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WicketView

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Re: Roland Garros 2009
« Reply #200 on: June 10, 2009, 07:34:13 PM »

Quote
Irrespective, Lendl was not quite up (by his own standards as one of the all time greats) there on grass. Towards the end of the 80s, he started concentrating on grass .... winning the Australian Open (once because of Edberg ). His best on grass was that match against Becker, where he almost pulled through ... unbelievable game.


Correction -- He won the Aussie Open twice, and both on Rebound Ace, not on grass.

His best showing on grass at Aussie Open was finalist where he lost to Wilander.

Also, I miss the thrust of your argument here -- the argument isnt about lendl being an all time great on grass, the argument was about whether Lendl played baseline or serve and volley on grass.

The fact is Lendl despite not being a natural serve and volleyer, adopted that game midway through his career (earlier in his career he famoulsy said  "grass is for cows") in order to win at Wimbledon. And in the process, he beat Edberg, Becker, and a host of other grass court specialists on grass over a 5 year period.

That 1989 match against becker you refer to was probably the biggest example of so near yet so far --when he displayed he had everything in him to be a great on grass before rain intervened with him leading becker by 2 sets and becker looking lost, hapless and without a clue. Next day when play resumed, becker had gathered himself together and the chair umpire added to the proceedings by making a series of calls against lendl at crucial junctures.
Thanks Kban for recaping that 1989 match with more details.  I remember it is like it is yesterday.  I was typing my above post and had something to do at work before getting back to it.  Then I saw your post.
kban, Rams:

Indeed that was THE match, and the one where I think Lendl produced his best tennis at the Wimbledon, though your description of Becker does not quite jive with my memory.
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WicketView

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Re: Roland Garros 2009
« Reply #201 on: June 10, 2009, 07:37:34 PM »

WV:That Lendl-Becker match you are talking about happened in 1989.  That was such a special match and Lendl showed what he can do on his least favored surface - Grass.

As Kban said yesterday 2 Finals and 5 other Semis finals at Wimbeldon on his supposed worst surface and a nightmare pretty much would be career numbers for most.

That is how great Lendl is.

People talk of Federer's streaks.  Lendl had his own.

8 straight U.S open finals(1982-89) with 3 wins and all the 5 losses has been to a World No.1 one time or the other(Connors, McEnroe, Wilander and Becker)

19 Grand Slam finals still a record to date which I expect Federer to have eventually.

94 titles -  That includes 5 straight Masters championships.  That 94 titles is why I always rate him higher than any other player till the other day when Federer won the French. 

I really want to see how close Federer gets to the 94 title mark.
Rams, (and Kban)

Just to be clear, the intention of my post was not to deny that Lendl was great. Rather the point is to use him as a standard all of us can accept as great, and argue that even people of that level have limitations.
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WicketView

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Re: Roland Garros 2009
« Reply #202 on: June 10, 2009, 07:40:18 PM »

1980s
7  Lendl, Wilander
6  McEnroe
4  Becker
3  Borg, Connors, Edberg
2  Kriek
1  Cash, Chang, Noah, Teacher

1990s
12  Sampras
5  Agassi
4  Courier
3  Edberg
2  Becker, Bruguera, Kafelnikov, Rafter
1  Gomez, Korda, Krajicek, Kuerten, Lendl, Moya, Muster, Stich

2000s
14  Federer
6  Nadal
3  Agassi
2  Hewitt, Safin, Sampras, Kuerten
1  Costa, Djokovic, Ferrero, Gaudio, Ivanisevic, Johansson, Roddick

To me, 2000s stand out as shockingly low in talent.
I assume the numbers are GS wins?  I do not  understand how the conclusion follows. Also, may I suggest that the choice of 10 year periods starting from 80 -90 is pretty artificial ... and a somewhat better choice may 75-85-95-2005, since some of the main players careers would show that pattern.
The conclusion that follows depends upon you and how closely you follow tennis about the players.
I freely admit that I don't follow tennis very closely today. However, I doubt very much if these numbers would reveal some conclusion, were I to do so.
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WicketView

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Re: Roland Garros 2009
« Reply #203 on: June 10, 2009, 07:50:15 PM »

Quote
Irrespective, Lendl was not quite up (by his own standards as one of the all time greats) there on grass. Towards the end of the 80s, he started concentrating on grass .... winning the Australian Open (once because of Edberg ). His best on grass was that match against Becker, where he almost pulled through ... unbelievable game.


