Discussion in 'Classic Racquet Talk' started by mltaylor, Jan 12, 2010.
Here's the Hana Mandlikova model of the Wilson Ultra FPK.
Well now, you don't see one of those every day!
Great racquet. Should have gone into full production with those.
That blue is the most beautiful color ever painted onto a tennis racquet, I've always thought.
I never knew Mandlikova played with it, though. In my mind's eye she is forever charging the net with an Ultra II in hand.
that's a beautiful racket. not to be rude, but would you consider selling it?
It's a great looking racquet. I'd love to get one of these as well. BTW, has anyone played with it?
Love the "T-Dub" label on the handle. I remember those were available a few years ago.....
...pristine deadstock FPK 85? er, me want it !! trade/sell? (he asks shamelessly)
This thread sang its praises and, I think, included opinions of people who played with it:
Ode To The Wilson Ultra FPK 95
Wilson Ultra FPK 85? I didn't see much written about it.
It's extremely rare; no talk of the 85 on here anywhere - just a whisper...
I mentioned before that those were available from TW a few years ago......I think they were a Bosworth collection offering, made special for Ms. Mandlikova.
I think this racquet came about because Mike Estep started coaching Hana shortly before her return to tour from a 6 month sabbatical in late 1988. He recommended that Hana go with a lighter racquet than the Ultra II was.
I only saw her play a few matches with it. But it seemed to take her a while to adjust to it because the ball had a tendency to fly on her a bit. But I think it was a good racquet for her overall. It just came to her at a bad time for her career.
Hana was marketed much more heavily in Europe and Australia than she was in the U.S. Which is a shame for us. Because she was known to be one of Bosworth's trendy equipment freaks. If TW had existed when Hana played she would've been greatly immitated in this area.
The Wilson Ultra (the original) was one powerful and stiff frame! It was also about $200, meaning it was one of the most expensive frames you could buy new, if not the most expensive new frame.
Then, the Wilson Ultra II did come out a few years later. Is she playing with a Wilson PS in the image below or a Ultra II? I guess per the ad, it is a PS, but maybe I'm wrong.
I do recall her playing with that with original Ultra though. She had great strokes, including an impressive one handed backhand, that's for sure. She gave both Navratilova and Evert some major problems! See her below with a wood frame (Jack Kramer?) and then later with an Ultra II.
...Yes, Jack Kramer Autograph.......and Ultra II Midsize (version with little, white "W" on the collar), the one she won the 1985 US Open with...
(and the 1987 Australian Open, too, if I remember well)
Sorry, not for sale. I'm holding on to it.
I'm going to try and hit with it just a little. I'm curious how it will be. I haven't even hit with a 95 FPK version yet to compare. I'll report back after.
Just holding it, it seems heavier than the 12.0 oz. spec. but that's probably because of the almost even balance.
Thanks for all the great info on Hana everyone. I wasn't actually able to find any photos of her using this stick. But I figured it would have been towards the end of her professional career.
Here are a couple....
They're from Jan '90 and May '91, respectively....
I pointed out the TW label on the grip.....I assume you bought it from them as a Bosworth vintage racket offering, right?
that racket has a 4 5/8 grip on it, isn't that right? hana had some spider crab-sized hands, i guess.
Not at all - I use that size grip myself and my hands are average sized. I find the larger grip prevents the racquet slipping and from holding it too tightly. I also use a leather grip.
Some famous player/coach once said that players had a tendency to use smaller grips than they should. I'm surprised at how many men use a 4 3/8 grip actually.
Thanks for the pics VGP!
You got me. I got it from TW's Bosworth collection.
The grip on my FPK 85 is L4 MM.
When I took the photos recently, that was when I first realized the racquet came without the bumper guard.
i only just have seen this post. unfortunately the links to the photos are disabled. VGP, would it be possible for you to send me the links or add them to a new post? thank you.
Wow, This is very nice. I am impressed and I don't get impressed easily anymore.
I was in that thread and can't say enough good things about the FPK 95's serve and volley attributes. I almost sold mine to someone here but the deal never went through. I had a new one with plastic on the handle and 4 beaten up ones I was willing to part with. I also had a replacement bumper guard and almost full set of grommets.
It's interesting: the stringing pattern on this frame (and the Ultra 2 Mid) is much more even in grid size, unlike the "variable density" patterns on most Wilson mids (where the grids towards the center of the face are much smaller than those towards the periphery). I have an Ultra 2 Mid and enjoy its ball response and control much better than that of the PS 85. I think I'd probably like the custom Ultra FPK 85 as well... too bad these were not produced en masse.
I have the 85 bought from TW.. I did string up and play with it.. itis a terrible racket I thought.. in contrast with the 95.. the 95 is like an 6.0 original with more pop..
You wanna trade my 95 for your 85?
I liked the 95 FPK at the time (although I don't think it was a frame I immediately tried when widebodies were the rage). It's a nice hit.
I did not know that the 85 FPK was available in America. Was it?
One of the few widebody classics. I also think the Wilson 4.5 also rates some consideration.
Ultra Kevlar FPK 95 is not a widebody frame. It plas just like Pro Staff 95 but much stiffer.
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