Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Interesting Brad Gilbert Link

Here is a link to an interesting interview with Brad Gilbert done at some point early in his work with Andre and around the time of the release of his first book Winning Ugly. Some in the Tennis community aren't keen on Brad but if I had to pick one person to listen to on TV to comment on matches or provide insight it would be him. He really understands tennis from a strategic standpoint. He's not going to tell you how to hit a forehand properly, you can figure that out yourself, what he will do is give you insights on how to think on your feet and how to implement a game plan that will work for your style of game. Having a strategic game plan to use when you play matches makes tennis a lot more fun and enjoyable because you have something to focus on and try to implement instead of just "hitting shots" and getting frustrated if you're not playing like Roger Federer that day. Anyway here is a link to the BG interview



I also highly recommend you pick up a copy of his book winning ugly which is a must have for any club player, I keep it in my racquet bag just to jog my memory and get into the right frame of mind before a match

Henman Out in 1st Round at US Open

Just glanced at the US Open homepage and saw that Henman lost his opener. He really has had a terrible patch this hardcourt summer season. I hope my blog gets found and he reads my article on professional tennis and why he should switch to a 27.5 inch racquet! What does he have to lose at this stage in his career? He will have fewer points to defend next year at this time, he needs more pop on his serrve so he can get into net, Rafter and Edberg won the U.S. Open with a kick serve and volley game and Henman can volley as well as either of them. Well just my two cents, I hope they don't start pestering him with retirement questions now a la Sampras during his late career slump.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Buying Used Tennis Racquets

Due to the decline in proper racquet demo programs at many sporting outlets I've become a fan of purchasing used racquets at lower cost until I'm certain I will stick with a certain frame. I know many people who waste a lot of their hard earned money buying new untried frames and then abandoning them. For those that are interested in buying used frames I've found three good sources on the web.

The first is a tennis store in New Mexico named Sandia Racquet Services www.sandiaracquetservices.com. They are a tennis specialty store that sells demo frames at very good prices. I purchased a Yonex MP-5 Tour from them for $50 US and was very pleased with the quality of the frame as well as the service and delivery time. Since they are USTA certified stringers they know how to grade a racquets quality properly. While the selection is not exhaustive you may find a late model frame you are interested in at a fraction of the cost.

The second place for finding used tennis frames is the Tennis Warehouse discussion forums. This is probably the most active and technical tennis forum on the web right now and you will find many tennis nerds who have tried every frame under the sun and have frames to offload. Since used tennis frames are just space junk and people have money tied up in them if not used you can usually strike some good deals. There is also a forum devoted to finding specific frames that you can post to if looking for something. Here is a link to the Tennis Warehouse Discussion forums,

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/

I direct your attention to the "For Sale or Trade" or "Wanted" forums.


Lastly you can search ebay for used frames, I bought a pair of Prince TT Warrior MP's from a seller there and was pleased with the price and the quality based on the pictures he had posted. The reason ebay is my third choice is that you will more likely be buying from people who are not necessarily really informed on tennis and are selling a racquet that is sitting in the closet. They are also probably less able to talk about how the frame plays which is a benefit of buying from the pro at Sandia or the people on the Tennis Warehouse forums.


Warning: Buying cheaper used tennis racquets can become an addiction and can lead to a never ending search for the perfect racquet where you never hit with the same one twice. Never buy more than one of a new frame that you haven't hit with even if you are offered a great deal on two or more since the honeymoon doesn't always last too long. Good luck in your search

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Wilson nSix-One Tour

I have used the Wilson nSix-One Tour for about a year and can describe how it plays from the eyes of an intermediate/advanced player. The primary strength of this racquet comes from its rock solid stability at impact which allows you to crush the ball. The downside of this stability is it's weight which puts a premium on early racquet preparation. It's weight combined with its small headsize and sweetspot made it a racquet that I really liked if I had been practicing and playing a lot, but tough to use if I was rusty. Here is my breakdown on the racquet from a stroke perspective:


Forehand -> Really enjoyed the weight and stability on the forehand, the small head also is very maneuverable and I could generate good racquet speed to impart lots of topspin. It's weight also helps you on forehand slice due to stability at impact and force you can generate from a short swing.

Backhand -> Similar to forehand but the weight seemed to put more of a premium for getting the racquet back early. It's easy to get caught late on the ball and mistime your shot. Accuracy is a plus with this racquet so I knew I could count on making my opponent play.

Volleys -> My favourite shot with this racquet. Even though the racquet is heavy, its headlight balance makes it easy to maneuver. The stability is great for making solid impact with the ball in flight and it does not twist in your hand or require you to take a big swing to get a nice solid volley. Also if you can get a racquet on the ball when reaching wide, it's mass does a good job of providing a platform for the ball to bounce off so you don't have perfect form.

Serve -> While I enjoyed good accuracy from the racquet I found its heavy weight hard to swing quickly to generate racquet speed. Over the course of the match I noticed a decrease in my second serve velocity as I got tired. If you really crank it the heavy weight can produce some bombs but I found it tough over the course of the entire match. If you've got good upper body strength than this can be a good serving racquet. The small 90 inch head is also conducive to serving the flatter balls down the T.


If this sounds like the racquet for you here is a link


N Code nSix-One Tour 90

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Google Answers On Tennis

I stumbled upon this posting on Google answers where someone was looking for a set of good tennis websites that exist on the net. It's not perfect but it's a good resource and of interest to people looking for tennis content. I'll be creating my own set of tennis sites and resources that I frequent on the net but this will help you in your search for now.


Google Answers On Tennis