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Discussion Starter #1
Would the power disparity between the weak players and the strong players grow or shrink?
 

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Shrink. I think.

I mean could you imagine a Venus Williams or Lindsay Davenport hitting full power forehands, the wood frame would surely shatter! <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> 'Big Babes' would have to carry like 30 rackets per match!

It would be interesting to see, however.
 
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what would happen to the fabulous heavy western grips and stuff <img src="graemlins/sad.gif" border="0" alt="[Sad]" />
 

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It would make a big diff , the center of the racquet is much smaller so just swinging away would mean plenty of mis-hits , <br /> Players with touch /feel would come into their own.<br /> Hingis would be #1 still and she would have won a slam since AUS 99.

But more importantly .........<br />Natasha Zvereva would have won about 20 singles slams.

[ November 01, 2001: Message edited by: TheBoiledEgg ]</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It's a little easier to see on the men's side, but the high tech racquets are what let the Henins bang with the Davenports. More to the point, its lets the non-athletic hang with the athletic.

The speed of the Williams sisters would not diminish at all. Who on the tour could hit a winner past either of them with a wood racquet? Seriously. Tell me who? They could bang straight down the middle time after time and dare their opponent to risk drop shotting them. Which risks them getting to net.

Now think about how slow Martina Hingis's second serve would be with a wood racquets. She might literally go whole matches without winning a point off her second serve.

The problem with playing the Williams sisters, as opposed to Seles or Davenport or Clijsters, is that they are the fastest good players on the tour. Henin's the only one who's even close. The problem isn't THEIR winners, it's that their opponents don't get ANY winners, because Venus and Serena return EVERYTHING. Sometimes they hit it, sometimes not, but they always (99% of the time) touch it.

It's speed. It's way, way speed. That's why they can win without playing much. They are way, WAY fast and they both can change direction quickly. (Not gracefully, in Venus's case, but quickly.) But they are both as big as the Big Babes.

Think how much worse that problem is when their opponents has a wood racquet, instead of titanium. Think about it. The ball travels 20% slower. The Williams sisters run just as fast. They could go to net whenever they wanted. Who could hit an approach shot past them with wood?

Remember, the players would adjust. Venus already knows how to chip and charge. She'd wind up at the net after EVERY second serve by ANYBODY. You CAN'T pass someone that tall, that fast, that quick, that smart, from the baseline with a wood racquet. You can't. She'll approach to cut down the angle and she only takes two strides to get to net. (Lindsay does that too. It's shocking how much ground they cover.) And when the opponent strikes the ball, it's going 20% slower than it does today. Think it'll get past Venus?

I think SOME of the Big Babes will be hurt. The one's that WILL NOT leave the baseline are gonna find their rankings sliding. All the really good service returners Lindsay, Serena, Venus, Monica, Jenn would stay in the top ten.

I dunno. I'm not sure much would change.

Would Martina have won another slam? Would she have won the first five? Steffi Graf and wood racquets. Could Monica have won 9 GS titles with that 2-hander off both sides and wooden technology?
 

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Volcana, you were lonly ooking at it all from a really one-sided perspective.

If WTA played with wood rackets do you think we would have this many baseliners?

Players like Hingis and Henin-Hardenne would surely come to net to take advantage of their net skills. They wouldn't need to hit winners from the baseline like you're saying they need to.

I think playing with wooden rackets would be good cause it will allow for more variety on tour between baseliners and S/Vollyers plus the serves and returns won't dominate so much anymore.

It would be back to a lot rallying and trying to outplay the opponent from baseline or the net.

Monica Seles would really lose out because of her reluctance to volley and the smaller headsize of wood, she can't just swing away. The Wiliams will lose their major weapons but they will adapt and be still a force. Hingis and Henin-Hardenne would be big winners.
 

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its all speculation so...this can all go down the crapper

and what do you think Monica learned to play her tennis with?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
There's no limit to the head size of a wooden racket. They'd just make'm bigger.
 

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Well, wood is not as strong as Titanium. I would think that the larger the head of a wooden racquet, the greater the stress string tension would put on the frame. Volume increases faster than surface area.
 

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None of the players would be the same with a wooden racket, that includes my favorite players. I don't see why people just think this would affect Venus & Serena.:rolleyes:
 

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Volcana, you're still ignoring the benefits that finesse players like Hingis and Henin-Hardenne would get through wood.

"its lets the non-athletic hang with the athletic", is what I disagree with that most regarding modern rackets. IMO, it puts non-athletic players on a huge defensive position especially on the serve.

And regarding the head size of wood rackets, I'm sure there's got to be a limit like dh said.
 

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The only definate difference: the manufacturers would have to make more raquets to keep up with the breakage rate
 

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Venus and Serena not only have formidable groundstrokes but they have the best defensive shots in the game. But what people often overlook is how today's rackets also make defending - hitting the ball on the stretch a hell of a lot easier. Wood rackets would not make either of the sisters slower but they would make defending harder.

The players who hit the cleanest ball - Lindsay, Daniela etc. would still be able to get good pace and accuracy. I think that disposable hero has a good point. Serena is inconsistent with a modern racket so hitting the sweet spot with a wood racket would certainly challenge her.
 

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the high tech racquets are what let the Henins bang with the Davenports. More to the point, its lets the non-athletic hang with the athletic.
Sorry-but that's just patently wrong. With her strokes Henin would still be able to hit hard. If she hits harder than most women now she would hit harder than most women with wood. And if you look at tapes from the wood era you'll see plenty of "non-athletic women" -just as many or maybe even more than today because control was more important with wood.

Scorch made an great point about defensive shots. Today's men and women can get away with hitting the ball anywhere there are strings. And the racquets are bigger. This makes the "squash shot" (where a flick of the wrist will get the ball back at times) possible.
 

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And a few years ago, they compared Philippoussis' (grr I can't seem to spell his name properly lol) serve speed between "high-tech" racquets and wood racquets. The difference was only of a few kilometers (like 6 or 7)...
In an exhibition Sampras played a few games with a wood racquet too and he served several times above 200 km/h...

So I would say the game wouldn't be a lot slower. Players would have to have an impeccable technique (which would surely mean less injuries) and as stated before, they wouldn't get the ball in with just a flick of the wrist.
 

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Martian Julien said:
And a few years ago, they compared Philippoussis' (grr I can't seem to spell his name properly lol) serve speed between "high-tech" racquets and wood racquets. The difference was only of a few kilometers (like 6 or 7)...
In an exhibition Sampras played a few games with a wood racquet too and he served several times above 200 km/h...

So I would say the game wouldn't be a lot slower. Players would have to have an impeccable technique (which would surely mean less injuries) and as stated before, they wouldn't get the ball in with just a flick of the wrist.
The thing with those tests/ experiments is that they lasted for very short durations.

Wood rackets are far heavier and are head heavy – it makes it almost impossible to be able to hit the ball so hard continuously without injury. Back in the days of wood rackets some people were big servers (Roscoe Tanner for example) but certainly not by today’s standards. The fastest serves had to be flat because you could not put the amount of spin on the ball that players do today AND get the same power. The same went for ground strokes – you could hit hard and flat, but to get enough spin you had to sacrifice some power.

Basically I would say that if players were using wood rackets then (unsurprisingly) we would see the style of play that occurred in the early eighties. The players would be better athletes than they were then (as they are now) but the powerful serves and number of outright winners that we see today (resulting from powerful ground strokes) would not exist.
 
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