My new main stick - the PS85

frinton

Professional
I have been mainly playing with different iterations of the PS Tour 90 since 2011, which was pretty much also when I was infected with TRV (Tennis Racket Virus). Now, about 300 rackets later I have been using one of my PS85 re-issues a bit more often in the first few months of the year for fun and actually had so much fun, that I decided I should go all in and use the PS85 as my main stick this season.

Last Saturday was my first official league match of the season. I used a freshly strung SV and it felt a bit stiff (well I felt a bit stiff too... the entire match), but that might have been the strings being a bit harder than usual. I played an ok match, but with too many unforced errors and double faults and I couldn't get any volleys in. In the end the lack of consistency killed me. The match could have gone either way, but I lost the the tiebreaker in the 3rd set. Overall I was not too unhappy with my game, though I should have won the match. I feel that this had more to do with my head than with the racket. So I think I will continue to play with the the PS85 and we shall how it goes.

The doubles match that followed was an uphill battle... I played with the PS85 re-issue (and for a bit with another version, I think late China or Taiwan), also freshly strung. It felt a bit less solid compared to the SV, but not as hard (again I think the string tension on the SV was too high probably). We should have one the 2nd set, but we gave it a way... my partner and I both had good phases, but only together in the same stage of the match unfortunately.

Overall I played ok, not great. But I managed to play a long singles (over 2.5 hours) and a doubles and did not feel too tired after... so no problem playing longer with the PS85.

I will report back with my next match reports, if anybody is actually interested... so if you are, like the thread so I know if I should continue or not.
 

Manu Anand

New User
I share your observations
PS85 re-issue is much easier to play than the earlier generations. Specific improvements in serve and groundstrokes in my case. My gut feel is that the reissue ones are more headlight.
 

onehandbh

Legend
I used the PS85 for over 10 years but have but switched away a few years ago.

Might give it a try this week when I play.
 

frinton

Professional
Today was my second league match, but in a different league. I played a relatively solid match again, but the double faults... not pretty. My ball toss and the rhythm are simply not there at times. That needs practice. Unfortunately the result was similarly unsatisfying like a week earlier. I played the first part of my singles with the SV and it felt a lot better compared to last week. I think the strings loosened up a bit and it was warmer. Unfortunately I killed the strings with a terrible miss-hit and had to continue with another racket - I went for the late China or Taiwan version. Highlights of the day: Backhand slice worked very well: aggressive, deep, staying low... Backhand topspin also worked quite well. Forehand slice and drop-shots.

So all in all, after having played 2 singles and 2 doubles and 0 wins to my name, I think the racket choice is right. Today's level of play was better than last week, but still to many weak moments. I need to pull my head together and start winning some big points, if I want to improve my win/loss ratio. And need to put in some server practice as well, to find the rhythm.
 

frinton

Professional
Just curious the ntrp level you are playing
I have no clue as I play in Switzerland where we have a different ranking system. My current ranking is R6. I dropped 1 ranking from R5 which I was over the past 5 years or more. Mainly because I played less official matches last year compared to previous years.
Both matches of his year I have lost to R5 players. So that would be in my "league". And I am 42 years old.
 

frinton

Professional
Just curious the ntrp level you are playing
I have no clue as I play in Switzerland where we have a different ranking system. My current ranking is R6. I dropped 1 ranking from R5 which I was over the past 5 years or more. Mainly because I played less official matches last year compared to previous years.
Both matches of his year I have lost to R5 players. So that would be in my "league". And I am 42 years old, playing tennis since my early teens.

Edit: found a conversion chart that says that R5 corresponds to 2.5, R6 to 2.0. I also found the following link with a skill description http://hubpages.com/sports/USTA-NTRP-Explained
Based on that I would self-assess my skills somewhere between 4 and 5, certainly not a 2.

Has anybody any experience comparing Swiss vs. NTRP ranking?
 
