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Caesar

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Thread starter #1
We'll see how this goes...

Anyone play? I usually do a men's team competition once a week, and occasionally fill in for a hit-and-giggle with my club's unisex doubles comp another night.

Looking at buying a new racquet. Currently I use an oversize stick with a teardrop head that I've had since I was about 16, but I broke a string the other night and tried out a demo Wilson. Outside of my serving, I reckon I played 20% better. Don't know if it was the smaller head or just a placebo effect, but I was able to hit through the ball far harder than usual without losing control.

What do you guys look for in a racquet? I tend to like a bit of weight, but I'm not sure if that's a good thing.
 

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Wickzki

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#2


This is what I use.

Weight: 11.7 Ounces (unstrung) / 12.3 Ounces (strung)
Length: 27 Inches
Tension: 50-60 Lbs.
String Pattern: 18M x 20C or 18M x 20C
Headsize: 95 in.²
Beam Width: 22mm, Flat Beam
Balance Point: 31.5 cm / 12.40 in.
Balance: Head Light
Flex (RDC): 67
Composition: [K]arophite Black™
Swing Weight: 322
Power Level: Low
Swing Type: Long & Fast
Grip: Wilson True Grip
Technology: [K]Factor™, Double Hole™

Absolutely love it. If you're going to play often enough I highly recommend putting the dollars into it.
 

Caesar

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Thread starter #3
That's actually the racquet I just tried out. It's a discontinued line so I can get it pretty cheap.

My current headsize is 102in, which is just way too big - I overpower shots way too much.

EDIT: Actually, on further exploration, that's not it. The one I was trying out was the Wilson BLX Six.One Tour:



Head Size: 90 sq. in. / 580.64 sq. cm.
Length: 27 inches / 68.58 cm
Strung Weight: 12.5oz / 354.37g
Balance: 9 pts HL
Swingweight: 333
Stiffness: 65
Beam Width: 17.5mm/17.5mm/17.5mm/
Composition: Karophite Black / Basalt
Power Level: Low
Swing Speed: Fast
Grip Type: Leather
String Pattern: 16 Mains / 19 Crosses
Mains skip: 7T, 9T, 7H, 9H
One Piece
No Shared Holes
String Tension: 50-60 pounds

I really liked the feel. Solid, good control. Let me generate my own pace.
 

Wickzki

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#4
Wilson K Factor KSix-One 95

A tennis pro that I know advised me to try that one.

I believe Federer uses a more professional grade version of the same racquet.
 

Caesar

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What sort of game do you play?

I'm a lefty. My serve is probably my biggest strength, hard and flat and sliding away from the right-hander's backhand, or jamming into their body. Can generate some good kick when I want to as well.

Have a heavy topspin forehand and a one-handed backhand that I hit pretty flat. I don't generate a ton of pace off my groundstrokes so I generally tend to rely a lot on moving my opponent around and capitalising on their weak-sided play in order to create room for winners.

I've recently started working on flattening out my forehand a bit, and trying to get some variation on my backhand - I had a great skidding slice that was one of my strengths as a junior, but these days it tends to drop short and sit up way too much.

I also need to work on my S&V game. I do well in doubles because I'm a good volleyer and my serve naturally helps, but my approach shots are rubbish so I tend to get smoked when I try to S&V in singles.
 

Wickzki

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#6
If I had to compare my game to that of a pro I'd suggest a very poor (non-intended) lefty imitation of Federer with a bit of Hewitt thrown in for good measure. I'm not the quickest around the court but I know how to track the ball ahead of play around to get where I need to.

My serve isn't a power serve although it is flexible and accurate more than anything. I don't rely on it to win me quick points. I'm only 5'8" so I don't have strength of a 5'10"+ type guy.

My strength is my forehand (hence where people compare me to Fed) as it allows me to use my mental strength compared to my backhand, which is strong but I can't find a way to use it as creatively as my forehand.

Simply put - my game is much more mental than physical. I don't have the power/strength to compete on that level so I have to compensate.
 

Caesar

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Thread starter #7
Aside from the serve I reckon the biggest strength of being a lefty is that you develop a good backhand as part of playing a lot of crosscourt duels.

I know what you mean about struggling to use it creatively. At the moment the best way I use it offensively is developing a consistently controlled DTL shot, which seldom scores a winner but allows me to easily transition the crosscourt duel onto my forehand and my opponent's backhand.

Really want to get the skidding backhand slice happening though. I get good crosscourt angulation with my onehander, but a lot of the time it doesn't have enough pepper for a winner. I reckon my effectiveness would jump massively if I could add that extra dimension to my game.
 

