Roman Prokes Under Review Podcast Interview

RobS

Rookie
For you guys that like podcasts, "Under Review" is a great one for tennis. One of the most recent was with Roman Prokes, racquet customizer to several past and present big time players. He had some really interesting comments on playing style trends and equipment. He worked with Djoker on his racquet change last year when he went longer, lighter and opened up his string pattern a little bit. He said Novak had specific shot and opponent in mind when considering the change. Prokes talked a lot about the trend of players going lighter so they could swing faster, generate more spin and open up the court with aggressive angles. Some other tidbits; his favorite string is Solinco Hyper G. He worked with Tiafoe and changed his handle from the standard Yonex to a Head, rectangular shape because Tiafoe was having trouble finding his backhand grip on grip changes. Tiafoe plays his VCore 97 310 at 311g unstrung. The player he's worked with on the men's side with the lighest racquet, Taylor Fritz at 295g unstrung!
 
That is a great Podcast! There's also an episode with Ron Yu which stringing and equipment nerds will love! Although I did find myself wanting to scream at the host for some of the outdated questions he asked about pro frames and strings!
 

Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
@RobS @hurworld @StringGuruMRT @kkm @big ted

Alright, I'll do it.... I looked at the Podcast app on my iPhone and there are like 5 different Under Reviews. None of these showed anything by Roman Prokes… Can someone help a dummy out? Please don't make me ask my daughter...

EDIT: Never mind. I found it. Forgot we not only scroll up and down but left and right as well!
 
Last edited:

Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
Just finished the first -- Roman Prokes -- this is the stuff everybody on the boards should be listening to!!!! Listening to Rackettron interview now :)
 

kkm

Professional
Just finished the first -- Roman Prokes -- this is the stuff everybody on the boards should be listening to!!!! Listening to Rackettron interview now :)
yup, the one with Craig Shapiro, good Podcast series!
 

jackcrawford

Professional
Just finished the first -- Roman Prokes -- this is the stuff everybody on the boards should be listening to!!!! Listening to Rackettron interview now :)
Fritz using an 11 ounce strung racket! Hilarious that so many here say they need a 13 ounce, 375 SW frame to handle the pace they run into at their local club. And, no, Fritz is not using a Moya type balance - a friend of mine strung for him at a Challenger and his frames were near even balanced so the SW is low, too.
 

galapagos

Semi-Pro
@RobS thanks for sharing. The only thing I would consider is to go a bit deeper inside the profession of the person being interviewed . The potential knowledge that could be get out of Roman Prokes was much much bigger IMO. ;) Maybe I missed it somewhere but after the statement that pro's are going lighter with their equipment the topic could be pushed further and ask about the SW and balance. He worked with Djokovic. Changed his specs which influenced his game a lot-ability to hit better angles (according to the interview) but all we get to know is that the racquet is lighter. How much lighter ? did he keep the SW same? balance ? IMO 310g racquet with 330 SW will feel heavier than 320g 315 SW racquet. In Djokovic's case "lighter" is still noticeable heavier than the specs of those nextgen players. Not to mention PJ games manufacturers are playing. lighter static weight doesn't necessarily mean lighter feeling racquet :)
sorry for sounding salty ! 8-B8-B
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
For you guys that like podcasts, "Under Review" is a great one for tennis. One of the most recent was with Roman Prokes, racquet customizer to several past and present big time players. He had some really interesting comments on playing style trends and equipment. He worked with Djoker on his racquet change last year when he went longer, lighter and opened up his string pattern a little bit. He said Novak had specific shot and opponent in mind when considering the change. Prokes talked a lot about the trend of players going lighter so they could swing faster, generate more spin and open up the court with aggressive angles. Some other tidbits; his favorite string is Solinco Hyper G. He worked with Tiafoe and changed his handle from the standard Yonex to a Head, rectangular shape because Tiafoe was having trouble finding his backhand grip on grip changes. Tiafoe plays his VCore 97 310 at 311g unstrung. The player he's worked with on the men's side with the lighest racquet, Taylor Fritz at 295g unstrung!
I think Roman and P1 are probably the best at racket work/ customization. Stringing service is bit of non issue, any stringer with experience can become decent at it. but racket customization is an art. You have to have talent for it.
 

hurworld

Hall of Fame
Listened. Agreed with everyone that the podcast with RP is a gem of an interview for us gear heads at TTW. I'm slowly going through his podcasts in reverse chronological order. Half way through his interview with Mark Woodford. Didn't realise the legendary Woodies don't see eye-to-eye nowadays, one major issue being difference in opinion on the revamped Davis Cup (Spoiler: Mark helped with the reform, Todd against the new format).
 

