Paralyzed by this difficult decision ‘-(‘_’)-‘

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Leaving to head to South America next week.

I’ve been playing the best tennis of my life with my UT over the last month, set up at standard length and 363sw. And down south, I’ll get a chance to test my game against better players on red clay.

So I bought another UT as a back up.
But I can’t decide how I want to set it up?
I’ve narrowed down to 3 options:

A. Exactly like my first UT for continuity of good form. this is hoping my good form against lesser players will translate well against former world class talent, but I worry that I might need to tweak something to get an edge.

B. Same but bump up sw a bit more into the 370s to go all in on my heavy racquet advantage to even the playing field from the baseline. But I’ll probably be less able to use my serve offensively if I do this.

C. Same weighting as first UT, but extend to 27.25”. Go all in on getting free points on serve to even playing field. My newfound forehand confidence might suffer, and my net attacks, return game, and touch might drop a notch. Also not sure if I’ll be able to grip racquet well enough in high heat and humidity to fully weaponize serve.
 
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3loudboys

Hall of Fame
Just my 2 cents but stick to the weight and balance that has got you playing so well. Possibly have 3 or 4 with strings at vaired tensions so that when you feel you need a bit of extra depth you could reach in the bag and go for the lower tension set up. I recently tried this sort of experimentation with my sons Clashes and his coach, former top150 advised against it. He was pretty adamant that consistency over the season with a grooved in set up was better than tinkering. Not saying this will work for all but it has helped my lad.
 

Slowtwitcher

Hall of Fame
Just my 2 cents but stick to the weight and balance that has got you playing so well. Possibly have 3 or 4 with strings at vaired tensions so that when you feel you need a bit of extra depth you could reach in the bag and go for the lower tension set up. I recently tried this sort of experimentation with my sons Clashes and his coach, former top150 advised against it. He was pretty adamant that consistency over the season with a grooved in set up was better than tinkering. Not saying this will work for all but it has helped my lad.
Reported. This way of thinking shouldn't be allowed here!
 

1990's Graphite

Hall of Fame
According to the other big holic thread altitudes, sea levels, high tides / low tides can impact your frame and make it play bigger or lesser depending on what is going on with mother nature lol
don't worry about gear checks, just weather checks :p
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Just my 2 cents but stick to the weight and balance that has got you playing so well. Possibly have 3 or 4 with strings at vaired tensions so that when you feel you need a bit of extra depth you could reach in the bag and go for the lower tension set up. I recently tried this sort of experimentation with my sons Clashes and his coach, former top150 advised against it. He was pretty adamant that consistency over the season with a grooved in set up was better than tinkering. Not saying this will work for all but it has helped my lad.
My string setup the last couple of weeks has been a surprisingly nice find for the UT:

Pro Line Evolution 17g mains and 18g Gosen OG sheep micro crosses. I strung it quick in a lurch at 52 lbs (without even bothering to prestretch,which I usually regret). But it’s been great all-around setup in wet weather with temps in the 40s.

I’ll probably need to bump up the tension quite a bit when I switch to climate where temps are usually in the 90s.
 

3loudboys

Hall of Fame
My string setup the last couple of weeks has been a surprisingly nice find for the UT:

Pro Line Evolution 17g mains and 18g Gosen OG sheep micro crosses. I strung it quick in a lurch at 52 lbs (without even bothering to prestretch,which I usually regret). But it’s been great all-around setup in wet weather with temps in the 40s.

I’ll probably need to bump up the tension quite a bit when I switch to climate where temps are usually in the 90s.
That would be sensible when you get down there. I think that a hybrid is a god fit for 95-97 with a denser pattern, used to have LM Rad in the bag with Sensation/Alu Power and it so smooth. Have you got a schedule of matches already set up?

The Kirschbaum range of strings are such good quality IMO. Evo is one I haven't used though - currently in love ith Max Power Rough for the feel and tension maintenance.
 

taylor15

Semi-Pro
That would be sensible when you get down there. I think that a hybrid is a god fit for 95-97 with a denser pattern, used to have LM Rad in the bag with Sensation/Alu Power and it so smooth. Have you got a schedule of matches already set up?

The Kirschbaum range of strings are such good quality IMO. Evo is one I haven't used though - currently in love ith Max Power Rough for the feel and tension maintenance.
The Evo is my favorite Kbaum string. I have one of my UTs string at 50lbs with it.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
That would be sensible when you get down there. I think that a hybrid is a god fit for 95-97 with a denser pattern, used to have LM Rad in the bag with Sensation/Alu Power and it so smooth. Have you got a schedule of matches already set up?

