Question of the Day: Wood’s Last Gasp?
TENNIS.com gear editor Justin diFeliciantonio and his technical advisers answer your equipment questions each day. Click here to send in a question of your own.
Who was the last pro player to win a tournament with a wood racquet? I know wooden racquets were viable in the early 80s, but did anyone win anything with one in the ‘90s?—John M.
Nobody ever won big with wood in the ‘90s, John. But Slovakian player Miloslav Mecir—coolest nickname ever: The Conjuror—came close twenty years ago, in 1989, at Indian Wells. According to Randy Walker’s On This Day in Tennis History, Mecir was “the last player to win an ATP tour event with a wooden racquet when he [defeated] Yannick Noah 3-6, 2-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 in the men’s singles final at the Newsweek Champions Cup.”
More specifically, Mecir took home the title with a Snauwert composite, which combined a graphite laminate with a wooden interior. Composites, because they included wood, generally were heavier and less powerful than full-on graphite frames, which had pretty much come to dominate the tour by the end of the 1980s. That said, composite racquets were supposed to offer a more "traditional" feel, retaining a feedback profile similar to old-fashioned wood.
Any readers who onced played with a composite? Please comment. I've never played with one, and would be curious to know more about the experience.
Also, to those interested in the IW match, take a look below.