Skewed H2H Cuased by Racket Choice???

I'm a pretty reasonable guy who can sit through and keep an open mind on rational discussions regarding goat existence, h2h, weak ear, wft/og/dc, etc. I enjoy reading both sides of the arguments. I don't get agitated when someone is voicing an opinion that I don't agree with, nor do I feel the need to jump into a verbal war to defend a player. At the end of the day, the issues really doesn't affect my life.

To get this off my chest, am I being unreasonable to say the skewed h2h between Fed and Nadal has something to do with the rackets they use? At least to me, this seems to be the elephant in the room. Assuming they both have the same skill level, wouldn't it be rational to say the player with the larger racquet should always come out on top. It sure does take more concentration and form to hit a decent ball with a 90, and any lapse of concentration will cause a mis-hit off the sweetspot. Whereas with a 100, you have more real estate and you can swat at the ball or use bad form and still hit a decent shot. I don't want to get into nuances, because we all here play tennis and it's pretty obvious the pros and cons between a mid and oversize. I know they don't actually have the same skill level, but the margin is so small that any advantages yielded by their equipment will make one guy come out ahead most of the time. Would have been interesting to see if the h2h is this skewed if they both honed their skills using the same racket. Please discuss.
 

WhiskeyEE

G.O.A.T.
Younger players do have an advantage in that they grow up playing with newer and better technology. It isn't easy to just switch, but I think that Roddick did switch from POG to Pure Drive at a later age.

But that isn't a skew.
 

BHud

Hall of Fame
I'm a pretty reasonable guy who can sit through and keep an open mind on rational discussions regarding goat existence, h2h, weak ear, wft/og/dc, etc. I enjoy reading both sides of the arguments. I don't get agitated when someone is voicing an opinion that I don't agree with, nor do I feel the need to jump into a verbal war to defend a player. At the end of the day, the issues really doesn't affect my life.

To get this off my chest, am I being unreasonable to say the skewed h2h between Fed and Nadal has something to do with the rackets they use? At least to me, this seems to be the elephant in the room. Assuming they both have the same skill level, wouldn't it be rational to say the player with the larger racquet should always come out on top. It sure does take more concentration and form to hit a decent ball with a 90, and any lapse of concentration will cause a mis-hit off the sweetspot. Whereas with a 100, you have more real estate and you can swat at the ball or use bad form and still hit a decent shot. I don't want to get into nuances, because we all here play tennis and it's pretty obvious the pros and cons between a mid and oversize. I know they don't actually have the same skill level, but the margin is so small that any advantages yielded by their equipment will make one guy come out ahead most of the time. Would have been interesting to see if the h2h is this skewed if they both honed their skills using the same racket. Please discuss.
The Wilson police will be after you! :evil:
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
Fed's transition to the 98 has been remarkably smoother this year than his experiment in the middle of the season in '13. It is still a work in progress though and I'm sure his first few matches on a new surface (here in M-C, later in Halle) will be interesting to see if he's able to adapt.

The one constant across all surfaces, though, is his preparation for this season. December in Dubai vs exhos in SA has readied him for this relatively heavy workload...deep in all his tourneys and play in DC ties. He's taken it on well, even playing dubs in IW!

We may get to see if he can narrow the h2h this spring but if he does, it won't be solely about the racquet but also the preparation.
 
I'm a pretty reasonable guy who can sit through and keep an open mind on rational discussions regarding goat existence, h2h, weak ear, wft/og/dc, etc. I enjoy reading both sides of the arguments. I don't get agitated when someone is voicing an opinion that I don't agree with, nor do I feel the need to jump into a verbal war to defend a player. At the end of the day, the issues really doesn't affect my life.

