Roger Federer Confirms New Racquet, He’s Gone From 90 To A 98 Head Size
by Tom Gainey | July 16th, 2013, 10:04 am
  • 62 Comments

Roger Federer followed up his Hamburg presser yesterday with a conference call today during which the 31-year-old Swiss confirmed that he has changed tennis racquets.

Via Google translation, Federer said: Yes, I have a new racquet. It features a larger clubhead. So far I’ve played with a 90, now I get to a 98th order. I think 90% of the players on the ATP Tour have club head sizes between 95 and 100 Wimbledon since we have now tested this, and so far it’s going great. I can easily develop with the new racquet power. The racquet change is in my opinion one of the largest for a tennis player.

The exact model of racquet is not known but his sponsor Wilson will certainly have a press release out soon announcing the details of the switch.

Federer will officially debut the new larger black frame against German Daniel Brands tomorrow in the second round.


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62 Comments for Roger Federer Confirms New Racquet, He’s Gone From 90 To A 98 Head Size

RZ Says:

Should be interesting to see how well he does with it at first. It usually takes a while to get used to a new racquet.


duong Says:

he will start tomorrow, it’s the round of 32, he can’t start on thursday. I hope he won’t go out early against a dangerous player like Brands or Gulbis because it would waste the test duration.


skeezer Says:

Well hope he has some fun with it. But it is a reminder that Fed, with the smallest racquet on tour(at a disadvantage some say), won 17 Slams with it. Friggin amazing. Like using a tiny 12″ bow with a 7″ long arrow hitting a bullseye 17 times from 100ft away.


Kimberly Says:

I tried playing with his racket once, shanked the ball all over the place. It was ridiculous.


skeezer Says:

^lol same here. Hitting the ball in the center of the strings? Felt like there wasn’t any “center”. More frame than strings.


harry Says:

@skeezer:
Reading this I am wondering if Fed should have shifted to a racquet with a larger head earlier [say two years back]… But he did win last year’s Wimbledon — so who argue with his decision to delay it :-)? Did he delay the move just for the adjustment time? I am wondering what he [back then] would have viewed as the pros & cons…


harry Says:

^– “who argue” –> “who can argue”


James Says:

Having used two different racquets when I played some tennis, I think Fed isn’t gonna take much time getting used to the new one. A couple of years back he wouldn’t have give it much thought as he wasn’t getting outplayed regularly by top 10 players. 2013 is different.
Back when I was kinda playing tennis regularly, I used two different racquets. One gave me more control of my shots while the other added more pace but less control. I used the 1st racquet most of the time, but against players that attack my single BH, the 2nd racquet was more helpful as it added more pace to my BH shots. Wonder if Fed felt the same now that he’s older and perhaps no longer hitting the ball as hard off his BH as he used to.


SG1 Says:

There’s no real harm in trying it out for Federer. Even if he loses early. There will be an adjustment period. As for not trying it earlier, I suspect that he went through a long process with Wilson to make a racket to his exact specifications. Then there were trials and tweaks. He was probably looking at this for over a year and is only ready now to give it a go. I give the guy a lot of credit. He doesn’t want to lose if technology can give him a little bit more of an edge.


SG1 Says:

Sampras won all 14 of his majors with an 85 sq. inch racket head.

Given the amount of spin and power in today’s game, I doubt anyone could get away with playing with a racket that small. Way too many off center hits. And short balls (as a result of mishits) would be thrashed severely.


SG1 Says:

I still play (and love) my Wilson Pro Staff Hyper Ti with the 90 sq. in head which is now about 13 years old.

There are a lot of rackets that generate more power (Wilson Blade 98 as an example. It sits in the trunk of my car should I break a string). But, in terms of stability and solid feel, there’s nothing like the Pro Staff line. They’re awesome rackets.


Darla Says:

Nothing ventured nothing gained!


James Says:

“He doesn’t want to lose if technology can give him a little bit more of an edge.”

Exactly.

Trying a new racquet, playing two clay tournaments after Wimby, talk of gaining confidence ahead of the North American hardcourts swing. It’s clear he means business. Outside top 5 is not his place even at 32.


bob Says:

And if the others still can hang with him, he might have to switch to his dominant left hand, ala Princess Bride.


