20 May 2006

What is 27 inches long yet only weighs 11.2 ounces ?

Possibly the 2 greatest tennis players of the 90’s: Andre Agassi* and Pete Sampras** used completely different racquets, yet both were world #1’s. Pretty strange, right?. Well.. it depends on what kind of player you are. Despite Sampras and Agassi both being incredible, their approach to tennis was very different. Sampras was a serve and volley player***, while Agassi was a baseline player****. So, as should be apparent by now, there is no best racquet, but there is a best racquet for YOU. You pick a racquet based on your style of play, strength, gender, height etc..

So, now on to more important things, such as MY tennis racquets. I just bought 2 Head Liquidmetal Radical MP’s.

Why did I buy 2 ? If you play often, you tend to break the strings on your racquet, so serious players like to have at least 2 identical racquets with the same grip and, more importantly, the same strings at the exact same tension. 16G synthetic gut strings tend to last me about 10-12 hours of play. When my strings break I want a backup racquet that feels the same to be able to continue my match. (once I was unlucky enough to break the strings on both of my racquets during the same match. That’s just plain bad luck, but I think it would be ridiculous to buy 3 of the same racquet for the 1 in a thousand chance that I’ll need it.

The specs for my new racquets are 98 sq. in. 11.2 oz. and 27 in. long, with synthetic gut strings strung at 60lbs. My previous racquets were Head Ti. Radical’s. In high school, I used to play 5 times a week. In the last 4 years I’ve played a total of about 6 times. Hopefully buying new racquets will be motivation to play a little more often. I do plan on playing in the BYU Intramurals this spring and summer. It should be fun, although to perform at the level I used to, I’m going to need to practise some more. If any of you reading this play tennis, and are in Provo, UT, let me know..

* Andre Agassi is one of the few exceptions to the “most pro’s play with a midplus rule”. He currently uses a Head Flexpoint Radical OS (107 sq. in. and 11.1 oz.). He’s your textbook Baseline player.

** Pete Sampras used a St. Vincent edition of a Wilson Pro Staff 6.0 Original (85 sq. in. and 12.6 oz.). He was your textbook serve and volley player##.

*** Serve and volley player They have a big serve, and immediately rush the net afterwards, finishing off the point.(They use a midplus racquet). They are especially good on fast surfaces i.e. grass.

**** Baseline player They stay at the back of the court almost all the time, and usually have a good return of serve. (They use an oversize racquet). They are especially good on slower surfaces i.e. clay.