Correction -- He won the Aussie Open twice, and both on Rebound Ace, not on grass.

His best showing on grass at Aussie Open was finalist where he lost to Wilander.

Also, I miss the thrust of your argument here -- the argument isnt about lendl being an all time great on grass, the argument was about whether Lendl played baseline or serve and volley on grass.

The fact is Lendl despite not being a natural serve and volleyer, adopted that game midway through his career (earlier in his career he famoulsy said  "grass is for cows") in order to win at Wimbledon. And in the process, he beat Edberg, Becker, and a host of other grass court specialists on grass over a 5 year period.

That 1989 match against becker you refer to was probably the biggest example of so near yet so far --when he displayed he had everything in him to be a great on grass before rain intervened with him leading becker by 2 sets and becker looking lost, hapless and without a clue. Next day when play resumed, becker had gathered himself together and the chair umpire added to the proceedings by making a series of calls against lendl at crucial junctures.
Tim Mayotte, Henri Leconte and Bobo Zivojinovic  (a big serving Yugoslav) readily come to mind on top of Becker, Edberg and Pat Cash.
Henri was not a grass court player. The other two names may be specialists, but do we really need their names here?
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ramshorns

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Re: Roland Garros 2009
« Reply #204 on: June 10, 2009, 08:06:42 PM »

Quote
Irrespective, Lendl was not quite up (by his own standards as one of the all time greats) there on grass. Towards the end of the 80s, he started concentrating on grass .... winning the Australian Open (once because of Edberg ). His best on grass was that match against Becker, where he almost pulled through ... unbelievable game.


Correction -- He won the Aussie Open twice, and both on Rebound Ace, not on grass.

His best showing on grass at Aussie Open was finalist where he lost to Wilander.

Also, I miss the thrust of your argument here -- the argument isnt about lendl being an all time great on grass, the argument was about whether Lendl played baseline or serve and volley on grass.

The fact is Lendl despite not being a natural serve and volleyer, adopted that game midway through his career (earlier in his career he famoulsy said  "grass is for cows") in order to win at Wimbledon. And in the process, he beat Edberg, Becker, and a host of other grass court specialists on grass over a 5 year period.

That 1989 match against becker you refer to was probably the biggest example of so near yet so far --when he displayed he had everything in him to be a great on grass before rain intervened with him leading becker by 2 sets and becker looking lost, hapless and without a clue. Next day when play resumed, becker had gathered himself together and the chair umpire added to the proceedings by making a series of calls against lendl at crucial junctures.
Tim Mayotte, Henri Leconte and Bobo Zivojinovic  (a big serving Yugoslav) readily come to mind on top of Becker, Edberg and Pat Cash.
Henri was not a grass court player. The other two names may be specialists, but do we really need their names here?
Though he was is a French, Leconte had a nice touch at the net and was in the McEnroe mode though not as efficient and great on grass.  But he was on his day handful on Grass and at Wimbeldon.  The only reason these names were brought up by me was to just expands other players who were good at the time on grass.  Nothing more than that.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2009, 09:02:19 PM by ramshorns »
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ramshorns

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Re: Roland Garros 2009
« Reply #205 on: June 10, 2009, 08:09:13 PM »

WV:That Lendl-Becker match you are talking about happened in 1989.  That was such a special match and Lendl showed what he can do on his least favored surface - Grass.

As Kban said yesterday 2 Finals and 5 other Semis finals at Wimbeldon on his supposed worst surface and a nightmare pretty much would be career numbers for most.

That is how great Lendl is.

People talk of Federer's streaks.  Lendl had his own.

8 straight U.S open finals(1982-89) with 3 wins and all the 5 losses has been to a World No.1 one time or the other(Connors, McEnroe, Wilander and Becker)

19 Grand Slam finals still a record to date which I expect Federer to have eventually.

94 titles -  That includes 5 straight Masters championships.  That 94 titles is why I always rate him higher than any other player till the other day when Federer won the French. 

I really want to see how close Federer gets to the 94 title mark.
Rams, (and Kban)

Just to be clear, the intention of my post was not to deny that Lendl was great. Rather the point is to use him as a standard all of us can accept as great, and argue that even people of that level have limitations.
WV:I did not think so at all from your posts and understood your POV.
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kban1

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Re: Roland Garros 2009
« Reply #206 on: June 10, 2009, 08:19:53 PM »

Quote
Indeed that was THE match, and the one where I think Lendl produced his best tennis at the Wimbledon, though your description of Becker does not quite jive with my memory.