Subway Tennis

Hall of Fame
For you guys that like podcasts, "Under Review" is a great one for tennis. One of the most recent was with Roman Prokes, racquet customizer to several past and present big time players. He had some really interesting comments on playing style trends and equipment. He worked with Djoker on his racquet change last year when he went longer, lighter and opened up his string pattern a little bit. He said Novak had specific shot and opponent in mind when considering the change. Prokes talked a lot about the trend of players going lighter so they could swing faster, generate more spin and open up the court with aggressive angles. Some other tidbits; his favorite string is Solinco Hyper G. He worked with Tiafoe and changed his handle from the standard Yonex to a Head, rectangular shape because Tiafoe was having trouble finding his backhand grip on grip changes. Tiafoe plays his VCore 97 310 at 311g unstrung. The player he's worked with on the men's side with the lighest racquet, Taylor Fritz at 295g unstrung!
Thanks very much for posting this.

I think Roman and P1 are probably the best at racket work/ customization. Stringing service is bit of non issue, any stringer with experience can become decent at it. but racket customization is an art. You have to have talent for it.
Agree
 

galain

Hall of Fame
One of my favourite podcast discoveries of last year. I really enjoy the show a lot.

I also loved Racquet Magazine podcast but it seems as though they just suddenly stopped producing audio content, which is a shame. They also had some awesome interviews.
 

hurworld

Hall of Fame
One of my favourite podcast discoveries of last year. I really enjoy the show a lot.

I also loved Racquet Magazine podcast but it seems as though they just suddenly stopped producing audio content, which is a shame. They also had some awesome interviews.
Agreed about the Racquet Magazine podcast being quite good. But I think it stopped due to Rennae Stubb's commitment with Pliskova.
 
Fritz using an 11 ounce strung racket! Hilarious that so many here say they need a 13 ounce, 375 SW frame to handle the pace they run into at their local club. And, no, Fritz is not using a Moya type balance - a friend of mine strung for him at a Challenger and his frames were near even balanced so the SW is low, too.
An even balanced racket (34,3cms) is relatively head heavy to the more wide spread hl balances of 32-33 cms. A 11-12 oz racket at even balance will have a pretty solid swingweight.
 

kkm

Professional
R P N Y and P1 are the best-known because they string on tour for a bunch of highly-ranked players, but there are other great ones just not quite as well-known - Ring & Roll, DC, etc.
 

jackcrawford

Professional
An even balanced racket (34,3cms) is relatively head heavy to the more wide spread hl balances of 32-33 cms. A 11-12 oz racket at even balance will have a pretty solid swingweight.
As cyanide43 reported https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/yoshihito-nishioka-racket.568399/page-2#post-13325921, these nextgen guys are usually between 332-343, not the 350-375 of earlier generations that generated all the SW1 and SW2 posts on these boards. I'm not sure the SW of Fritz's current setup, but it was in that range at the challenger.
 
Fritz using an 11 ounce strung racket! Hilarious that so many here say they need a 13 ounce, 375 SW frame to handle the pace they run into at their local club. And, no, Fritz is not using a Moya type balance - a friend of mine strung for him at a Challenger and his frames were near even balanced so the SW is low, too.
Yes and yes! Drives me crazy!
 
As cyanide43 reported https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/yoshihito-nishioka-racket.568399/page-2#post-13325921, these nextgen guys are usually between 332-343, not the 350-375 of earlier generations that generated all the SW1 and SW2 posts on these boards. I'm not sure the SW of Fritz's current setup, but it was in that range at the challenger.
I am aware some of the younger players are at a lower average sw, you can even see it in the swing speeds they are using/forced to use. But it does not really change what I wrote.
 

moon shot

Hall of Fame
Are there currently posters in support of this SW2 stuff? I haven’t seen posts in this section claiming pros are using 13-14oz frames in the few years.

Recently I have seen tons of argumentative posts that pros play light frames and ‘so called experts are wrong’ but without any way to see who they are pointing their finger at as the threads they are posting in have no claims they are countering.
 

haqq777

Legend
Are there currently posters in support of this SW2 stuff? I haven’t seen posts in this section claiming pros are using 13-14oz frames in the few years.

Recently I have seen tons of argumentative posts that pros play light frames and ‘so called experts are wrong’ but without any way to see who they are pointing their finger at as the threads they are posting in have no claims they are countering.
Hard to point out specific threads because there is so much content obviously, but I definitely have read a lot of posts implying that pros, in general, have much heavier racquets and swingweights than rec players. No question about it.