To get this off my chest, am I being unreasonable to say the skewed h2h between Fed and Nadal has something to do with the rackets they use? At least to me, this seems to be the elephant in the room. Assuming they both have the same skill level, wouldn't it be rational to say the player with the larger racquet should always come out on top. It sure does take more concentration and form to hit a decent ball with a 90, and any lapse of concentration will cause a mis-hit off the sweetspot. Whereas with a 100, you have more real estate and you can swat at the ball or use bad form and still hit a decent shot. I don't want to get into nuances, because we all here play tennis and it's pretty obvious the pros and cons between a mid and oversize. I know they don't actually have the same skill level, but the margin is so small that any advantages yielded by their equipment will make one guy come out ahead most of the time. Would have been interesting to see if the h2h is this skewed if they both honed their skills using the same racket. Please discuss.
oh ffs, lets just end this with the ideal outcome you like to hear: FEDERER should have had 56 or 57 GS titles now since the only way he can ever lose is because of some unfair advantage somewhere.

FEDERER the GOD of tennis!!!!!

are you satisfied now?
 
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oh ffs, lets just end this with the ideal outcome you like to hear: FEDERER is should have had 56 or 57 GS titles now since the only way he can ever lose is because of some unfair advantage somewhere.

FEDERER the GOD of tennis!!!!!

are you satisfied now?
Forgive me for posting the name Fed/Nadal, should have known better... How about we take both names out, and inseart player A/B. If both players have similar skill set, and the one that is winning more is wielding a larger racket. How do you explain?

BTW, I don't believe there can be a GOAT, and I believe Nadal is a Tier one player. Satisfy now??
 

merwy

G.O.A.T.
No no no man. Bigger =/= better... at least not with rackets. Have you ever played tennis at (semi)high recreational level yourself? I get the feeling (from experience and playing with those rackets) that smaller racket heads are more "stiff", I've heard people use the term "unforgiving" when you don't hit it in the sweet spot. But when you do hit it on the sweet spot, it's very accurate and you hit it purely.
I played with a bigger racket for a while and I felt very uncomfortable, as if there was no sweet spot on that thing. I guess it's good for playing with topspin (which is how I play) but I personally like the smaller racket heads more.

And also, smaller racket-head =/= older technology. Just because the model is older, doesn't mean that Federer didn't customize his racket. In the end, all those rackets are just PJs are probably nothing like the rackets they're supposed to represent. I'm glad Federer is trying to find new ways to improve, but personally I haven't seen any specific improvements which I could account to the change in headsize. It's not like he stopped shanking. And I don't recall him shanking in his early years so I have no idea why he started doing that anyway.
 

vernonbc

Legend
To get this off my chest, am I being unreasonable to say the skewed h2h between Fed and Nadal has something to do with the rackets they use? At least to me, this seems to be the elephant in the room. Assuming they both have the same skill level, wouldn't it be rational to say the player with the larger racquet should always come out on top.
If Fed could have played better and improved his h2h against Nadal with a bigger racquet, then why in the world wouldn't he have switched 8 or 10 years ago? I don't think he's a dumb guy but if it was just a matter of the racquet he was using and he didn't change to the same style of equipment as Rafa, then Fed's not very smart.
 

urundai

Professional
If at all anything, the skewed h2h is nothing to do with rackets and more due to Poly strings that makes Nadal's heavy spins that more damaging and much more pronounced.
 

Sid_Vicious

G.O.A.T.
If at all anything, the skewed h2h is nothing to do with rackets and more due to Poly strings that makes Nadal's heavy spins that more damaging and much more pronounced.
Yup, I think the strings are more important here, but even then the credit goes to Nadal. Nadal is not the only guy who is playing with that frame and spin-friendly strings, but he is the only one who really hits shots like these routinely.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvYh0s094LY#t=187

The massive forehand DTL with 10 feet of net clearance.
 

jg153040

G.O.A.T.
I don't want this to start to become about Fedal goat. We have plenty of those.

I just have a question. If racket size doesn't matter, why did Fed switch? Why did Sampras say that he regrets he didn't switch to a larger racket.

There has to be some reason as why Fed switched and why most guys play with bigger rackets.

Maybe smaller racket has the edge on faster courts and where styles are different, so you need more all-court game and smaller racket should be better.

