Diary of a Racketaholic

AmericanTwist

Professional
Got edged in dubs this eve 3-6, 6-2, 10-12. I was wielding a Dunlop 95 Hotmelt string pretty tightly. It has great control, but my partner and I had some lapses and our opponents benefitted. Partner had a 2021 VCP. Opponents had a pure aero and Pro staff 97. Singles tomorrow...Will probably play with my 4G Ultra Tour. I'm still rotating frames so the CX 200 Tour 18x20 and Vcore HD are all still in the mix.
 

Richard Pioline

Hall of Fame
I'm a bit flummoxed. Got a big package from Sir Pioline today. We decided to have a little frame swap for some temporary fun and knocking about before sending back. MSFs passing in the night. Within my box, a 293.2 Prestige (had this one before, wanted to check it out again even though the 16m version then won out and is now my main jam), a Prestige Tour 600, an Auxetic Tour, and a nice-SW Gravity Pro (330).

Had a fantastic and very intense training session tonight on clay - different drills and regular hitting. The plan was to make this one a 293 night. That Touch Gloss on this visiting Prestige was too alluring. Drills began with volleys and short court, of course, then moved back. This frame was just awesome. The feel, sublime (a bit better than the slightly stiffer 16m). But after awhile the .1 then took over, and again reminded me (how many times does it have to do this?) that it's seemingly made for me. It's the same frame but with more teeth. I get that little extra ease of net clearance, which actually allows me to open up and try to rip flatter. And don't get me started on the slices of both of these 293s. It gets no better. And I've tried and sliced with everything.

After constant drilling and hitting, almost no breaks, I began to wilt with about 15, 20 minutes left in the session. I went for that last sip of water, and just then I decided maybe it was time to see what some more real estate could give my tired limbs. Rather than the Fedora, I pulled out that Gravity Pro. And I think Pioline may have put some cocaine in it. Because those next/last 15-20 minutes were thrilling yet confusing. I'm not supposed to like the Gravity. Very Meh on the Tour I tried once, and then the same with a Pro my buddy demoed and felt too clunky and meh for me. But this? This one was giving me the world, from the first ball. I couldn't miss - and honestly, look at the thing, how could you? Yet usually with sweet spots that size I can't control enough of the depth or trajectory. But here I was driving the ball nicely, knifing the slices, changing the direction and angling the ball when I wanted to, just hitting all of the shots I was testing, and deep, and not making mistakes in the meantime. I'd gone from wilting to this sudden high. Cocaine, man.

Alright. Maybe this was placebo. New, Big Stick Energy. Maybe I was just letting the tank empty into those forehands and backhands that would have been singing also with the others. And maybe actual points will yield blob sloppiness rather than the precision I usually crave when there's a score. I don't know. This was brief. It's all possible and I've been here before. But man. Man that was some good stuff. The crash has to be coming. Has to.
Well, yeah, you caught me...
I must say, that I also really like the Gamma Moto 1.29 string. The string has about 8 hours on clay, so you can feel it is used, but it is playable for long time for me. I really like old strings by the way.
The GPro is a very good racket, and I still have one brandnew here, with 300sw unstrung. The Gamma string adds 36 sw points in this 18 mains 100" racket. In the end, and in direct comparison with the FC, I just hit harder and better with the FC. But what always gets me with the GPro is its stability and plow for its very low specs. At 338 it is a tank! It is comparable in that regard with the Six One 95 at 360g, which is crazy!

As for my own findings on court yesterday, I really hate the L3 of W with the normal base grip. And yet, I really like the Six One L3 with a leather grip, but the 366 weight is bothering me mentally. I can play really well with it, but mentally, I think it just might be hard for long clay court slug fests. So I ordered the W Feather Thin grip and it is crazy light and thin. The grip is only 10 grams and I can play the Six One at 350g strung with OG, which brings my mind down a bit. We will see if it still plays that well with its feather weight.
 
