The Tennis Thread

<p>Instead of me making a thread for every slam (and sometimes tournament), why not just have one thread?</p>

<p>Anyone watching Indian Wells? Staying up late tonight to watch Nadal/Federer QF!</p>

<p>Of course I am. I haven’t missed a match yet.</p>

<p>Yay! Yea, I’ve been watching the whole thing. Thankfully the Miami Open is in the same time zone and it’s scheduled over my Spring break. Tennis all day erry day.</p>

<p>And I started tennis lessons today! My backhand is already pro status.</p>

<p>Watched Berdych/Anderson today. I need to go to bed early (so that I can play tennis tomorrow) so I’ll watch it on recording.</p>

<p>I usually go to the Miami tourney but not this year. Is one of my favorites. </p>

<p>Did you just start playing or just decide to take some lesson to get better?</p>

<p>it’s a shame they have summer weather year round here, but no courts within a 20 mile radius from where I live.</p>

<p>did anybody ever wonder why they don’t shoot the match from the back perspective? You really can’t respect the things they’re able to do if you’re watching a match from the sky. I can’t stay away watching the ball move back and forth like it’s a game of pong.</p>

<p>Maybe I’ll stay up.</p>

<p>I just started.</p>

<p>Sometimes the angle is from the back of the court but I actually prefer the regular camera angle. But either way, watching on TV you don’t really get how hard they are hitting the ball, how high over the net they are hitting the ball, etc., etc., etc. </p>

<p>CSISHSI - enjoy learning how to play! With the newer racquet technology it is so much easier to get good quickly than when I was learning in the olden day with a wood racquet. I could barely get the ball over the net.</p>

<p>they only do that during practice, never during match. I wish they would bring the camera closer to the ground. at tilt the vision of the court so the viewer is more engaged with what the serving side is actually doing.</p>



<p>The newer racquet technology does make it easier to get the ball over the net and even generate a fair amount of pace doing so but the older racquets were a lot better at forcing you to learn good technique in moving to the ball and using your larger muscles to generate power.</p>

<p>In the old days, a lot of people tried tennis and either got better or gave up. The modern racquets mean that more players can play tennis with bad form but the bad form frequently results in stress injuries, mostly in the arm.</p>

<p>The top male pros (and many of the top female pros) use frames with swingweights that are higher than those of wood racquets. The top four (Nadal, Federer, Djokovic, Murray) have swingweights in the 355 and up range. The swingweights of typical retail frames usually max out at 345 (and there are only a few frames at this level). Most are in the 290 - 330 range.</p>

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<p>BC, I agree with your synopsis but being a very tiny person I literally could not hit a ball over the net with a wood racquet. It wasn’t until the 80’s I could take it up again. My father was an incredible tennis player - New Haven city champion several times (along with an uncle) and even he had to give up on me. Maybe if anyone played with a two handed backhand back then it would have been a bit easier for me. </p>

<p>Growing up my dad played on wood - like a basketball court. He had a wicked serve and incredible volleys. Touch and spin were more important than power, imo. The surface made their shots lightening quick.</p>

<p>Everyone plays with modern frames today because that stiffness gives you a competitive advantage, even if it’s not the best thing for arm health. I use a frame that has a stiffness of 62. The typical range of racquets today is 56 - 72 so I’m in the lower part of the middle. Djokovic and Murray use very flexible frames, I’d say around 56 while Federer uses something more in the middle, probably around 65-66 and Nadal uses something that’s on the high end which really helps his spin game.</p>

<p>I’ve played on grass, wood, clay, carpets, and hardcourts. Wood is very, very fast and you basically want to get to the net as soon as possible. The surfaces today are slower - even the grass has been slowed down. Modern play favors baseline play and a grueling fitness style - we see this in Djokovic, Murray and Nadal. Federer is a mix of classic tennis and the modern style and I think that it’s wonderful to watch him, but his age is catching up to him. I think that Federer has revived the one-handed backhand when most of the world was going to the two-handed backhand.</p>

<p>Some smaller players use extended-length racquets, sometimes to 28 or 29 inches. Standard-length racquets are 27 inches. The ones that I currently use are 27.6 inches. My previous racquets are 27.75 inches - they are rather hard to come by. Michael Chang was a great player that used XL racquets and they were sold under his name by Prince too.</p>

<p>I was at Indian Wells earlier this week. It’s a beautiful venue, well laid out, fan-friendly. Fans can see their favorite players on the practice courts and many of the players like to play soccer on the grass fields near the locker rooms, also accessible for the fans to see. </p>

<p>I like the outer courts where I sat courtside and could really see the ball almost as if I were playing, the spin, the speed, the bounce. It’s a different game than a club game. </p>

<p>Saw Murray, Djokovic, Federer, Stosur, Kirilenko, Sharapova, Radwanska, Tsonga, Blake, Fish, and several others.</p>

<p>Tatin, glad you had a great time! I’ve never been to IW since it’s so much easier and less expensive for me to go to Miami. Maybe after I’m done with college tuition. </p>