But today Fed is becoming more baseliner than all-courter. And todays conditions require grinding from the baseline. Maybe bigger racket has the advantage here.

Just guessing here. There has to be a reason why smart guy like Fed would change.
 

Paul Murphy

Hall of Fame
oh ffs, lets just end this with the ideal outcome you like to hear: FEDERER should have had 56 or 57 GS titles now since the only way he can ever lose is because of some unfair advantage somewhere.

FEDERER the GOD of tennis!!!!!

are you satisfied now?
"Objectivity"!
What delicious irony.
 

Paul Murphy

Hall of Fame
Forgive me for posting the name Fed/Nadal, should have known better... How about we take both names out, and inseart player A/B. If both players have similar skill set, and the one that is winning more is wielding a larger racket. How do you explain?

BTW, I don't believe there can be a GOAT, and I believe Nadal is a Tier one player. Satisfy now??
Don't bother trying to satisfy the lunatic fringe.
Good thread.
 

jg153040

G.O.A.T.
Sorry, but can we go back on topic? I would really like to talk about if larger racket makes a difference.

Some people say no, but there has to be a reason Fed switched and was thinking about switching for years. Also why Sampras regrets not switching and most guys today have bigger rackets.
 
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Paul Murphy

Hall of Fame
Sorry, but can we go back on topic? I would really like to talk about if larger racket makes a difference.

Some people say no, but there has to be a reason Fed switched and was thinking about switching for years. Also why Sampras regrets not switching and most guys today have bigger rackets.
Hear, hear.
 

Paul Murphy

Hall of Fame
I have no doubt it would have improved his game and results.
Pity he didn't do it earlier but there's no way of knowing how much better those results might be.
 

jg153040

G.O.A.T.
I have no doubt it would have improved his game and results.
Pity he didn't do it earlier but there's no way of knowing how much better those results might be.
But why is bigger racket better today? Is it more suitable for grinding and today's surfaces?

Do you claim Fed would have won even more with bigger racket between 2003-2007? Or maybe smaller racket was better suited for all-court game needed back then.
 

Paul Murphy

Hall of Fame
But why is bigger racket better today? Is it more suitable for grinding and today's surfaces?

Do you claim Fed would have won even more with bigger racket between 2003-2007? Or maybe smaller racket was better suited for all-court game needed back then.
I think it's simple - a bigger head is more forgiving - fewer shanks, fewer errors - more juice on his BH, where he needs it.
 

jg153040

G.O.A.T.
I think it's simple - a bigger head is more forgiving - fewer shanks, fewer errors - more juice on his BH, where he needs it.
If that's the case why did anyone play with smaller racket?

I'm assuming smaller racket has to have some benefit. I doubt pros are stupid.
 

Paul Murphy

Hall of Fame
If that's the case why did anyone play with smaller racket?

I'm assuming smaller racket has to have some benefit. I doubt pros are stupid.
It's what he'd used for many years - he was resistant to change - most people are - pros, particularly ones who've won 17 majors are as well.
As was Sampras to his regret.
 

jg153040

G.O.A.T.
It's what he'd used for many years - he was resistant to change - most people are - pros, particularly ones who've won 17 majors are as well.
As was Sampras to his regret.
Does any from the younger pros today have a smaller racket?

Which brings me the question. If small racket is worse, how did Fed win so many majors?
 

Bender

G.O.A.T.
There is more to what makes a good racquet, than head size. I play better with the ProStaff 90 than I do with a Pure Drive

Edit: spelling
 
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mattennis

Hall of Fame
Since Oversize racquets started to be used at professional tennis at the end of the 70s, the two players that (since then) have won more big titles and have been more time at nº1 in the ranking, one used a 85 s.i. racquet and the other one used (for most of his career) a 90 s.i. racquet.

Does it mean that to be really really successful in pro-tennis today you need a small-head, great-control racquet?