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Vicious49

Legend
I played awful tonight. I knew after the 1st few games that I was off and it was going to be a long night. For some reason my timing was off, my racquet face was all over the place. It just wasn't a good night. Basically a bad Tuesday. Ended up losing my league match 1-6 7-5 2-6. I put up a fight despite not being able to hit like I'd like but in the end it wasn't enough. Back to the drawing board.
 

flyhome

Rookie
I'm a bit flummoxed. Got a big package from Sir Pioline today. We decided to have a little frame swap for some temporary fun and knocking about before sending back. MSFs passing in the night. Within my box, a 293.2 Prestige (had this one before, wanted to check it out again even though the 16m version then won out and is now my main jam), a Prestige Tour 600, an Auxetic Tour, and a nice-SW Gravity Pro (330).

Had a fantastic and very intense training session tonight on clay - different drills and regular hitting. The plan was to make this one a 293 night. That Touch Gloss on this visiting Prestige was too alluring. Drills began with volleys and short court, of course, then moved back. This frame was just awesome. The feel, sublime (a bit better than the slightly stiffer 16m). But after awhile the .1 then took over, and again reminded me (how many times does it have to do this?) that it's seemingly made for me. It's the same frame but with more teeth. I get that little extra ease of net clearance, which actually allows me to open up and try to rip flatter. And don't get me started on the slices of both of these 293s. It gets no better. And I've tried and sliced with everything.

After constant drilling and hitting, almost no breaks, I began to wilt with about 15, 20 minutes left in the session. I went for that last sip of water, and just then I decided maybe it was time to see what some more real estate could give my tired limbs. Rather than the Fedora, I pulled out that Gravity Pro. And I think Pioline may have put some cocaine in it. Because those next/last 15-20 minutes were thrilling yet confusing. I'm not supposed to like the Gravity. Very Meh on the Tour I tried once, and then the same with a Pro my buddy demoed and felt too clunky and meh for me. But this? This one was giving me the world, from the first ball. I couldn't miss - and honestly, look at the thing, how could you? Yet usually with sweet spots that size I can't control enough of the depth or trajectory. But here I was driving the ball nicely, knifing the slices, changing the direction and angling the ball when I wanted to, just hitting all of the shots I was testing, and deep, and not making mistakes in the meantime. I'd gone from wilting to this sudden high. Cocaine, man.

Alright. Maybe this was placebo. New, Big Stick Energy. Maybe I was just letting the tank empty into those forehands and backhands that would have been singing also with the others. And maybe actual points will yield blob sloppiness rather than the precision I usually crave when there's a score. I don't know. This was brief. It's all possible and I've been here before. But man. Man that was some good stuff. The crash has to be coming. Has to.

Having been a Yutek Speed 18x20 lover, I can easily understand why you like the gravity pro...as soon as I get married with the Top Banana, I'll cheat it with the GP
 
TGT 351.1 with zero @45lbs and bit of weight under the butt cap is where it's at for me. Strung 336g, 31.5 or 9HL and 332SW is deliciousness ready. Sadly these terrific hitting sessions with @emhtennis comes to an end as i move to Dallas. Hopefully one of these days he visits Dallas or I swing by SA again and we can get a hit in. See ya later brother!
Dude I'm jealous of your spec, it sounds similar to the Doppio you sold me a few years back but with a higher SW - perfection! I've demoed a lot of frames lately but my favorite has been the Ezone Tour with a ton of handleweight to bring it to 31.5. The only problem is that it's too sluggish, especially with that thick 24+ mm beam. I have never tried the Rad MP but I think it might be exactly what I'm looking for compared to the Ezone, a thinner beam and less muted feel while still retaining that tight 16x19 pattern. I've found a few TGT351s on the net that are similar to your spec, but I might want to try a retail Rad first before pulling the trigger. Have you had a chance to try the Aux Rad MP?
 

JGads

G.O.A.T.
GP has a massive sweet spot & the best racquet I’ve ever hit slices with. It’s a racquet that still gives me an itch.
It took me awhile but 2019, here I am.

Well, yeah, you caught me...
I must say, that I also really like the Gamma Moto 1.29 string. The string has about 8 hours on clay, so you can feel it is used, but it is playable for long time for me. I really like old strings by the way.
The GPro is a very good racket, and I still have one brandnew here, with 300sw unstrung. The Gamma string adds 36 sw points in this 18 mains 100" racket. In the end, and in direct comparison with the FC, I just hit harder and better with the FC. But what always gets me with the GPro is its stability and plow for its very low specs. At 338 it is a tank! It is comparable in that regard with the Six One 95 at 360g, which is crazy!

