Nadal has new racquet?

And his hitting partner Adil who trains at Rafa's place posted from court side that they are Head prototypes.........
I am pretty sure that HEAD has a lot of different prototypes that aren't available to the public, like Wilson has when Roger Federer wanted a new racquet. And those prototypes can be easily totally different from the retail or even the PT's, TGK's or TGT's racquets.
 

Lavs

Professional
I am pretty sure that HEAD has a lot of different prototypes that aren't available to the public, like Wilson has when Roger Federer wanted a new racquet. And those prototypes can be easily totally different from the retail or even the PT's, TGK's or TGT's racquets.
Why Babolat could not do like that? Does it require a lots of investment? Even then I think Babolat could afford it
 

Zodd

Hall of Fame
OK, I have some news. This new racquet that Head is developing has been tested by quite a few players already, not just Rafa. Apparently Tsonga and Thiem has also tried it and really like it. Would be a huge shock to Babolat to lose Thiem too as they made the whole Strike line for him.
Cool if true - this from a reliable source?
 
OK, I have some news. This new racquet that Head is developing has been tested by quite a few players already, not just Rafa. Apparently Tsonga and Thiem has also tried it and really like it. Would be a huge shock to Babolat to lose Thiem too as they made the whole Strike line for him.
Are you serious?
Would they design a new line of racquets?
 

every7

Hall of Fame
Does that really matters?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Nadal's gear doesn't matter as much as it used to, but there is still much at stake. His clothing affecting his performance is a factor, along with millions of dollars in sports marketing and equipment revenue. Also from a fans standpoint it means a lot that your favourite player looks great on court.
 
OK, I have some news. This new racquet that Head is developing has been tested by quite a few players already, not just Rafa. Apparently Tsonga and Thiem has also tried it and really like it. Would be a huge shock to Babolat to lose Thiem too as they made the whole Strike line for him.
Strike was designed for Tsonga but then offloaded onto Thiem

The 2 larger shoulder areas on this prototype would create stability somehow with weight?
could be marketed as bullhorn stability or BS :)

Seriously though I still feel Nad should play with something heavier & lower RA eg. minimum 364gsm and 58RA
This would allow him more time & manipulation on the ball with control, taking balls on the rise with confidence
 
Seriously though I still feel Nad should play with something heavier & lower RA eg. minimum 364gsm and 58RA
Nadal's stroke technique on his forehand probably places a limit on how heavy his racquet can be.

He completes his forehand with a buggy whip motion over his head rather than the more traditional "over the shoulder" finish. The buggy whip requires additional energy and is more tiring. Performing it with a heavier racquet increases the fatigue level esp. for someone who relys so much on their forehand like Rafa does.

Moving to a softer racquet compounds the challenge because Rafa relys on high racquet head speed to generate his heavy ball. A softer racquet will neutralise the rebound effect to some extent. So imo lower rhs with less rebound effect will not help Rafa.
 

anubis

Hall of Fame
It's only stiff once it no longer becomes fresh, which is irrelevant to Rafa since he's given as many reels as he needs to. However, the 15G RPM that he uses (I believe), should feel a little more dead.
According to TWU the stiffness of RPM blast 16 is 232. that's pretty darned stiff.
 
According to TWU the stiffness of RPM blast 16 is 232. that's pretty darned stiff.
I guess you can't argue against hard facts.

However, my experience has been that it's a pretty soft string when fresh. When old though, that's another story...like playing tennis with a wooden board.
 
Nadal's stroke technique on his forehand probably places a limit on how heavy his racquet can be.

He completes his forehand with a buggy whip motion over his head rather than the more traditional "over the shoulder" finish. The buggy whip requires additional energy and is more tiring. Performing it with a heavier racquet increases the fatigue level esp. for someone who relys so much on their forehand like Rafa does.

Moving to a softer racquet compounds the challenge because Rafa relys on high racquet head speed to generate his heavy ball. A softer racquet will neutralise the rebound effect to some extent. So imo lower rhs with less rebound effect will not help Rafa.
The helicopter/buggywhip technique he was know for he only used going crosscourt not inside out, straight down the middle or DTL and what we know about Rafa is that he often works on adjusting his technique over the years to increase his offensive play. He comes across his torso more like Federer these days or just below his shoulder line. Just watch the vid and see the difference. Also the heavier racquet does not tax a player of this caliber no matter he is 24 or 35 for Federer uses are more difficult grip that requires enormous wrist strength and strength wise he is similar to Rafa. Nishikori the glass chopstick swings 348gsm + 6-8gram overgrip and has halve the physicality of an older Rafa yet gets crazy racquet head speed.

Rafa FH latest
 
The helicopter/buggywhip technique he was know for he only used going crosscourt not inside out, straight down the middle or DTL and what we know about Rafa is that he often works on adjusting his technique over the years to increase his offensive play. He comes across his torso more like Federer these days or just below his shoulder line. Just watch the vid and see the difference. Also the heavier racquet does not tax a player of this caliber no matter he is 24 or 35 for Federer uses are more difficult grip that requires enormous wrist strength and strength wise he is similar to Rafa. Nishikori the glass chopstick swings 348gsm + 6-8gram overgrip and has halve the physicality of an older Rafa yet gets crazy racquet head speed.
I would direct you to the highlights of his matches at the Shanghai Masters 2016 which was the last ATP tournament he competed in.