My description of becker here is of becker's mental attitude --he appeared clueless, and had given up on the match when he was trailing. The mental confusion was somewhat appraent --I remember talking about it.

Ion tiriac, becker's coach at that point said exactly the same in print years later while reminscing about that match --Tiriac's comment (and I am presenting the gist) was:

Boris was out of the match. had that match been completed that day, he would have lost. He was mentally out, didnt believe he could beat Lendl but then rain intervened which was a god send for the becker camp because Tiriac got a chance to speak with him and snap him out of his mental funk.

Even so, on resumption, lendl broke becker in the 5th set before the umpire intervened with at lest 3-4 contentious calls on successive lendl service games.
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CLR James

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Re: Roland Garros 2009
« Reply #207 on: June 10, 2009, 08:53:37 PM »

Quote
Indeed that was THE match, and the one where I think Lendl produced his best tennis at the Wimbledon, though your description of Becker does not quite jive with my memory.


My description of becker here is of becker's mental attitude --he appeared clueless, and had given up on the match when he was trailing. The mental confusion was somewhat appraent --I remember talking about it.

Ion tiriac, becker's coach at that point said exactly the same in print years later while reminscing about that match --Tiriac's comment (and I am presenting the gist) was:

Boris was out of the match. had that match been completed that day, he would have lost. He was mentally out, didnt believe he could beat Lendl but then rain intervened which was a god send for the becker camp because Tiriac got a chance to speak with him and snap him out of his mental funk.

Even so, on resumption, lendl broke becker in the 5th set before the umpire intervened with at lest 3-4 contentious calls on successive lendl service games.

I do recall Becker grabbing the side hoardings and issuing a Tarzan like cry of frustration at one point.
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WicketView

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Re: Roland Garros 2009
« Reply #208 on: June 10, 2009, 09:22:43 PM »

Quote
Irrespective, Lendl was not quite up (by his own standards as one of the all time greats) there on grass. Towards the end of the 80s, he started concentrating on grass .... winning the Australian Open (once because of Edberg ). His best on grass was that match against Becker, where he almost pulled through ... unbelievable game.


Correction -- He won the Aussie Open twice, and both on Rebound Ace, not on grass.

His best showing on grass at Aussie Open was finalist where he lost to Wilander.

Also, I miss the thrust of your argument here -- the argument isnt about lendl being an all time great on grass, the argument was about whether Lendl played baseline or serve and volley on grass.

The fact is Lendl despite not being a natural serve and volleyer, adopted that game midway through his career (earlier in his career he famoulsy said  "grass is for cows") in order to win at Wimbledon. And in the process, he beat Edberg, Becker, and a host of other grass court specialists on grass over a 5 year period.

That 1989 match against becker you refer to was probably the biggest example of so near yet so far --when he displayed he had everything in him to be a great on grass before rain intervened with him leading becker by 2 sets and becker looking lost, hapless and without a clue. Next day when play resumed, becker had gathered himself together and the chair umpire added to the proceedings by making a series of calls against lendl at crucial junctures.
Tim Mayotte, Henri Leconte and Bobo Zivojinovic  (a big serving Yugoslav) readily come to mind on top of Becker, Edberg and Pat Cash.
Henri was not a grass court player. The other two names may be specialists, but do we really need their names here?
Though he was is a French, Leconte had a nice touch at the net and was in the McEnroe mode though not as efficient and great on grass.  But he was on his day handful on Grass and at Wimbeldon.  The only reason these names were brought up by me was to just expands other players who were good at the time on grass.  Nothing more than that.
I agree ... and this was the defining characteristic   of these kinds of players. On their day, they could perhaps beat the champions .. .but their days did not come all that often. And this consistency is the key difference between the good and the great players. On the other hand, the all time greats (all the names we have been talking about Fed,Nadal, Sampras, Agassi, Lendl, Becker,Connors, McEnroe, Borg, etc.)   display consistency over a long period of time.
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WicketView

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Re: Roland Garros 2009
« Reply #209 on: June 10, 2009, 09:23:05 PM »

WV:That Lendl-Becker match you are talking about happened in 1989.  That was such a special match and Lendl showed what he can do on his least favored surface - Grass.

As Kban said yesterday 2 Finals and 5 other Semis finals at Wimbeldon on his supposed worst surface and a nightmare pretty much would be career numbers for most.