As for my own findings on court yesterday, I really hate the L3 of W with the normal base grip. And yet, I really like the Six One L3 with a leather grip, but the 366 weight is bothering me mentally. I can play really well with it, but mentally, I think it just might be hard for long clay court slug fests. So I ordered the W Feather Thin grip and it is crazy light and thin. The grip is only 10 grams and I can play the Six One at 350g strung with OG, which brings my mind down a bit. We will see if it still plays that well with its feather weight.
I made it even lighter, 333 grams after replacing with my usually longer grip to help the two hander. No og. And it feels plenty substantial.
Having been a Yutek Speed 18x20 lover, I can easily understand why you like the gravity pro...as soon as I get married with the Top Banana, I'll cheat it with the GP
She's a very colorful girl.
 

tsamo

Semi-Pro
Hit with the GPro these past two weeks, I had forgotten what an amazing stick it was.
I don't remember my backhand ever being so potent before than with this racket, to the point that if it missed 20 times total these weeks, I would be shocked, lol.
I just need to get used to the 18x20 pattern and 100" head compared to the 95" head and 16x20 of the Vcore 95D, especially on the forehand side.
Otherwise it's been perfect so far.

And I still haven't got around to try the new Gravity MP with added weight, not to mention the Shift.
So many rackets, so little time.
 
Yes. Great stick. I prefer the regular Elevate tho. I don't feel the Tour adds much over the regular version. Other than feeling slightly heavier, I think they play the same.
After hitting with several different rackets these past 3 months, that each one helped me get better, I find the V2 Elevate is the best suited racket for me. I do feel the need to get the V3 version, as I want to stick with Diadem. Just wondering if I should just get the V3 305 or get the big brother of the new version. The 305 would be more interesting, I think, as I'll have the V2 as reference point.

* I take everything back, as far as some control issues I've been experiencing throughout the first year. Now, I play really well and can return fast balls much better than with other rackets. And most importantly, no soreness of any kind after hitting.
 

emhtennis

Professional
After hitting with several different rackets these past 3 months, that each one helped me get better, I find the V2 Elevate is the best suited racket for me. I do feel the need to get the V3 version, as I want to stick with Diadem. Just wondering if I should just get the V3 305 or get the big brother of the new version. The 305 would be more interesting, I think, as I'll have the V2 as reference point.

* I take everything back, as far as some control issues I've been experiencing throughout the first year. Now, I play really well and can return fast balls much better than with other rackets. And most importantly, no soreness of any kind after hitting.
I would lean towards the 305. You can always "create" the 315g yourself with a leather grip and lead, etc
 

tim-ay

Legend
Tier 1 has a new string releasing soon. "Atomos"

Description says unique geometric shape, but doesn't say what shape.
It’s really tough to go to Tier One on holidays. Is there a better deal than DF123 for 89 bucks/reel? Just insane. So every holiday I buy more. Ha.

Let’s see. Time until generative AI and the robot apocalypse = 7 years. 2 reels DF per year. 14 reels until the end. Hmmm. I guess I can buy a few more and be ok. Besides I might need 16 reels before the end. Someone has to help the robots for a little bit while they build the human power generation farms. Probably need some EEs for that.
 

topspn

Legend
Dude I'm jealous of your spec, it sounds similar to the Doppio you sold me a few years back but with a higher SW - perfection! I've demoed a lot of frames lately but my favorite has been the Ezone Tour with a ton of handleweight to bring it to 31.5. The only problem is that it's too sluggish, especially with that thick 24+ mm beam. I have never tried the Rad MP but I think it might be exactly what I'm looking for compared to the Ezone, a thinner beam and less muted feel while still retaining that tight 16x19 pattern. I've found a few TGT351s on the net that are similar to your spec, but I might want to try a retail Rad first before pulling the trigger. Have you had a chance to try the Aux Rad MP?
I have not tried the current Aux version, however I did try the 360+ prior iteration. A tennis friend owned one and we tried a few strings, leather grip, weight in the head, etc. Even with additional weight, the TGT is just so much more stable, better plow, better feel, bigger serve, etc. I am pretty sure it is not just added weight and silicone under the butt cap. There is some voodoo in the layup :unsure:
 
