Mail's In

by: Jon Levey | March 19, 2009

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Hi Jon. Currently hitting with Pro Kennex's Redondo mid racquet and quite happy with it. But I can't stop looking at new frames anyway. Played for many years with the old Prince graphite and I'm considering a demo of the EXO3 version for that reason. Prefer the "old fashioned" traditional softness of graphite and control over power.







You’ll definitely want to take the EXO3 Graphite out for a spin. It’s not exactly like the original, but it plays closer to it than most of the recent Graphite updates. The racquet comes standard with the Port inserts, which gives it that forgiving and deadened O3 response. But if you really like a traditional feeling stick, try it out with the Hole inserts, which your pro shop should have available. It’s essentially like playing with standard grommets so there’s more feedback at contact.

Another frame to consider is the Babolat Pure Storm Limited. It definitely has the soft, old-fashioned feel you’re looking for, with a heavy emphasis on control over power. If you’re an adept shot-maker, and like to play with touch and angles, you’ll have a lot of fun with this racquet. It has a dense 18-by-20 string pattern in a 95 square-inch head, which won’t give you the spin potential of the more open Graphite models. But if you don’t need help in that department, or it’s not a priority, the racquet is worth checking out. 

I play with a Wilson [K] Blade 98. I'm looking to string it with a Luxilon Alu Power and Tecnifibre X-One Biphase hybrid. Any recommendations on which to string in the mains and which in the crosses?



Have you been talking with my stringer? That’s a combination I use frequently, although in a [K] Blade Tour, which is heavier than your frame and has 93 square-inch head. With it’s small face and 18-by-20 string pattern, I prefer to put the much more forgiving Biphase in the mains to soften the stringbed and increase comfort. Since the mains are generally the ones that break, it’s not as durable with the Luxilon in the crosses. But the string job has a decent lifespan and I’m forced to re-string before the racquet loses too much tension.

With your slightly bigger head size, your strings will have more room to move and therefore can break quicker with my setup. So using Luxilon in the mains might be a better choice if you’re a frequent string breaker. Also, it feels a little stiffer with this configuration, which some players prefer. (From what I hear, it’s the more popular hybrid arrangement on the pro tours). In either case, it’s usually a good idea to string the Luxilon several pounds looser than the Biphase since it’s a much more rigid string.

Hi, I've seen that the new Adidas racquets now are available. I'm curious if any pros are about to start using these. Do you have any info? Best regards



When I last spoke to an Adidas representative about a month ago, the company had yet to sign a pro to use one of its new racquets. But it’s definitely something they want to do soon as it adds to the credibility of the line. When it was first announced that the trefoil was making a comeback, it was widely speculated that Novak Djokovic was going to become the signature endorser. His contract was up with Wilson and he was already wearing Adidas clothes. It may not have been anything more than a rumor, since Djokovic signed a lucrative deal with Head, which was his racquet of choice as a junior.

If a pro is going to use an Adidas racquet, it will most likely be the Barricade Tour. And just because you don’t see it on the tour yet, doesn’t mean it’s not worth your time. After not producing racquets for nearly two decades, it’s a pretty good comeback effort. The racquet is holds its own from all parts of the court and has a nice level of stability. I felt the Tour played a bit like a heavier, more controllable Pure Drive. 

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