There's been a lot of discussion lately over players switching rackets - Djokovic had his ups and
downs when he switched a while back. And now Sharapova has left Prince for Head.
What obstacles does a player face when switching rackets?
Players usually switch racquets for the following reasons:
a. More money.
b. Don't like the playability of their current racquet.
c. Just don't like the bureaucratic management of the company they are leaving.
Fred Stolle once told me that he advised the Aussie pros to play with the newly proposed
racquet before signing any contract with a new company. Fred said that at one time he signed
on with another company and never found a racquet that he could play with.
Jimmy Connors once told me that he liked my addition of one-half inch extension to his
racquet, but he hated the management of his old company, so he switched. To this day, Jimmy
plays with at least one-half inch longer racquet for increased depth on his shots.
It took some players a year to get used to their new frames. It is always a good idea to choose
a company that has a good technical staff to accurately measure the racquet the player likes, so
they can duplicate/improve it.
Ken Rosewall insisted that the distance from his hand to the sweetspot on his new aluminum
frame would duplicate his old small-headed Aussie Slazenger racquet.
Rod Laver switched to a low end aluminum frame, and he had to step on the racquet in order
to remove the spooning after each set. The racquet kept bending throughout the match.
Anders Jarryd told me his racquet kept hitting the ball a few inches too far. I gave him a more
flexible racquet (40% fiberglass/60% graphite) and he proceeded to win three grandslam doubles
championships with that racquet.
Brian Gotfried switched wood racquets and spent a very unhappy year or so until Warren
Bosworth was called in to accurately diagnose the real problem with the racquet.
Some players develop arm and shoulder problems with certain frames, and are forced to
switch racquets, and sometimes racquet companies when they find a racquet that doesn't hurt