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ryushen21

Legend
I'm a bit flummoxed. Got a big package from Sir Pioline today. We decided to have a little frame swap for some temporary fun and knocking about before sending back. MSFs passing in the night. Within my box, a 293.2 Prestige (had this one before, wanted to check it out again even though the 16m version then won out and is now my main jam), a Prestige Tour 600, an Auxetic Tour, and a nice-SW Gravity Pro (330).

Had a fantastic and very intense training session tonight on clay - different drills and regular hitting. The plan was to make this one a 293 night. That Touch Gloss on this visiting Prestige was too alluring. Drills began with volleys and short court, of course, then moved back. This frame was just awesome. The feel, sublime (a bit better than the slightly stiffer 16m). But after awhile the .1 then took over, and again reminded me (how many times does it have to do this?) that it's seemingly made for me. It's the same frame but with more teeth. I get that little extra ease of net clearance, which actually allows me to open up and try to rip flatter. And don't get me started on the slices of both of these 293s. It gets no better. And I've tried and sliced with everything.

After constant drilling and hitting, almost no breaks, I began to wilt with about 15, 20 minutes left in the session. I went for that last sip of water, and just then I decided maybe it was time to see what some more real estate could give my tired limbs. Rather than the Fedora, I pulled out that Gravity Pro. And I think Pioline may have put some cocaine in it. Because those next/last 15-20 minutes were thrilling yet confusing. I'm not supposed to like the Gravity. Very Meh on the Tour I tried once, and then the same with a Pro my buddy demoed and felt too clunky and meh for me. But this? This one was giving me the world, from the first ball. I couldn't miss - and honestly, look at the thing, how could you? Yet usually with sweet spots that size I can't control enough of the depth or trajectory. But here I was driving the ball nicely, knifing the slices, changing the direction and angling the ball when I wanted to, just hitting all of the shots I was testing, and deep, and not making mistakes in the meantime. I'd gone from wilting to this sudden high. Cocaine, man.

Alright. Maybe this was placebo. New, Big Stick Energy. Maybe I was just letting the tank empty into those forehands and backhands that would have been singing also with the others. And maybe actual points will yield blob sloppiness rather than the precision I usually crave when there's a score. I don't know. This was brief. It's all possible and I've been here before. But man. Man that was some good stuff. The crash has to be coming. Has to.
I've got a Gravity Pro on the way - looking forward to it. I always hated the head shape to look at, but it's growing on me and I love the f'n huge sweetspot (on the Tour, anyway).
The GPro is both a blessing and a curse. And it all comes down to the spec lottery. If you get one a few grams underweight and the SW lined up in the goldilocks zone, you've got one magical racquet on your hands. Get one the other way, it feels hesitant, obstinate, and ready to fight you about everything. Kinda like an ex-girlfriend.

But there is also serious mojo in the GPro. It's an absolute beast on serve and I don't think I've ever hit a better 2HBH than I did with the GPro.

I kept my friendly spec GPro to revisit from time to time. I'm gonna be going GP in it the next time around.
 

Kozzy

Hall of Fame
The GPro is both a blessing and a curse. And it all comes down to the spec lottery. If you get one a few grams underweight and the SW lined up in the goldilocks zone, you've got one magical racquet on your hands. Get one the other way, it feels hesitant, obstinate, and ready to fight you about everything. Kinda like an ex-girlfriend.

But there is also serious mojo in the GPro. It's an absolute beast on serve and I don't think I've ever hit a better 2HBH than I did with the GPro.

I kept my friendly spec GPro to revisit from time to time. I'm gonna be going GP in it the next time around.
The 2021 version is going for $129 right now, so I could not resist after liking the 2023 Tour so much. The Tours I have are weighted up pretty well and both feel great at about 345g, with a ~338 SW. I'm hoping I can get the Pro into similar territory to compare.
 