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DUROC

Professional
I have no clue as I play in Switzerland where we have a different ranking system. My current ranking is R6. I dropped 1 ranking from R5 which I was over the past 5 years or more. Mainly because I played less official matches last year compared to previous years.
Both matches of his year I have lost to R5 players. So that would be in my "league". And I am 42 years old, playing tennis since my early teens.

Edit: found a conversion chart that says that R5 corresponds to 2.5, R6 to 2.0. I also found the following link with a skill description http://hubpages.com/sports/USTA-NTRP-Explained
Based on that I would self-assess my skills somewhere between 4 and 5, certainly not a 2.

Has anybody any experience comparing Swiss vs. NTRP ranking?
Yes R6 is pretty low..........I'm -4/6 in France and play open in the USA (above 5.0) and most of the folks I play with from Switerland are all ranked N4 and N3...........there is some room in the levels but at its highest an R6 can match up with a 3.0
 

yonexRx32

Semi-Pro
I have no clue as I play in Switzerland where we have a different ranking system. My current ranking is R6. I dropped 1 ranking from R5 which I was over the past 5 years or more. Mainly because I played less official matches last year compared to previous years.
Both matches of his year I have lost to R5 players. So that would be in my "league". And I am 42 years old.
Switch to a Max 200G 84 sq in and your ranking will jump at least two levels :).. Seriously now, I used to play with the PS85. About five years ago I discovered the Max 200g and the PS85 seemed like a total joke.. The PS85 is to the Max 200g what a toyota is to a bentley.
 

MT Dunlop

New User
Switch to a Max 200G 84 sq in and your ranking will jump at least two levels :).. Seriously now, I used to play with the PS85. About five years ago I discovered the Max 200g and the PS85 seemed like a total joke.. The PS85 is to the Max 200g what a toyota is to a bentley.
I understand you so well. I switched myself from Dunlop biomimetic F100 back to a Dunlop Max 200g and I was surprised what a differense it made in my performance. I have so much more plow through in my groundstrokes and its so much easier to get variety in the powerlevel because of the excellent feel that the max 200g offers. I never switch back to a modern racquet, they are not like the IMF frames.
 

frinton

Professional
Switch to a Max 200G 84 sq in and your ranking will jump at least two levels :).. Seriously now, I used to play with the PS85. About five years ago I discovered the Max 200g and the PS85 seemed like a total joke.. The PS85 is to the Max 200g what a toyota is to a bentley.
What a funny coincidence :) ...I was inspired by an old thread I started reading (again) and put a Max 200g (with some old strings that were in it when I bought it) in my bag. At the end of a 2 hours practice I pulled it out and played with it for a while... yep, definitely a very cool stick :) I will get one strung up with my regular strings and maybe I'll try it in match play at some point.

I understand you so well. I switched myself from Dunlop biomimetic F100 back to a Dunlop Max 200g and I was surprised what a differense it made in my performance. I have so much more plow through in my groundstrokes and its so much easier to get variety in the powerlevel because of the excellent feel that the max 200g offers. I never switch back to a modern racquet, they are not like the IMF frames.
Hmmmm, not too sure really... I played again a bit later in the day and was mainly playing with the PS85, but once in a while switched to the Max... played with both quite well. My feeling is, that the Max is a bit harder to swing (or maybe I was just a bit late?). Also I can feel my arm a bit...
 

frinton

Professional
Yes R6 is pretty low..........I'm -4/6 in France and play open in the USA (above 5.0) and most of the folks I play with from Switerland are all ranked N4 and N3...........there is some room in the levels but at its highest an R6 can match up with a 3.0
Thanks for this. Interesting. If you're profile is accurate, you're female? May I ask your age anyway? And the N3/N4 players you play in Switzerland - which gender? In Switzerland there is quite a bit of a gap between girls and boys and also depending on age groups.
 

