Has Spin Obsession Caused Tennis to Regress???

#51
Here's my review after my small experiment. For the first 30 or so minutes of hitting, it was pretty nice. Just rallying, I definitely felt in control of the ball and could easily win groundstroke points. Serving was a lot worse and showed a theme that remained present throughout the test. Syngut makes tennis more 2 dimensional. It is easier to control depth and width, but height control is difficult. This means I have 1 less dimension to exploit to move the ball out of my opponents strike zone. This brings me to my thoughts on launch angle in respect to professional tennis.

The camera angle hides the geometry of ball height, so when watching, we lose our respect for this dimension of tennis. So watching tennis on TV shows 33% less variety, making is 33% less interesting.

I was pleasantly surprised with the performance of my strings, but low launch angles are not a great fit for my game. I can see how they would greatly benefit a flat hitting, like Medvedev or Berdych, but not someone like Zverev or Shapo who hit with more shape.
 
#53
Here's my review after my small experiment. For the first 30 or so minutes of hitting, it was pretty nice. Just rallying, I definitely felt in control of the ball and could easily win groundstroke points. Serving was a lot worse and showed a theme that remained present throughout the test. Syngut makes tennis more 2 dimensional. It is easier to control depth and width, but height control is difficult. This means I have 1 less dimension to exploit to move the ball out of my opponents strike zone. This brings me to my thoughts on launch angle in respect to professional tennis.

The camera angle hides the geometry of ball height, so when watching, we lose our respect for this dimension of tennis. So watching tennis on TV shows 33% less variety, making is 33% less interesting.

I was pleasantly surprised with the performance of my strings, but low launch angles are not a great fit for my game. I can see how they would greatly benefit a flat hitting, like Medvedev or Berdych, but not someone like Zverev or Shapo who hit with more shape.
I'm the exact opposite, I can hold serve easier using full natural gut versus gut/poly, but prefer Gut/Poly for groundstrokes as it easily allows you to generate RPM's I don't really need high launch angle on serves as it makes my 1st serve inconsistent

But if im just rallying around Gut/Poly is a fun hit, but once i start playing I like full gut for the consistent response.

I'd much rather use gut/poly as its easier on my pockets but my results speak for themselves.
 
#54
I got a chance to test out my tightly strung poly/syn gut hybrid today.

First 20-30 minutes, while the nylon was still slick, I didn’t like it much. After first half of warm-up, I switched to my longer Juice Pro strung with full syn gut. Started the match and was not going very well. I lost first 2 games. The strings were not the problem though. I was playing at a private club on the teaching court and the red clay was in absolutely terrible condition, so that every bounce was unpredictable. The pro I was hitting against was more used to it than me.

After first 2 games I switched to the Volkl with the poly/nylon hybrid. I continued to hemorrhage games and lost first set 6-1.

Then at start of second set, I started to feel more control. I think, in retrospect, that probably was about the time the nylon started to get stickier, giving me more control of launch angle. Spin was still pretty good. I could bend my serve how I wanted. I played much better after that.

I’m thinking that this poly/syn gut hybrid might work out for me, hopefully it ages well.
 
#55
Has Spin Obsession Caused Tennis to Regress???
Yes, but it is now getting better. Like many things, when it came upon the scene, everyone became enamored with it. Since Nadal had a lot of spin, people concluded that spin was a shortcut to winning (rather than relying on talent and hard work). Coaches started teaching beginners topspin strokes and western grips the first day. Rec players boasted about how high they could get the ball to bounce. Pros became less aggressive and played safer shots with more spin (which were also easier to return), turning pro tennis into a boring grind-fest.
The cycle is now turning, and players are starting to attack more, have more varied games, and even rec players are working on hitting flat forehands sometimes.
 
#56
Regarding amateurs, the vast majority don’t have the RHS to benefit from poly strings. So it makes sense that you play better with other string set ups.

Regarding the effect of poly on the pro game, I think you’re way off base. Poly gives them more control, not less. Back in the day when everyone played with gut, they couldn’t swing out if they weren’t in the perfect position with perfect balance.

