Tennisopolis : Tennis Social Network

Was It A Mistake to Allow Non Wooden Rackets?

Did the ruling bodies make a mistake by not regulating the size and content of tennis rackets? In the late 60's and early 70's nobody had ever thought of using anything other than wood for playing tennis. So when Connors strolled on with a metal racket, the regulatory bodies did not know what to do as there was no rule against it.

But were they too slow to react? Have we lost some of the skill and artistry of the game and sacrificed it to the skill of the manufacturer, where technology advancement has turned the game too much into a first serve and baseline smashing contest, dominated by the kind of topspin that would have been impossible with a wooden racket.

The real pity is that we can no longer compare the greats of yesteryear with the heroes of today because it has evolved into such a different game.

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Comment by Christian Howgill on December 13, 2010 at 3:58pm

Yes, I think the ruling bodies should have been stricter, when they first started to use aluminium rackets.

Comment by John Spoerl on December 13, 2010 at 3:30pm
If we let MLB use whatever space age technology they wanted there would be 500ft homeruns on the regular
Comment by Christian Howgill on December 6, 2010 at 6:21pm
Yes, we still have a few of those keeping our wooden tournament racquets safe! Some of them still play with their original gut, but every year we lose one or two and have to have them re-strung.
Comment by Christian Howgill on December 6, 2010 at 4:43am
Well, in England the best wooden racket and certainly the one that everyone remembers with most affection is the Maxply by a long chalk.

Yes we have someone at Queen's Club who still plays with a wooden racket and it winds his opposition up really badly when he beats them!
Comment by Tim Prapong on December 5, 2010 at 7:21pm
I would love to play doubles with wooden racquets. I actually played wood against everyone with their modern graphites in doubles and won all my matches. Needless to say, people were either mad at me for daring to do such a thing, or were disappointed even more with their game. I used alot of short angles and slice serves wide.
Comment by Tim Prapong on December 5, 2010 at 7:16pm
So which wooden racquet takes it as the best of all time? The Kramer? The Maxply?
Comment by Christian Howgill on December 5, 2010 at 6:40pm
Yes, I used to run a wooden racket tournament at Queen's Club and when people first stepped onto the courts the first 20mins was awful tennis, but by the end of the day players were "stroking" the ball more and suddenly finding they loved it. It was amazing to watch.
Comment by Tim Prapong on December 5, 2010 at 4:28pm
I challenged two of the young community college players to try their Federer based swing with my wood racquet. One complained that his wrist was hurting because he could not "pull" on the ball. Wood racquets require a "push" stroke, where the racquet head is never trailing far behind the wrist.
Comment by Tim Prapong on December 5, 2010 at 4:24pm
Yes, I would agree that Nadal's forehand with a wooden racquet would be difficult to manage. There is not enough springiness in the stringbed coming from the small headsize. He wouldn't get as much spin as a result and would risk more shanked shots. His wrist would be much more sore from the thin beam flexing so much and creating excess vibration.
Comment by Christian Howgill on December 5, 2010 at 6:27am
Yes, Federer retains a certain grace and elegance that transcends the generations and I think he would have been an equally great champion if we still used the wooden rackets. Nadal on the other hand would have to change his game a bit, if he tried that forehand of his with a wooden racket, it'd snap his wrist off!

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