Do You Have a Singles Racket & a Dubs Racket?

glenWs

Rookie
I am primarily a strong 3.5 doubles player that occasionally plays singles. I’ve been using the VCore 98 as my doubles racket and play very well with it. I’ve been carrying around a VCore 95 after having picked one up at the advice of my friend who owns a pro shop. I would break it out occasionally while practicing and have always liked the feel and balance but always assumed it might be a little too precise for me.
Fast forward to this AM and I played a singles match against a pretty decent fellow 3.5. Used my VCore 98 as usual and found myself having trouble keeping the ball in. Hit too many balls long and was missing some pretty routine shots. Lost the set 4-6. So figuring it can’t get much worse I switched to the VCore 95 because at the very least I hoped for more control. Suddenly balls were staying in, I felt more confident taking full cuts and I won the next two sets 6-1, 6-2. It really left me thinking about where to go from here. When I stopped caring about power my consistency shot up. Perhaps this is what I need to stick with at both singles and doubles. Do guys on this forum play with different rackets for different situations? Do you have a racket you only use for singles or doubles?
This result is making me rethink everything and that maybe I stick with the 95 all the time or test out the EZone 98 Tour or the new VCore Pro 97 for just a bit more forgiveness? Dunno but it’s totally shifted my thinking.
 

La Pavoni

Rookie
Gravity Pros strung with copoly for proper tennis. Gravity MP strung with multi for hitting with my daughter and club stuff.
 

weelie

Semi-Pro
I always think, optimally, I would have like three rackets in my bag for ability to change when the situation needs it. But I never really got there yet. I have finally three rackets in the bag, all the same make and model, and actually all happen to be strung differently now, but not optimized. Currently the racket are strung with Kevlar/Zyex 17, Wilson Revolve 16, Kirschbaum PL2 17.

I think one could be slightly lower weight and slightly lower string tension. To ease up on the days everything is bit sluggish.
The the other two could probably be strung and weighted equal.
Or, as I am not really breaking strings nowadays, could also keep one as a hand saver, strung with something really soft. But for that, I think I would need to be like a lower powered racket as well (like a 95 instead or my 100P).
 

Lorenn

Professional
This result is making me rethink everything and that maybe I stick with the 95 all the time or test out the EZone 98 Tour or the new VCore Pro 97 for just a bit more forgiveness? Dunno but it’s totally shifted my thinking.
Short answer ...I see nothing wrong with having two racquets one uses regularly. My guess is with doubles you will miss the free power. A double player tends to have less time. Singles you have tons of time ...so you can take massive full swings.

Tennis is a Journey...basically the goal tends to be increase your own power while keeping the ball in... all while improving control. So your game and needs will change over time. All while considering that balls, temperature, wind, surface, string/string condition, time of day and how you feel all make a huge difference in how you play. Confidence normally allows a player to relax. Likely why your game performance skyrocketed. Instead of adjusting how you were swinging you switched your racquet. One with a little less power. Another option would've been to have a second racquet with different strings. I am a big believer that most players should have a "off day" racquet. I find it helps reset the mind ... versus dwelling on how everything is going wrong and beating yourself up. I normally use a Gravity Pro and will switch to a Speed Mp 360+. If I was competing at a serious level I would likely have a bag with quite a few Gravity Pros strung slightly differently. Fine tune when things go wrong.... slightly different tensions etc. Currently I have a few GP strung the same and two Speed MP 360+.
 
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eah123

Semi-Pro
I have 3 different (but similar) racquet in my bag. I use the flexiest racquet most for doubles since it gives me the best touch/feel on volleys, which I consider to be the most important shot. I use the racquet that provides the most free power for singles, since I need it for winning points on serve, serve+1, and hitting from the baseline. However, I may switch to the flexy racquet for singles if I'm using more serve and volley tactics, and the 'power' racquet for doubles if I'm playing more 2-back.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
I carry 5 rackets in my bag:

Prince Phantom 107G: Go to racket currently for doubles and singles, as I've realized my game needs more forgiveness these days
Prince Phantom 100 O3: Go to frame if my arm is acting up, nothing is softer IME
Prince Phantom 93P: Go to racket for just hitting sessions, backup frame for hard court singles
Prince Phantom 100 18x20: Backup racket for doubles, excellent volleying frame and nice precision
Prince Original Graphite 107: Backup frame for Clay court singles

So yes it is possible to play with multiple frames and use them for different things. As a person who's primary sport was always golf, it has always been in my wheelhouse to use different tools for different jobs. The Caveat is that I do have all those rackets leaded up to have similar weight and SW to the 93P. Only the POG 107 is a bit of an outlier.
 

McLovin

Legend
I used to have the "get comfortable with a single racquet" mentality, but I've now come around to "it depends...". If you play two different styles it might actually make sense to play with two different racquets (assuming mentally it doesn't throw you off).

For example, in doubles I play serve & volley, off both serves, and try to get the the as quickly as possible when returning, so it would make sense that I may want a racquet that was headlight & maneuverable at the net.

But in singles I'm predominately on the baseline, trying to take the ball early, using my opponent's pace against them. So maybe I'd like something a little more stable & forgiving.

