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When was the last time you played with wooden racquets?

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When was the last time you played with wooden racquets?  Empty When was the last time you played with wooden racquets?

Post by Tenez on Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:10 pm

Well for me it's simple. Yesterday is the answer! Someone in our club got the great idea to end the grass season at our club by organising a small tournament with 1970s wooden racquets! The old Dunlop maxply from Mc, the Chris Evert Davis , The Borg's Donnay all came out of the cupboard to live another day but also the all white dress code with the head and wrist bands.

It was honestly fantastic. It makes every shot a real treat, you need to focus and hit with care every ball. Placing the ball becomes so important again. Timing and hitting a clean winner makes you feel like McEnroe. PLaying on doddgy bounce grass added to the pleasure and forced you to go to the net. We had so much fun, we woudl have never envisaged it woudl be so exciting and the funny thing is that our competitive instincts were actually emphasised by the challenge it is to "manouevre" those heavy wooden raquets.

We decided at the end to actually also open the grass season next year the way we closed it.

What I could possibly draw from this experience when comparing it with the modern game is that of course topspinning is much harder and so is hitting a winner unless you serve and volley. But even SVing would require 2 volleys to score and with today's fit players, it would be interesting to see whether the volleyer be at an advantage. I can only remember that the last players to dominate with wooden racquets, were essentially baseliners....bar McEnroe who was a one-off genius.

Having those modern players compete with a wooden racquet is certainly an Exho I woudl be dying to watch.


Last edited by Tenez on Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:20 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by noleisthebest on Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:18 pm

1998, on some concrete court in London. First and only time. Gave it to someone to look after it and that someone lost it.
I then had a long break of no tennis playing. That was the racquet my mum found on the street on her way to work one day. I treasured it for years before I actually used it.
From memory, it was heavier than the one I have now and felt very, very natural and in synch with me, I was kind of in control of what I was doing, this new stuff is hard to tame....

I'm going to read what you wrote now When was the last time you played with wooden racquets?  1071211947

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Post by Tenez on Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:22 pm

Yes, Once you get used to this new "stuff" try to go back....It's lots of fun.

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Post by noleisthebest on Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:27 pm

Tenez wrote:Yes, Once you get used to this new "stuff" try to go back....It's lots of fun.

I will! I never got used to new "stuff" and always though there's something wrong with me. I actually need a new racquet and I'm going to get the wooden one from Ebay!
For me, there's no bashing, it really is all fun and joyful play like a kitten with a ball of wool.

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Post by Tenez on Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:34 pm

noleisthebest wrote:
Tenez wrote:Yes, Once you get used to this new "stuff" try to go back....It's lots of fun.

I will! I never got used to new "stuff" and always though there's something wrong with me. I actually need a new racquet and I'm going to get the wooden one from Ebay!
For me, there's no bashing, it really is all fun and joyful play like a kitten with a ball of wool.
When was the last time you played with wooden racquets?  2033450363

The kitten is not going to see the woolen ball much if your opponents play with the "new stuff". When was the last time you played with wooden racquets?  1071211947

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Post by noleisthebest on Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:35 pm

Tenez wrote:
noleisthebest wrote:
Tenez wrote:Yes, Once you get used to this new "stuff" try to go back....It's lots of fun.

I will! I never got used to new "stuff" and always though there's something wrong with me. I actually need a new racquet and I'm going to get the wooden one from Ebay!
For me, there's no bashing, it really is all fun and joyful play like a kitten with a ball of wool.
When was the last time you played with wooden racquets?  2033450363

The kitten is not going to see the woolen ball much if your opponents play with the "new stuff". When was the last time you played with wooden racquets?  1071211947

I'm hoping to find another enthusiastic tennis romantic When was the last time you played with wooden racquets?  1071211947 I bet there are plenty of oldies up for a challenge!

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Post by Tenez on Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:52 pm

I can only say that we all had lots of fun. It's like rediscovering tennis from scratch and brought so many good memories back. The All white and head bands was great too cause a few were younger players in their 20s (at the opposite pole of it usually) and seeing them make the effort to dress up was the icing on the cake.

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Post by noleisthebest on Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:00 pm

Tenez wrote:I can only say that we all had lots of fun. It's like rediscovering tennis from scratch and brought so many good memories back. The All white and head bands was great too cause a few were younger players in their 20s (at the opposite pole of it usually) and seeing them make the effort to dress up was the icing on the cake.

