Martina Navratilova, On ESPN2's "Quite Frankly" Said... - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2006, 04:54 AM Thread Starter
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Martina Navratilova, On ESPN2's "Quite Frankly" Said...

...today's rackets "allow average players to hit great shots." She also said that's why she can't dominate at the net anymore.

It's a good interview altogether, though.

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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2006, 05:00 AM
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Wait a sec though - I assume she's also playing with "today's racquet" so what's the problem?

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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2006, 05:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SelesFan70
...today's rackets "allow average players to hit great shots." She also said that's why she can't dominate at the net anymore.
She's right. Compared to the wood rackets in the late 60's, which is what I learned the game on, today's rackets not on let you make the ball travel a lot faster, they are VERY forgiving. The 'sweet spot' on today's Prince rackets is bigger than the entire racket head was on a 'Stan Smith autograph'.

However, Martina isn't as fast as she used to be either. I think she still the best volleyer on the tour though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by inkymisafan
Wait a sec though - I assume she's also playing with "today's racquet" so what's the problem?
Every ELSE is playing with today's racket. With the old rackets, a lot of todays player's couldn't compete. Martina could hit the kind of shots players hit today with wooden rackets with racket head only a little bigger than squash rackets.

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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2006, 05:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inkymisafan
Wait a sec though - I assume she's also playing with "today's racquet" so what's the problem?
All else being equal, a fit, highly-skilled 20-to-25-year old will beat a fit, highly-skilled 49-year-old.

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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2006, 05:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcana
She's right. Compared to the wood rackets in the late 60's, which is what I learned the game on, today's rackets not on let you make the ball travel a lot faster, they are VERY forgiving. The 'sweet spot' on today's Prince rackets is bigger than the entire racket head was on a 'Stan Smith autograph'.

However, Martina isn't as fast as she used to be either. I think she still the best volleyer on the tour though.
Every ELSE is playing with today's racket. With the old rackets, a lot of todays player's couldn't compete. Martina could hit the kind of shots players hit today with wooden rackets with racket head only a little bigger than squash rackets.
As much as I L-O-V-E Venus Williams, there's no way she could play with a wooden stick. She'd have to completely overhaul her forehand technique.

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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2006, 05:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcana
Every ELSE is playing with today's racket. With the old rackets, a lot of todays player's couldn't compete. Martina could hit the kind of shots players hit today with wooden rackets with racket head only a little bigger than squash rackets.
yeah so surely great players should be able to hit EVEN BETTER shots with today's racquet if they are that goodanyway...

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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2006, 05:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darrinbaker00
All else being equal, a fit, highly-skilled 20-to-25-year old will beat a fit, highly-skilled 49-year-old.
Yes, you should think so!

Martina just sounds kinda bitter with that comment...

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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2006, 05:16 AM
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Any opinion Martina Navratilova offers about tennis rackets is well informed. If she doesn't know what she's talking about, nobody does.

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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2006, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by meyerpl
Any opinion Martina Navratilova offers about tennis rackets is well informed. If she doesn't know what she's talking about, nobody does.
Well the new racquets are here... she should get used to it, or stop playing.

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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2006, 05:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inkymisafan
yeah so surely great players should be able to hit EVEN BETTER shots with today's racquet if they are that goodanyway...
You're not considering the problem, probably because you've never had to play with that kind of racket. Imagine playing tennis with a squash racket. One advantage Navratilova, Evert, Court, and Goolagong had over their opponents was they could hit great shots with rackets that their opponent couldn't hit great shots with. Today's rackets help a player who CAN'T hit a great shot with a small racket far more than they help a player who CAN hit a great shot.

That forehand Venus and Lindsay use, brushing up the back side of the ball? Near impossible with the rackets they used in the 1960's. The sweet spot was the size of two of your fists. Sania Mirza couldn't begin to play the way she does with the old rackets. It's not just that the ball goes faster. The racket head is so much bigger, shot that were mis-hits are now good shots.

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post #11 of 41 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2006, 05:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcana
You're not considering the problem, probably because you've never had to play with that kind of racket. Imagine playing tennis with a squash racket. One advantage Navratilova, Evert, Court, and Goolagong had over their opponents was they could hit great shots with rackets that their opponent couldn't hit great shots with. Today's rackets help a player who CAN'T hit a great shot with a small racket far more than they help a player who CAN hit a great shot.

That forehand Venus and Lindsay use, brushing up the back side of the ball? Near impossible with the rackets they used in the 1960's. The sweet spot was the size of two of your fists. Sania Mirza couldn't begin to play the way she does with the old rackets. It's not just that the ball goes faster. The racket head is so much bigger, shot that were mis-hits are now good shots.
My first racquet was some cheap, old, shitty wooden thing with a small head size. I'm not saying her point isn't valid, just that she should get over it, coz these type of racquets have been around for a while now, and if it's gonna help people's games then of course they will use them.

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post #12 of 41 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2006, 05:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcana
You're not considering the problem, probably because you've never had to play with that kind of racket. Imagine playing tennis with a squash racket. One advantage Navratilova, Evert, Court, and Goolagong had over their opponents was they could hit great shots with rackets that their opponent couldn't hit great shots with. Today's rackets help a player who CAN'T hit a great shot with a small racket far more than they help a player who CAN hit a great shot.

That forehand Venus and Lindsay use, brushing up the back side of the ball? Near impossible with the rackets they used in the 1960's. The sweet spot was the size of two of your fists. Sania Mirza couldn't begin to play the way she does with the old rackets. It's not just that the ball goes faster. The racket head is so much bigger, shot that were mis-hits are now good shots.
A racket similar to what Federer and Safin use today was used 25 years ago, during Navratilova's peak, so i don't know what she is talking about. BTW, I think the transition from the wooden rackets helped her volley's more so her success was more WITHOUT the wooden rackets than with them.
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post #13 of 41 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2006, 06:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcana
You're not considering the problem, probably because you've never had to play with that kind of racket. Imagine playing tennis with a squash racket. One advantage Navratilova, Evert, Court, and Goolagong had over their opponents was they could hit great shots with rackets that their opponent couldn't hit great shots with. Today's rackets help a player who CAN'T hit a great shot with a small racket far more than they help a player who CAN hit a great shot.

That forehand Venus and Lindsay use, brushing up the back side of the ball? Near impossible with the rackets they used in the 1960's. The sweet spot was the size of two of your fists. Sania Mirza couldn't begin to play the way she does with the old rackets. It's not just that the ball goes faster. The racket head is so much bigger, shot that were mis-hits are now good shots.
I completely agree with your posts, and Nav's opinion. Most players today would definitely have trouble with the old racquets. The larger size of the sweet-spot makes a huge difference to players who don't have great ball-sense, and hand-eye co-ordination. However,
strange as it may sound, you've picked the wrong example. Mirza is one player who would be able to hit great shots with a smaller racquet head (not talking about wood, but a smaller sweet-spot). She has very good ball-sense and is one who actually keeps her head absolutely still, and watches the ball onto her racquet. She uses a western grip but her swing is not the orthodox forehand swing. In fact she should probably switch to a smaller racquet head. That might sound a little odd given her current inconsistency, but you'll see what I mean in a couple of years.

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post #14 of 41 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2006, 07:02 AM
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post #15 of 41 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2006, 07:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inkymisafan
Well the new racquets are here... she should get used to it, or stop playing.
I assume she wasn't advocating for going back to wood rackets, but rather explaining why it's more difficult and less common for players to dominate at the net today.

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