Juggling wood and metal

Discussion in 'Classic Racquet Talk' started by gpt, May 22, 2009.

  1. gpt

    gpt Professional

    Mar 4, 2009
    This is the age of precision matching of frame weight, balance, grip, swing weight, tension and blah blah blah.

    In the 70's it was common for players to alternate between totally different racquets from one week to the next. For instance, Newcombe played with an all metal Rawlings Tie Breaker in the US and won at Forest Hills in 73 , yet when he played in Australia or the UK the same year he used Slazenger woodies winning the AO in Jan 75. Rosewall, Laver, Roche and others had similar contactual obligations meaning they had to alternate between wood and metal.

    BJK made the Wimbledon final with a T2000 in 69 and subsequently went back to Bancroft woodies in the years that followed.

    Hitting with a T2000 compared to a Dunlop Maxply is a completely different experience. I cant imagine a modern day pro being able to successfully switch between two such different sticks. Is that because the game is more professional now or because the modern day player relies on equipment much more now that in the past? Or some other reason?
  2. joe sch

    joe sch Legend

    Feb 19, 2004
    Hotel CA
    gpt, Very good point that the old school players were able to switch between radically different frames and still play ATP level matches. This was especially true in the wood to metal transitional period as you pointed out, Newcombe switched between the beasty metal rawlings tiebreaker metal and his woody slaz ch#1. Laver also switched between his metal chemold and then back to his wood dunlop maxply's since the metal gave him tennis elbow. Bobby Riggs could beat very good players with wooden 2"4"'s :)

    I think a big part of the reason is the classic games mechanics, closed stances, move level swings, eastern grips are all more tolerant to racket variances.


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