Rafa continues to use the buggy whip technique on many of his FH shots regardless of where he is aiming them in the court.

If you're saying that playing with heavier racquet is no more taxing on a player than playing with a lighter one, especially one that the player has used for many years, well perhaps we can agree to disagree. (Also, there is no point comparing players in this regard because every player is physically different. )

In any case, there is no doubt that equipment can enhance or detract an elite level player's performance. It will be interesting to see what changes Rafa does make, if any. And if he does make changes, it will be interesting to see what impact it has on his performance.
 
I would direct you to the highlights of his matches at the Shanghai Masters 2016 which was the last ATP tournament he competed in.


Rafa continues to use the buggy whip technique on many of his FH shots regardless of where he is aiming them in the court.

If you're saying that playing with heavier racquet is no more taxing on a player than playing with a lighter one, especially one that the player has used for many years, well perhaps we can agree to disagree. (Also, there is no point comparing players in this regard because every player is physically different. )

In any case, there is no doubt that equipment can enhance or detract an elite level player's performance. It will be interesting to see what changes Rafa does make, if any. And if he does make changes, it will be interesting to see what impact it has on his performance.
Nadal in defensive mode like against Troicki where he was pushed back from the first ball he definitely uses the heli style (bw)
and loses as he has of late against aggressors.
In this recent vid practicing with head like racquet you can see he only goes for the BW on a low short ball otherwise across the torso every time.
When Rafa is confident he employs the Fed style follow through but reverts back to heli BW when hard pressed eg. Shaghai.
You can see when he is confident and dominating he rarely uses the defensive over-spinning defensive BW FH.

As for heavier sticks not being taxing its all within very important dynamic limits of course. For example anything around 340-380gsm
seems to be no problems at all for a player like Nadal, Novak, Murray and Federer and Novak has alot of work on that FH with quite
amazing head speed as does Federer while Murray is more compact and efficient on that side when taking it early.

Jack Sock also with a stock 343 + 6-8gsm overgrip uses a BW FH that often lands short regardless of his heavier arm yet lets
him down in consistency which is no issue while he is younger than Nadal and bigger framed but for Nadal this style is too taxing
and also less effective vs all BHs in the game today. He clearly knows he needs more penetration and counter-punching control
and that is by compromising the no longer effective overuse of zizzling spin rpm but increase the weight of shot with accuracy.

This recent clip illustrates that Nadal often practices like a Bull with a Fed like finish as he is full of confidence, yet he changes
to using the Heli (or for USA terminology buggy whip eg. BW) only on crosscourt and late shots as opponents usually
play more offensive than he does so he weathers the storm till he can pounce. However that no longer works for him today.

Nadal when on offense has equally as devastating as Novak with flatter shots however the lack of weight
creates more issues in overall control vs that of Novak, Fed and Murray which Murray especially now
destroying Nadal on his beloved Clay with more solid on the rise offense than Nadal could handle.

There is a fine line but even myself with a similar open stance BW FH since 1977 (regardless of what my coaches tried to change me)
have no issues and find a huge advantage going from 346-376gsm for 3-4 hours matches vs 20 year younger kids.

Even one of my 55kg 182cm young charges after going from 290 to 320gsm now 356gsm and complaining initially it was too heavy
he now is a different beast with more accuracy with depth and would never go back
 
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I suppose it would be difficult for Rafa to switch to a dense string pattern raquet because hes so used to his raquets.....but who knows maybe that would be the answer for him to hit a more penetrating ball. With his technique im sure he could still hit plenty of spin when he needed it....remember what Muster could do with a dense string pattern raquet....
 
Babolat really stuffed their racquet range when they introduced Pure Aero. Pure Drive is the only racquet worth considering now.

They are trying too hard to please everyone at the moment...BRING BACK AEROPRO DRIVE!
 
Babolat really stuffed their racquet range when they introduced Pure Aero. Pure Drive is the only racquet worth considering now.

They are trying too hard to please everyone at the moment...BRING BACK AEROPRO DRIVE!
Don't get all the complaints about the Pure Aero. I love it.
 
Babolat really stuffed their racquet range when they introduced Pure Aero. Pure Drive is the only racquet worth considering now.

They are trying too hard to please everyone at the moment...BRING BACK AEROPRO DRIVE!
Have you tried the Pure Aero VS or the Pure Aero VS Tour?

Looking at the specs of those, it may provide the best of the APD and the PA in one package.

I do agree with you though, the APD, esp. the 2013 APD when customised with a bit of extra weight in the handle was a superb racquet for particular playing styles.
 
Have you tried the Pure Aero VS or the Pure Aero VS Tour?

Looking at the specs of those, it may provide the best of the APD and the PA in one package.

I do agree with you though, the APD, esp. the 2013 APD when customised with a bit of extra weight in the handle was a superb racquet for particular playing styles.
It's the old aerostorm... nothing pure aero apd about it.

