I’m stationed in South America for a project this year, and my social situation here allows me to play more tennis than when I’m home. For the first couple of months, I was mostly playing against players weaker than me, and sometimes against 5.0 players. I was...
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    Easy Grip Size Increaser - X2 Ergo Inserts?

    I just received my new Wilson Burn FST 99. It was on sale for steep discount on TW. It came with a couple of pairs of Wilson’s X2 Ergo Inserts. One pair already installed on the upper handle (roughly where the left hand goes on a 2hb), and another pair extra. These inserts attach to the...
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    The trend of flatter hitters performing better in slams

    RBA, Goffin, Simon, etc. Will the spin craze fade away as the Nadal wannabes and modern forehand guys continue to fail?
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    Average Quarterfinalist Age is 32!

    This is getting ridiculous.
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    More players older than 30 than younger in Wimbledon 2019 round of 16
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    “I played bad today. I usually play much better.”

    Haven’t we all heard that before? I played a set against a guy a couple of weeks ago, and that’s what he said to me after we finished. I had showed up for a hitting session against a local teaching pro. He started out feeding me a few balls, and seemed surprised when I told him I wanted to...
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    Swingweight is just a number! Extreme customization diary

    I’m currently living in South America for a project, playing tennis 2-3 times per week on red clay against an assortment of local 5.0+ players, and showing up for my match each day with new racquet weighting specs / length / strings each time. This is a never-ending experiment to explore the...
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    I couldn’t take not knowing anymore...

    I’ve been living in South America for a project for the past 3 months. I had only brought one racquet with me, and few weeks ago picked up a 27.25” Juice Pro as a second racquet, and to mess around with seeing if an extended racquet could boost my serve and get me some free points on the red...
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    Juice Pro - underrated all-court weapon.

    Last week I spotted a new Juice Pro on the clearance wall at the pro shop, and pulled the trigger on an impulse buy. Now before you say anything... yes I know. The cosmetics are ugly on this thing. You’d have to be a UCLA alum to think white, yellow, baby blue, and navy makes a good color...
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    Has Spin Obsession Caused Tennis to Regress???

    This is a serious question. It applies both to rec level tennis and to the pro game. I am currently living far away from home, but still luckily playing tennis. Last week, when my trusty kevlar/nylon stringjob frayed down to its last threads, I was forced due to limited string selection to...
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    Poly/syn gut hybrid

    I’m living in a place where the only strings available are Wilson Synthetic gut and RRM blast. And shipping items to here is expensive. I want to string up my frame and have it last a while. I hate it when poly crosses notch and get uncomfortable. I also hate it when stringbeds get soft and...
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    I played a match today against Thiem’s coach’s coach!

    I am in Santiago this weekend for a mini tennis vacation. I played three matches against the head pro and director of the tennis academy here. Today I found out that his boss is Nicolas Massu, who owns the academy. Massu wasn’t here this weekend because he is currently based in Austria to...
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    Suggestions for Kevlar substitute.

    I only brought one racquet with me to South America. I strung up my 18x20 G9 with 16g kevlar / 15L nylon at 60/55 lbs, thinking it would last me a few months. But playing twice a week on the red clay here chewed through my kevlar in only a month. Assuming I can’t find kevlar here, I need...
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    Designing the ultimate red clay weapon...

    My schedule is keeping me south of the Equator most of the year, where all my tennis is on red clay. The red clay renders my normal topspin forehand useless. I am getting by with 90% slices on that wing on the dirt. So now that I’m back in Seattle for a few days, I figure it’s a good time to...
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    So I played a match at 9000ft on red clay...

    Yesterday I spontaneously bought a ticket to Colombia. As soon as I arrived in Bogota this afternoon, I headed straight to the courts to play against the hitting pro. He was 5.0 and had smooth strokes, and he and I were evenly matched, except for the fact that I had just come from near sea...
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    Testing out the Andy Murray weighting concept...

    Really high swingweight, moderate static weight, close to even balance. I redistributed the lead tape on my shortened (26.6") Steam 96. Measurements: 12.58 oz., 13.7" balance, 386 SW. (Since it is slightly shortened, it has an effective mass equaivalent to a standard length frame with 400...
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    I executed the physics/defying bean bag shot

    In my usta 4.5+ doubles match last weekend, I executed the most amazing drop shot I’ve ever hit in my life. The trajectory did something that I didn’t know was possible with a tennis ball. My partner was serving for the match to ad court at 30-15. I stepped to middle and poached the return...
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    Vancouver BC this weekend - Feb 16-18

    4.5+ player coming north for 3-day weekend. Would love to get in some tennis.