That is how great Lendl is.

People talk of Federer's streaks.  Lendl had his own.

8 straight U.S open finals(1982-89) with 3 wins and all the 5 losses has been to a World No.1 one time or the other(Connors, McEnroe, Wilander and Becker)

19 Grand Slam finals still a record to date which I expect Federer to have eventually.

94 titles -  That includes 5 straight Masters championships.  That 94 titles is why I always rate him higher than any other player till the other day when Federer won the French. 

I really want to see how close Federer gets to the 94 title mark.
Rams, (and Kban)

Just to be clear, the intention of my post was not to deny that Lendl was great. Rather the point is to use him as a standard all of us can accept as great, and argue that even people of that level have limitations.
WV:I did not think so at all from your posts and understood your POV.
Thanks.
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WicketView

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Re: Roland Garros 2009
« Reply #210 on: June 10, 2009, 09:28:11 PM »

Quote
Indeed that was THE match, and the one where I think Lendl produced his best tennis at the Wimbledon, though your description of Becker does not quite jive with my memory.


My description of becker here is of becker's mental attitude --he appeared clueless, and had given up on the match when he was trailing. The mental confusion was somewhat appraent --I remember talking about it.

Ion tiriac, becker's coach at that point said exactly the same in print years later while reminscing about that match --Tiriac's comment (and I am presenting the gist) was:

Boris was out of the match. had that match been completed that day, he would have lost. He was mentally out, didnt believe he could beat Lendl but then rain intervened which was a god send for the becker camp because Tiriac got a chance to speak with him and snap him out of his mental funk.
Maybe, probably just my memory. I just don't remember anything unusual. Becker was always given to theatrics though, quite the opposite of his rival in those days, Edberg.
Quote
Even so, on resumption, lendl broke becker in the 5th set before the umpire intervened with at lest 3-4 contentious calls on successive lendl service games.
There were quite a few net cords too in that match. Lendl remained pretty calm and I always thought he would pull it off.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2009, 09:35:44 PM by WicketView »
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CLR James

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Re: Roland Garros 2009
« Reply #211 on: June 11, 2009, 02:02:46 AM »

Just to complicate the discussion further, here is a documentary on Pancho Gonzales.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nd0gJzm_EQY
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vincent

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Re: Roland Garros 2009
« Reply #212 on: June 11, 2009, 10:18:25 AM »

Thanks CLR. It is a pity that Gonzales was in his prime 30 years too early just as Laver was 20 years too early..

Now if you think Soderling thrashing Nadal was a one-off, take a look at this Tsonga Tsunami. Great example of net play vs baseline. It is a pity that Tsonga was injured and lost the whole last year due to that injury.

     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6xzq7oOdW8&feature=related

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CLR James

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Re: Roland Garros 2009
« Reply #213 on: June 12, 2009, 03:52:19 AM »

Thanks Vincent.

Here is a recent Rod Laver interview:

http://www.goroger.net/interview/2009/time090610.html


Q & A

Tennis Great Rod Laver

By Eben Harrell, TIME

When the Swiss tennis star Roger Federer won the French Open on June 7, he tied Pete Sampras' record of 14 Grand Slam titles and become only the sixth player in history to win all four Grand Slam events (the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. and Australian Opens). In the GOAT Debate — Greatest of All Time — Federer now has only one rival: Rod Laver, the Australian star who not only won all four Slams, but twice did so in a calendar year (in 1962 and 1969). Laver's total of 11 Grand Slam titles could have been higher had he not been forced out of major events from 1963 to 1968, when Slams were open only to amateurs. Now 70, Laver spoke to TIME from his home in California.

Did you get up early to watch the match on Sunday?

Yes. It was quite a match. I had nothing but joy for Roger. He's a great individual. But most of all, he's an enjoyable player to watch.

How often are you in touch with Federer?

I saw him at the Australian [Open] this year and had a chance to chat with him a little bit. When we talk, he always says stuff like "Tell me about 1962!" Or, "Tell me about those wooden rackets!" He's a great historian of the game and is always curious. There's such a contrast between our eras. When I took off in 1956, it took three days to get from Sydney to Rome. Now they do it in half a day.

How different is the actual tennis?