The Kirschbaum range of strings are such good quality IMO. Evo is one I haven't used though - currently in love ith Max Power Rough for the feel and tension maintenance.
At the club where I play at, they match me up against one of the pros for 1h match play 3x per week. One of the guys is a former top-1000 player with world class fh, but vulnerable on the bh. One is a former top-900 female pro who has world class 2hb and amazing swinging fh volley, but weak serve. Another is solid 5.0 with great 2hb and touch. They are all half my age!

I also play at another club with a guy who currently travels and plays pro tourneys. He has amazing world class clay forehand when he backs up to hit on way down, but he is vulnerable hitting on the rise and has weak bh.

I will let you guys know how much progress I’ve made against these guys.
 
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3loudboys

Hall of Fame
At the club where I play at, they match me up against one of the pros for 1h match play 3x per week. One of the guys is a former top-1000 player with world class fh, but vulnerable on the bh. One is a former top-900 female pro who has world class 2hb and amazing swinging fh volley, but weak serve. Another is solid 5.0 with great 2hb and touch. They are all half my age!

I also play at another club with a guy who currently travels and plays pro tourneys. He has amazing world class clay forehand when he backs up to hit on way down, but he is vulnerable hitting on the rise and has weak bh.

I will let you guys know how much progress I’ve made against these guys.
Thats sounds fantastic - yes do let us know how you get on against those guys. They sound like tough opposition.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Thats sounds fantastic - yes do let us know how you get on against those guys. They sound like tough opposition.
I’m also not sure how my new forehand will translate from hard court to clay. Will be an interesting test. Before, I was pretty much relegated to slicing on my fh wing just to try to stay competitive because my epileptic topspin fh was totally outclassed on clay.
 

3loudboys

Hall of Fame
I’m also not sure how my new forehand will translate from hard court to clay. Will be an interesting test. Before, I was pretty much relegated to slicing on my fh wing just to try to stay competitive because my epileptic topspin fh was totally outclassed on clay.
Higher balls and more time to get under them - it may help a little to have that extra prep. Must say love hitting on well maintained clay and think its the best training surface IMO. You have to be able to hit all shots on the dirt and work hard. The fh slice may well be very effective.
 

WYK

Hall of Fame
Leaving to head to South America next week.

I’ve been playing the best tennis of my life with my UT over the last month, set up at standard length and 363sw. And down south, I’ll get a chance to test my game against better players on red clay.

So I bought another UT as a back up.
But I can’t decide how I want to set it up?
I’ve narrowed down to 3 options:

A. Exactly like my first UT for continuity of good form. this is hoping my good form against lesser players will translate well against former world class talent, but I worry that I might need to tweak something to get an edge.

B. Same but bump up sw a bit more into the 370s to go all in on my heavy racquet advantage to even the playing field from the baseline. But I’ll probably be less able to use my serve offensively if I do this.

C. Same weighting as first UT, but extend to 27.25”. Go all in on getting free points on serve to even playing field. My newfound forehand confidence might suffer, and my net attacks, return game, and touch might drop a notch. Also not sure if I’ll be able to grip racquet well enough in high heat and humidity to fully weaponize serve.
Coaches usually say use the racquet that fits and compliments your game the best - not one that mitigates your weaknesses(technique and tactics are what you use to mitigate weakness).
Your serve is the only time you have 100% control of the point from the start - don't ever compromise that.
 

Slowtwitcher

Hall of Fame
Coaches usually say use the racquet that fits and compliments your game the best - not one that mitigates your weaknesses(technique and tactics are what you use to mitigate weakness).
Your serve is the only time you have 100% control of the point from the start - don't ever compromise that.
Did you notice traveljam will be playing on clay, home of the 3/4 pace kick serve to the backhand?
 

WYK

Hall of Fame
Did you notice traveljam will be playing on clay, home of the 3/4 pace kick serve to the backhand?
I'm certainly not a clay court specialist, but most coaches will tell you that breaking serve is how you win the game of tennis.
You want to be confident on serve.
 

Slowtwitcher

Hall of Fame
I'm certainly not a clay court specialist, but most coaches will tell you that breaking serve is how you win the game of tennis.
You want to be confident on serve.
Actually it's not having your own serve broken. On any surface.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Update:
Bumped the sw on my first UT up to 370sw, yesterday, and I played the best session of baseline tennis in my life. I think my serve was pretty good too.