If not specific threads, you will always find posters within threads claiming pros use heavier sticks with beefy swingweights. That is a pretty normal TTW thing really.

Edit:
Must mention that the SW2 stuff, I am not sure about. Haven't read anything about that. Maybe they talked about that a lot before I joined the forum.
 
Last edited:

dr325i

Legend
As cyanide43 reported https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/yoshihito-nishioka-racket.568399/page-2#post-13325921, these nextgen guys are usually between 332-343, not the 350-375 of earlier generations that generated all the SW1 and SW2 posts on these boards. I'm not sure the SW of Fritz's current setup, but it was in that range at the challenger.
Even balanced 325-330g Radical has the SW of 340. That is not “light” and in line with Thiem, Rafa, etc.
only some pros have SW greater than 360.
And only a few here claim that 370 is necessary...
 

jackcrawford

Professional
An even balanced racket (34,3cms) is relatively head heavy to the more wide spread hl balances of 32-33 cms. A 11-12 oz racket at even balance will have a pretty solid swingweight.
Even balanced 325-330g Radical has the SW of 340. That is not “light” and in line with Thiem, Rafa, etc.
only some pros have SW greater than 360.
And only a few here claim that 370 is necessary...
Your statements about 340 not being light are accurate. However, there are many posters here and in the Raquets forum who claim that A) a racquet with less than a 12 ounce static weight, and a 350 SW is a fragile toy and can't be used at the 4.5 level and above; and B) That no pro has ever stepped onto the court with less than a 12 ounce static weight and 350 SW, and that people (including Prokes and Yu) who say otherwise are either delusional or paid stooges of the racquet companies.
 

jackcrawford

Professional
Hard to point out specific threads because there is so much content obviously, but I definitely have read a lot of posts implying that pros, in general, have much heavier racquets and swingweights than rec players. No question about it.

If not specific threads, you will always find posters within threads claiming pros use heavier sticks with beefy swingweights. That is a pretty normal TTW thing really.

Edit:
Must mention that the SW2 stuff, I am not sure about. Haven't read anything about that. Maybe they talked about that a lot before I joined the forum.
Here you go. I suggest you skim it, but dig deep if you're really bored...https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/the-official-sw2-thread.112739/
 

dr325i

Legend
Your statements about 340 not being light are accurate. However, there are many posters here and in the Raquets forum who claim that A) a racquet with less than a 12 ounce static weight, and a 350 SW is a fragile toy and can't be used at the 4.5 level and above; and B) That no pro has ever stepped onto the court with less than a 12 ounce static weight and 350 SW, and that people (including Prokes and Yu) who say otherwise are either delusional or paid stooges of the racquet companies.
Again, I must disagree.
We all knew for a loooong time that Rafa, Verdasco, Goffin and others fall below those numbers. Their specs have been posted for years.
 

TennisMD

Professional
For you guys that like podcasts, "Under Review" is a great one for tennis. One of the most recent was with Roman Prokes, racquet customizer to several past and present big time players. He had some really interesting comments on playing style trends and equipment. He worked with Djoker on his racquet change last year when he went longer, lighter and opened up his string pattern a little bit. He said Novak had specific shot and opponent in mind when considering the change. Prokes talked a lot about the trend of players going lighter so they could swing faster, generate more spin and open up the court with aggressive angles. Some other tidbits; his favorite string is Solinco Hyper G. He worked with Tiafoe and changed his handle from the standard Yonex to a Head, rectangular shape because Tiafoe was having trouble finding his backhand grip on grip changes. Tiafoe plays his VCore 97 310 at 311g unstrung. The player he's worked with on the men's side with the lighest racquet, Taylor Fritz at 295g unstrung!
Good information
Have not tuned in but major question/interest is in the going long does the OP or anybody know the length of his racquet
 

moon shot

Hall of Fame
I guess what is odd to me (and unrelated to this thread) is with some regularity seeing ‘hah! Those heavy or die guys are wrong!’ - but in threads those claims hadn’t been made.

I saw it enough I began wondering if they were talking about me. I would say many players use heavier than stock (and certainly than their paint job) just by changing grips or matching frames alone.

FWIW I play with a 13oz 380sw 28in Radical Zebra. I just enjoy it and don’t come out any worse at the end of the night than when I played more rational frames. It isn’t for everyone I’m sure. I’m 6’3” btw, learned on xl frames when I knew nothing so it just feels right.
 

jmacdaununder2

Hall of Fame
I guess what is odd to me (and unrelated to this thread) is with some regularity seeing ‘hah! Those heavy or die guys are wrong!’ - but in threads those claims hadn’t been made.