JGads

G.O.A.T.
The GPro is both a blessing and a curse. And it all comes down to the spec lottery. If you get one a few grams underweight and the SW lined up in the goldilocks zone, you've got one magical racquet on your hands. Get one the other way, it feels hesitant, obstinate, and ready to fight you about everything. Kinda like an ex-girlfriend.

But there is also serious mojo in the GPro. It's an absolute beast on serve and I don't think I've ever hit a better 2HBH than I did with the GPro.

I kept my friendly spec GPro to revisit from time to time. I'm gonna be going GP in it the next time around.
The beautiful thing is, I'm living in a post-Briffidi world now. I have no idea what the spec was on that demo I once tried, but surely it was one of the chunky ones, the way it lagged. This one, skinny and maybe infused with good German coc- never mind.
 

ryushen21

Legend
The beautiful thing is, I'm living in a post-Briffidi world now. I have no idea what the spec was on that demo I once tried, but surely it was one of the chunky ones, the way it lagged. This one, skinny and maybe infused with good German coc- never mind.
I am not yet into the Briffidi world. I did see that it is now Android-friendly, so I might have to look at getting one.
 

KC!

Hall of Fame
It’s really tough to go to Tier One on holidays. Is there a better deal than DF123 for 89 bucks/reel? Just insane. So every holiday I buy more. Ha.

Let’s see. Time until generative AI and the robot apocalypse = 7 years. 2 reels DF per year. 14 reels until the end. Hmmm. I guess I can buy a few more and be ok. Besides I might need 16 reels before the end. Someone has to help the robots for a little bit while they build the human power generation farms. Probably need some EEs for that.
I just got my email from them this morning for Memorial Day weekend sale. Unbelievable value for $89 reels!
 

SupahMan5000

Hall of Fame
Got a client trying to make this racket as retro as possible haha. Poly S Gut hybrid, neon pink string, neon green overgrip
m5gtvUp.jpg
 

Power Player

Bionic Poster
I tried a new set of contacts last night for a match. Bad idea, I was seeing the ball a half second too late and was very unclean in my hitting. Switched to glasses but the adjustment took half a set and by the time I was hitting like myself again, it was too late. This was my last ditch attempt before Lasik which I have an appt for next week. So yeah, contacts just don't work for me anymore. Time for cyber eyes.
 

KC!

Hall of Fame
Was supposed to have my 4th league match of summer club season last night. It was sunny all day, with the temperature in low 80's.
I'm about 5 minutes from the club when it starts to sprinkle.
Nothing worse than being hyped to play all day & getting rained out at the last hour:(
 

djNEiGht

Legend
finally getting around to the Artengo. It came with tape at 12 and leather. I feel impatient to do my usual dating process of stock weight and synthetic. so it's off to 3rd base with weight right away. looked at some of my specs from other racquets. removed lead at 12 and placed at 3/9 and top of handle under the grip. The handle says "2" on it but the butt cap says L3 with silicone or so in the handle (is that stock?) TenX strike fury / Tier One Ghost wire 48#

so lets see....
 
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emhtennis

Professional
Short clip of a very good practice session today that went on for about 2 hours with the Diadem Nova FS100 x Luxilon 4G.
Diadem's Nova and Elevate are the real deal!

I've enjoyed reading your reviews and watching your progress over the last few months. If I can offer one suggestion that will improve all parts of your game - you have to stay on the balls/front of your feet ALL the time.

Even if you're playing slow or casual, you still should practice staying on the balls of your feet.

If you want some inspiration, look for the "Steffi Graf footwork" youtube video. It was shot a few years ago, so she's in her 50s and in 5min takes more steps than I do in entire matches. It's remarkable to watch - and worth trying to emulate!
 

Vicious49

Legend
Had a quick coaching lesson today. Really it's a father/daughter lesson. She takes the 1st 20-30 minutes and I take the remaining hour once we know she's reached her limit. Today was more about him seeing my strokes so he can see where I'm at and what we need to work on. I will withhold whatever level he thinks I'm at because that always seems to bring out the boo birds - even though this guy has coached a ton of kids to college scholarships and a former roommate of his went pro. I didn't realize this but he said I do a good job of keeping my head still and down most of the time. My mistakes and inconsistency come in when I move my head too early. So I'll try to work on that for the next week.