Caesar

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Thread starter #9
Individual sports in general tend to be pretty frustrating. There's nobody to pick up the slack on a bad day.

I had the same experience as you with golf. I think the fact that golf is so frustrating is what made tennis look good by comparison.
 

matty lloyd the champ

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#10
Played juniors till end of summer season this year in A Res1 in WDTA. Lost interest and gave it up. Hadn't played for more than 2 months and got the call up as emergency for seniors today. Lost best of three doubles but then one best of three singles, 6-0 6-1 haha. Thought i was a decent effort after munting a shitload during my singles.
 

Caesar

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Thread starter #11
Bump. Just bought a new racquet:

Volkl Power Bridge 10 Mid



Length: 27 inches / 69 centimeters
Head Size: 93 square inches / 600 square centimeters
Weight: 12.1 ounces / 343 grams
String Pattern: 16 Mains / 19 Crosses

Got it strung at 55lbs with a multi that should give me some nice spin. Really looking forward to trying it out.
 

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#12
I only play socially occasionally. Lower intermediate level. I can play most shots and will pull off some good shot making from time to time but I don't play enough to be consistent.

Bought a new racquet late last year. Decided I'd buy a good one as I was playing every week or so and went with the Babolat Aeropro drive, which is Nadal's racquet. That and the Pure Drive, which I've also had a hit with are really nice betweener racquets. Not too much power, generate a lot of spin, good control but a decent sized sweet spot (100 sq. in) so more forgiving than racquets like the one Federer uses.
 

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#13
This thread makes me jealous. I can't play competitive tennis anymore due to my body being destroyed. Only played about a year as well :(. So only go for casual hits these days. Haven't been for a while though.

My strength is easily my serve. Pretty powerful. Roddick was always my favourite player, so I tried to model it on his as best I could.
Forehand and backhand are alright. Forehand probably the better of the two.
Can't volley or do drop shots for shit though.
 

Caesar

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I only play socially occasionally. Lower intermediate level. I can play most shots and will pull off some good shot making from time to time but I don't play enough to be consistent.

Bought a new racquet late last year. Decided I'd buy a good one as I was playing every week or so and went with the Babolat Aeropro drive, which is Nadal's racquet. That and the Pure Drive, which I've also had a hit with are really nice betweener racquets. Not too much power, generate a lot of spin, good control but a decent sized sweet spot (100 sq. in) so more forgiving than racquets like the one Federer uses.
Nice. Babolats used to have a bit of a bad rep but they make some awesome racquets these days - light, powerful, all-round quality.

I always tell people it's worth giving a smaller racquet a try. When I was a junior I had a ProKennex Force Delta (about 102 sq. in). When I came back to tennis a few years ago I used it initially. Then I broke a string and demoed a Prince EXO (95 sq. in) - smaller head, but also a stiffer and heavier frame. The smaller sweet spot requires a bit of time to adjust to, but once I did the amount of control I had was phenomenal (especially on the serve). I realised that with the extra swingweight I didn't really need the extra power of the big head, and compared to the Prince my old ProKennex felt like playing with a trampoline.

The new racquet above is 93 sq. in, which is about as small as I'd go I think. I've played with an old Wilson Pro Staff (85 sq. in) which is an awesome racquet but I don't hit with enough natural power to justify that small a head.

I play mostly S&V and have a naturally heavy serve, so I like a racquet that sacrifices a bit of power for better touch. But I always recommend adult men who are used to oversize (100+ sq. in) racquets to at least try a midplus (95-98 sq. in) at some point. Often they find they play better with it, even though it has a smaller sweet spot.
 
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#15
But I always recommend adult men who are used to oversize (100+ sq. in) racquets to at least try a midplus (95-98 sq. in) at some point. Often they find they play better with it, even though it has a smaller sweet spot.
It's interesting that guys like Djokovic and Nadal play with a 100 sq. in racquet. Would have thought all pros would benefit more from a smaller head for the greater control, but I guess it helps them defensively. On the other hand Federer, who plays with a heavier 90 sq. in racquet mishits a lot more often than Djokovic or Nadal. I've never tried Federer's racquet or anything like it but a friend of mine (who is a good club player) has and he said he just isn't a good enough player to play well with it. He said it feels amazing when you hit it well but it's just so unforgiving.
 

