Racquets at the First Pro Match You Attended Live

Plainsman83

New User
One of the other threads here got me thinking it would be interesting to hear everyone's memories of the first professional tennis match you ever saw live and in person. Who was playing, and in the spirit of the subject, what racquets were they using? My first one was the final of the 1981 United Bank Tennis Classic in Denver where Gene Mayer (using a POG 110) beat John Sadri. I can't recall if Sadri was using the Yamaha YFG 30 that he used in college or the YFG 50 or 70 in that match. All I know is that Sadri's incredible service motion made a lasting impression on me, especially in this indoor tournament. I was using a POG at the time and had briefly previously flirted with a YFG 50 which is why this was interesting to me.
 

coachrick

Hall of Fame
Cool topic, especially for us old-timers :) CBS Tennis Classic @ Sea Pines, Hilton Head Is. , South Carolina was my first.
I remember John Alexander's red Bata shoes. With Okker and Riessen and Smith, there would have been Dunlop and Wilson woodies.
Seems like Alexander played Dunlop as well.
It was another year or two before the rackets would start to get interesting(Laver even used the aluminum Chemold for a minute).
 

michael valek

Professional
1987 Wimbledon final cash Lendl- prince magnesium (?) and adidas Gtx. Same year Uk u18 boys final gary drake v Chris wilkinson both using slazenger phantom egg shaped things.
 
Olde Providence Racquet Club - HardTur clay
Andre Agassi - POG vs Jim Courier - Wilson Pro Staff 85"
Michael Chang - POG vs Roscoe Tanner - Le Coq Sportif Concept 3 TWX
Then on Sunday Agassi vs Chang Agassi dropped the first set and rallied for 2 sets to 1 win
Followed by Agassi / Courier vs Chang and the club champion 1 pro set of doubles
I won tickets donated by Natural Light Beer to the local socal group. We played pro set doubles, no ad - no tie breaker. My partner Don and I took it seriously. We traveled around Charlotte to several public court frequented by the better doubles team in the city. We did that for 3 weeks plus playing Saturdays and Sundays. We did extremely well 18-1. 19 pro sets in one day. since there was only one prize teams were dropped as they became mathematically eliminated. they started with 27 teams. The only set we dropped was #14 8-6.
 

Antónis

Professional
First pro match I ever watched live was an 1988 exo, Connors vs. Noah
Connors was playing with Slazenger Pro Ceramic, Noah with LCS, not sure about the model, but TS-25 or 30, maybe? I had a TF-40 for a very short period, too heavy for me back than, and too much head size also
 

teachingprotx

Hall of Fame
1992 us open year I graduated high school I was using the 85 p staff courier won too with “ my racket “!
Shortly after that I moved back to my puma super . Then back again to the pro staff. It was incredibly easy to go back and forth being the specs are almost spot on the same
 

coachrick

Hall of Fame
I saw Roscoe Tanner and Dick Stockton play Stan Smith and Bob Lutz. Tanner had a PDP Open, Stockton had a Wilson wood (I think), Smith had a Wilson wood, and Lutz had just switched to an aluminum frame I think (possibly a Head).
Hopefully, Smith was playing with his own Autograph at that time. Lutz used the aluminum Edge for a bit, I believe, as well as the Red Head Pro.
Mid-ish to later 1970s ???
 

galain

Hall of Fame
I wouldn't have been paying much attention back then but it was the 1983 Davis Cup quarterfinals doubles match in Brisbane between Australia and Romania.

Paul McNamee had his POG, Mark Edmondson a graphite composite Fila, Ilie Nastase had a graphite composite Adidas, Florin Segarceanu (who I had to look up to remind myself)...no idea what he was swinging.
 

Alex78

Hall of Fame
Show match in a hotel in the South of Germany, late 80ies - Eric Jelen (Head Graphite Pro) vs. Carl-Uwe Steeb (Fischer Vacuum Twin Tec Pro I believe). Got Steeb's signature as he was sitting in the lounge giving an interview.
 

Frankc

Professional
Dunlop Maxply - Hoad - indoors in DC area - Pro Tour ...(Yes, that was a lucky night for a youngster)
 

Plainsman83

New User
Hopefully, Smith was playing with his own Autograph at that time. Lutz used the aluminum Edge for a bit, I believe, as well as the Red Head Pro.
Mid-ish to later 1970s ???
Smith and Lutz were my favorite doubles team back then, and I remember Lutz using the Head Pro. Didn't Dick Stockton use the wood Wilson Advantage? I only remember that since I was a Brian Gottfried fan and Stockton/Gottfried were a pretty successful team.
 
