Tennisopolis : Tennis Social Network

As some of you know Im a bit of a Racketaholic.
Throughout the 2 yrs Ive been playing i have continually analysed my progression, fitness and equipment.
As i did with golf when i was younger over a period of 3 yrs I moved from a 9 handicapper to scratch using the same obsessive analysis.
As ive improved (I used to play to a reasonably high level when very young) and got back to some of the consistency of my teens Ive also assessed my strengths and weeknesses as a player.

Ive recently spent a lot of time purposely playing baseline tennis to improve my consistency. In this scenario I found the Prince Ozone Tour (customised) the best racket from a number of playtests. I continued with this racket even tho I couldnt serve with it. This in turn made me realise the obvious. I am an aggressive S&V.

My recent racket exploits have revolved around what benefits this side of my game and in doing this Ive had to take into account that I will have to compromise in other areas of my game.
Ive moved back to a smaller headed racket, its better for serving and volleying and is more stable. Im in the middle of playtesting a number of rackets but the leaders of the pack are the Wilson kps 88, Head pro tour 600 (90's racket) and the Graphite Pro 600 (an 80's racket).
Ive found the only rackets worth their salt are the older models, their materials and the way they are made are far superior to todays models which are tinny and unstable. The only rackets Ive found to be anywhere near to yesterdays models are the pro staffs and the new kps88 ticks all the boxes. Very smilar to the older pst90 but with a little more swingweight and ooomph.

The other important factor is a change in string set up from all poly to gut.
This has had by far the biggest affect on my game and cannot be underestimated. My serve has become a monster, it has always been the best part of my game its just now so much more. I can understand the big serving pro S&V so much more, the pace, spin, swerve is unbelievable and the grip on serve enables you to get into the net. My 2nd serve is so much more penetrating now as I can go for it much more due to the grip and trajectory from the racket.
I do have to ciompromise on groundstrokes tho, no longer can a swing away freely hitting heavy topspin shots. My technique is much more important. I have less room for error and have to be controlled and think a little more. I am still hitting heavy topspin with my extreme grips just not what it was like with the larger headed prince racket. Im hitting harder and flatter so at the moment making a few more errors than normal but making it up by not losing my serve.

Ive started looking at the coverage of Mcenroe, edberg, Ivanisevic, sampras etc from when I grew up and its like a breath of fresh air. Very aggressive. Good servers, going for their shots when recieving.
I must of known there was always a reason i liked Edberg's game when I was younger. I suppose I turned into what I watched when I was younger.
Just to say Im very happy, I will always playtest different rackets, but now Im playing to my strengths and working on those areas that I have had to compromise, all in all, Im in transistion but the benefits are already showing with winning games that would normally be a little more difficult.
Ive become a bully!

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Comment by Meags on December 25, 2010 at 4:10am
No i don't break strings but the alu rough just rips thro the gut. Pacific prime gut i prefer to vs its a little crisper imo. Full alu power for me great string although you do have to change it each match. I string too so not a big deal
Comment by Tim Prapong on December 24, 2010 at 7:58pm
I'll have to try that hybrid setup. Never tried Pacific Gut, only VS. Three games? I never break strings that fast.
Comment by Meags on December 24, 2010 at 8:16am
Its interesting to read older blogs and not much has changed from the above. Smaller headed rackets and extreme grips makes life difficult so ive gone back to a 95" mid plus and Ive stuck with full poly. I really like playing Pacific gut mains, Alu rough crosses but it lasts about 3 games and i just cant afford that but the movement i can get on serve with that set up is just unreal. At the end of the day everything is about balance i suppose.
Comment by Tim Prapong on December 20, 2010 at 1:32am

Nice to see a Head Pro Tour 600/ Graphite Pro user. I feel exactly the same way about those frames, along with the K Pro Staff. I had two of those K Pro Staffs but switched to the Pro Tour 630.

 

Comment by Meags on November 23, 2009 at 4:22pm
Yeah thanks Mark
my serve is a major weapon so when Im on song its never coming back offensively if at all. Im 6'4 and already half way in court when I serve.
Throughout the wet season here Ive been still serve volleying and getting loads of problematic returns as the balls are heavy and not moving thro the court like in the dry season.
What it does tho even tho Im struggling a bit is give me that edge when the balls are moving at my normal pace. Come those hot days next spring summer It will leave me in good stead.
When I play a more baseline game I can hit winners from 4ft behind the baseline but obviously its less consistant and my points finish early.
Like i said at the end its about bullying your opponent give them no time, hold your hands up if they hit a clean winner, I dont usually get lobbed prob cos its difficult off my serve and if its a poor serve then i usually know and stay back then look for the opp to move foreward.
Its all good stuff, I just wish edbergs beckers and sampras played now to shake up the modern heirarchy.
Comment by Mark / The Mayor on November 23, 2009 at 4:01pm
Great news! I need to start putting more pressure on my opponents by coming to the net more and with more force. I find that I do not close the net fast enough and I'm often caught in no man's land. There's a lot of great lobbers out there too. So that is another area I need to improve, recognizing the lob and moving back a few feet to take the overhead. I'm fairly tall, 6'-2", but I think I get lobbed too easily. S&V is great for those tight situations in matches where the stress is high and the muscles tighten up. So it is good to have it in your skill set.

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