Totally dead feel.
 

every7

Hall of Fame
Nadal's forehand when he's training is dramatically different from the forehand he uses when he plays in a real match. 80% of the shots on the forehand side have a regular follow-through when he trains, and for 20% of them he uses the buggy whip follow-through. When he plays a real match those percentages are inverted.
Absolutely spot-on. Was about to type the same thing. Even his demeanour and point construction when playing sets changes when he's in practice.
 
Nadal is not going to switch to head branding ever. Babalot has a life long contract with Nadal. There are 2 reasons why Nadal could be hitting with a head racket. 1 Head may becoming out with a new line of rackets and wants pro players to give them feedback. Or Nadal plays with a customized Head racket and the paint job is babalot. Nadal could be trying diffrent specs but doesn't happen to have a babalot paint job on the rackets.
 
Nadal is not going to switch to head branding ever. Babalot has a life long contract with Nadal. There are 2 reasons why Nadal could be hitting with a head racket. 1 Head may becoming out with a new line of rackets and wants pro players to give them feedback. Or Nadal plays with a customized Head racket and the paint job is babalot. Nadal could be trying diffrent specs but doesn't happen to have a babalot paint job on the rackets.
Nothing lasts forever. Sorry to tell you that, mate.
 
Nadal is not going to switch to head branding ever. Babalot has a life long contract with Nadal. There are 2 reasons why Nadal could be hitting with a head racket. 1 Head may becoming out with a new line of rackets and wants pro players to give them feedback. Or Nadal plays with a customized Head racket and the paint job is babalot. Nadal could be trying diffrent specs but doesn't happen to have a babalot paint job on the rackets.
I think it's extremely unlikely that we would have been unintentionally privy to videos of these scenarios; tennis is a multi million dollar industry and such ad hoc activities, if they were allowed to happen at all with a player of Nadal's caliber, would be totally private or very carefully orchestrated - especially on his own turf.
 
Nadal doesn't need a racquet change any more than Verdasco does. His painted APD is fine and he plays fine with it. Troicki was playing very well and could have beaten a lot of tough guys. Nadal already has lead around the hoop under the headguard so I don't think weight is an issue.

Instead, he may need a slightly different approach to his game and training. He's still young.
 
Good lord this thread is painful to read...

1) Everyone tries new things in the off-season, and typically most top players (and/or players seen as being "on the rise") will receive test packages from several manufacturers. Some take the opportunity to mess around with new gear, some don't really care. At the end of the day hitting around with a new stick, especially one that's been made up for you, is at least good for a laugh.

2) Head has been thirsty for Nadal for years. YEARS. In fact the Extreme was originally developed for Nadal but he pulled out of the deal and decided to stick with Babolat.

3) The amount of baseless speculation on what Nadal "should" be doing in regards to his equipment here is, at the very least, nothing if not entertaining.
 
Good lord this thread is painful to read...

1) Everyone tries new things in the off-season, and typically most top players (and/or players seen as being "on the rise") will receive test packages from several manufacturers. Some take the opportunity to mess around with new gear, some don't really care. At the end of the day hitting around with a new stick, especially one that's been made up for you, is at least good for a laugh.

2) Head has been thirsty for Nadal for years. YEARS. In fact the Extreme was originally developed for Nadal but he pulled out of the deal and decided to stick with Babolat.

3) The amount of baseless speculation on what Nadal "should" be doing in regards to his equipment here is, at the very least, nothing if not entertaining.
At the follow through, the buttcap is upward enough for a small metallic symbol of sorts to be present. It is most likely Head since the symbol is underneath a plastic front helping create that shimmering effect.
 
Good lord this thread is painful to read...

1) Everyone tries new things in the off-season, and typically most top players (and/or players seen as being "on the rise") will receive test packages from several manufacturers. Some take the opportunity to mess around with new gear, some don't really care. At the end of the day hitting around with a new stick, especially one that's been made up for you, is at least good for a laugh.

2) Head has been thirsty for Nadal for years. YEARS. In fact the Extreme was originally developed for Nadal but he pulled out of the deal and decided to stick with Babolat.

3) The amount of baseless speculation on what Nadal "should" be doing in regards to his equipment here is, at the very least, nothing if not entertaining.

Direct quote from Ljubicic re Head Youtek Extreme Pro:) Did HEAD involve you in the development of the frame?

The frame didn’t exist before I started playing with it, basically HEAD made the racket for me and they were very, very good with involving me in the process.I went to the HEAD factory in Austria to see how it was made and I spent 10 days there while they explained everything. It was an incredible experience.
 
Direct quote from Ljubicic re Head Youtek Extreme Pro:) Did HEAD involve you in the development of the frame?
The frame didn’t exist before I started playing with it, basically HEAD made the racket for me and they were very, very good with involving me in the process.I went to the HEAD factory in Austria to see how it was made and I spent 10 days there while they explained everything. It was an incredible experience.
An interview is worth as much as an ad.
 
Really - so at one stage Nads was dabbling with a blacked out Extreme! Keul, I did not know that; so Head really did go close to landing him - sounds a bit like Tsonga dropping the Strike ball only for Dom to pick it up and run with it. Thanks for elucidation. :)
 
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