Obviously if you can find a single racquet that gives you the best of both worlds, then you'd want to stick with a single frame, but why not experiment to see if it helps your game? In the end, at this level, the sport is supposed to fun & entertaining, so have a little fun out there & experiment.
 

Krulik

New User
Gravity Pros strung with copoly for proper tennis. Gravity MP strung with multi for hitting with my daughter and club stuff.
What are your tension differences? I have a similar situation with my girlfriend and am thinking about picking up a Speed MP to complement my Speed Pros.
 

La Pavoni

Rookie
I've gone up in tension on my pros recently, so they are all a lot closer in tension now.

Pro1- Icecode and Blackcode. 56m+58x
Pro1- Greyfire and YPTP. 56m+58x
MP- Solinco X-Natural and Head Velocity. 58m +60x

I usually string 17 gauge in the Pros and 16 in the MP.

I've played around with tension quite a bit. Been as low as 48 for mains, then gradually went up. I've tried stringing crosses lower, the same and settled on higher in the end.

Around the time the velocity breaks, it does become a bit of a rocket for an hour or two, until then, it plays pretty OK. I can switch between the racquets pretty easily.
 

Crashbaby

Semi-Pro
It takes 10 thousand repetitions to ingrain a movement or a change to a movement to muscle memory. So no, use the same racquet for both singles and doubles. It’s not up for debate.
If you play mostly one of the two forms of this wonderful game, choose the racquet that you like the best for that format.
I have 20 plus racquets and I’m obviously into self sabotage as are many that grace these pages…. :)
 

Arak

Hall of Fame
I use the RF97 for singles and PS97 for doubles. If I had to choose only one, I will take the singles racket. In fact, I’m leaning towards discarding the PS97 and using one of the RF97 with lower tension for doubles.
 

Lorenn

Professional
It takes 10 thousand repetitions to ingrain a movement or a change to a movement to muscle memory. So no, use the same racquet for both singles and doubles. It’s not up for debate.
If you play mostly one of the two forms of this wonderful game, choose the racquet that you like the best for that format.
I have 20 plus racquets and I’m obviously into self sabotage as are many that grace these pages…. :)
”I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”

But... Bruce did not just practice one kick or only kicks or even only one martial art. I find some can adjust quickly. 10,000 for the first racquet maybe. Second racquet you can adjust and take what you already know and adapt. There is an underlying principle to movements, once you understand the principle applying it is easy. Look at Dancers and how effortlessly they move. They can learn new styles or movement quickly. Doesn't mean they can no longer dance their original style nor learn yet another new style. Look at Artist some only master one style others can excel in any style.

There are tennis players who learn more in a few years then some will learn in their whole lives. They understand principles of the movement. We might call it being a natural or athletically inclined. Nothing wrong with practice, it surely helps...but using two different racquets or explore different tennis balls/courts/strings doesn't really impede progress unless it becomes your only focus.
 

cha cha

Professional
I do not.
But doubles has made me experiment and fall in love with properly headlight rackets, which I am grateful for. They are then very easy to play singles with.
 

BumElbow

Rookie
No. I don't have different racquets for singles and doubles. But, as a senior player, I have a racquet that I use when playing people my age and a different more powerful frame that I use when playing younger opponents! I prefer the feel of a flexible frame when playing someone my age but need a stiffer more powerful frame when playing younger opponents.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
I do not but I did have a local pro suggest this to me when I was first starting out and I thought it was a good suggestion. As I play exclusively dubs and hit rather flat off the ground but do have a decent kick serve he suggested I string up two racquets. He suggested I string up one racket with a softer setup for better touch around the net. The other with my favorite poly. I would grab the poly stick every 4th game when I served.

I no longer do this since I play with a gut/poly hybrid which I think gives me the best of both worlds but the approach worked pretty well actually. I lost a bit on my volleys when serving but it was not a bad approach for my old school style of play.
 

cha cha

Professional
which racquet were you using and which racquet now?
Control rackets the last decade surely.
Pure Strike, Pro Staff 95, Six One, The complete Pro Staff 97 line up, Blade 93, Angell TC90, Prestige mid the latest.
I am inching towards that 30 cm balance, and they just keep getting easier to hit with. The tradeoff in stability is not as large as I once thought.
 

La Pavoni

Rookie
I honestly don't think that switching between pretty similar racquets is any more of a switch than that between different surfaces. Or even between the outliers at either end of the spectrum of balls.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
It takes 10 thousand repetitions to ingrain a movement or a change to a movement to muscle memory. So no, use the same racquet for both singles and doubles. It’s not up for debate.
If you play mostly one of the two forms of this wonderful game, choose the racquet that you like the best for that format.
I have 20 plus racquets and I’m obviously into self sabotage as are many that grace these pages…. :)
Doesn't apply since every swing in tennis is different. The incoming ball will be different heights, different speeds, different bounce locations. Your body will be in different positions moving at different speeds. The fundamentals can be mastered with 10,000 reps but every swing needs a bunch of microadjustments. As such it takes the brain only a short while to figure out the amount of force necessary to move the racket to meet the ball. It's just one of many microadjustments the brain must make to play this game.