Maybe different type of players need different type of racquets?:)
 

jg153040

G.O.A.T.
Since Oversize racquets started to be used at professional tennis at the end of the 70s, the two players that (since then) have won more big titles and have been more time at nº1 in the ranking, one used a 85 s.i. racquet and the other one used (for most of his career) a 90 s.i. racquet.

Does it mean that to be really really successful in pro-tennis today you need a small-head, great-control racquet?

Maybe different type of players need different type of racquets?:)
If that's true, why is Fed switching?
 

mattennis

Hall of Fame
If that's true, why is Fed switching?
Maybe because now he is older and slower, he can not get into position fast enough to setup his shots as before, so he can not take advantage of his more control-oriented previous racquet?

Anyway, he won Wimbledon and was nº1 in the world at 31 with his "small" head racquet (and I say "small" because a 90 is not small at all, nothing like a 65 s.i. wood racquet). Do do think he will win a GS tournament again and be nº1 again with this bigger racquet?
 

jg153040

G.O.A.T.
Maybe because now he is older and slower, he can not get into position fast enough to setup his shots as before, so he can not take advantage of his more control-oriented previous racquet?

Anyway, he won Wimbledon and was nº1 in the world at 31 with his "small" head racquet (and I say "small" because a 90 is not small at all, nothing like a 65 s.i. wood racquet). Do do think he will win a GS tournament again and be nº1 again with this bigger racquet?
I don't know, but Fed seems to think so.
 

urundai

Professional
Does any from the younger pros today have a smaller racket?

Which brings me the question. If small racket is worse, how did Fed win so many majors?
I think Dmitrov is playing with a 93 inch racquet, which is much smaller than other pros.

Make no mistake, a smaller head offers more control compared to the larger one. Only problem is mishits which will more significant loss of power. Fed lost some control (doesn't look match) and what he gained in power on off-center hits more than compensates the lost control / precision.

Which is why recreational player like me is better off with a huge OS racquet than a smaller head. It doesn't bother me as I don't have much control anyways and don't lose much :)
 

jg153040

G.O.A.T.
I think Dmitrov is playing with a 93 inch racquet, which is much smaller than other pros.

Make no mistake, a smaller head offers more control compared to the larger one. Only problem is mishits which will more significant loss of power. Fed lost some control (doesn't look match) and what he gained in power on off-center hits more than compensates the lost control / precision.

Which is why recreational player like me is better off with a huge OS racquet than a smaller head. It doesn't bother me as I don't have much control anyways and don't lose much :)
Good points. I wonder how much of this is the placebo effect with recreational players :).
 
"Objectivity"!
What delicious irony.
its not irony. its sarcasm. because you now as well as I do, that all the OP wants to do is promote some theory to discredit Nadal (and any other player). because their obsession with Federer have induced them to think that Federer cannot possibly lose -- he must have been disadvantaged.
 

Chico

Banned
I'm a pretty reasonable guy who can sit through and keep an open mind on rational discussions regarding goat existence, h2h, weak ear, wft/og/dc, etc. I enjoy reading both sides of the arguments. I don't get agitated when someone is voicing an opinion that I don't agree with, nor do I feel the need to jump into a verbal war to defend a player. At the end of the day, the issues really doesn't affect my life.

To get this off my chest, am I being unreasonable to say the skewed h2h between Fed and Nadal has something to do with the rackets they use? At least to me, this seems to be the elephant in the room. Assuming they both have the same skill level, wouldn't it be rational to say the player with the larger racquet should always come out on top. It sure does take more concentration and form to hit a decent ball with a 90, and any lapse of concentration will cause a mis-hit off the sweetspot. Whereas with a 100, you have more real estate and you can swat at the ball or use bad form and still hit a decent shot. I don't want to get into nuances, because we all here play tennis and it's pretty obvious the pros and cons between a mid and oversize. I know they don't actually have the same skill level, but the margin is so small that any advantages yielded by their equipment will make one guy come out ahead most of the time. Would have been interesting to see if the h2h is this skewed if they both honed their skills using the same racket. Please discuss.
:shock: You cannot be serious. Really? Really? It is totally irrational indeed.
 