Caesar

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Thread starter #16
Fed uses a 90 sq. in, which is pretty damn small (in fact I think it's pretty much the smallest production racquet available). But when he started out as a professional he used the classic Wilson Pro Staff (85 sq. in) that Sampras and Edberg used to use, so it probably feels big to him. Federer's also one of the last players on tour whose first racquet was a wooden one (head size about 65 sq. in).

Guys like Djokovic and Nadal who are younger than I am probably grew up with the oversized racquets that most kids used in the 90s and today, so I guess they are used to the bigger surface.

It also depends on what sort of game you play. All else being equal a bigger head size gives you a ton of power at the expense of control, but if you have a stiff frame and play with extreme topspin then that is often not a problem (in fact the bigger surface area helps you when you're brushing up the back of the ball). You lose a lot of touch with big racquets, but if you aren't coming to the net that often then it's not a big deal.

Personally I try not to worry too much about the sweet spot when I buy a racquet - I figure that small or large, I will eventually adjust to it. It's all about swing weight, control and basically how the racquet feels in my hand.

Not that any of that matters when I'm shanking them all over the place. Fun and games.
 
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Great thread.

I started playing when I was around 9-10, played for a year and a bit and then had to stop due to messed up knees. Long story short, I basically had an intense growth spurt that somehow moved my kneecaps around to places they shouldn't be. My stupid young self played through it and thought nothing of it since the pain wasn't that bad, but by the time I picked up on it I'd adjusted my running gait to compensate for it and had thus become flat-footed and messed up my heel. I was out of action for about five years, and then started playing again. I did coaching and competition for three years (won a B- grade premiership too, which was nice :thumbsu:), but then once I hit 18 I stopped playing juniors and didn't pick up seniors as I was focused on year 12 and then uni.

Nowadays I just play socially with friends, although it's frustrating because my friends are all either 50 levels below me or 50 levels above me. It's a bit of fun though.

I play with a Babolat AeroPro Drive GT.

It's a great racquet if you play with a lot of top spin like I do.

I'm a right hander with a one-handed backhand and unorthadox grips. My backhand grip is like Henin's (not sure of the fancy grip names for them, sorry), and my forehand just a little bit less extreme than Nadal's. My cross-court forehand is definitely my weapon, whereas the huge amounts of top spin on my backhand generally net me quite a few points. I hit a mean drop shot, as well.

My serve is my weakness; my game is very much built as a returner. I'm not the greatest volleyer either, but it's at least better than my serve. :rolleyes:
 

Caesar

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My backhand grip is like Henin's (not sure of the fancy grip names for them, sorry), and my forehand just a little bit less extreme than Nadal's.
Man that's insane. You must rip some massive topspin on both sides.

What do you mostly play on? Your game would be pretty lethal on en tout cas, I imagine.

My strength is my forehand (hence where people compare me to Fed) as it allows me to use my mental strength compared to my backhand, which is strong but I can't find a way to use it as creatively as my forehand.
I know what you mean about struggling to use it creatively.
He's not a lefty, but I got some good ideas for how to use my backhand from Wawrinka last night. He really capitalised on the extra disguise and angle you can get from a one-hander. Am pretty keen to try it out next time I play.
 
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Man that's insane. You must rip some massive topspin on both sides.

What do you mostly play on? Your game would be pretty lethal on en tout cas, I imagine.
Yep, top spin is my friend, haha. :thumbsu:

Mostly on clay actually, but my preferred surface is a hard court where I get extra bounce. I'm not the most mobile since I'm close to 6", so the way the ball skids through on grass doesn't really suit me. I do tend to play well on grass, I just don't enjoy it as I feel like I don't have time.
 

Caesar

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I love grass, it's by far my favourite surface. I'm 5'11 but I grew up on synthetic grass so I am used to the low skidding bounce. My grips aren't very aggressive - I hit pretty flat on both sides these days - so it doesn't bother me. Especially like the 1-2 or 1-2-3 punch coming to the net.

Hard court I am okay on because I have a big serve, but I really struggle to get to the net because my approach shots sit up way too much. They need some major work. My game is a lot less effective if I'm forced to play exclusively from the back of the court.

Clay is death to me. I'm glad we don't really have it in NSW.
 
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Moderator #21
Good to see a player thread going, interesting to see who plays the game here. I love it (obivously) and will keep on playing until the body says no. Actually haven't been able to play much over the last two years due to health reasons (not tennis related) but am finally healthy enough where I can start playing again this year. I'm 23 now and I started around when I was 11, played juniors comp (just the local comp) and made it to the top grade of it for the last few seasons I was playing and then just been playing Saturday senior comp and not taking it too seriously from once I was too old for juniors. Probably biggest highlight was being 3 time junior mixed club champion with my little sister, haha :oops: (and probably can thank her for being the most consisent girl at the club).

