Category Archives: Players
If you read “Play Like a Girl,” you will have a good idea where this is headed! This part is intended to make it possible for you to experiment without feeling “forced” so it is based on “numbers” not “feelings.” Of course, feel is relevant to tennis players.
Two events this week make it easy to compare numbers and feeling.
- A racquet came in from a tournament playing junior that had the good fortune of picking up a competitors racquet and recognize the difference immediately and wanted to try it. His racquet is a Babolat Pure Strike 16×19 with a swing weight of 302! The racquet he picked up has a swing weight of 341! His revised swing weight is 325.
- A really good young lady is switching racquets and string setup, so there is a four (4) inch strip of 1/4″ tape on the inside of each side of the string bed in the 3 and nine o’clock position — total weight of about 5 grams, for a swing weight of 321. During a training session, a coach said the racquet was too heavy and removed about 2 inches total of tape, maybe 1.5 grams, and everything was fine! This player is strong enough to play with a 335 swing weight so was this a “visual” suggestion, and the process of removing tape convinced the payer that the racquet was now much lighter?
In case you don’t remember there are 28.35 grams per ounce. So you can see that 1.5 grams is quite small!
Did you know that a dry overgrip is about 5 grams and a wet over grip can be as much as 12 grams? The location of an overgrip (under your hand) has virtually no effect on swing weight so it generally goes unnoticed.
Unless agreed upon in advance most weight can be removed or re-located so don’t fear your friend…weight!
Brittany earned the Silver at the World Championships event in Abu Dhabi recently and congratulations are certainly in order! According to those who were there the athletes were treated to a Five Star event! The best of everything for these extraordinary athletes is well desereved.
Brittany travels to all events (bravely) with three (3) racquets strung with Ashaway MonoGut ZX Black at 46 lbs (20.9kg)! I know some players that will not go to the local courts with fewer than six (6) fresh racquets!
Once in a while words “fit”! Clash fits this new Wilson racquet because it disrupts the trend of “everything stiff”. Luckily this trend is dying and Wilson has, in my view, done a masterful job of expediting that demise with this concept.
Not only does this racquet look good it just feels good in the hand. It is light, maybe too light, but the brain detects something different about this racquet. We all know racquets are all about “the brain”!
In this review you may notice the addition of a couple of specifications. One is “Racquet – In Plane Stiffness”. This is the racquets resistance to”squeezing the sides together. The higher the number the more resistant (stiffer) the racquet is. Another addition to the review is the three (3) weights taken at the sides of the head and at the very bottom (butt cap) of the racquet. This very helpful when matching or customizing a racquet. so I thought we would include it.
Before this racquet is strung it has a noticeable “softness” which is expected given the 52 stiffness (Wilson is not using the defacto device, RDC, for their stiffness rating). However, after stringing, the racquet takes on a different “feel”. It is like the string is pulling all the material components together! I intend to hit with this racquet tomorrow so as right now I have no idea how it will feel.
To get the maximum from this racquet our demo is strung with Luxilon Natural Gut, 125 and the new Wilson Sensation Plus multi-filament with a “wear” wrap. This should be a great setup, so if you want to hit with the latest technology this is it!
For each racquet we do an “Accuracy Index”. This tells us how accurately the ball will come off the string bed when hit at different locations on the string bed. This racquet has an index of 97, which is very good, in the areas of the string bed that show the most failure (breakage). The overall string bed index of 94 is quite good and tells us that the string bed should produce as much accuracy as the players skill allows!
Take look at the following specifications to see if you agree with the player evaluations you may have read.
|Racquet Model||Clash 100|
|Reference Tension||58 lbs - 26.3 kg|
|String||Luxilon 125 Gut =M
Wilson Sensation Plus =X
|Machine Used||True Tension Professional|
|Racquet Flex, RDC||51 - After stringing|
|Racquet Flex, FlexFour||27|
|Racquet - In Plane Stiffness||317 lbs/Inch|
|Head Area, cm2||646.0|
|Head Area, Sq. Inch||100.1|
|Number of Main Strings||16|
|Number of Cross Strings||19|
|Main String Grid||7.50|
|Cross String Grid||10.37|
|Density (% of head filled with string)||.779|
|Average Cross String Space||.547|
|Average Main String Space||.469|
|Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT||37|
|Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in||206.94|
|First Moment, Nm||.764|
|Swing Weight, Kg/cm2||306|
|Swing Weight, Ounces||10.79|
|Swing Weight Calculated||320.4|
|Head Weight, %||47.0%|
|Center of Percussion||21.5|
|Dwell Time, ms||8.50|
|Efective Stiffness - lbs||26.7|
In dictionary terms it is:
“the amount of extension of an object under stress.”
In tennis terms, it means the same thing when talking about tennis racquet strings.
How much does a string stretch under the reference tension load or otherwise stretched (impact)? The proliferation of wrist, arm and shoulder injury has brought attention to the property of “stiffness.” The problem is that your stiffness may be different than my stiffness, so there needs to be an “index” associated with each string, in my opinion. I have that data on over 500 tennis strings, but that is just me.
The images show the results of high elongation (left) and low elongation (right) string upon breaking.
Several years ago a player asked me “where is the string that is missing?” Well, it is not missing. The ends you see should be connected!
If the string has little elongation when it breaks there is nothing “pulling” it apart like the high elongation string. So each time you hit the ball, the string either elongates a bunch or it doesn’t.
In the case of the high elongation string, on the left, it absorbs a good portion of the “shock” associated with a hard hit, whereas the low elongation string, on the right, lets your body do the absorbing to a great extent.
So, it is reasonable to use very low reference tensions for low elongation string (35 to 45 pounds; 16 to 20.5 Kg) and higher tensions (45 to 60 pounds; 20.5 to 27.2 Kg) for high elongation strings.
You may ask, “how do I know how stiff a string is?” If you see the word “polyester or co-polyester” it is likely that string wil be stiff compared to natural gut, most nylon based multi-filament construction, and PEEK (Zyex) material. In my opinion, there is no “bad” string just “bad” applications. If in doubt…ask!
As this day nears the end and the year sprints to it’s conclusion it is worth the time to reflect on 2018!
This year was the busiest in the history of Racquet Quest, LLC and one of the most rewarding in terms of helping players. Helping players is the “mission” of Racquet Quest so we appreciate the communication with clients that contribute to understanding the goal.
If you have been around Racquet Quest much you know the importance of discussions, some of which may be boring, redundant, or incredibly exciting. It is the boring ones we want to eliminate. We want every discussion to be exciting and helpful so beginning in 2019 we will be requesting comments, suggestions, and participation from you the readers of this and other posts. Be assured that every comment will be treated with “care” and responses will be as meaningful as we can make them.
All of our clients are special and we thank each of them for letting us help their game. Of course there are “Very Special” clients!
Brittany Tagliareni is one very special player. Brittany is Autistic and plays at a very high level in tournaments around the world. I know you have read about Brittany on this site so we will not go into detail except to say Brittany has been an inspiration for me to become better in what I do each day. Period!
We want everyone to be inspired and we hope it can lead to a healthier life and a better tennis game. Please contrbute your inspirational story to our readers. Here are just a few of the people that made 2018 so terrific…
Racquet Quest is looking forward to 2019 and we ask that you join us is making 2019 an incredible year for you and your tennis.
Thank you to everyone that made this year, 2018, a very special year! I can’t wait to see what we can do in 2019!