Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Not so fast!

Many "old-school" tennis players believe in the notion that it is the player that makes the racket, not vice-versa and whilst that it true, for a recreational player will never match the heady heights of Nadal & co thanks to a racket, the equipment is vital to the success of a tennis player, of any level.
First off, there are some basic fundamentals. The larger the headsize, the greater the sweetspot and thus the easier it is to hit an effective shot. However, large-faced rackets throw caution to the wind regarding control so more advanced players, with the exception of the Williams sisters, tend to go for something a little more conservative as they will have the ability to consistently strike with the centre of the racket.
Likewise, rackets with a thicker beam allow for more power on shorter swings but again put a compromise on control. Therefore, recreational/beginning players tend to go for thick-beamed, large-headed fare whilst players with developed strokes go in the opposite direction.
But there's more to it than that. Rec rackets tend to have more open string patterns to allow for more spin potential, whereas once more a denser pattern allows more control.
This all makes sense, but behind racket specs, a player must have confidence in his or her racket. This allows them to take proper swings, thus having a fluidity to their game. There's no such thing as a holy grail racket, but all the same, trust in one's racket can make or break a match.

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