BreakPoint

Bionic Poster
And also, smaller racket-head =/= older technology. Just because the model is older, doesn't mean that Federer didn't customize his racket. In the end, all those rackets are just PJs are probably nothing like the rackets they're supposed to represent. I'm glad Federer is trying to find new ways to improve, but personally I haven't seen any specific improvements which I could account to the change in headsize. It's not like he stopped shanking. And I don't recall him shanking in his early years so I have no idea why he started doing that anyway.
In fact, Federer shanked LESS when he used an 85 sq. in. racquet than he does now with a 98 sq. in. racquet. It has more to do with his footwork getting worse as he got older.
 

BreakPoint

Bionic Poster
If Fed could have played better and improved his h2h against Nadal with a bigger racquet, then why in the world wouldn't he have switched 8 or 10 years ago? I don't think he's a dumb guy but if it was just a matter of the racquet he was using and he didn't change to the same style of equipment as Rafa, then Fed's not very smart.
Why would Federer change racquets just to beat ONE GUY when he was already beating everyone else with his usual racquet?
 

BreakPoint

Bionic Poster
Sorry, but can we go back on topic? I would really like to talk about if larger racket makes a difference.

Some people say no, but there has to be a reason Fed switched and was thinking about switching for years. Also why Sampras regrets not switching and most guys today have bigger rackets.
Sampras saying he regrets not switching is completely meaningless, IMHO. The grass is always greener on the other side. He has no idea what may have happened if he had actually switched since he didn't. He may have only won 4 Slams instead of 14. Who knows? What happened is what happened. You can't go back in time and prove the result of something that didn't happen.

The player that should have regretted not switching to a SMALLER racquet is Agassi since he lost to Sampras every time they played each other at Wimbledon and at the US Open, which resulted in him ending up with only 8 Slams instead of Sampras's 14. :shock: :)
 

BreakPoint

Bionic Poster
I think it's simple - a bigger head is more forgiving - fewer shanks, fewer errors - more juice on his BH, where he needs it.
Well, if that were really true, why stop at 98 sq. in.? Wouldn't a 120 sq. in. racquet be even more forgiving and mean even fewer shanks, fewer errors, and even more juice on his BH?
 

jg153040

G.O.A.T.
Sampras saying he regrets not switching is completely meaningless, IMHO. The grass is always greener on the other side. He has no idea what may have happened if he had actually switched since he didn't. He may have only won 4 Slams instead of 14. Who knows? What happened is what happened. You can't go back in time and prove the result of something that didn't happen.

The player that should have regretted not switching to a SMALLER racquet is Agassi since he lost to Sampras every time they played each other at Wimbledon and at the US Open, which resulted in him ending up with only 8 Slams instead of Sampras's 14. :shock: :)
Sampras meant last years of his career, I think. Not in his peak.
 

swizzy

Hall of Fame
look at fed in his best years and try to imagine him playing any better. nadal just plays a game unsuited to fed's strengths.. plus nadal is amazing.
 

Bender

G.O.A.T.
Well, if that were really true, why stop at 98 sq. in.? Wouldn't a 120 sq. in. racquet be even more forgiving and mean even fewer shanks, fewer errors, and even more juice on his BH?
Because at some point, the advantages of a larger head size is offset by its disadvantages. But I'm sure you knew that already, since you're the resident racquet expert and all.

So why doesn't Federer use a 65 sq inch racquet? Why stop at 90? Same thing.
 
D

Deleted member 3771

Guest
I'm a pretty reasonable guy who can sit through and keep an open mind on rational discussions regarding goat existence, h2h, weak ear, wft/og/dc, etc. I enjoy reading both sides of the arguments. I don't get agitated when someone is voicing an opinion that I don't agree with, nor do I feel the need to jump into a verbal war to defend a player. At the end of the day, the issues really doesn't affect my life.

