Sampras Green Wilson Racquet Question

Antónis

Professional
That looks like a PJ'ed PS Mid. And definitely it's not Wimbledon.
He's wearing Tacchini, so it's early 90's, probably something he was asked by Wilson to give a try on smaller tournament.
He was knowned to be very picky about his racquets, never accepted the 6.1 PJ like Edberg did
But this is a first for me
 

onehandbh

Legend
I read somewhere that Sampras used this green racquet at one of the French Opens he played.

The one I have is almost identical to a regular Pro Staff 85, but the neck area just above the grip is slightly more narrow. I think regular pro staff 85 grommets fit the racquet. The paint is more glossy and not matte like the regular PS85. I bought it second hand a long time ago. It had a synthetic grip and I changed it to a black Fairway leather grip.

Have not tried hitting with it for many years. Almost forgot about it until I saw this post. I think I have some cheap gut strings still in the racquet. I'll give it a try again tomorrow when I play.
 
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jarko111

Hall of Fame
I love everything about the look of the older prostaffs. I am so glad they're using that cosmetic again.
I think it's because of my love for Stranger Things on Netflix. What was old is new again. lol I love the 80's look/aesthetic.
 

BillKid

Professional
I love everything about the look of the older prostaffs. I am so glad they're using that cosmetic again.
I think it's because of my love for Stranger Things on Netflix. What was old is new again. lol I love the 80's look/aesthetic.
Well said, we definitely could use some Stranger thinks kind of racquets. I like that series too, I had a ball watching it with my kids.
 

HBK4life

Professional
That tapered beam (95 sq inch?) racquet was what the green PS85 was painted to look like, except it also had a "Pete Sampras" autograph on it.
That would be my guess. I remember those rackets sold with a picture of Pete hanging in the middle. Just a guess though. I have never seen him with that PJ. Very interesting.
 

onehandbh

Legend
I’ve seen the 95 sq inch tapered, green racquet before a long time ago. I’m surprised they made an PS85 that is a paintjob of it. I may have been a Japan-only limited release racquet. The odd thing is that the throat of this PS85 is physically different from the regular PS85.
 

BDAZ

Professional
Wilson tried to switch him to that paint job to endorse the wide body Pro Staff 6.0, but either he didn’t like the look or the feel of the paint, or both. Pretty sure he used it for exactly one (maybe two) tournaments... maybe even one or two matches, before going back to the black Pro Staff. As mentioned above, the wide body 6.0 did have the dual taper beam. Some had his signature on the inside of the throat (endorsed by Pete Sampras). The one I have does not have that. Don’t know which came first. It was a decent stick. Used the 95 sq. inch in high school.
 

onehandbh

Legend
Wilson tried to switch him to that paint job to endorse the wide body Pro Staff 6.0, but either he didn’t like the look or the feel of the paint, or both. Pretty sure he used it for exactly one (maybe two) tournaments... maybe even one or two matches, before going back to the black Pro Staff. As mentioned above, the wide body 6.0 did have the dual taper beam. Some had his signature on the inside of the throat (endorsed by Pete Sampras). The one I have does not have that. Don’t know which came first. It was a decent stick. Used the 95 sq. inch in high school.
I am surprised that Wilson even ever made this green paintjob PS85 available for sale at one point because it was such an obscure racquet.
 

bcart1991

Professional
That's the "Japanese" PJ of the Sampras Autograph version of the PS 6.0 95 (in his 85 spec of course). I have seen a couple of them pop up now and then, I have a pair of the US version that's all black.
 

NicoMK

Professional
I read somewhere that Sampras used this green racquet at one of the French Opens he played.
Might have been during the 1991 edition. Won over Thomas Muster in the first round but lost in the second against French journeyman Thierry Champion. I have snippets of his matches somewhere on VHS but I remember clearly that I noticed the wasn't using his usual frame.
 

Haasquet

Rookie
I'm fairly certain he used that paint at Wimbledon 1991, where he lost to Derrick Rostagno in the second round. The photo in the OP is from the '91 Manchester Open. There are clips on YouTube, where the footage quality is good enough that you can just about make out that people are playing tennis...

He did, as onehandbh and NicoMK mentioned, also use it at the French Open that year.
 

myth

Professional
I'm fairly certain he used that paint at Wimbledon 1991, where he lost to Derrick Rostagno in the second round. The photo in the OP is from the '91 Manchester Open. There are clips on YouTube, where the footage quality is good enough that you can just about make out that people are playing tennis...