Now it’s much easier to rip returns, passing shots, and winners from less than ideal positions. Couple that with slowed down surfaces and homogenization, and the tennis of the 80s and 90s you long for disappears.

Any pro using a non poly set up would be seriously handicapping themselves.
 
#57
Regarding amateurs, the vast majority don’t have the RHS to benefit from poly strings. So it makes sense that you play better with other string set ups.

Regarding the effect of poly on the pro game, I think you’re way off base. Poly gives them more control, not less. Back in the day when everyone played with gut, they couldn’t swing out if they weren’t in the perfect position with perfect balance.

Now it’s much easier to rip returns, passing shots, and winners from less than ideal positions. Couple that with slowed down surfaces and homogenization, and the tennis of the 80s and 90s you long for disappears.

Any pro using a non poly set up would be seriously handicapping themselves.
I think it depends on the player.

Serena, Venus, Clijsters, Henin, etc...had no trouble winning slams with full natural gut until about 2012 even when poly was already on the scene. They all have different gamestyles too, Henin won all those french opens with natural gut at the same time Nadal was winning his with RPM Blast. Those players did not hold back on groundstrokes. Now on the ATP poly took over sooner maybe around 2003-2004. I think Sampras could've still competed with full gut, but he probably needed to switch to a 90-95 sq inch head size but by that time he was old and tired of tennis. Some ATP players competed with full gut and did fine. Haas, Lubijcic, Grosjean, etc...

I don't think poly automatically makes someone a better player, just depends on how you win points. Now obviously if you give Nadal a full natural gut set-up he would probably play horrible, but Agassi would fare quite fine.

Sampras had the highest RPM's on his second serve with natty gut.
 
#58
Regarding amateurs, the vast majority don’t have the RHS to benefit from poly strings. So it makes sense that you play better with other string set ups.

Regarding the effect of poly on the pro game, I think you’re way off base. Poly gives them more control, not less. Back in the day when everyone played with gut, they couldn’t swing out if they weren’t in the perfect position with perfect balance.

Now it’s much easier to rip returns, passing shots, and winners from less than ideal positions. Couple that with slowed down surfaces and homogenization, and the tennis of the 80s and 90s you long for disappears.

Any pro using a non poly set up would be seriously handicapping themselves.
If pros today have more control, why do they suck compared to pros from 15 years ago?
 
#61
If spin was the most important thing, Stosur would be #1 on the WTA and beat players who used full natty gut set-ups easily. She hits the most RPM's on her shots, but would you say she has more control than Clijsters?


During this match I remember watching it live, EPSN showed a graphic where Serena's serve actually hit had more spin on her second serve than Stosur and it kicked higher too. Serena used full natural gut in 2011.

Now Stosur has definitely beaten Serena and given her problems, but spin isn't everything. Important but not a sole factor of success
 
#63
Here is also an example of a full natty gut vs RPM Blast at the French.


Stosur ended up winning this match, but Henin choked big time and was competitive. That being said Stosur was an aboslute nightmare to deal with on clay due to her spin, but she was pretty worthless on other surfaces being her only weapon was extreme topspin
 
#65
Now obviously if you give Nadal a full natural gut set-up he would probably play horrible, but Agassi would fare quite fine.
since were talkin unquantifiable opinions, nadal in his prime w full poly would whip agassi in his prime w pro blend. agassi even stated that poly is more or less cheating.

of course none of that has anything to do w rec players, who still can benefit from poly. eek! sacrilege!
 
#66
i think the vast majority of people dont understand that there are tradeoffs between poly and gut...gut provides more power while poly provides more spin/control but gut strung tighter can have just as much if not more control than poly strung looser so it all just depends...that being said, players like thiem/shapovalov/nadal use poly because it suits their game better but it doesn’t necessarily make the strings better...just better for them


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#68
i think the vast majority of people dont understand that there are tradeoffs between poly and gut...gut provides more power while poly provides more spin/control but gut strung tighter can have just as much if not more control than poly strung looser so it all just depends...that being said, players like thiem/shapovalov/nadal use poly because it suits their game better but it doesn’t necessarily make the strings better...just better for them


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Agree! depends on the player
 
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