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Is Roger Federer using a new racquet at Hamburg 2013?

Roger Federer Federer Hamburg new racquet new racket Wilson Pro Staff Wilson Blade

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#1 Wendy_redRobin

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 12:59 PM

There was some discussion after Roger Federer posted photo of his practice session at Hamburg on Facebook yesterday, as to whether he was trying out a new racquet.

BPK2qQpCYAAmVz6.jpg


The photograph is not very detailed, but it is clear to see that the racquet head is black, whereas Roger's usual Wilson Pro Staff six one BLX racquet had a white head


859865-nadal-and-federer.jpg


To satisfy my curiosity I checked out the Wilson website and noticed the Blade 98 16x19 which has a white handle ...

5059-DEFAULT-l.jpg

From Roger's point of view I think it is an excellent idea to try this racquet out, I believe it gives him a slightly larger area of strings with a slightly lighter overall weight and with playing Hamburg and Gstaad, he has an opportunity to get used to it under tournament conditions before the US Open.


Head size of the new racquet being 98" as opposed to 90" and the strung weight being 318g as opposed to 335g ...... these figures may be adjusted as more facts become known, but this gives an idea.


Scroll down for more in-depth analysis.

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#2 Karolajn

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 05:35 PM

Hey, thanks for sharing the pictures :D But, IMO, this racquet was made specially for Roger and it's not the Blade 98, as it seems to have a slightly smaller than 98sq. inches (95 maybe?) headsize to me. But indeed it seems to be a Blade since it has its paintjob and thicker beam than ProStaff.



#3 Wendy_redRobin

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 06:27 PM

Have you seen this racquet Karolajn? Must admit that it is difficult to tell exact details from the photograph Roger posted.

I was going by the colour scheme, with the white grip and black racquet head, it appears to match the Blade 98 16x19 or even the 101L which has an even larger head size of 101" and is even lighter weighing in at 290g strung weight.

It will be interesting to see what he has chosen when the details are revealed and I would not be at all surprised to learn that it has been specially made for Roger ...
;)

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#4 Vibhuism

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 06:35 PM

Here is a quick analysis on what exact size Roger Federer's racket is

 

 

 

 

Roger Federer for the last 18 odd months has been using The Wilson BLX Pro Staff 90

 

 

Wilson-BLX-Pro-Staff-Six.One-90.jpg

 

 

Picture of Wilson BLX Pro Staff 90 racket

 

 

 

 

Some key specifications of Wilson BLX Pro Staff 90 :

 

 

 

Head Size: 90 sq inches.

 

 

Length: 27in / 68.58cm

 

 

String Tension: 50-60 pounds

 

 

Strung Weight: 12.6oz / 357.2g

 

 

Beam Width: 17.5mm / 17.5mm / 17.5mm

 

 

 

 

Okay, now here is a closer look of Roger Federer's practicing at Hamburg with his new racket about which you read in the first post above -----

 

 

 

few newwwwwwwwwww.jpg

 

 

 

Now, let us see which racket it might be?

 

 

 

As we can see from both these pics that the string pattern on Roger Federer's new racket is 16 x 19. Its almost impossible to guess the exact head size from both these pics, but as I have played quite a lot of tennis, my gut feeling is that its not precisely a Wilson Blade 98 model but a customized prototype which will be very close to 98, or at max some where between 95 to 98.

 

 

 

B9818-1.jpg

 

File picture of Wilson Blade 98

 

 

 

 

Though, the chances of it being a 104 sq. inch head size looks almost negligible to me. Reasons- Pics do not seem to suggest that it is 104 & more over, I don't Roger Federer will risk moving from 90 to 104 in one go.

 

 

 

Scroll down for the pros & cons of this bigger head size racket.

 

 

 

PS: Roger Federer has confirmed that he will play with a 98 sq inch racket.


Edited by Vibhuism, 17 July 2013 - 08:15 PM.

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#5 Vibhuism

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 07:07 PM

Just to give you an idea on what other Top 10 player use:

 

 

 

Novak Djokovic uses a 100 sq in Head racket

 

 

Andy Murray uses a 98 sq in Head racket

 

 

Rafa Nadal uses a 100 sq in Babolat Racket.

 

 

Tomas Berdych, David Ferrer also use a 100 sq in Racket.


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#6 Vibhuism

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 08:12 PM

What benefit will Roger Federer get by moving to a bigger head size Tennis racket?

 

 

 

(i) More power :

 

 

 

The bigger head size will ensure more pace on the ball especially on his ground strokes.

 

 

(ii) Larger Hitting zone

 

 

The racket with a larger head frame has more string bed surface area and therefore a larger hitting zone or as we call it in, the sweet spot. Thus, it will surely help Federer to control his unforced errors.

 

 

 

(iii)  Benefit of Light Weight Racket

 

 

 

As we discussed above, the weight of Wilson BLX Pro Staff 90 (that Roger Federer has been using for the last 18 odd months) is close to 357 grams. Now, if we presume that the racket which Roger Federer was seen practicing with is Wilson Blade 98 or a prototype model that is close to Wilson Blade 98, the weight of the racket will be close to 325 grams.