You dirty old man, you When was the last time you played with wooden racquets?  1071211947 !

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Post by noleisthebest on Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:05 pm

When I used to play just in the park, I always wore a white linen dress or a knee-long white skirt (just my normal clothes), but was to embarrassed to wear it in the club, so went for the Azarenka look (the gym stuff, all black, cycling capris, that's the only sports gear I now have When was the last time you played with wooden racquets?  2998105013 ) I could not find a single tennis skirt/dress in the wretched sports shop!!!
I was relieved others looked "normal".
And just as I got all ready, summer's gone When was the last time you played with wooden racquets?  3391208243

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Post by Tenez on Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:17 pm

noleisthebest wrote:And just as I got all ready, summer's gone When was the last time you played with wooden racquets?  3391208243
When was the last time you played with wooden racquets?  2033450363

Yes, you may start a fun trend: All black with your umbrella in the left hand and the racquet in the right.

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Post by noleisthebest on Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:19 pm

Tenez wrote:
noleisthebest wrote:And just as I got all ready, summer's gone When was the last time you played with wooden racquets?  3391208243
When was the last time you played with wooden racquets?  2033450363

Yes, you may start a fun trend: All black with your umbrella in the left hand and the racquet in the right.

I could! The benefits of having a SBH When was the last time you played with wooden racquets?  1071211947

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Post by noleisthebest on Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:20 pm

Tenez wrote:

Having those modern players compete with a wooden racquet is certainly an Exho I woudl be dying to watch.

That would really be fantastic! Imagine Federer vs Nadal on Centre Court When was the last time you played with wooden racquets?  83870220

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Post by Tenez on Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:30 pm

noleisthebest wrote:
Tenez wrote:

Having those modern players compete with a wooden racquet is certainly an Exho I woudl be dying to watch.

That would really be fantastic! Imagine Federer vs Nadal on Centre Court When was the last time you played with wooden racquets?  83870220

Nadal would not pass the first round! Winking ROsol or not Rosol.

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Post by noleisthebest on Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:33 pm

You know those exos they play in Albert hall, do any of them use wooden racquets or not these days?

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Post by noleisthebest on Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:35 pm

Tenez wrote:
noleisthebest wrote:
Tenez wrote:

Having those modern players compete with a wooden racquet is certainly an Exho I woudl be dying to watch.

That would really be fantastic! Imagine Federer vs Nadal on Centre Court When was the last time you played with wooden racquets?  83870220

Nadal would not pass the first round! When was the last time you played with wooden racquets?  1071211947 ROsol or not Rosol.

Even better! That would fix all tennis problems in no time!

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Post by noleisthebest on Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:44 pm

I forgot to ask, did you wear the small 80s shorts? When was the last time you played with wooden racquets?  123628122

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Post by Tenez on Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:29 am

noleisthebest wrote:You know those exos they play in Albert hall, do any of them use wooden racquets or not these days?

Nope. None of them.

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Post by Tenez on Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:30 am

noleisthebest wrote:I forgot to ask, did you wear the small 80s shorts? When was the last time you played with wooden racquets?  123628122

White trousers only! Winking

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Post by noleisthebest on Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:31 am

Tenez wrote:
noleisthebest wrote:I forgot to ask, did you wear the small 80s shorts? When was the last time you played with wooden racquets?  123628122

White trousers only! When was the last time you played with wooden racquets?  1071211947

Lovely!

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Post by noleisthebest on Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:34 am

That's actually a great idea for a costume party....Best outfit gets a wooden racquet as a prize!

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Post by noleisthebest on Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:37 am

Tenez wrote:
noleisthebest wrote:You know those exos they play in Albert hall, do any of them use wooden racquets or not these days?

Nope. None of them.

That's a shame...
It was interesting to see your observation on the difference modern fitness would've brought to wooden racquets, and players are getting taller, as well...I suppose we can only guess.

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Post by noleisthebest on Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:53 am

I suppose one could compare modern and wooden racquets to electric and acoustic guitars:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZHfOtuTjm0&feature=related

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Na9u2Vnk3tk&feature=related

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Post by noleisthebest on Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:43 pm

I must say tennis looked a lot more fun in those days....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8IJ0F01IiU

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Post by Tenez on Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:58 pm

Remember I told you recently that back then we coudl relate to the tennis players. Their athletism was good but not so different, if at all, than the regular fit player of your local club. Even with minimum practice with wooden racquets we reproduced similar rallies as in the clip above. Whereas we could only dream to hit the ball as hard and relentlessy while running twice as fast and 10 times more than today's players.

