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Sorry if there's a thread about it already. I started to play tennis in the early 80's. My father had bought me a racket and I recall the mark: a Billie Jean King Bancroft. I used it for years until it was broken. Following racket was an Adidas if I remember well, that looked similar to Ivan Lendl's racket. But I especially remember how I loved my first wood racket. :inlove:

Which were yours? Please share your racket pictures! :)
 

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My first racquet was a Dunlop Maxply Fort.

Here's a youtube video (Not me of course!):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKlbVEUZ3MA


But even in the late 70s I was using the Jimmy Connors T-2000, a metal racquet that hit like a trampoline.

Now that I am old and have tons of touch (my backhand dropper is such a killer I can hit winners off of serves!) I wouls love to return to the days of wood!

Then again maybe not. The small sweet spots demanded much better overall form!
 

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Mine was a Bjorn Borg Donnay racket with blue and white strings.

I also played with the T-2000 and a fibreglass racket which was like wielding a club!
 

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Mine was a Bjorn Borg Donnay racket with blue and white strings.

I also played with the T-2000 and a fibreglass racket which was like wielding a club!
You must have felt real cool with that Borg racket! I recall wearing Fila tennis gear and stuff from the John Mcenroe line-talk about short shorts!

My Dad was working a murder case-and they came to me through a weird connection-the original man who wore the clothes was a convicted murderer.

Did you also wear the Borg headband Sumarokov-Elston?
 

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My first racket was a wood Slazenger my parents bought at Western Auto (LOL). I played most of high school with a T3000. Back then I hit every shot as flat as I could. You could tell I grew up watching Connors and Evert.
 

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No, I was not that coordinated, my headband was the red-white-and-blue John McEnroe one -- wristbands as well. I suppose I was influenced by the 1980 Wimbledon final...

I grew up watching Connors and Evert and I thought the whole point of tennis was to paste the lines like they (especially Connors) used to do, it took me decades to develop topspin, I also hit real flat. The only thing I didn't like about Connors was his pudding-bowl haircut, though.
 

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I had an Oliver wood racquet which sort of resembled the square shape of the Yonex graphite which Martina switched too, after dropping the wood racquet.

I had so much touch with a wood racquet and could rally all day off the forehand. My game fell apart when I started using graphite and could never master the art of top spin.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Nice article, thanks! :)

My favorites are the rackets of Gerulaitis, Jauffret, Newcombe and Laver. I just love those type of rackets.

The Billie Jean King Bancroft looks similar:



I probably had a low-end model made in Taiwan, but of all the models I found this one looks the most similar to the one I had. It's a high-end model, BJK PERSONAL made in the 80's. I recall a "B" on the strings and a shorter grip, but all the rest looks alike (name on the neck, color).
 

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When Sue Barker switched to Slazenger in 1980 I ordered the same wood racket from an ad in World Tennis Magazine. I forgot the exact name of the racket, but it was their classic that seemed to be a rival of the Dunlop max ply fort. I had been using the original Pam Shriver Fro Prince since 1979, but I never really liked it. Sadly the Slazenger was stolen from my gym locker during the 8th grade in May 1981. But by then I had fallen truly madly deeply with Hana Mandlikova and bought a Wilson Jack Kramer to replace it. I used that beauty for years until a friend sold me his graphite Dunlop Max (the one that steffi, McEnroe and for a hot minute Navratilova made famous, although. Martina painted hers black and put a yonex logo on the strings!) in 1987. I LOVED that Dunlop and played the shit out of it until it literally fell apart in 1991. Fave racket ever.
 

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Mine was a Slazenger as well. I'm not sure that it was used by anyone, but it was white and endorsed by John Newcombe. I then had a mid-sized wood graphite Lotto racquet before getting my first full graphite racquet, which was a Dunlop max 200G. Unlike Mark, I thought didn't like the Max200G very much. I found it really heavy, but I had it for about 5 years as well before moving onto the Wilson that Stefan Edberg played with (can't remember the model).

PS-I have no idea why anyone (including myself) thought wood graphite was a good idea..............
 

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Posted by BCP Mine was a Slazenger as well. I'm not sure that it was used by anyone, but it was white and endorsed by John Newcombe. I then had a mid-sized wood graphite Lotto racquet before getting my first full graphite racquet, which was a Dunlop max 200G. Unlike Mark, I thought didn't like the Max200G very much. I found it really heavy, but I had it for about 5 years as well before moving onto the Wilson that Stefan Edberg played with (can't remember the model).

PS-I have no idea why anyone (including myself) thought wood graphite was a good idea..............
Newk was a bit before my time. Still, he looked so stylish and cool in a 70s way with the mustache; and he was always having fun! That alone might tempt me into buying a racquet.

BTE-I had NO IDEA there were wood graphite sticks. Sounds crazy! Do you still have it BCP?
 

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Newk was a bit before my time. Still, he looked so stylish and cool in a 70s way with the mustache; and he was always having fun! That alone might tempt me into buying a racquet.

BTE-I had NO IDEA there were wood graphite sticks. Sounds crazy! Do you still have it BCP?
Newk was before my time too! I got it as a Xmas present when I was aged 9 (1979) I think my parents just wanted me out of the house on Saturday mornings!

The wood graphite thing was really weird. I think I got it because we really couldn't afford a full graphite racquet at the time. It was essentially a wood mid-sized racquet with a thin coat of graphite. That racquet is long gone I'm afraid, but I found someone selling one on ebay for $120!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/tennis-racquet-LOTTO-GRAPHITE-MAPLE-ASH-VINTAGE-WOOD-RACQUET-/371121998217#ht_481wt_1153
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Newk was before my time too! I got it as a Xmas present when I was aged 9 (1979) I think my parents just wanted me out of the house on Saturday mornings!

The wood graphite thing was really weird. I think I got it because we really couldn't afford a full graphite racquet at the time. It was essentially a wood mid-sized racquet with a thin coat of graphite. That racquet is long gone I'm afraid, but I found someone selling one on ebay for $120!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/tennis-racquet-LOTTO-GRAPHITE-MAPLE-ASH-VINTAGE-WOOD-RACQUET-/371121998217#ht_481wt_1153
Link from Calou also shows the wood graphite racket that was used by Vilas - looked lovely!
 

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Thanks Hugues Daniel. I forgot that Vilas played with one. I'm trying to think who else, and perhaps Carling Bassett or Kathy Rinaldi played with an early Prince model?
 
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