 

 

 

So, this slightly lighter weight racket will surely be easier to swing and will give him extra swing.

 

 

 

 

Now, that I have discussed the pros, for sure, there are some cons of using a bigger head size Tennis racket

 

 

 

(i) Impact on Net play

 

 

A bigger Tennis head size for sure has an adverse impact on the reflex volleys. As we have seen over the years, the players who have been the best volley makers have used the smaller head size Tennis racket. So, there is a slight chance, we might see Roger Federer coming to the net slightly lesser than normal after this new racket.

 

 

 

(ii) Might just have an impact on his Single Handed backhand

 

 

 

As, we have have been seeing Roger Federer has been using a 90 sq in head size Tennis racket for more than a decade now & an increase in the head size of the Tennis racket might just have an adverse impact on his single handed backhand.

 

 

The main reason for that is because all his life, he has practiced and played with a 90 sq inch Tennis racket & shifting to a 98 sq inch will make it slightly tougher for him to swing & have the same control on his backhand. Probably, after practicing for some time with this racket, he will have the same control on the backhand wing as well, but, initially, I reckon, it will be a wee bit tough.

 

 

 

Though, having discussed these pros & cons, I firmly believe that this is a welcome change and the pros of using a Tennis racket of between 95-98 head size make it a welcome step & I for sure, am looking forward to Hamburg & Gstaad with great interest than I was earlier :).


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#7 Wendy_redRobin

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 08:54 PM

Interesting to read that you think the larger head size might have a slight adverse impact on the single handed backhand .... which IMO is a fluid and graceful part of Roger's game .... despite the overall weight of the racquet being less.

I have sometimes wondered whether he has ever tried the double handed backhand, but I feel it that could reduce the overall reach, though he may gain slightly in control and strength by using two hands.

How times have changed since racquets were made of wood and kept in a press to stop them from warping!! :rolleyes:

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#8 chris90

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 08:54 PM

During the years i have been hearing some tennis players saying that a lighter racket make it harder to hit top spin shots. is that right?



#9 Guest_Skyler_*

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 08:57 PM

You have to realize that all the pros have their racquets customized.  Even though Roger played with the pro staff, he has added much more weight to the stick.  This same racquet may be some form of the blade, but it will definitely be heavier than normal specs



#10 Wendy_redRobin

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 09:05 PM

Again, looking at the Wilson Website, the racquets listed as giving "control and spin" are the Blade, Pro Staff and Six One, so I guess and it is only a guess, the ability to create top spin is helped by the head design & more open stringing rather than weight, as these racquets are of various weights. Add to that the skill of the player of course ;)

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#11 Karolajn

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 09:06 PM

@Wendy - I have seen just as much as you have (plus some other pics on twitter), but Blade 98 was one of the racquets I carried in my bag and played with when I played junior tournaments (however the 2011 version) and just like Vibhu said Rog's stick seems to be in 95-98 range. I might be wrong but to me it's not 98, but something a tad smaller.

Grip color doesn't matter at all... Blade 98 16x19 has stock replacement grip (Wilson Sublime) in white, but as we all know Roger uses leather grip and an overgrip, so this is probably his overgrip and it has nothing to do with the Blade's stock grip.

I bet this is a custom made racquet... By the way, we have to remember that pros don't use stock versions of racquets they endorse, they always have them customized with lead tape and/or added weight inside the handle, or often use racquets that are not on the market anymore with paint job on them.

If it's a Blade 98 16x19 I'm sure he has it customized a lot... Its stock balance is almost even plus the racquet itself is a lightweight one (=not stable against bighitters).

When it comes to topspin, yes - its much harder to create spin with a lighter racquet, but it's logical... And looking at manufacturers websites won't get you far when it comes to racquets. :P

#12 Guest_Chris_*

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 09:09 PM

The Racquet sure looks like a Wilson Blade 98. 

I watched Federer Live at Wimbledon for his second round defeat and compared to Stakhovsky the power behind is racquet was a lot less. For a while now people have been urging Roger to change to a bigger head size racquet, more friendly and who knows if he had done it earlier he may have won more grandslams to this day. 

 

I'd love this to be the change Federer has to make to come back to the top seed rankings. Watching him two weeks ago i'd say there was nothing particularly wrong with his game. It's just that he is using perhaps one of the most difficult racquets to play with in the whole of tennis and at a professional level. The point was going to have to come to make things easier for himself. 

 

We'll have to wait and see to his match and then we will surely get some close up shots of the racquet but for now lets hope this change is for the good. 



#13 Wendy_redRobin

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 09:23 PM

Karolajn of course I bow to your superior knowledge on technical details of this subject. :P

It is intriguing and will be interesting to see the facts once they are revealed for all of us to read, whether happy fans or expert columnists.