yonexRx32

Semi-Pro
. I played again a bit later in the day and was mainly playing with the PS85, but once in a while switched to the Max... played with both quite well. My feeling is, that the Max is a bit harder to swing (or maybe I was just a bit late?). Also I can feel my arm a bit...
That's not how I would switch to a new racket.. First,you make sure the strings are playable or you string it with your favorite string at the tension you prefer, but not more than 55lbs (You can go a bit higher, but these frames have been known to warp at high tensions). Second, you take the racket to a wall and get used to swinging it and timing the ball. Third, you get a friend who can consistently rally and go gently.. You don't just jump into a match with a frame that's 365g and that you are not confident you can swing. Your arm pain is either from muscular fatigue or from being late on shots, or from the other racket you were using. The Max 200g has a 22mm frame. That's more than the 18mm of the PS85, it also has a 7p HL balance and the racket will swing a bit slower than the 10pt HL HS85.. There's no softer/more comfortable racket than the 200g (other than the 200g Pro). If it hurts your arm, any racket will.
 
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MT Dunlop

New User
What a funny coincidence :) ...I was inspired by an old thread I started reading (again) and put a Max 200g (with some old strings that were in it when I bought it) in my bag. At the end of a 2 hours practice I pulled it out and played with it for a while... yep, definitely a very cool stick :) I will get one strung up with my regular strings and maybe I'll try it in match play at some point.


Hmmmm, not too sure really... I played again a bit later in the day and was mainly playing with the PS85, but once in a while switched to the Max... played with both quite well. My feeling is, that the Max is a bit harder to swing (or maybe I was just a bit late?). Also I can feel my arm a bit...
I play the Max 200g and I directly feel when I have a lazy day and I am a little bit late att balls. You need really to be fast enought with your feet to manage to swing the racquet properbly in time otherwise it will be uncomfortable misshits (and this hurt your arm surely if you misshit with 365g )
It s really a difference to switch from a 18mm beam to a 22mm beam. I play sometimes with my modern Dunlop F100 with a 19mm beam and I feel the differnce. On the other side you can't find a softer racquet than the Max 200g for sure.
 

frinton

Professional
Hey @yonexRx32 and @MT Dunlop, thanks for your concern and tips.
As my thread title suggests, I decided to play the PS85 this season as my main stick. I just pulled out the Max yesterday to have a bit of fun and see how it goes!
And regarding my arm, yes: muscle fatigue! I practiced well over 2 hours with a guy much stronger than me in the morning and about 1 1/2 hours in the afternoon, played maybe a total of 1 hour or less with the Max. Since unfortunately I do not get to play often for nor than 2 hours in a day, a bit of muscle fatigue seems to be reasonable to me.
And I totally agree with the below:
...You need really to be fast enought with your feet to manage to swing the racquet properbly in time otherwise it will be uncomfortable misshits (and this hurt your arm surely if you misshit with 365g )
On a fast ball I was sometimes a bit late, due to lazy feet and/or just not bring used to the stick and therefore miss timing a bit.
But overall: really great fun to hit with the Max :)
 

BreakPoint

Bionic Poster
I share your observations
PS85 re-issue is much easier to play than the earlier generations. Specific improvements in serve and groundstrokes in my case. My gut feel is that the reissue ones are more headlight.
I agree. The re-issue PS 6.0 85 swings a bit easier and feels a bit more flexible. I prefer it over the previous versions. :)
 

v-verb

Hall of Fame
I'm a StV guy. Tried the other versions and not my cuppa tea - nice they are but if I have a choice...
 
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mhkeuns

Hall of Fame
Me, too. I am a St. Vincent guy, too. Actually, I can't tell the difference between the Chicago and St. Vincent ones..., but I can definitely tell the other ones apart. Not saying other models are bad. I just prefer the feel of the Chicago/St. Vincent models.
 

v-verb

Hall of Fame
Me, too. I am a St. Vincent guy, too. Actually, I can't tell the difference between the Chicago and St. Vincent ones..., but I can definitely tell the other ones apart. Not saying other models are bad. I just prefer the feel of the Chicago/St. Vincent models.
Actually I agree. The Chicago and StV's feel the same to me too
 