There's a huge difference. In my career, everyone used a little wooden racket. You see players today standing 10 feet behind the baseline and hitting clean winners. That's when I say to myself, "This is not a game I know much about." There's always a lot of talk on whether today's players could play with a wooden racket. I'm sure Federer could. But other players would battle just to enjoy the game with a wooden racket. They'd make so many mistakes.

Is that because Federer's strokes are better suited to a wooden frame?

He just has such natural talent. He would adjust.

Federer is such a misty person—crying whether he wins or loses, most famously when you presented the trophy to him at the Australian Open in 2006. What do you make of these moments?

I remember at Wimbledon a few years ago he was being interviewed by the BBC. They said, This is the fourth time you've won the tournament, and just hearing that he started welling up. That's just Roger. He's an emotional individual. He cares a lot about what he does and what it means.

When you were chasing the calendar Grand Slam, were you aware of the record books?

I remember watching Lew Hoad in 1956 in the U.S. Open —he had three legs of the calendar Grand Slam but lost to Ken Rosewall in the final. I was in the stands, and in the back of my head I said to myself, "I want to try that, I want to win the Slam." But it wasn't anything to do with the record books, really. In 1969 [the second year in which Laver won the Slam], what really motivated me was just the thrill of being back at Wimbledon and these other great tournaments.

So now that Federer has won the career Grand Slam, let's set the record straight. Who is the greatest player of all time? You've said before that all a player can hope for is to be the best in his or her era.

To be the best in your era is important, but maybe when Roger is in retirement, people will say, "Look at all these things he's accomplished. He's got to be the greatest player that ever lived." That's the way I think most people would look at his accomplishments.

Well, let me ask you the same question in a different way: Who would win if you were to play Federer in your prime?

I'd pit myself against anyone with a wooden racket, I'll say that.

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dextrous

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Re: Roland Garros 2009
« Reply #214 on: June 12, 2009, 05:32:21 AM »

Yes, most players would find it very hard with a wooden racquet today.

During college championships, we used have a wooden racquet competition (two players at a time, one rally each...whoever loses the rally is out...keep subbing in until one person remains) and it was a whole different game. Closer to playing badminton with tennis balls. You can't just hit the ball and expect it to land on the other side; no, you have to hit it at the right spot on the tiny head with the correct timing and have the right amount of spin and power to make it land there! But I suppose if I only played with a wooden racquet, I'd adapt.
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CLR James

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Re: Roland Garros 2009
« Reply #215 on: June 12, 2009, 01:36:08 PM »

It is also interesting that Federer plays with a rather small racquet with a very small sweet spot.

This is what wikipedia has to say:

Federer currently plays with a customized Wilson (K)Factor (K)Six-One Tour 90 tennis racquet, which is characterised by its smaller hitting surface of 90 square inches, heavy weight (customized to a 12.7 oz strung weight), and thin beam (18 mm).[99] His grip size is 4 3/8" (L3). Federer strings his racquets at 24 to 28 kg (52.9 to 61.7 pounds) tension (depending on his opponent and surface) with natural gut main strings (Wilson Natural Gut 16 String) and polyester cross strings (Luxilon Big Banger ALU Power Rough 16L String). On his website, when asked about string tensions, Federer stated "this depends on how warm the days are and with what kind of balls I play and against who I play. So you can see – it depends on several factors and not just the surface; the feeling I have is most important."
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kban1

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Re: Roland Garros 2009
« Reply #216 on: June 12, 2009, 05:18:53 PM »

Yes, most players would find it very hard with a wooden racquet today.

During college championships, we used have a wooden racquet competition (two players at a time, one rally each...whoever loses the rally is out...keep subbing in until one person remains) and it was a whole different game. Closer to playing badminton with tennis balls. You can't just hit the ball and expect it to land on the other side; no, you have to hit it at the right spot on the tiny head with the correct timing and have the right amount of spin and power to make it land there! But I suppose if I only played with a wooden racquet, I'd adapt.

having played with both wooden and metal racquets, this is a little overblown, IMO. However, the general thrust is correct --the metal / graphite racquets have bigger sweet spots, are lighter, allow more flexibility and easier swing, and are lot more forgiving than wooden ones for mi* shots.

And yes, you can generate more power with a metal /graphite racquet. But whats also overblown is the fact that you cant generate pace off a wooden racquet - an ace hit with a wooden racquet is still an ace and still has enough power to beat the opponent.
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CLR James

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Re: Roland Garros 2009
« Reply #217 on: June 12, 2009, 05:41:43 PM »

Yes, most players would find it very hard with a wooden racquet today.