Brando Says:

Good move, wise move. A telling sign of someone who is willing to adapt and improve on his present circumstances. I agree with common thought: Fed definitely belong near the top even at 32. Good luck Fed!


Colin Says:

Some of the problems he has had since the days of his absolute prime, have been concerned not with racket technology, but with his reluctance to change his game. Accustomed to winning with elegant ease, he wouldn’t admit (to himself) that he couldn’t always do so any longer.

Commentators have often -er – commented, on his refusal to concede space, trying to stand close to the baseline when a pace or two back would make it easier to control his returns.


Humble Rafa Says:

In other matters, the Arrogant One asked for a new head, and he was told no.

He seriously needs a new head.


Humble Rafa Says:

Well hope he has some fun with it. But it is a reminder that Fed, with the smallest racquet on tour(at a disadvantage some say), won 17 Slams with it. Friggin amazing. Like using a tiny 12″ bow with a 7″ long arrow hitting a bullseye 17 times from 100ft away.

Thank you for the wisdom Skeeze. Did someone ask him to be that stupid for so long.

He also has a small pinky and has twins. You can congratulate for that too.


TGIT Says:

About f’n time, Roger!


TGIT Says:

Go away Humble Rafa.


van orten Says:

the feel with the 90 is amazing but not forgiving which makes you play too technical at times


van orten Says:

by the way
even sampras doesn’t use his old racquet anymore…he played with a minimum 98sq vs fed in msg.


Jimmy Says:

Djokovic went from a 92 or so to 100 in 2001 and that worked out fine. The question is does the change come too late for Roger?


Jimmy Says:

In 2011.


The Great Davy Says:

“The racquet change is in my opinion one of the largest for a tennis player.”

Dunglop ruined me. :’(


Eric Says:

The game has moved on since Federer started winning majors, and with so many guys on tour able to dictate the style of play, using new racquet and string technology, it has become more and more physical; Federer’s “finesse” style has obviously been partly eclipsed. Fed has probably been contemplating a switch — should have been, at any rate — after he lost to JMDP at the 2009 US Open, when it became clear that a talented and powerful baseliner not named Rafael Nadal could still crush him from the baseline without Roger’s own playing at all poorly. That’s a lesson reinforced many times a year since, and I guess it’s his atrocious results this year that have prompted him to make the move. I hope it works out well.


dari Says:

Wow cant beleive he went to 98. I thought he might do 93 or something, but all the way to 98! I wish him all the best with the new racket.
Kimberly and skeeze, also demo’d feds racket just for fun- yeah maybe not easy on the groundies but I couldn’t miss a serve


SG1 Says:

At least Fed can try a new racket to get things turned around. I doubt that Rafa can get a new set of knees and run off another 5 or majors.


Brando Says:

What has Rafa’s knees got to do with Fed’s racquet change? Petty much or just a old fashioned sour hater?


Thomas Says:

Brando, I think SG1 was responding to Humble Rafa. (aka he wasn’t being serious, as you can’t have a serious conversation with HR)


Hamza Says:

I have a feeling Federer will hit his stride in the US open. I’m a Nadal fan but Federer isn’t done. There are still some tales to tell in the Federer saga. This could very well be a master-stroke. Good luck to him.


roy Says:

rumour has it you lose accuracy with larger heads.
the effectiveness of federer’s serve is largely based on exceptional accuracy.


Michael Says:

Hope this inspires him to gain some confidence to flag up his sagging fortunes. His Mission should be to qualify for the World Tour Finals where he is much behind due to his dismal performance this year. I am sure Roger is very eager and raring to go. He is still motivated well enough to give his best. I am sure he will disappoint his doubters and come back strongly. Let us hope it for the sake of Roger. Hope should never vanish because it is with hope that we live.


Possum Says:

About time I say. All his main rivals plus others have sought ways to improve their game whether hiring new coaches and trainers, using new racquets and strings etc, Roger was sticking to the same old-same-old.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Though I’m not sure how much this change (if he indeed changes) is going to impact his future game, but this atleast puts to rest about the talk of him planning for retirement. Roger may still loose more matches than expected, but to watch his aesthetic play is a pleasure to eyes. I hope he just continues tennis and entertain us.


Rogerisclass Says:

HR is the Arrogant and haughtiest usual here. nothing new.