Also I did a very bad thing last night. @ryushen21 I'll be joining you shortly. The curiosity was just too strong.
 

Fintft

G.O.A.T.
Tried again the RF97A(with multi, before giving it to a friend who was using a very old 6.1.95) and my shots were landing shorter than with my 300g racquet (with poly), in average.
 

Nollid

Professional
Lesson of the day! Don't look at tennis racquets before you had at least one cup of coffee in the morning. Anyway, classic holic move accomplished. I'll post something when i get them in a couple of weeks.
Thanks for your input on our conversation. Me, I’m still chasing the dragon and trying to stave off terminal boredom. Hence, pro stocks are incoming. Yeah, I’m an unrepentant and unfixable holic. @Richard Pioline, @JGads and @topspn shouldn’t be the only ones to sample and enjoy TGT goodness.
 

AmericanTwist

Professional
Lost tonight 3-6, 5-7 singles. I started out with the 4g ultra tour, and I think I need more pocketing. Down an early break I switched to the 95 Hotmelt, and I started hitting shots including a scrambling one hander cross court pass shot. My friend said too bad that wasn't on camera! lol... Left some of my returns short and got punished right away, however. I did a lot of running the first set. Second set I brought out the VCP. Just couldn't keep it together in the end with sun in eyes and lost 5-7. Need to tweak my frames- grips, lead, and string. The pocketing and feel of the Hotmelt is surprisingly good. Need to hit with more depth. Next time I will do better!
 

Kozzy

Hall of Fame
My Gravity Pro (2021) came in today. I ordered it unstrung, but it came strung with Lynx Tour (I think). The string job was terrible, though I must say. You could drive a truck through the knots and the buzz off the stringbed was really bad. Thankfully, it was just a bad string job. I cut it out immediately and strung it up with Cyclone 19 at 45lb. No more buzz. Solid as a rock.

Then I gave it my usual treatment, adding a leather grip, some weight at 12 and a bit of putty in the handle to balance things out. I ended up at 338g, 32cm balance, and 338SW - what a beautiful spec! It is seriously like my dream come true. With the Aux Gravity Tours I had to get them up to 345g to get that SW and balance.

Then I went out and played a couple sets tonight, and needless to say, it was not a Tuesday! Really, I could not be happier with how this frame feels and performs. Everything was solid and plush without feeling too muted - there is good connection to the ball, and amazing control. Everything was seriously great with this thing, and I have to say that I love the 2021 cosmetic more than the new Aux PJ. I had demo'd the original gravity back in 2018, and didn't care for the look or feel much then, but somehow the 2021 hits the spot for me. Now I gotta try to find a couple more that can be in the ball park of this spec...
 
I've enjoyed reading your reviews and watching your progress over the last few months. If I can offer one suggestion that will improve all parts of your game - you have to stay on the balls/front of your feet ALL the time.

Even if you're playing slow or casual, you still should practice staying on the balls of your feet.

If you want some inspiration, look for the "Steffi Graf footwork" youtube video. It was shot a few years ago, so she's in her 50s and in 5min takes more steps than I do in entire matches. It's remarkable to watch - and worth trying to emulate!
This was actually my 4th or 5th time ever playing under the lights. I have to wear my glasses to see the ball clearly and early when there's no sunlight. I had to use 2-handed backhand yesterday which is less than 4 months old, because the few times I tried to hit my regular 1-handed backhand during the warmup, I noticed I had something of a "blind spot" on contact point, because of my glasses.

It was very slippery yesterday. I have very poor footwork, as I've never had a tennis lesson. At least, I have got rid of my lasso-whip action and always try to:

- have a wide base (a la Dimitrov)
- bend my legs
- use forward bodyweight transfer
- hit much faster
- use my left hand for spacing (a la Rybakina)

Next: I want to:
- stay on my toes all the time if possible
- split step as much as possible

* 4G didn't feel as stiff as it felt on the Blade V5 18*20 a few months back. Pinpoint accuracy!
 
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