So this simplified the decision, because now options A and B have merged. Option C still on the table.
 

TennisHound

Legend
Update:
Bumped the sw on my first UT up to 370sw, yesterday, and I played the best session of baseline tennis in my life. I think my serve was pretty good too.

So this simplified the decision, because now options A and B have merged. Option C still on the table.
Was that on clay?
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
According to the other big holic thread altitudes, sea levels, high tides / low tides can impact your frame and make it play bigger or lesser depending on what is going on with mother nature lol
don't worry about gear checks, just weather checks :p
clearly speaking to me so just to clarify - yes the altitude does make a difference compared to sea level. Its pretty much common sense, but most athletes know that. I know TJ does.

Never said anything about nonsense like tide,etc but if you are ever in the rockies hit me up and we can hit. Id love to hear your feedback firsthand.

To OP I wouldn’t change anything until you get there and play. Would be too many variables to acclimate to clay with a new setup.
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
Isn’t it easier to just change string tension to tweak the performance of a racquet when you are changing surfaces? That’s what most advanced players do.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Was that on clay?
No. Still on wet hardcourt in Seattle with temps in the 40s.

Played again today. Didn’t play as well. Tempting me to go a plan C.

I’m hoping to hit a time or two this weekend on my layover in Miami with temps in the 70s, before I get to the real heat where it’s in the 90s now.
 

Anton

Legend
Leaving to head to South America next week.

I’ve been playing the best tennis of my life with my UT over the last month, set up at standard length and 363sw. And down south, I’ll get a chance to test my game against better players on red clay.

So I bought another UT as a back up.
But I can’t decide how I want to set it up?
I’ve narrowed down to 3 options:

A. Exactly like my first UT for continuity of good form. this is hoping my good form against lesser players will translate well against former world class talent, but I worry that I might need to tweak something to get an edge.

B. Same but bump up sw a bit more into the 370s to go all in on my heavy racquet advantage to even the playing field from the baseline. But I’ll probably be less able to use my serve offensively if I do this.

C. Same weighting as first UT, but extend to 27.25”. Go all in on getting free points on serve to even playing field. My newfound forehand confidence might suffer, and my net attacks, return game, and touch might drop a notch. Also not sure if I’ll be able to grip racquet well enough in high heat and humidity to fully weaponize serve.
If it ain't broke don't fix it.

It will be warmer, so the ball will have more action, but clay will slow it down. So get there, see how it goes and adjust as needed.
 

Anton

Legend
But when the other guy guy is better than me, it complicates things and I miss shots.
If they are better then you then you will lose anyway, so you may as well just work on your basic bread and butter to take you to the next level instead of trying to think up special strategies to play them.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Out of curiosity, what are you doing to extend the racquet length? How does that work?
Remove the buttcap, then put a 1/4” spacer in.

Re-secure buttcap with tightly wrapped transparent 2”-wide stretchy packing tape, making sure the tape goes over the lip of butt for mechanical grab. I also wrap a couple of gorilla tape layers around end of pallet to make sure fit of buttcap over pallet is really snug interference with lots of friction, so no chance it will dislodge.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Huh. That's pretty cool. What are you using as the spacer?
Any noncompressible flat cylindrical household object, such as a bottle cap will do, especially if it’s only 1/4” extension. Milk carton caps work well for 1/2” extension, or prescription pill caps for 3/8. You can wrap the outside of the cap with a strip of overgrip so it fits snugly into the bottom of the buttcap.

But in my case I have chopped down many of my racquets 1/4” shorter, so if I can find one of my trimmings, I will use that.

Also, if you happen to have a racquet with removable pallets, then you can simply peel off the pallet and move it down to extend, instead of using a spacer.
 

1990's Graphite

Hall of Fame
clearly speaking to me so just to clarify - yes the altitude does make a difference compared to sea level. Its pretty much common sense, but most athletes know that. I know TJ does.

Never said anything about nonsense like tide,etc but if you are ever in the rockies hit me up and we can hit. Id love to hear your feedback firsthand.