I love Roger.

Roger will be 32 years old immediately and is the start of a new challenge for him.

good luck Rog :)


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

NK it will be interesting to see how things develope,BTW change of subject but its nice to here of a Federer fan on this forum that does not have the anymosity for Rafa or Novak that many others do,its a shame although that because of that some people dont see you as a genuine Federer fan,but in actual fact i see you as quite the opposite,a very fair minded and unbiased,but passionate Federer fan,and i have to say also love the segway and your ability to simply ignore such posts when a certain lady poster turns up on the rare occasion to take a dig at you.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Thanks hippy chic. Yeah, I find it outrageous when you have to put down certain players, just because they are your favourite players rival.

If we understand the kind of hard work every player has to put day in and day out to be a top class player, we will never ever have any animosity over them.

At the end of the day, you may or may not like a players playing style, we can criticize them, but to put down a player personally is not right.


grendel Says:

Nirmal Kumar

I know that you love Federer’s tennis. Do you have any emotional investment in his records, especially his grand slam haul? I am not implying this matters morally one way or the other, but it does usually affect attitude.


SG1 Says:

Thanks Thomas. I was replying to HR’s silliness.


Giles Says:

HR is by far the wittiest poster on this forum. Love his humour. Pity some don’t appreciate him.


Polo Says:

Let Federer do whatever he wants to do. He has already done and accomplished so many things. He probably just wants to experience newer technology before he decides to leave the game. The guy wants to try everything. It would be nice if he even tries a two-handed backhand. Whatever the result, he still remains as a great tennis player.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

grendel,

Yes I had been emotionally invested till 2007. I don’t know why I lost it though. Maybe it has something to do with Rafa and Novak whom I admire a lot as a tennis fan. I believe these guys have taken tennis to next level, compared to Roger. Rafa started it in 2008 where he took tennis to a higher level and then Novak in 2011. The bar had been kept raising, which is fantastic for tennis fans.

Still I believe Roger and Nalby are my two favourite players to watch tennis. Others may play better though.


van orten Says:

brands is a tough match up. hitting the ball very nice


James Says:

Oh oh! Just saw it. Fed’s a set down. Brands took the first 6-3. Brands as we saw at RG against Rafa, is a dangerous player. Hits the ball hard and can serve really well. Rafa after his match against Brands said he was surprised Brands was ranked outside top 50.
It wouldn’t help Roger’s confidence losing in his first match of the tournament. I’d like Brands to do well too…but I think I’ll go with Fed this time. The champ needs this win more. C’mon Roger!


James Says:

Latest: Fed’s 4-1 now in second set.


James Says:

Nirmal Kumar, agree with your assesment. That’s how I see it too. Roger raised the bar. Rafa had to learn to play well on grass to challenge Roger. Rafa took it to another level, made it become more mental and physical. Novak had to improve not just his game but also fitness to overtake Rafa. Same with Muzza now. IMO they’ve helped each other become better players. If there was no Roger, Rafa might not be as good as he is today. If there was no Rafa, Novak may not have become the fighter he is today.


James Says:

Meanwhile, Gulbis is going down to a 140 ranked 29 (30 next month) year old Czech player Jan Hajek in 3.


sienna Says:

I think we will see roger taking on periode of us open to wimbly as a new beginning.
After wimbly 2014 he might be the new #1. I certainly wouldnot hold it against him.

He thrives on goals 20 slams and #1.

#goat


grendel Says:

Nirmal Kumar

Thankyou for your response. Common sense suggests that the stronger the emotional investment,the more hostile one is likely to be to a rival. That is true in other walks of life, after all.

I am not convinced of this raising the bar idea, although I know it’s popular. Technology of course advances (not everyone would say for the good), and approaches to fitness become more refined. But innate talent is just what it is, freakish and inexplicable. Success, presumably, is about harnessing such talent, and to a degree, presumably, that depends upon the team surrounding the given player. Why otherwise have such a team?


grendel Says:

It’ll be interesting to see how Janowicz deals with Robin Haase, quite a dangerous player. He beat him at the French, and often the newbies struggle to repeat these types of victories. So a win for JJ, whilst hardly earth shattering, will carry a small significance.


grendel Says:

Janowicz wins first set. If he wins, should play Verdasco, which could be very interesting, except can’t watch it. A semi with Federer would then loom – fascinating.


grendel Says:

Looks like a tight one. Janowicz was 4-2 up in 3rd, but Haase breaks back.