Now the way I play might surprise people (generally gets a laugh from anybody I tell) but throughout juniors I played with a double handed forehand (with pretty much like a cricket/baseball grip, left hand on the bottom) and had a single handed backhand (which basically just sliced because my topspin was hilariously bad). My game is all about my double handed forehand which was always a really consisent shot and hit it with a fair amount of pace (not as much as one but the power was stillt here to get winners). I always loved going for winners down the line, run around the backhand to hit a forehand down the line, always a great feeling. I honestly didn't have much else with not much of a serve and volleys are terrible but always thought hard in matches and that's what generally helps in juniors. I don't know why I stuck with the two handed forehand but I have a feeling it was when I was a kid I practised against the wall with my dad's old wooden racket and maybe that's why I used two hands. What was stupid was playing with a one handed backhand for so many years and it was only after juniors where I started just trying two hands withe backhand (without swapping my hands over) which is what I do now which actually allows me to hit some sort of topspin now on that shot. But yeah since I hit the ball very flat with that two handed, I like the lower surface such as synthetic grass but my club is plexipave (hardcourt) so that's my favourite surface. En tour cas is the worst stuff in the world, I'm what you call an En tour cas mug...

I used Wilson all my life and currently have the old blx frame (the one silmilar to Fed's he used a couple of years ago) and have that sort of frame for years at head size of 95'. Suits the flat ball I find.
 

Caesar

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Double handed both sides, likes hardcourts and doesn't do well on clay - I knew it, you're Fabrice Santoro.

It's funny looking back at my comments from 18 months ago about my game, at the top of this thread. Since then I have flattened out my forehand a lot with a grip change, developed a semi-decent slice approach, and am playing S&V far more regularly. I guess that means I've improved? Doesn't feel like it.
 
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Double handed both sides, likes hardcourts and doesn't do well on clay - I knew it, you're Fabrice Santoro.
Haha, I wish. The guy was a gun, always fun trying to hit forehand slices and magical shots like him when you play. Although he never had the forehand down the line I had :p

Guess it always comes down to results Caesar, is the S&V winning you more points then it used to? I always found it very diffcult to serve and volley at club level. I have seen certain players do it, more speficially in doubles, i know one guy who all he does is slice serve an slice and come into net but it's all about his placement of his shots makes it very diffcult to play. It's amazing just knowing a little bit of court awareness can help you as far as your game goes.
 

Caesar

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Mmm it's a bit hard to tell because I've had a pretty interrupted time with injury. I do feel like a more complete player. I have always served and volleyed in dubs, but my approaches have never been much chop in singles. I spent a lot of time working on placing my serve and approach shots, and can definitely hold my own against most baseliners at the club now even with a constant S&V strategy - i.e. approaching on every point, so they know I am coming. Like you say, S&V is all about court awareness.

I guess the big thing is that even though I lose my fair share of matches, I am playing a style that suits me better. I have never really enjoyed the whole 'sit back and adjust your tactics as the rally unfolds' aspect of baseline singles. I love planning and executing the set play - serve goes here, approach goes here, volley goes there for the winner - which is I guess why I have always preferred dubs. Now I am playing a similar way in singles, I enjoy those matches a lot more even when I'm not getting the results.

I have sort of come to the conclusion that my days of pennant/badge are well and truly over, so I may as well have some fun.
 
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I love grass, it's by far my favourite surface. I'm 5'11 but I grew up on synthetic grass so I am used to the low skidding bounce. My grips aren't very aggressive - I hit pretty flat on both sides these days - so it doesn't bother me. Especially like the 1-2 or 1-2-3 punch coming to the net.

Hard court I am okay on because I have a big serve, but I really struggle to get to the net because my approach shots sit up way too much. They need some major work. My game is a lot less effective if I'm forced to play exclusively from the back of the court.

Clay is death to me. I'm glad we don't really have it in NSW.
Ah, yeah, since I grew up mostly on clay the low skidding bounce kills me. :p

I love how completely polarised we are as players - you have a big serve, I have a weak serve. You flatten your shots out, I try to get max spin out of them. You love grass, I love clay. My approach shots are great, yours are weak. I'd guess that you would be a far more complete and better player than I am, but it's still funny how different we are.

I think something ridiculous like 90% of Victorian courts are clay. They certainly make up the majority (which is interesting considering the fact that we have a hard-court grand slam...)
 
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