Yes you might be better by a miniscule amount with "one frame only" as it takes one microadjustment out of the equation, but pragmatically, since most players fail at so many other things in tennis, it's not going to make a tangible difference in outcome.

I've done it both ways and had many buddies with one approach or the other and none of it makes a difference in how often they win.
 

FloridaAG

Professional
I play with one stick and do not change. In my experience, the people who do this often end up overthinking matters and come close to obsessing which frame they should use on a particular day etc., how they are feeling, the pace of the opponent's ball, whether they fell sluggish on serve etc. I just stay with my stick and do not worry about it.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
I play with one stick and do not change. In my experience, the people who do this often end up overthinking matters and come close to obsessing which frame they should use on a particular day etc., how they are feeling, the pace of the opponent's ball, whether they fell sluggish on serve etc. I just stay with my stick and do not worry about it.
Of course your overthinking buddies have a built in excuse to blame on their crappy game. It can be very ego soothing to be able to lay everything on the wrong equipment. "If only I'd used my other racket, I'd have beat you!" ;)
 

Lorenn

Professional
I play with one stick and do not change. In my experience, the people who do this often end up overthinking matters and come close to obsessing which frame they should use on a particular day etc., how they are feeling, the pace of the opponent's ball, whether they fell sluggish on serve etc. I just stay with my stick and do not worry about it.
I don't think it is related. I know people who use one racquet who blame everything under the sun. Strings are old, balls were bouncing weirdly, tired today, ate poorly, too hot, too cold, sun was in my eyes, night lights make it difficult, I was distracted. Some players like to blame external things... others look internally, some just enjoy the ride. Correlation is not causation. Some players like to see the game as striving for constant constancy. Others see it as constant adaption. Temps change the balls bounce differently, strings play differently, different courts the ball will bounce differently ...Using more than one racquet is just another change.
 

mctennis

Legend
I tend to agree with you Lorenn. The only thing I change is that I usually carry one racquet , in my bag of three racquets, that has different tensions in it. I keep one racquet with different strings/ tensions to try out.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Just to prove a point to myself I played this am with my 93P. Been playing almost exclusively with the 107G for the last year. Played a guy i usually beat somewhere between 6-2 and 6-4 most of the time.

With the 93P: 6-3. Got up 4-0 then lost some focus and started missing the sweet spot and suddenly it was 4-3. Got it back together to close him out 6-3.

So another case in point that score isn't that gear related, at least for my game. Each racket has its unique characteristics that I can take advantage of. with the 107G it's spin and forgiveness. With the 93P it's precision. So rather than winning with deep topspin with the 107G, I beat my opponent with precise targeting of the backhand corner and some wicked low slices.

In the end, 90% of tennis is half mental.
 
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Deleted member 776614

Guest
I've been using lighter rackets for doubles. They're faster at the net and easier to tame pace when inside the service line. I get a little to army/handsy with lighter rackets from the baseline so I've been preferring a heavier racket for singles.
 

WYK

Hall of Fame
I use the same stick for doubles now as well as singles.
I use a different stick when I play clay vs grass, though.
98 control-type stick for grass with 1.30 mains.
100 inch extended Prince for clay with 1.20 mains.
I play mainly on grass(95%), so don't have to often switch. But since I had used a 100 inch extended racquet for years previously, it is an easy adjustment.
It just gives me more spin and power for hitting behind the baseline VS at or in front of it.

 
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esm

Hall of Fame
not for me (as much as i can help it anyways..)
i always try to find a "balance" for whichever racquet i am "committed to at the time" for both singles and doubles.
so i carry two of the same racquets in my bag nowadays anyway.
 

ZZdark

New User
If you're serious about getting better I warm up the first 15 mins (serves, mini tennis, ground strokes, light volleys) with a prostaff 85 then switch to my 2021 VCORE 98 leaded up to just over 12 ozs.

I find myself hitting the ball much more accurately through the sweet spot and dial in my groundstrokes. Sometimes you get so used to your main racket that you take the extra head size for granted when really it's hitting the ball consistently in the sweetspot that matters.


Trust me warm up with a smaller head size and switch to your main. Works wonders for me and removed all my bad habits.
 

socallefty

Legend
Curious if there are any 4.5+ players who use different racquets for singles and doubles. I haven’t met any in real life, but maybe they exist on this racquet forum. There are only a small minority of players at advanced levels who play both singles and doubles regularly anyway.
 

J D

Rookie
I actually know a lot of aging 4.5+'s who play both singles and doubles. Guess we run in different type tennis crowds.

I was stuck using 2 different frames for a little while. I had a frame that served and volleyed great but lacked the control I wanted on groundstrokes, so I used it for doubles and found another frame for singles. I didn't enjoy the experience.

Even though I understand the reasoning, I really don't recommend using two different sticks. I eventually settled on a different frame that I use for both. Practicing and playing full-time with the same racquet has really helped me maximize my game.

Though my current frame still doesn't volley as well as my former doubles one, the consistency in the rest of my game more than makes up for it in doubles and there's no comparison in singles.
 
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