To get this off my chest, am I being unreasonable to say the skewed h2h between Fed and Nadal has something to do with the rackets they use? At least to me, this seems to be the elephant in the room. Assuming they both have the same skill level, wouldn't it be rational to say the player with the larger racquet should always come out on top. It sure does take more concentration and form to hit a decent ball with a 90, and any lapse of concentration will cause a mis-hit off the sweetspot. Whereas with a 100, you have more real estate and you can swat at the ball or use bad form and still hit a decent shot. I don't want to get into nuances, because we all here play tennis and it's pretty obvious the pros and cons between a mid and oversize. I know they don't actually have the same skill level, but the margin is so small that any advantages yielded by their equipment will make one guy come out ahead most of the time. Would have been interesting to see if the h2h is this skewed if they both honed their skills using the same racket. Please discuss.
According to your theory, If you assumed that Rafa and Fed had the same skill level, then Fed should be able to dominate the h2h if he used a 125 inch racquet.:) So what is stopping him from doing that?
 

the green god

Professional
Speaking as a 43 year old who stills can play a pretty good game of tennis with a 100 sq in racquet, the 25 year old version of myself with my 85 in pro staff would destroy the current me. You get older you have to adjust.
 

PrinceMoron

Legend
Speaking as a 43 year old who stills can play a pretty good game of tennis with a 100 sq in racquet, the 25 year old version of myself with my 85 in pro staff would destroy the current me. You get older you have to adjust.
So you have a 20 yr old PS85 you are not using.... There must be a price.
 

Paul Murphy

Hall of Fame
its not irony. its sarcasm. because you now as well as I do, that all the OP wants to do is promote some theory to discredit Nadal (and any other player). because their obsession with Federer have induced them to think that Federer cannot possibly lose -- he must have been disadvantaged.
"Obsession"!.
You crack me up. :)
 

Paul Murphy

Hall of Fame
Because at some point, the advantages of a larger head size is offset by its disadvantages. But I'm sure you knew that already, since you're the resident racquet expert and all.

So why doesn't Federer use a 65 sq inch racquet? Why stop at 90? Same thing.
Thanks.
Saved me the trouble.
 

BreakPoint

Bionic Poster
Because at some point, the advantages of a larger head size is offset by its disadvantages. But I'm sure you knew that already, since you're the resident racquet expert and all.

So why doesn't Federer use a 65 sq inch racquet? Why stop at 90? Same thing.
So what you're saying is that there are advantages that smaller racquets have over larger racquets? :)
 

jg153040

G.O.A.T.
Speaking as a 43 year old who stills can play a pretty good game of tennis with a 100 sq in racquet, the 25 year old version of myself with my 85 in pro staff would destroy the current me. You get older you have to adjust.
Yeah, but any 25 version can destroy any 43 version. I don't think it has to do with the racket, though.
 
Thanks for all the replies and keeping the troll/flame to a minimum, it has been a fun read. So I guess I'm in the minority here. It's just hard for me to wrap my head around that most here think there is no real advantage of a 100 vs a 90 sq.in. Come on now, we all here play tennis and for sure the 100 sq.in. headsize is easier to play with than the 90. If we had to choose one racket to go into battle against a topspinner, 90% of us would choose something bigger than a 90 bc of more real estate. That is why barely any current pros play with a midsize racket. With the bigger headsize, you have more margin for error and can get away with more.
When stamina, focus, concentration and form starts to wane in the 2nd or 3rd hour onward, the 90 will feel even smaller. That is why in most of the Fedal matches, Fed always starts out great, then his level starts to drop as the match drags on. The player gets tired and cannot keep the form and footwork needed for the midsize racquet. Every little advantage helps at the level they are playing at. Since Fed and Nadal are both great, and both play at near the same incredible level, can we really ignore this as a factor for the skewed H2H??

BTW, during an interview with Pat Cash on TC last year, he mentioned that he would kick the butt of his younger self if they were to meet today. The new racket and string technology really gives an unfair advantage.
 
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