20100306

"Exclusively used by professional tennis players"

A sporting goods shop promoted three tennis racquets with the line: "Exclusively used by professional tennis players". To me this line can be translated as "Not for the mortal", meaning that the racquet is guaranteed not to be suitable for all but the few elite players who have the skills and the power to harness it. That's why for years I have been using tweener racquets which give me the shot-making options that racquets for more advanced players cannot. Unfortunately, the promise (or illusion more like) of playing like one's favourite pro has so much appeal that players, especially the novice ones, often take the bait, only to find later that the racquet does not improve their game but actually ruins it.

And don't forget that, for commercial or other obvious reasons, some racquets that professional tennis players play with are not the same as the model in the market but just paint-job versions. Two classic examples are the racquets of Ivan Lendl and Boris Becker. For Lendl, the Adidas GTX Pro Graphite that he played with in the 80s was a paint-job Kneissl White Star Pro, in the same way that his Mizuno in the 90s was a paint-job Kneissl/Adidas. For Boris Becker, the situation was even more complicated. According to the website www.80s-tennis.com:

"Becker`s personal Boris Becker Winner racquets were customised versions made with 50% graphite, whereas the serial production model as sold on the market contained merely 30% graphite. The Boris Becker Super with 50% graphite, introduced in 1986, was nothing else than a paintjob of the customised Becker Winner that Boris had played right from the beginning. But now also the public could buy a Puma Becker racquet with 50% graphite."

"In March 1990 he got contracted with Taiwanese company Estusa (until 1995)... However, Becker continued playing the Boris Becker Super, with the Estusa logo sprayed onto the strings, because he was not satisfied with the first version of the Estusa Boris Becker B ProVantech PB. It was not before 1991 that Becker finally turned to the Estusa racquet. But Becker`s longtime stringer Uli K├╝hnel in an interview stated that Becker in fact played the Estusa racquet for only about four months..."

Do you still think that you are buying racquets that are "exclusively used by professional tennis players"?



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