It goes without saying that the top players would not use stock racquets off the shelf, but would have something designed to suit them. As I said at the beginning, the exact details may well be adjusted as the facts become known, the mention of the Wilson Blade 98 gives a guide and has started an interesting discussion ;)

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#14 Vibhuism

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 09:46 PM

Interesting to read that you think the larger head size might have a slight adverse impact on the single handed backhand .... which IMO is a fluid and graceful part of Roger's game .... despite the overall weight of the racquet being less.

I have sometimes wondered whether he has ever tried the double handed backhand, but I feel it that could reduce the overall reach, though he may gain slightly in control and strength by using two hands.

How times have changed since racquets were made of wood and kept in a press to stop them from warping!! :rolleyes:

 

 

Yes, as I wrote in that post- The main reason for that is because all his life, he has practiced and played with a 90 sq inch Tennis racket & shifting to a 98 sq inch will make it slightly tougher for him to swing & have the same control on his backhand. I said backhand and not forehand because he usually has a bigger swing on his backhand & with a bigger Tennis head, that same control will take some time to come back.

 

 

Probably, after practicing for some time with this racket, he will have the same control on the backhand wing as well, but, initially, I reckon, it will be a wee bit tough.

 

 

 

& @Karolina, Rafa Nadal uses the lightest Tennis rackets of all Top-10 players & every one, knows, his game's biggest USP is his topspin. So, the lighter the racket, the more conducive it is for spin.


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#15 Guest_Nitish Sidhan_*

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 10:03 PM

Regardless of pros and cons, this continues to show the dedication and passion he has for the game and his desire to come back to the top (winning more SLAMS!). My concern though is larger head size = lesser control and control is what Roger needs at this point (all those sprayed shots come to mind)  :o . But he is a pro and he will work it out!



#16 chris90

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 10:12 PM

We just have to wait, see these two tournaments and see how it works. I think we are looking foward to it. About the weight, i heard a different thing about serena william's racket which is the lightest one. i don't know anything by experience. i just listened to players and former player so i might be wrong.



#17 Guest_rogerle_*

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 11:36 PM

HJ roger uses customized ps series so that the racquet size is 93 not 90 as u already mentioned

#18 Guest_Kim_*

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 01:32 AM

@Vibhu:: Reading every thing here gives me the feeling that its a classroom lecture with textbook explanations.


No one explains like you do & reading your posts makes me feel a professor is teaching us students some minute details.


One question, are all bigger Tennis rackets lighter or the PRO STAFF 90 racket was an exception? Thanks

#19 Guest_José Duszewski_*

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 01:45 AM

Hi everybody. I have been using the Federer blx model for a couple of years. I´m not pro, but have some strokes, Definitely the extra weight and the balance point of it, helps to get the ball deep and give some pace in responding fast balls as serves for instance. But for groundstrokes it seems to be underpowered against "new raquets", like the ones used by Muray and Djokovic. Look how opponents in last matches insisted to play around his backhand to get a weaker ball. As I see, this is why Federer needs to upgrade for a new frame same balance probably same weight but with a stiffer frame. Regards, 

José



#20 Vibhuism

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 03:04 AM

During the years i have been hearing some tennis players saying that a lighter racket make it harder to hit top spin shots. is that right?

 

 

Well Chris & Karolina (as she also talked about spin) & Wendy, this is a difficult question to answer. Reason- based on my study & practical experience, I haven't been able to relate if lighter or heavier rackets make it harder or easier to hit top spin shots.

 

 

Though, I some how feel that the spin & especially the top spins shots are dependent on the strings. The relatively “high tension strings bite into the ball giving more spin.”

 

 

So, now, the next logical question is that, having high Tension strings attached makes the racquet heavier? Well, I some how, feel no (& that is subject to debate). I have used the "Babolat Aero pro Drive" racquet that the master of Top spin Rafa Nadal uses & I found that it weighed around 320 grams, which is about 10 grams less than Djokovic's Head Youtek Graphene speed pro racket & 37 grams lighter than Roger Federer's Wilson BLX Pro Staff 90.

 

 

 

APD13-1.jpg

 

 

So, my study is mainly dependent on this & as you all know, I am not a sports science or a physics student, that I can come to any apt conclusion on this issue...

 

 

@Vibhu:: Reading every thing here gives me the feeling that its a classroom lecture with textbook explanations.


No one explains like you do & reading your posts makes me feel a professor is teaching us students some minute details.


One question, are all bigger Tennis rackets lighter or the PRO STAFF 90 racket was an exception? Thanks

 

 

 

Thanks Kim, your support is our strength :). As I explained above, not necessarily all bigger Tennis rackets lighter. The great Andre Agassi used to use a 105 sq inches racquet & that used to weigh around 345 grams which as you would compare is 15 grams heavier than Novak Djokovic's racquet.

 

 

Though, currently, majority of Top-30 players use a 100 sq inches head frame racket & Roger Federer was the only exception. Deep inside, I knew that this change was to come soon and glad, he is making the change now.


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