Tennisopolis : Tennis Social Network

Switching racquets after 14 years. Goodbye Graphite II, Hello Speedport Black.

OK, I promised to blog about why I am so horrible. I blame my horribleness on the fact that I've just switched racquets for the first time in 14 years.

I had been thinking about a change of racquets for a while, having considered it on and off for the last 4 years or so. Racquets seemed to be looking more different, potentially holding great promise of technologies for improving my game, maybe even making me a better person. Each time, though, I was stopped by what seemed like prohibitively high costs ($200 for a new racquet? And it doesn't even come with strings?!) and indecision (How am I supposed to choose between all of these hundreds of models of racquets?)

Finally, though, I learned about Tennis Warehouse's demo program. TW made trying different racquets so incredibly easy. I could just click "add to basket" a few times. Having read a bunch of reviews and talked to my local pro shop, I unsystematically picked a few. Round 2: based on what I liked out of the first three, I picked a few more. The second racquet I tried in this batch was the Prince Speedport Black with string hole inserts.

It was love at first swing. I felt like the racquet was just taking the ball, giving it a warm hug, and tossing it back just where and how I wanted it to go. I liked the way the racquet whooshed through the air and felt in my hand.

I ended up buying a couple from the local pro shop, which gave me a surprisingly good deal, and I am incredibly happy with my purchase. But I did get used to playing with the Prince Graphite II MP, the racquet my first tennis coach recommended to me, for 14 years.

In one sense, I'm horrible because I'm still getting used to the nuances of using my new stick. I feel like it's either spot on (awesome, topspin groundstrokes and perfectly placed serves) or way off (groundstrokes to the back fence and double faults). In another sense, I'm horrible because I just cast aside a 14 year relationship for the shiny frame of my new love. Can you ever forget your first?

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Tags: love, prince, racquet

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Comment by Elaine on September 4, 2009 at 9:47am
Terence, I definitely agree re: strings.

I have started trying a hybrid string setup, following the recommendation of my teaching pro. I haven't managed to break strings fast enough for this to be a fast process, though, and I can't bring myself to cut out my $30+ stringing job (which, at the moment, I wish were tighter...).
Comment by Terence on August 15, 2009 at 9:47am
My first racquet was the old Dunlop 200G that McEnroe and Graf used. I loved that racquet but I like my current racquet much more (Dunlop 300 Tour).

My main thing now is strings. I experiment new strings all the time and different strings make a huge difference in the way you play.

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