During college championships, we used have a wooden racquet competition (two players at a time, one rally each...whoever loses the rally is out...keep subbing in until one person remains) and it was a whole different game. Closer to playing badminton with tennis balls. You can't just hit the ball and expect it to land on the other side; no, you have to hit it at the right spot on the tiny head with the correct timing and have the right amount of spin and power to make it land there! But I suppose if I only played with a wooden racquet, I'd adapt.

having played with both wooden and metal racquets, this is a little overblown, IMO. However, the general thrust is correct --the metal / graphite racquets have bigger sweet spots, are lighter, allow more flexibility and easier swing, and are lot more forgiving than wooden ones for mi* shots.

And yes, you can generate more power with a metal /graphite racquet. But whats also overblown is the fact that you cant generate pace off a wooden racquet - an ace hit with a wooden racquet is still an ace and still has enough power to beat the opponent.

I would agree. Pancho Gonzales' forehand, topping 110 mph, is said to have been as fast as Federer's. I suppose the difference is the regularity with which one can burst these out while playing with graphite/metal. That is, once can purchase brute power and speed without having to be precise in terms of connection and timing all the time. The smallness of Fed's racquet span and sweet spot is perhaps the reason why he sometimes embarassingly mi*s balls in all directions (the chair umpire feels particularly vulnerable at this point) when he is out of rhythm or form.
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WicketView

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Re: Roland Garros 2009
« Reply #218 on: June 12, 2009, 05:54:07 PM »

It is also interesting that Federer plays with a rather small racquet with a very small sweet spot.

This is what wikipedia has to say:

Federer currently plays with a customized Wilson (K)Factor (K)Six-One Tour 90 tennis racquet, which is characterised by its smaller hitting surface of 90 square inches, heavy weight (customized to a 12.7 oz strung weight), and thin beam (18 mm).[99] His grip size is 4 3/8" (L3). Federer strings his racquets at 24 to 28 kg (52.9 to 61.7 pounds) tension (depending on his opponent and surface) with natural gut main strings (Wilson Natural Gut 16 String) and polyester cross strings (Luxilon Big Banger ALU Power Rough 16L String). On his website, when asked about string tensions, Federer stated "this depends on how warm the days are and with what kind of balls I play and against who I play. So you can see – it depends on several factors and not just the surface; the feeling I have is most important."
This is quite strange. Why would a player use a racquet that has a smaller sweet spot/area that what is available and allowed? Are there any advantages to this? Or any idea into his thinking about this?

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CLR James

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Re: Roland Garros 2009
« Reply #219 on: June 12, 2009, 06:15:20 PM »

It is also interesting that Federer plays with a rather small racquet with a very small sweet spot.

This is what wikipedia has to say:

Federer currently plays with a customized Wilson (K)Factor (K)Six-One Tour 90 tennis racquet, which is characterised by its smaller hitting surface of 90 square inches, heavy weight (customized to a 12.7 oz strung weight), and thin beam (18 mm).[99] His grip size is 4 3/8" (L3). Federer strings his racquets at 24 to 28 kg (52.9 to 61.7 pounds) tension (depending on his opponent and surface) with natural gut main strings (Wilson Natural Gut 16 String) and polyester cross strings (Luxilon Big Banger ALU Power Rough 16L String). On his website, when asked about string tensions, Federer stated "this depends on how warm the days are and with what kind of balls I play and against who I play. So you can see – it depends on several factors and not just the surface; the feeling I have is most important."
This is quite strange. Why would a player use a racquet that has a smaller sweet spot/area that what is available and allowed? Are there any advantages to this? Or any idea into his thinking about this?

The racquet, after a point, is an extension of the arm/hand. A smaller racquet reduces percentages, but gives a supremely confident player more precision in terms of focalizing power and direction, which a wider, more evenly distributed sweet spot would not enable. Fed wants those impossible passing shots. He does want to control the rally. He is unwilling to go for an instrument that is better in just keeping the ball in play. Bradman, remember, could bat with a golf club or a stump.
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kban1

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Re: Roland Garros 2009
« Reply #220 on: June 12, 2009, 06:23:23 PM »

It is also interesting that Federer plays with a rather small racquet with a very small sweet spot.