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Post by noleisthebest on Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:04 pm

While I watched that clip I tried to imagine today's players, it's a different sport now.
For a start, it's the double handed shots (mainly backhand) that just make it so different to play.
New technology will really kill tennis in its pure form.
If it wasn't for Fed it will have died long time ago.

Somebody really needs to do something radical, tennis is turning into a video game (mind you , I don't have a clue what a video game looks like, but I've seen some adds while having to wait for tennis streams to load Winking )

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Post by noleisthebest on Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:08 pm

To me, the weird thing is that Nadal complains of the long season and blames THAT for his physical problems, not his style of play and what causes it.
Instead, he wants 2 year ranking. Why not more humane playing conditions?

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Post by Tenez on Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:17 pm

Yep. But again, remember Clerc, Wilander, Vilas, Borg with their wooden racquets and endless rallies on clay? They were all getting fitter and the wooden racquet woudl not allow to hit winners easily against those guys.

I'd say I like the changes too cause I could not have watched the same tennis for 40 years. I am glad it changed to some extend. But there are always going to be periods more exciting than others.

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Post by noleisthebest on Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:30 pm

Tenez wrote:Yep. But again, remember Clerc, Wilander, Vilas, Borg with their wooden racquets and endless rallies on clay? They were all getting fitter and the wooden racquet woudl not allow to hit winners easily against those guys.

I'd say I like the changes too cause I could not have watched the same tennis for 40 years. I am glad it changed to some extend. But there are always going to be periods more exciting than others.

I don't like the changes much.
I like the artistry in tennis and that aspect is almost non-existant these days. You can see it in patches from certain players, but they are limited with what they can do with the playing conditions.

Nothing beats craft for me. The game of chess on grass. Of course those battles and matches are rare and special. You can still have those today, but it's kind of being made difficult to achieve.

I watched Kohlscreiber play Paire the other day, and even he is bashing the ball with all his might.

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Post by noleisthebest on Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:43 pm

Tenez wrote:
I'd say I like the changes too cause I could not have watched the same tennis for 40 years. I am glad it changed to some extend. But there are always going to be periods more exciting than others.

Since you seem to be evolutionist, and tennis is a good example to use that model of thinking, you can see that tennis is not changing but evolving.

Before Novak's 2011, and that USO final, for me, tennis was at its lowest with Nadal bludgening and strangling everyone off the court.
It was almost morbid tennis.
that's why I called it death of tennis. Beat the guy into pulp with your left bicep. Make the opponent wait for the coin-toss,humiliate him, that depressing, suffocating era.

It has been so refreshing and brilliant for me while he's been out of the picture. I never missed him for one second.

I don't know why I am even hoping things will revert a bit, but Nadal being taken off the top and carrying the beacon of tennis evolution is great news.

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Post by Tenez on Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:50 pm

noleisthebest wrote:
Tenez wrote:Yep. But again, remember Clerc, Wilander, Vilas, Borg with their wooden racquets and endless rallies on clay? They were all getting fitter and the wooden racquet woudl not allow to hit winners easily against those guys.

I'd say I like the changes too cause I could not have watched the same tennis for 40 years. I am glad it changed to some extend. But there are always going to be periods more exciting than others.

I don't like the changes much.
I like the artistry in tennis and that aspect is almost non-existant these days. You can see it in patches from certain players, but they are limited with what they can do with the playing conditions.

Nothing beats craft for me.
The game of chess on grass. Of course those battles and matches are rare and special. You can still have those today, but it's kind of being made difficult to achieve.

I watched Kohlscreiber play Paire the other day, and even he is bashing the ball with all his might.

But isn't craft best shown when faced with physical challenge? Without the toughest physical environment out there, Federer woudl have never been as good. He would have walked with 35 slams without a sweat.

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Post by Tenez on Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:57 pm

noleisthebest wrote:
Tenez wrote:
I'd say I like the changes too cause I could not have watched the same tennis for 40 years. I am glad it changed to some extend. But there are always going to be periods more exciting than others.

Since you seem to be evolutionist, and tennis is a good example to use that model of thinking, you can see that tennis is not changing but evolving.

Before Novak's 2011, and that USO final, for me, tennis was at its lowest with Nadal bludgening and strangling everyone off the court.
It was almost morbid tennis.
that's why I called it death of tennis. Beat the guy into pulp with your left bicep. Make the opponent wait for the coin-toss,humiliate him, that depressing, suffocating era.