BreakPoint

Bionic Poster
Me, too. I am a St. Vincent guy, too. Actually, I can't tell the difference between the Chicago and St. Vincent ones..., but I can definitely tell the other ones apart. Not saying other models are bad. I just prefer the feel of the Chicago/St. Vincent models.
Actually I agree. The Chicago and StV's feel the same to me too
I'm actually not sure if I've ever hit with a St. Vincent, but I used to own a Chicago version, so if you guys say they both feel the same then I guess I've essentially hit with a St. Vincent, too. ;)
 

mhkeuns

Hall of Fame
I'm actually not sure if I've ever hit with a St. Vincent, but I used to own a Chicago version, so if you guys say they both feel the same then I guess I've essentially hit with a St. Vincent, too. ;)
Yeah. My very first Pro Staff Midsize was from Chicago, and I still have two left. I have two of the St. Vincent's left, as well. They all felt exactly the same. I believe Chris Evert and Stefan Edberg started off with the Chicago version and moved onto using the St. Vincent ones. I didn't like the Taiwan version as much because the feel was really different, though it played nicely.
 

BreakPoint

Bionic Poster
Yeah. My very first Pro Staff Midsize was from Chicago, and I still have two left. I have two of the St. Vincent's left, as well. They all felt exactly the same. I believe Chris Evert and Stefan Edberg started off with the Chicago version and moved onto using the St. Vincent ones. I didn't like the Taiwan version as much because the feel was really different, though it played nicely.
Might be because the early Taiwan version used a uni-directional layup instead of the braided layup that the St. Vincent and Chicago versions used.

"After the St. Vincent factory closed, Wilson tried to make the rackets in Taiwan using an all uni-directional layup. However, the racquets didn't have the same feel as braided construction and they are now producing frames with braided product. According to Bill Severa, Senior Designer with Wilson Racquet Sports, "the uni-directional graphite ProStaffs were a stopgap measure. Within 4 months of the St. Vincent factory closing, we went through 12 - 15 iterations of braided construction. Shortly thereafter, we were up and running with braided construction ProStaffs from Taiwan."

http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Reviews/W6085/ProstaffOrigins.html
 

frinton

Professional
Reporting back from my 3rd league match, that went a bit better than the previous 2 singles and doubles. Was playing against a higher (to high) ranked player (but had already a feeling, that I should be stronger during warm-up) and I played quite well, I think. Not so my opponent. He got more and more annoyed by me hitting the lines time and again. My serve was a lot better compared to previous matches and pretty much all my strokes went as I wanted. The result was, that the first game I lost last night was the 5th game of the doubles match that followed the singles. I played the Taiwan/early Chinese (not sure what it actually is) model and it felt "home". Next match, tomorrow night.
With regards to the discussion about preferences for the different versions; I find that interesting. Myself, I still don't really know, which version I prefer... maybe I'll find out over the summer :)
 

frinton

Professional
Had another march on Friday evening against a similar ranked player, which I won 6:3 6:0. It was a solid match, except for a few games in the first set, that didn't go according to plan. The racket felt good. The follwoing mixed doubles I played with the Max 200g though...good fun too.
Today another match (played with the TW re-issue), that went well, until my thigh started to hurt (I had a bit of pain on and off there for a while). from 3:1 up I lost the set 4:6, also because my oponent had his best phase of the match and I didnt. I started to play better in the 2nd set and won 6:0 and went 1:0 in the 3rd with a nice forehand dropshot and the match was over with a muscle tear on my oponents side. I really felt bad, 'cause the guy was very friendly and fair and I was interested to see, if I would have managed to "keep it together" and win the match. I skipped the doubles and played a practice match with our team no. 1 player (much higher ranked) which I lost 4:6 due to a very sloppy service game at 4:4. But I was quite happy with my game.
 