Hopefully, Smith was playing with his own Autograph at that time. Lutz used the aluminum Edge for a bit, I believe, as well as the Red Head Pro.
Mid-ish to later 1970s ???
It's odd, when I watched them, Tanner's serve was so unbelievable. You hear stories about how fast it was, but to the naked eye, it looked to be almost twice as fast as the others (which I know it couldn't have been). From a distance, the serve always looks slower. There were some he hit that appeared to be a foot or two out, but no one said anything. It's like the linesman couldn't tell, and neither could the receiver. I'm sure this wasn't really the case, but his serve was noticeably faster than the others' serves. I also watched a singles match between Schlomo Glickstein and someone (can't recall). Glickstein won the tournament--Shadow Mountain in Tulsa, Ok in the 70s, or early 80s.
 

coachrick

Hall of Fame
It's odd, when I watched them, Tanner's serve was so unbelievable. You hear stories about how fast it was, but to the naked eye, it looked to be almost twice as fast as the others (which I know it couldn't have been). From a distance, the serve always looks slower. There were some he hit that appeared to be a foot or two out, but no one said anything. It's like the linesman couldn't tell, and neither could the receiver. I'm sure this wasn't really the case, but his serve was noticeably faster than the others' serves. I also watched a singles match between Schlomo Glickstein and someone (can't recall). Glickstein won the tournament--Shadow Mountain in Tulsa, Ok in the 70s, or early 80s.
Tanner had that "quick hit" at the top of the toss that made his serve look even faster. I tried it for a while and it was effective; but tough on the brain!!! Contrast that with others who tossed the ball 3 feet or more above the contact point!
 

Plainsman83

New User
Tanner had that "quick hit" at the top of the toss that made his serve look even faster. I tried it for a while and it was effective; but tough on the brain!!! Contrast that with others who tossed the ball 3 feet or more above the contact point!
I tried that too for a while but if your timing was even a smidge off that day it would make serving tough. I also realized that the quick hit made me do more of an arm serve than engaging the rest of the body which was tough on my shoulder. Look up the video on You Tube of Sadri vs McEnroe at the NCAA finals and they spend a lot of time showing Sadri's service motion which is still to me one of the most beautiful ever. Sort of like Arthur Ashe but with more power.
 

Sanglier

Semi-Pro
It is surprisingly difficult to find a video of Tanner's serve in slow-mo, but you can see one here at the 17: 26 mark.


This sequence shows clearly that he was making contact with the ball while the latter was still on its way up; which meant that it's almost impossible for him to put a lot of topspin on the ball (the diametric opposite of Steffi Graf's serve). The low contact point + massive ball speed + lack of topspin = tiny margin of error + flat trajectory + not a particularly "heavy" ball. As long as the returner had the skills to make contact with the ball, it wasn't outrageously difficult to put the latter back in play (when compared to the spinny serves). Tanner's lightning serves certainly weren't blowing by Evert with any kind of regularity during this match, judging solely by what the editor chose to include in the highlight reel, even though she was still wielding a wooden frame.

This might also be one of the last instances in which obsolescent wood and steel worked hand in hand to triumph over state-of-the-art graphites during a high profile match, demonstrating convincingly that superior skills are worth much more than superior tools on the court.
 
I saw Roscoe Tanner and Dick Stockton play Stan Smith and Bob Lutz. Tanner had a PDP Open, Stockton had a Wilson wood (I think), Smith had a Wilson wood, and Lutz had just switched to an aluminum frame I think (possibly a Head).
Stockton used the great looking Wilson Advantage if im not mistaken and wore Fila incl. a small towel clipped onto the shorts to dry the racket hand with...
 

vsbabolat

G.O.A.T.
The first tournament I ever went to was the Congoleum Classic in LaQuinta. I saw Lendl adidas GTX Pro play Yannick Noah Le Coq Sportif Crescendo. Brian Gottfried Snauwaert Brian Gottfried Autograph and Raul Ramirez HEAD Professional play Peter Fleming Yonex Cougess and Fritz Buehning Rossignol Prestige
 

SVP

Semi-Pro
I saw McEnroe in 1977 playing for Stanford against Cal using a Maxply. He sliced and diced talented Marty Davis that night.
 

Regord

New User
2011 Sony Ericsson Open in Florida.
Watched Sharapova play. She was using a Head racquet.
Also watched Ryan Harrison play. He was using the Babolat Pure Storm Tour GT.
 
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