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?