After 10 years of listening to Johnny Mac, Killa Cahill, B.G., Uncle Cliffy, Martina and Robbie Koenig, I have to say something –
I feel that I am doing my fellow tennis players a disservice by not “exposing” some of the half and non-truths they are putting out there about professional tennis equipment.
I jokingly say “exposing” because much of the information I’m about to give you has been reported in many places. I’m also sure that these announcers, who were some of the best players in the world, are not purposely giving out false info. I can only assume that they are badly under and/or misinformed.
On every tennis broadcast, you hear one or a combination of the previously mentioned tennis announcer’s talk about the “light and powerful” frames that the players are using. During the US Open Martina actually said that because of the racquets and strings, the players don’t have to be very talented. I’m sure Federer, Nadal, Murray and the rest of the players on the ATP Tour would have a different opinion.
There are a few ATP Tour players that use highly customized, much heavier versions of the Babolat Pure Drive (Roddick, Andreev), the Babolat Aero Drive (Nadal, Tsonga), and Head Extremes (Lubicic, Gasquet). But the vast majority of ATP Tour players use thin, fairly flexible, heavy, head light frames. Federer, Djokovic, Murray, and Soderling all top 5 players, are among them.
Here are some ATP player frame specs compared to the retail versions. The ATP player specs are courtesy of Greg Raven. The retail specs are courtesy of Hardcore Tennis. But as you know retail frames can vary greatly from frame to frame.
WilsonBLX 6.1 Tour
Strung Weight 362.50g
Swing Weight 338
Strung Weight 354g
Swing Weight 333
Head You Tek Radical MP
Strung Weight 357g
Swing Weight 384
Strung Weight 312g
Swing Weight 324
Head You Tek Speed 18X20
Strung Weight 360g
Swing Weight 371
*** Flex 51 ***
Strung Weight 335g
Swing Weight 317
*** Flex 65 ***
Babolat Aero Pro Drive Cortex G
Strung Weight 335g
Swing Weight 350 (*4 1/4 with two overgrips*)
Strung Weight 320g
Swing Weight 331
As you can see each one of these ATP Tour players use a frame that is much heavier than the retail version. Notice how incredibly more flexible Djokovic’s frame is.
Also the frames that Soderling, Murray, and many of the ATP players that are endorsed by Head, use are frames that have been in production for over 15 years. Any tennis player who has put two overgrips on top of their replacement grip knows how much that increases the grip size.
I could go on about the “mis-representations” we hear on every tennis telecast. But you get the picture. In the next discussion I will tackle WTA Tour frame specs.
Feel free to email me with questions or requests for specs for a specific player.
Thanks and Play More Tennis!
Source by Eric Burke