Tuesday, July 31, 2007

"I always thought I'd be quite good playing maybe 100 years ago"

Douglas Robson took on the task of persuading some WTA and ATP tour players to have a go with a wooden racquet, and the results were interesting. He made the offer at both the Pacific Life Open and the Sony Ericsson Open, and he got varied results. For those of us who rue the day wooden racquets became obsolete, this experiment is especially interesting.

Both Ana Ivanovic and Maria Kirilenko refused to so much as touch the wooden racquet Robson offered. Svetlana Kuznetsova got totally into it, and said that she could win with the racquet. "I don't think it's a big difference. It's the same control, but [the difference is] the power. You have to hit it harder but it's also bigger control." Vania King, on the other hand, declared that it would be "almost impossible [to win a match on tour] unless your opponent misses every single shot."

Martina Hingis said "It didn't feel that bad.
You'd have to get used to it and find out the strength and weakness of the racket because the strategy would definitely have to be a little different." And I agree with Robson that if players still used wooden racquets, Hingis would probably be number 1 in the world again.

The best response came from Daniela Hantuchova: "It was coming off the racquet pretty well....I always thought I'd be quite good playing maybe 100 years ago."

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