It has been so refreshing and brilliant for me while he's been out of the picture. I never missed him for one second.

I don't know why I am even hoping things will revert a bit, but Nadal being taken off the top and carrying the beacon of tennis evolution is great news.

Chaos follows order and order follows chaos. Nadal represents everything the world of sport is today. It's only normal he came to destroy the finest sword evolution had sharpened. I am sure another great player will come along even more talented than Federer. We may have to wait a long time, but someone will come with even more grace, thanks to the ugly battlefield his successors created.

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Post by noleisthebest on Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:01 am

Tenez wrote:

But isn't craft best shown when faced with physical challenge? Without the toughest physical environment out there, Federer woudl have never been as good. He would have walked with 35 slams without a sweat.

I don't enjoy watching craft failing under the might of fitness.
Yes, it may have stretched him a bit and made him exploit and develop various aspects of his present game (say what he played in this year's Wimbleodn final), but the cost was too high for the game in general.
For a start, he has to battle against double backhands, and that should not be so.

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Post by noleisthebest on Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:04 am

Tenez wrote:

Chaos follows order and order follows chaos. Nadal represents everything the world of sport is today. It's only normal he came to destroy the finest sword evolution had sharpened. I am sure another great player will come along even more talented than Federer. We may have to wait a long time, but someone will come with even more grace, thanks to the ugly battlefield his successors created.

I'd ban double-handed backhand, that should speed the wait a bit, but what are the chances of that happening ...

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Post by Tenez on Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:04 am

noleisthebest wrote:I don't enjoy watching craft failing under the might of fitness.

Agree!

Yes, it may have stretched him a bit and made him exploit and develop various aspects of his present game (say what he played in this year's Wimbleodn final), but the cost was too high for the game in general.
For a start, he has to battle against double backhands, and that should not be so.

And agree again. But we know Nadal was helped by many things, Federer essentially fought on his own with his endless talent.

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Post by Tenez on Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:06 am

noleisthebest wrote:I'd ban double-handed backhand, that should speed the wait a bit, but what are the chances of that happening ...

That woudl be such a good move cause only talented players can have a consistent SHBH.

It's no surprised that all those physical players (Borg, Wilander, Chang, Hewitt, Nadal and yes Djoko and Murray) developped a DHBH....the exception being Muster probably.

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Post by noleisthebest on Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:10 am

Tenez wrote:
noleisthebest wrote:I'd ban double-handed backhand, that should speed the wait a bit, but what are the chances of that happening ...

That woudl be such a good move cause only talented players can have a consistent SHBH.

What do you think could make players or tennis academies revert the current trend of teaching double backhand to single?

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Post by Tenez on Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:18 am

noleisthebest wrote:
Tenez wrote:
noleisthebest wrote:I'd ban double-handed backhand, that should speed the wait a bit, but what are the chances of that happening ...

That woudl be such a good move cause only talented players can have a consistent SHBH.

What do you think could make players or tennis academies revert the current trend of teaching double backhand to single?

The challenge of an academy is to make their players better. They can have more impact by adopting what is more successful and certainly on those surfaces/conds, they are more in control of the progress of their pplayers than they woudl be if they were relying on the talent of their players.

If they speed up the courts talent will play a bigger role and therefore the DHBH might not be the best option then.

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Post by noleisthebest on Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:20 am

Tenez wrote:

It's no surprised that all those physical players (Borg, Wilander, Chang, Hewitt, Nadal and yes Djoko and Murray) developped a DHBH....the exception being Muster probably.

I know that young Nole asked his coach (the first one) to change his backhand from single to double as he lacked power on it.

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Post by noleisthebest on Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:22 am

Tenez wrote:

If they speed up the courts talent will play a bigger role and therefore the DHBH might not be the best option then.

yes, but imagine fast courts and Karlo serving wide to your single backhand....

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Post by Larry Ellison on Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:28 am

Djokovic is the death of tennis Run

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Post by Tenez on Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:43 am

noleisthebest wrote:
Tenez wrote:

If they speed up the courts talent will play a bigger role and therefore the DHBH might not be the best option then.

yes, but imagine fast courts and Karlo serving wide to your single backhand....

I'd say good on Karlo. He also has a SHBH and is talented.