<p>I also much prefer watching matches on the outer courts and I like to go to during the qualies and spend a lot of time watching the big boys practice. </p>

<p>BC, I’m sad to say I agree re Roger, but it’s too be expected. Last night’s match was very disappointing. </p>

<p>I hate what the have done to the Wimby grass but at least they haven’t slowed down the USOpen courts <em>yet</em>. I don’t find the game as interesting to watch anymore. All the players seem to play the same way.</p>

<p>I can’t believe people would pay $200 for a new racket just for the paint jobs. I know for the babolats, their technology hasn’t changed much in like 5 years. Ever since GT came out, it’s been pretty much the same. And I mean they’re not all that different. A good player can use an old school prince O3 model, and he would not be at any disadvantage. Most players nowadays are more worried about getting the new thing than the racket that’s right for them.</p>

<p>And honestly, once you get good, it’s important to get a heavy racket. It’s part of the reason why federer’s backhand slice is faster than most people’s topspin… These lighter rackets do let players get away with bad technique. But once they face a heavy hitter, they’re going to get hammered.</p>



<p>Tennis is as much about fashion as it is about playing the game. The shirt that Roger was wearing last night is $90. Is that shirt going to make you play like Roger? Of course not. I’m sure that it’s comfortable and functional but so is a Nike Dri-Fit at $12.99.</p>

<p>My opinion is that the most important thing is the layup and weight distribution of the graphite and other materials like kevlar or twaron. I am skeptical about a lot of the technologies that have been put out there. I do think that the power holes do work but a lot of players don’t like the feeling of those (obviously some do).</p>



<p>There are very good players that use very light racquets with no problems. I think that there is a wide variance in the kinds of muscles, tendons, ligaments in people and that some people can tolerate very stiff and light frames and many cannot. I fall into the latter category.</p>

<p>My current frame is 13 1/4 ounces (might be heavier - I don’t recall whether I measured it with the two overgrips). It has three strips of lead tape from 10 to 2 under the bumper so you can imagine how high the swingweight is.</p>

<p>to be honest, I think that if tennis was less about fashion, and more about tennis, then more people would both play and watch it. It’s not supposed to be a rich man’s sport… or I mean it was, but it shouldn’t be.</p>

<p>I still don’t understand the reason behind light frames. Not only do you risk your arm for long term injury, you also give up a lot of heft in your swings. Heavy rackets are ideal not just because they can have more flex, but also inertia. granted, there is quite a bit of diminishing return when it comes to weight/ball speed, but evidently it works for almost every single pro that I’ve seen. IMO, in order to improve at tennis, you need the swingweight of a heavy racket. Lighter frames with high swingweight just doesn’t make any sense. It’s not any more maneuverable than a heavy racket, and it’s taxing on your arm (and good luck with cross courts and volleys).</p>

<p>what racket do you have BCEagle?</p>



<p>You can generate more racquet-head-speed and get power that way. It just puts more stress on your arm. You see the modern windshield-wiper strokes that the western FH/2HBH pros use. These frames are fairly light and very stiff and you can hit the ball quite hard with them to the point where you need a lot of spin to keep the ball in the court.</p>

<p>A lot of players use a polarized setup today. They start with a fairly light hairpin (racquet minus bumper/grommets, pallets, grips, strings) and add silicone to the handle and lead between 10:00 and 2:00. This results in roughly equal balance (most go slightly headlight) and maximum swingweight to static weight ratio. Some folks like Berdych and Djokovic put lead at 3/9 too for stability. The polarized setup results in greater dynamic flex - it doesn’t show up on an RDC machine but you’ll feel it when you hit with it.</p>

<p>The problem with heavy racquets is that a lot of (maybe even most) people can’t use them. I once saw a guy with a Wilson K-Factor Six-One Tour (Federer’s racquet a few years ago), and he could barely get the ball back over the net. It was a very popular racquet as the retail model was pretty close to the one he really uses but I think that most people that bought it couldn’t really use it. Babolat has done really well selling light and stiff racquets. The AeroPro Drive has been a best-seller for a long time. I’m sure that Andy Roddick sold a lot of Pure Drives too. The vast majority of people don’t realize the damage that they can do to their arm. I see people having to deal with arm issues at the Tennis Warehouse forums. Even their play-testers report arm problems with stiff frames.</p>

<p>A lot of people expect the racquet to do a lot for them. They don’t realize that money is better spent on lessons to improve technique and on efforts to improve fitness.</p>




<p>the disadvantage with lighter rackets is that you have to time it really well due to the faster swing. you don’t need a light racket to generate spin. Nadal’s racket has something like 365 sw, I think. it’s all in the technique. </p>

<p>But most of this stuff is in our heads. I think most college players use stock versions of babloat or wilson. No lead whatsoever. They’ll wipe the floor with me, even the ladies. I think once you get used to the racket, it’s hard to change to something else, because there’s that time you have to take to readjust your timing and consistency.</p>

<p>tw forum, man I haven’t visited there for a while. I could maybe use it to find some people to play with</p>