100 vs 95

gplracer

Hall of Fame
How much of a difference do you think there is between a 100in racket and a 95in racket. My son is a highly ranked section player. He recently made the switch from a juice lite to a 6.1 95s. He loves the racket but has lost confidence and says he shanks the ball a lot. His results lately have been not good. Granted he did break his wrist on his non dominant hand and had to take 6 weeks off from hitting backhands and 4 weeks from hitting serves. He has had 4 weeks back playing.
 

SpinToWin

Talk Tennis Guru
The difference in terms of actual hitting area is minimal. The big difference is the size of the sweetspot. A 100 square inch racquet has a slightly larger sweetspot, but aside from that, if you shank with a 95 square inch racquet, you will shank with a 100 square inch racquet, just like Federer still shanks with his 98 square inch racquet after coming from a 90 square inch racquet. Your son is at fault, not the racquet head size.

The image below shows just how little of a difference 5 square inches really is.

racquet_head_sizes1.png
 

robbo1970

Hall of Fame
I think it also depends on the head shape.

For example, the width of the head on my Prince 93 is wider than my Dunlop 98. So, presuming you hit roughly in the centre, the 93 feels every bit as big as the 98.
 
In general, just changing rackets leads to more uncertainty. If he plays with a ton of topspin stick to 100sq in but if he's a flatter hitter then 95 gives a touch more precision.

But there are always exceptions.
 

TimothyO

Hall of Fame
When it comes to head size players focus too much on spanking and sweet spot and not enough on launch angle and spin.

As others have mentioned, if you shank with a 95 you'll shank with a 100. And as others have mentioned a larger head might make find the string bed's soft spot a little easier but maybe not as much as you think.

IMO a key difference is in predictability and spin.

With a smaller head I feel like I have a lot more predictability in shot direction compared to larger heads. Sometimes with larger heads, especially with soft gut mains, sometimes I can feel the ball trampoline a little bit randomly. So on flat shots and volleys I much prefer a smaller head.

With a larger head I feel like I get easier access to spin which provides its own form of consistency with a larger margin of error. That inspires a different sort of confidence but with the cost of feeling a little less confidence on volleys, flat shots, and blocking back hard serves.

Since I've learned to hit with lots of spin even with smaller heads I find myself more attracted to smaller heads for their superior control and predictability.

Ultimately there's no free lunch in physics and you just need to find balance where you're comfortable based on how you play. On this subject strings matter tremendously too and sometimes can make a larger head play with more control (if the strings are tighter or stiffer) or a smaller head with more spin and a larger sweet spot (if the strings are softer and low friction).
 

TimothyO

Hall of Fame
I think it also depends on the head shape.

For example, the width of the head on my Prince 93 is wider than my Dunlop 98. So, presuming you hit roughly in the centre, the 93 feels every bit as big as the 98.

^^^ this and grommet technology and string pattern relative to shape and size. I find Babolat woofer grommets expand the sweet spot and provide tremendous spin but at the cost of control somewhat. Meanwhile some frames with more narrow heads or tighter patterns provide great control despite being larger.

Also, nominal head size is not reliable. My 98" Pure Storms look about the same surface e Are as my 95" Pro Staffs. The key difference since to be the PSGTs are rounder and the PS 95 is more narrow. I've noticed the thing about a number of frames we own ranging from 95 to 100 inches. Shape seems far more important than nominal size. Some companies even measure their frames differently.
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
How much of a difference do you think there is between a 100in racket and a 95in racket. My son is a highly ranked section player. He recently made the switch from a juice lite to a 6.1 95s. He loves the racket but has lost confidence and says he shanks the ball a lot. His results lately have been not good. Granted he did break his wrist on his non dominant hand and had to take 6 weeks off from hitting backhands and 4 weeks from hitting serves. He has had 4 weeks back playing.

The trouble is that not all 100" or 95" frames are alike by a long shot. It could easily be the case that your young slugger will get better consistency and performance with a 95" frame that's a better fit for him. When the weight, balance, flex, string setup (and who knows what else) all click for any of us, we know it when we feel it.

If your guy is in the middle of a gear dilemma, I can recommend the TW demo program with plenty of confidence. Even though the sample racquets come with this or that string layout, it's always a big help sorting through the options when we can take different racquets out for a spin. The demos could also make him appreciate his own racquets even more.
 

KYHacker

Professional
TimothyO nailed. One of the most important things for reducing shanks is the head shape. Cleanest ball I have ever hit was with BLX Blade Tour (93). I almost never shanked a ball. I did, however, hit outside the sweetspot with some regularity and I had to generate 100% of the power. Great frame, but was ultimately too demanding.

Beam thickness is also important. Most shanks ever for was APD+ due to the thickness of the beam at the point on the frame in a line with where I contact the ball on the stringbed. The thick beam drastically reduced the hitting area as I closed the face of the racquet. Same thing on Juice 100S. Great results but also epic shanks.

Currently back to my Rebel 105 and I have only shanked 2 balls on a groundstroke in the past week. Again, I don't always hit the sweetspot, but no shanks either.

I also really like the IG Radical MP. Even though it's really a 95, the thin, aero beam makes shanks almost non-existent. And, the control is sublime.
 

KYHacker

Professional
Well, short answer is that I have six of them. I originally bought them on deal day from H---bird. I got them for my wife but she didn't like them. The stock spec is not far from Blade Team that I played with several years ago so I tried it and liked the frame once I added some weight to the handle. Just slightly more pop than a true players frame and outstanding spin from the long mains and open pattern

I keep coming back to this frame even though, like some others, I serial demo frames. I have tried some APD+ and Juice frames recently and like the added power but struggle with lack of control. I actually prefer true players frames but they are slightly too demanding. Rebel 105 is right in between. Will probably stick with it and still have "affairs" with other frames. Rebel 105 really showed its potential when I put a half size sleeve, leather grip, and 10g of lead under the grip. 338g, about 6pts HL, and 322 SW. A little more stable and a little more put away power at that spec. Hits a very, very heavy ball. Several opponents have commented after I tweaked to this setup. I use Proline X 17 at 52 and it's near ideal.
 

PDR

Rookie
Tell your son to stick with whatever he's changed to and learn to adapt his everything. It's hard to play games with different rackets.
 

travlerajm

Talk Tennis Guru
Other thing is that the "s" racquets may not be right for your son.

I took me years of switching racquets before I paid any attention to string pattern density. When I finally started paying attention, I discovered that i play much better overall with dense string patterns.

The "s" racquets are a variation of an extreme open pattern. An open pattern frame has a higher launch angle on topspin groundies. But more critically, with an open pattern, the launch angle is much more dependent on the heaviness of the incoming ball.

Open patterns are great for taking big topspin cuts when the ball is just sitting there or approaching slowly. But when you try to control the launch angle against heavy spin serve, or try to control the depth of a volley against a heaviy spun passing shot, an open pattern is much inferior to a firmer, denser pattern.

A dense pattern is also nice on big serves, where precise control of launch angle really matters.

Since every single point in singles involves either a serve or a return, it's not surprising that your son's results have suffered when switching to a more open-pattern frame than he was accustomed to. I would guess that the reason he switched to it was that it felt nice with good margin of error when just rallying? That's the allure of the open pattern, but it doesn't carry over well to competition in my experience.
I find it interesting that roughly half of ATP pros still use 18x20 pattern frames, even though these make up only tiny percentage of the player frame options available.
 
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