He did, as onehandbh and NicoMK mentioned, also use it at the French Open that year.
What's the overgrip he was using back then?
 

Mike Bulgakov

G.O.A.T.
Might have been during the 1991 edition. Won over Thomas Muster in the first round but lost in the second against French journeyman Thierry Champion. I have snippets of his matches somewhere on VHS but I remember clearly that I noticed the wasn't using his usual frame.
I was at that match. Sampras beat Muster in a long five set match. This seems odd in retrospect, but I remember watching Sampras, Wilander and Muster all warming up on the same practice court earlier in the day. I forget who was hitting with Wilander, but Muster and Sampras were next to each other, and Muster was going all out and smoking the ball like a madman. Maybe he was trying to intimidate Sampras. Santoro smoked Wilander on Court Central in the second round, and then smoked Champion in the third round.

I didn't pay attention to the racquets Sampras was using, but watched him play a practice set with Edberg at UCLA before the L.A. tournament in 1990. I was next to the court and he had the Pro Staff 85 like Edberg. Tony Pickard was their grumpy ball boy.
 

brinkeguthrie

Professional
I was at that match. Sampras beat Muster in a long five set match. This seems odd in retrospect, but I remember watching Sampras, Wilander and Muster all warming up on the same practice court earlier in the day. I forget who was hitting with Wilander, but Muster and Sampras were next to each other, and Muster was going all out and smoking the ball like a madman. Maybe he was trying to intimidate Sampras. Santoro smoked Wilander on Court Central in the second round, and then smoked Champion in the third round.

I didn't pay attention to the racquets Sampras was using, but watched him play a practice set with Edberg at UCLA before the L.A. tournament in 1990. I was next to the court and he had the Pro Staff 85 like Edberg. Tony Pickard was their grumpy ball boy.
Muster was always like that
 

NicoMK

Professional
I was at that match. Sampras beat Muster in a long five set match. This seems odd in retrospect, but I remember watching Sampras, Wilander and Muster all warming up on the same practice court earlier in the day. I forget who was hitting with Wilander, but Muster and Sampras were next to each other, and Muster was going all out and smoking the ball like a madman. Maybe he was trying to intimidate Sampras. Santoro smoked Wilander on Court Central in the second round, and then smoked Champion in the third round.

I didn't pay attention to the racquets Sampras was using, but watched him play a practice set with Edberg at UCLA before the L.A. tournament in 1990. I was next to the court and he had the Pro Staff 85 like Edberg. Tony Pickard was their grumpy ball boy.
Nice recollection. 1991, I guess it makes us "old men" by now... Did you see the Wilander-Santoro match by any chance?
 

Mike Bulgakov

G.O.A.T.
Muster was always like that
He was hittng a bit like a madman, like maybe people should keep their distance. Sampras was always the complete opposite in practice, like some surfer dude who just got out of bed.
Nice recollection. 1991, I guess it makes us "old men" by now... Did you see the Wilander-Santoro match by any chance?
Yeah, I was in my early twenties back then. I was at the Santoro match. I had watched Wilander's first round match on an outside court, and he dismantled the guy just by keeping the ball in play. Santoro was taking the ball early and Wilander had no answers. Mats looked befuddled.
 

Mike Bulgakov

G.O.A.T.
So I might just be ignorant to his entire racquet history, add that I am in my earlier 30s and got into tennis only in the last 6 years or so....but I have never seen this racquet in use by Sampras before in pictures or videos.



Discuss.
I was curious about this since even though I watched Sampras practice and play a match with this racquet, I had always thought he never strayed from his usual Pro Staff 85 during his tour days. I did a search, and as is often the case with anything related to tennis, the TW forum came up:

The racquet was a paint Job. It was Pete's original Pro Staff 85 with the paint job of the Pro Staff 6.0 Pete Sampras with the dual tapered beam. The actual real Pro Staff 6.0 95 dual tapered beam that was sold to the public had glossy finish. Pete used the Pro Staff 85 with the green, silver and black cosmetics for a short time and then went back to his St. Vincents and did not have a Wilson contract for a while.

Interestingly the Pro Staff 85 with the paint job of the Pro Staff 6.0 95 dual tapered beam was sold in Japan. Just like you can get now in Japan the Original Pro Staff 6.0 85 with the paint job of the Pro Staff Classic.