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millicurie999

Semi-Pro
Yes R6 is pretty low..........I'm -4/6 in France and play open in the USA (above 5.0) and most of the folks I play with from Switerland are all ranked N4 and N3...........there is some room in the levels but at its highest an R6 can match up with a 3.0
If the conversion is true, then I don't think the PS 85 is helping the OP (2.5-3.0) win matches. Of course, if you enjoy hitting with it, who cares.
 

frinton

Professional
If the conversion is true, then I don't think the PS 85 is helping the OP (2.5-3.0) win matches. Of course, if you enjoy hitting with it, who cares.
I do enjoy hitting with the PS85 and I do not really give a "x$y?z!" :)
For info: I used to play with a Ozon Pro Tour MP before switching to the BLX 6.1 Tour 90, which I did after having hit with a test racket my friend had brought along and thinking: wow, that's nice! This is also when I started to go racket-crazy! I feel my tennis has improved since I started using the 90. I have maintained my R5 ranking for many years until the drop after last year.

I am not very confident the ranking conversion is true. 4.0 is supposedly the bell curve in the states. I think R6 is the bell curve in Switzerland (will have to check on that) and only based on that I am doubtful. But I would really be interested to learn more about that. Maybe I should start a discussion on that topic?


"Why should I be unpleasant when I can just as well be nice?"
 

Eric L

Rookie
I understand you so well. I switched myself from Dunlop biomimetic F100 back to a Dunlop Max 200g and I was surprised what a differense it made in my performance. I have so much more plow through in my groundstrokes and its so much easier to get variety in the powerlevel because of the excellent feel that the max 200g offers. I never switch back to a modern racquet, they are not like the IMF frames.
Interesting. My main racket was the 400i for many years and now started to dabble with more modern 95sq inch rackets. Bought a Dunlop Bio200 and the Bio200 Tour and just can't get into a groove playing with them.I realize that I will have to change my mechanics a bit to fit these newer rackets but at some point if you have to change your game too much, it's not worth changing rackets. My biggest problems are:
1) not enough plow through to volley and block hard shots
2) not the same buttery feel on touch shots
3) not used to handling the bigger head. It just "feels" more cumbersome holding.
4) Not enough flex so for me can't swing out or the ball sails long. The very low flex of the IMF rackets allows my to swing away.
 
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frinton

Professional
Another league match yesterday. My opponent had the same ranking as me and I won comfortably 6:3 6:0 in the end, but that's as far as the good news goes. I played awfully bad tennis the entire match, I was nervous without much reason from beginning to end, moved horribly around the court and was late for any shot. Well, nothing of the above would have anything to do with the PS85, but rather with a night out on Thursday and not enough sleep 2 nights in a row!


"Why should I be unpleasant when I can just as well be nice?"
 

onehandbh

Legend
Just used my Pete Sampras Autograph PS85 last week. The frame is slightly different but close to the PS85.

Was great for serves but took some adjustments for groundstrokes. Could have been the loose poly/synthgut hybrid vs my usual fully cyclone poly setup.

For some reason, I really like serving with PS85 racquets.
 

frinton

Professional
Just used my Pete Sampras Autograph PS85 last week. The frame is slightly different but close to the PS85.

Was great for serves but took some adjustments for groundstrokes. Could have been the loose poly/synthgut hybrid vs my usual fully cyclone poly setup.

For some reason, I really like serving with PS85 racquets.
I agree. I love serving with the PS85. I feel I can create a better slice serve on the deuce-side than with other rackets. Sometimes, when I do not manage to place it well with enough pace and slice I get crushed by a booming forehand return. But, when the serve hit's home, it makes for a very sweet ace :).
 

AlexR

Rookie
I just started playing with an early China (the version before they put 6.0 after Pro Staff on the throat) and I love this thing. in addition to the usual praise I found it great for defensive shots like when your only chance is to reach out and hit a flick-of-the-wrist slice and then sprint back into position. The weight of the racquet absorbs pace and keeps the racquet stable while the flick is also controllable due to the balance. I have mine stock, no lead tape, just an overgrip and whatever strings the previous owner had in it. Don't think ill be adding any weight.
 
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