This is what wikipedia has to say:

Federer currently plays with a customized Wilson (K)Factor (K)Six-One Tour 90 tennis racquet, which is characterised by its smaller hitting surface of 90 square inches, heavy weight (customized to a 12.7 oz strung weight), and thin beam (18 mm).[99] His grip size is 4 3/8" (L3). Federer strings his racquets at 24 to 28 kg (52.9 to 61.7 pounds) tension (depending on his opponent and surface) with natural gut main strings (Wilson Natural Gut 16 String) and polyester cross strings (Luxilon Big Banger ALU Power Rough 16L String). On his website, when asked about string tensions, Federer stated "this depends on how warm the days are and with what kind of balls I play and against who I play. So you can see – it depends on several factors and not just the surface; the feeling I have is most important."
This is quite strange. Why would a player use a racquet that has a smaller sweet spot/area that what is available and allowed? Are there any advantages to this? Or any idea into his thinking about this?



Federer's racquet head is small only relatively speaking.  90 sq inches is still a lot of surface area, although comparatively smaller than something which is 100-110 sq inches

Consider as a comparison, Lendl played with a racquet which was 80 sq inches.

The trade off is manoeuvrability. A racquet with a smaller head is more manoeuvrable and offers better control on shots.

The absence of normal to mid size racquets (the average racquet today is 95 -105 sq inches) in today's game is partially responsible for the disappearance of the Serve and volley game, which requires better manoeuvrability
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WicketView

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Re: Roland Garros 2009
« Reply #221 on: June 13, 2009, 06:53:25 AM »

It is also interesting that Federer plays with a rather small racquet with a very small sweet spot.

This is what wikipedia has to say:

Federer currently plays with a customized Wilson (K)Factor (K)Six-One Tour 90 tennis racquet, which is characterised by its smaller hitting surface of 90 square inches, heavy weight (customized to a 12.7 oz strung weight), and thin beam (18 mm).[99] His grip size is 4 3/8" (L3). Federer strings his racquets at 24 to 28 kg (52.9 to 61.7 pounds) tension (depending on his opponent and surface) with natural gut main strings (Wilson Natural Gut 16 String) and polyester cross strings (Luxilon Big Banger ALU Power Rough 16L String). On his website, when asked about string tensions, Federer stated "this depends on how warm the days are and with what kind of balls I play and against who I play. So you can see – it depends on several factors and not just the surface; the feeling I have is most important."
This is quite strange. Why would a player use a racquet that has a smaller sweet spot/area that what is available and allowed? Are there any advantages to this? Or any idea into his thinking about this?



Federer's racquet head is small only relatively speaking.  90 sq inches is still a lot of surface area, although comparatively smaller than something which is 100-110 sq inches

Consider as a comparison, Lendl played with a racquet which was 80 sq inches.

The trade off is manoeuvrability. A racquet with a smaller head is more manoeuvrable and offers better control on shots.
Ah that explains it. Thanks!
Quote
The absence of normal to mid size racquets (the average racquet today is 95 -105 sq inches) in today's game is partially responsible for the disappearance of the Serve and volley game, which requires better manoeuvrability

It is also interesting that Federer plays with a rather small racquet with a very small sweet spot.

This is what wikipedia has to say:

Federer currently plays with a customized Wilson (K)Factor (K)Six-One Tour 90 tennis racquet, which is characterised by its smaller hitting surface of 90 square inches, heavy weight (customized to a 12.7 oz strung weight), and thin beam (18 mm).[99] His grip size is 4 3/8" (L3). Federer strings his racquets at 24 to 28 kg (52.9 to 61.7 pounds) tension (depending on his opponent and surface) with natural gut main strings (Wilson Natural Gut 16 String) and polyester cross strings (Luxilon Big Banger ALU Power Rough 16L String). On his website, when asked about string tensions, Federer stated "this depends on how warm the days are and with what kind of balls I play and against who I play. So you can see – it depends on several factors and not just the surface; the feeling I have is most important."
This is quite strange. Why would a player use a racquet that has a smaller sweet spot/area that what is available and allowed? Are there any advantages to this? Or any idea into his thinking about this?

The racquet, after a point, is an extension of the arm/hand. A smaller racquet reduces percentages, but gives a supremely confident player more precision in terms of focalizing power and direction, which a wider, more evenly distributed sweet spot would not enable. Fed wants those impossible passing shots. He does want to control the rally. He is unwilling to go for an instrument that is better in just keeping the ball in play. Bradman, remember, could bat with a golf club or a stump.
That too. So, there are some advantages of smaller racquets too!
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