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Post by noleisthebest on Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:08 am

You're right. Funny thing, SBH is tle last thing that comes to my mind when I think of Karlovic When was the last time you played with wooden racquets?  1071211947

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Post by Tenez on Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:47 am

I am surprised to see those giants with DHBH. Typically one needs to move well and have a big abdominal belt to support those huge guys' backs. Karlo probably plays most naturally of them all. The thing is that he is so tall he will always look like a dinosaur and clumsy but he is not for his size.

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Post by noleisthebest on Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:56 am

Tenez wrote:I am surprised to see those giants with DHBH. Typically one needs to move well and have a big abdominal belt to support those huge guys' backs. Karlo probably plays most naturally of them all. The thing is that he is so tall he will always look like a dinosaur and clumsy but he is not for his size.

He probably feels quite OK in his skin, though

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Post by Tenez on Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:05 pm

I am sure deep down he wished he was slightly shorter.

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Post by noleisthebest on Tue Sep 25, 2012 3:32 pm

Tenez wrote:I am sure deep down he wished he was slightly shorter.

He'd probably be similar to Strakhovski. I think he'd better stay like he is

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Post by noleisthebest on Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:40 pm

Tenez wrote:I am surprised to see those giants with DHBH. Typically one needs to move well and have a big abdominal belt to support those huge guys' backs. Karlo probably plays most naturally of them all. The thing is that he is so tall he will always look like a dinosaur and clumsy but he is not for his size.

this was really striking when watching Raonic play Karlovic today.
The main difference between the two is Raonic's agility.
I never realised how big he actually is until I saw that photo of his legs next to Nole's. They are huge and must be super strong. He is quite agile and fluid for a "giant".
His forehand to me although good just needs a bit more looseness on it, it's a bit one-dimensional, not natural and instinctive enough for going forward naturally.
He seems to be doing it only in some basic patterns:swoosh the serve in, open the court and do a V. A bit lazy as he needs more than plan A against the very best.
In many ways I prefer Cilic to Raonic, but after that fiasco against Murray, I have given up on him for good!

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Post by noleisthebest on Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:44 pm

Tenez wrote:Remember I told you recently that back then we coudl relate to the tennis players. Their athletism was good but not so different, if at all, than the regular fit player of your local club. Even with minimum practice with wooden racquets we reproduced similar rallies as in the clip above. Whereas we could only dream to hit the ball as hard and relentlessy while running twice as fast and 10 times more than today's players.

I do believe it! That's what's nice about those racquets, they are real and allow a lot more creativity.
Didn't Laver have the most magical and beautiful backhand slice in that clip?

I've just seen part of it again and realised how different commentating used to be, plenty of peace and quiet, just the way I like it When was the last time you played with wooden racquets?  83870220
To think that "they" are thinking of intorducing microphones into players' boxes these days as well as on players, sick and depressing, as if having to endure Rusedski, the Yank guy who sounds like your former boss and the likes is not enough suffering....

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Post by laverfan on Fri Sep 28, 2012 1:09 am

noleisthebest wrote:Imagine Federer vs Nadal on Centre Court Bubbly

Tenez wrote:Nadal would not pass the first round! Winking ROsol or not Rosol.

noleisthbest wrote:To me, the weird thing is that Nadal complains of the long season and blames THAT for his physical problems, not his style of play and what causes it. Instead, he wants 2 year ranking. Why not more humane playing conditions?

noleisthbest wrote:Before Novak's 2011, and that USO final, for me, tennis was at its lowest with Nadal bludgening and strangling everyone off the court.
It was almost morbid tennis. that's why I called it death of tennis. Beat the guy into pulp with your left bicep. Make the opponent wait for the coin-toss,humiliate him, that depressing, suffocating era.

It has been so refreshing and brilliant for me while he's been out of the picture. I never missed him for one second.

I don't know why I am even hoping things will revert a bit, but Nadal being taken off the top and carrying the beacon of tennis evolution is great news.

Tenez wrote:Chaos follows order and order follows chaos. Nadal represents everything the world of sport is today. It's only normal he came to destroy the finest sword evolution had sharpened. I

Tenez wrote:But we know Nadal was helped by many things,...


Tenez wrote:It's no surprised that all those physical players (Borg, Wilander, Chang, Hewitt, Nadal and yes Djoko and Murray) developped a DHBH....the exception being Muster probably.


Wooden racquets uprooted by the forum favourite subject. Laugh

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Post by laverfan on Fri Sep 28, 2012 1:09 am

To get back on topic, a wooden YY (Yoneyama) in 1972 on a grass court. Winking

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