I also knew a guy from Japan that I met once that used the Pro Staff 85 with the green, black, and silver paint job from the Pro Staff 6.0 95 dual tapered beam.

Here are some photos of the Pro Staff 85 with the paint job of the widebody Pro Staff 6.0 95 dual tapered beam.




This is what Pete used at Roland Garros in 1991.
^^^ This forum member always seems to have good information.

Wilson pushed Jim Courier to use the "Stars & Stripes" Pro Staff, but like Sampras, Courier wasn't into Wilson's marketing plan. I remember seeing it at a Paris tennis shop in '93 or '94, and Wilson had told the shop that Courier was going to use it at Roland Garros. As far as I know, he never played a match with it or a paint job of it.
 

onehandbh

Legend
I will try hitting with my green PS85 some time in the next week. I just strung it with Tier One FireWire Boost 17g @ 47 lbs.
 
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NicoMK

Professional
Yeah, I was in my early twenties back then. I was at the Santoro match. I had watched Wilander's first round match on an outside court, and he dismantled the guy just by keeping the ball in play. Santoro was taking the ball early and Wilander had no answers. Mats looked befuddled.
Thanks.
I can't remember who Mats played in the first round but he won in straight sets. What really happened during the next round against young Santoro has haunted my nights for long (I was a young dude then) and I still have no answers. Sure it was not prime Mats but he could / should have beaten Santoro that day no matter. I was curious to have an opinion from someone who actually saw the match from the court. I've watched parts of that match many times and never understood what happened. Mats went off the tour for two years short after this for a knee injury but, more than that, it was if he didn't care at all. I wish I could ask him one day, and talk about his career on and off the court.

EDIT: he beat a guy named Lavalle in the first round :)
 

NicoMK

Professional
I was curious about this since even though I watched Sampras practice and play a match with this racquet, I had always thought he never strayed from his usual Pro Staff 85 during his tour days. I did a search, and as is often the case with anything related to tennis, the TW forum came up:


^^^ This forum member always seems to have good information.

Wilson pushed Jim Courier to use the "Stars & Stripes" Pro Staff, but like Sampras, Courier wasn't into Wilson's marketing plan. I remember seeing it at a Paris tennis shop in '93 or '94, and Wilson had told the shop that Courier was going to use it at Roland Garros. As far as I know, he never played a match with it or a paint job of it.
Mmm that's probably true but I would have sworn that Pete used a different frame than his usual PS at the French in 1991. I'll try to check with old vids.
 

Mike Bulgakov

G.O.A.T.
Thanks.
I can't remember who Mats played in the first round but he won in straight sets. What really happened during the next round against young Santoro has haunted my nights for long (I was a young dude then) and I still have no answers. Sure it was not prime Mats but he could / should have beaten Santoro that day no matter. I was curious to have an opinion from someone who actually saw the match from the court. I've watched parts of that match many times and never understood what happened. Mats went off the tour for two years short after this for a knee injury but, more than that, it was if he didn't care at all. I wish I could ask him one day, and talk about his career on and off the court.

EDIT: he beat a guy named Lavalle in the first round :)
I remember the first round opponent as being mechanical and having no chance from the baseline. It was really windy (I was next to the court and got clay grit in my face and eyes) and the guy looked disinterested. In the second round, Wilander wasn't giving any pace and my memory is of Santoro taking balls early instead of being pushed back by the topspin, drawing a shorter ball, moving in closer and then finishing at the net. Santoro absolutely dictated everything, keeping Wilander off-balance and out of position. I was unfamiliar with Santoro at the time, but he really made Mats look bad that day.
Mmm that's probably true but I would have sworn that Pete used a different frame than his usual PS at the French in 1991. I'll try to check with old vids.
What @vsbabolat said about it being a PS 85 paint job makes sense, and Pete probably just didn't feel comfortable with it.

I will try hitting with my green PS85 some time in the next week. I just strung it with Tier One FireWire Boost 17g @ 47 lbs.
It'll be interesting to hear how it compares to the PS 85.
 

onehandbh

Legend
By the way, has anyone other than Rajeev Ram (AKA Rampras) been able to copy his service motion?

His motion is often cited as a great / model service motion but I have yet to see anyone successfully copy it other than Rampras.
 
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