Talk about building castles in the air. One never learns, somehow, the elementary truth that a match is not won until it is won.


steve-o Says:

Playing close to the baseline is how Federer takes away the opponent’s time. If he stayed further back he would allow them more time to recover and reposition themselves to defend. Also his shots would fall shorter and not penetrate the court as much, allowing his opponent to defend more readily.

That, he is not going to change. It will be interesting to see how he adjusts his returning patterns to suit the new racket. I am sure that it will allow him certain options while perhaps taking away a couple, so he will have to make some changes in his shot selection.

If any of the other top players tried to return from as close to the baseline as Federer stands, they’d shank wildly. They don’t have the coordination and split-second timing needed to read the serve and respond to it.

That’s what makes Federer special. You have to be a real hotshot to play the way he does.


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Nice win for Federer,against a dangerous player,hopefully he will go from strength to strength.


skeezer Says:

steve-o

i was thinking about that also. the bigger head should help his return game, especially if he hits out on the return. we’ll see.


Roger Federer Wins In Debut With New Racquet, Say He’s Satisfied With Its Performance Says:

[...] his debut with a larger 98 square inch racquet, Roger Federer eased passed Daniel Brands 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 in 86 minutes in the round at the clay [...]


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Grendel,

I agree talent is inexplicable. Talent of guys like McEnroe, Roger, Nastase will always amaze people.

But for me, Tennis does improve every era and great players come and take it to next level. Yes, technology would be a factor in it, but over a period of time, it evens out.

The shots that Nadal and Novak can hit 15 feet behind the baseline, though strings play a role, it is something not everyone is able to replicate. Even Murray their contemporary player cannot play such shots. So it’s not just the technology alone, the hands which holds them has a big say.

For me the best set played in recent times would be the 5th set between Novak and Rafa. The shotmaking of Rafa in the 5th set cannot just be attributed to technology. It’s a skill.

That’s why in my mind, I cannot put Rafa and Novak below Roger.


grendel Says:

Nirmal Kumar

It is interesting to compare this comment of yours:”The shots that Nadal and Novak can hit 15 feet behind the baseline, though strings play a role, it is something not everyone is able to replicate” with this comment from steve-o just above:
“Playing close to the baseline is how Federer takes away the opponent’s time. If he stayed further back he would allow them more time to recover and reposition themselves to defend. Also his shots would fall shorter and not penetrate the court as much, allowing his opponent to defend more readily.”

When I read steve-o’s lines, I did think the last sentence implied a weakness on Federer’s part, which steve-o hadn’t considered, compared to Nadal and Djokovic as you have outlined. On the other hand, steve-o’s first sentence implies a potential weakness (can’t put it any stronger than that) in Djokovic and Nadal. It does mean that Federer has to be razor sharp, though.

As I see it, building on your remarks, Nadal and Djokovic are able to adopt defensive positions which they are also able to use as launching pads for attack. Safe and aggressive at the same time – that’s obviously remarkable and o.k, raising the bar.

But there is more than one bar. More than one style, more than one philosophy if you like of tennis. That’s good, innit?


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Grendel, you are correct. Though I agree with you that Rafa cannot play close to baseline, what amazes me is Novak do both. I have seen him go toe-to-toe with Roger hugging the baseline and while playing Nadal, he changes the strategy and stands behind the baseline to counter the top spin FH.

That’s one reason Novak could be successful against both Roger and Rafa. If you look at both USO matches and WTF final last year, we could see how close Novak stands on the baseline and plays his game. When he has to counter big hitters like Delpo, Berdych or even Nadal he changes his position to stand far behind the baseline and defend.

that’s why I believe he has taken tennis to a level which was not seen before. He has the perfect balance between attack and defence. As you rightly pointed out, Rafa is still more on defence and capable of turning defence to offence. But he cannot play outright aggressive tennis like Novak.


James Says:

What? Rafa CANNOT play close to the baseline or outright aggressive tennis? That’s just not correct.


sienna Says:

James relax.
I think it was meant that he can not do that anymore.
Which is true, his winning days on fast courtsare long gone.

De

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