To OP I wouldn’t change anything until you get there and play. Would be too many variables to acclimate to clay with a new setup.
The only thing I have done in all my tennis travel and playing on various continents around the world is my string tension for cooler / warmer conditions and for surfaces. Pros play everywhere and they adjust strings too not anything else major. Overgrips is the other thing I change depending on weather. Luckily I am still able to jog heaps and do hit training 3-4 days a week
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
The only thing I have done in all my tennis travel and playing on various continents around the world is my string tension for cooler / warmer conditions and for surfaces. Pros play everywhere and they adjust strings too not anything else major. Overgrips is the other thing I change depending on weather. Luckily I am still able to jog heaps and do hit training 3-4 days a week
Thats great but you arent a pro. Plus traveling is different than living and long term adjusting for conditions that you will see on a daily basis. Thats what my posts are about.

Traveling, I’m always going to bring the frame I have been using. That’s common sense.
 

1990's Graphite

Hall of Fame
Thats great but you arent a pro. Plus traveling is different than living and long term adjusting for conditions that you will see on a daily basis. Thats what my posts are about.

Traveling, I’m always going to bring the frame I have been using. That’s common sense.
I have stayed in places 2-3months sometimes more... that is long enough to adjust. These boards have everything from wristbands to magic numbers... :'-)
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
I have stayed in places 2-3months sometimes more... that is long enough to adjust. These boards have everything from wristbands to magic numbers... :'-)
Yeah I hear you there. Ive never been that finnicky but altitude really makes the ball bounce higher and I prefer control frames up here. Its pretty obvious difference and not the same thing as what you are saying with the wristbands and such.

Very easy to notice the differerence here. The balls are even made differently and labeled for altitude. Id imagine if one of the places you stayed was high up you’d know this.
 
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travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
To OP I wouldn’t change anything until you get there and play. Would be too many variables to acclimate to clay with a new setup.
Too late. Extension surgery performed on my brand new back-up UT last night before it has even gotten a chance to hit its first ball. Unfortunately I’ve pretty much run out of pre-trip lab test time. I only have one more cold weather test opportunity tomorrow, then hoping to meet up with @dimkin at Crandon Park on my layover before my red clay season begins.
 

dimkin

Hall of Fame
Too late. Extension surgery performed on my brand new back-up UT last night before it has even gotten a chance to hit its first ball. Unfortunately I’ve pretty much run out of pre-trip lab test time. I only have one more cold weather test opportunity tomorrow, then hoping to meet up with @dimkin at Crandon Park on my layover before my red clay season begins.
it's tennis paradise here ... I am blown away
 

taylor15

Semi-Pro
Any noncompressible flat cylindrical household object, such as a bottle cap will do, especially if it’s only 1/4” extension. Milk carton caps work well for 1/2” extension, or prescription pill caps for 3/8. You can wrap the outside of the cap with a strip of overgrip so it fits snugly into the bottom of the buttcap.
Hmm. This seems simple and reversible. How much swing weight does the 1/4” water bottle extension add, all other things remaining the same?
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
My first day here. I torched my elbow before I arrived with an unfortunate experiment involving the hazards of wrist bands. So gotta find new plan.

I wandered into the tennis shop at the mall, and walked out with a brand new Blade Feel Team for $58. It’s 1/4” shorter than a standard length Ultra Tour to the center of the stringbed, and relatively open pattern, so it wlll give me a much more elbow-friendly frame to compete with while rehabbing my injury. My project for tonight is to weight up to 360sw and balance it to my specs. I’ll leave the factory syn gut in to start.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Update:
I got to the wall on Monday, and new leaded up Blade Feel Team just didn’t spin the ball enough with the factory syn gut strings.

So I went with my standard length UT. And tried one 6” wrist band. I was playing against 4.5-5.0 teaching pro - guy I should beat. I started out match feeling confident, dropping a couple games but feeling like I was the better player. Then mid-set, leading 3-2, my elbow starting to explode. My level fell off a cliff trying to compensate for the elbow. By end of the set I couldn’t even attempt a drive fh, a 1hb volley or slice, or an over-the-top serve. My 3-2 lead turned into a 6-3 loss.

I rested until yesterday. I had un-extended my second UT back to standard length (no point in using extended with a bum elbow). I played it at 358sw.

I played against the former top-1000 guy. The good news is my elbow didn’t flare up. So hopefully past the worst of it. The bad news is I played poorly - I lost 0-6, 2-4. He has huge forehand and was just crushing heavy fh winners at will. And with hot conditions and high humidity, I couldn’t grip racquet easily enough to serve all-out, which would have been my only way to make it competitive.

I’m thinking that I might shorten one of my UTs. I just don’t know if there’s a way I can rely on being able to serve well in these conditions. My best bet against guy like that is to be better at defending the heavy ball by having better depth control on slices and high balls.
 
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