I saw it enough I began wondering if they were talking about me. I would say many players use heavier than stock (and certainly than their paint job) just by changing grips or matching frames alone.

FWIW I play with a 13oz 380sw 28in Radical Zebra. I just enjoy it and don’t come out any worse at the end of the night than when I played more rational frames. It isn’t for everyone I’m sure. I’m 6’3” btw, learned on xl frames when I knew nothing so it just feels right.
Damn!! Colour me impressed!! Due to the sustained visual excellence of your posts, I guess I assumed you were more in the Leonard/Howard category lol
 

moon shot

Hall of Fame
Damn!! Colour me impressed!! Due to the sustained visual excellence of your posts, I guess I assumed you were more in the Leonard/Howard category lol
Leonard/Howard? I’m not familiar?

My skills and schooling are in design, photography, and coding — that’s probably where those qualities come from.

I would probably play worse with the heavier racquet comparatively if I played better to start with ;)
 
Last edited:

markwillplay

Hall of Fame
I must admit that I find it hard to imagine blocking a 135 mph sere with an 11 oz stick. Must have some serious weight in the head. I play with my 12.4 sticks very headlight so might be the same as an 11 oz stick that is evenly balanced with a thicker beam. I just don't like the feel of the even balanced sticks. I am sure I could get used to it if I played with it all the time. Interesting. I like the stick to do more of the work. Watching Feds forehand and Kyriogois forehand, you can see the difference in someone letting the stick do more of the work and someone swinging out of his shoes. they damn sure both work.
 

jackcrawford

Professional
I guess what is odd to me (and unrelated to this thread) is with some regularity seeing ‘hah! Those heavy or die guys are wrong!’ - but in threads those claims hadn’t been made.

I saw it enough I began wondering if they were talking about me. I would say many players use heavier than stock (and certainly than their paint job) just by changing grips or matching frames alone.

FWIW I play with a 13oz 380sw 28in Radical Zebra. I just enjoy it and don’t come out any worse at the end of the night than when I played more rational frames. It isn’t for everyone I’m sure. I’m 6’3” btw, learned on xl frames when I knew nothing so it just feels right.
Thanks for the kind words on your post directly above. I don't want to come off as a "light is the only way to go" guy. Racquet choice at any level is an individual thing, and there will always be those who buck the current trend. Yours sounds like an awesome setup, it's the sort of thing I'd like to add to my collection to play a set with now and again. What's your string setup?
 

moon shot

Hall of Fame
Thanks for the kind words on your post directly above. I don't want to come off as a "light is the only way to go" guy. Racquet choice at any level is an individual thing, and there will always be those who buck the current trend. Yours sounds like an awesome setup, it's the sort of thing I'd like to add to my collection to play a set with now and again. What's your string setup?
Currently Ashway Kevlar 16ga mains at 42lbs and Gosen OGSM Natural/clear 16ga at 46lbs in the cross. Not something most people will like but it has a unique feel in old head frames, I got the idea from @teachingprotx who likes it in old mids, my Radical is the MP btw.
 

beltsman

Legend
Don't they have some sort of non-disclosure agreement? Hard to imagine Novak would want that info made public.
 

Dan007

Hall of Fame
Interesting that Roman Prokes helped redesign Djokovic's new frame/setup even though he is a client of Priority One
 

haqq777

Legend
Interesting that Roman Prokes helped redesign Djokovic's new frame/setup even though he is a client of Priority One
No, I don't think Novak is a current P1 client.

Edit:
@Dan007 I stand corrected. Ron of P1 just mentioned in the thread that P1 still works on Novak's racquets for all slams and Masters 1000 tournaments.
 
Last edited:

kkm

Professional
I don’t think that Djokovic left P1 and went to R P N Y. I think that Head made some changes to Djokovic’s racquet possibly at Roman’s suggestion.
 

tennisgurl

Semi-Pro
It was my understanding too that Djokovic has not been a P1 client for a while now. Saw instagram posts where his racquets were being done (for some smaller tournament can't remember which) by the local stringers. Same two overgrips, first one with no overlap and second with regular overlap. I will try and find that thread Im sure I saw it here somewhere
 

kkm

Professional
It was my understanding too that Djokovic has not been a P1 client for a while now. Saw instagram posts where his racquets were being done (for some smaller tournament can't remember which) by the local stringers. Same two overgrips, first one with no overlap and second with regular overlap. I will try and find that thread Im sure I saw it here somewhere
I don't think that Djokovic stopped using P1. The P1 guys normally string at the majors and Masters tournaments, normally not at the smaller tournaments.
 
Top