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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Choice of a doubles racquet

Every time when people who plays doubles chooses a new racquet, question commonly ask are, which racquet is the most powerful for smash or which is the lightest racquet available?

Fortunately this isn't hard to answer. The best racquet to use is arguably a headlight racquet which is stiff/very stiff, or a headheavy/med-flex to stiff racquet.

The former is exemplified by Yonex's Ti-10 Mesh, Nanospeed 9000x/s and 9900. While the latter examples are Yonex's Armortec 900T, 800Def or Arcsaber 7. Yonex is chosen as an example as it is well known.

Why this is so? in doubles, the game is so fast that one cannot survive based on smashes alone. Control and defense are very important as well. This theory was confirmed by Tan Boon Heong who rated defense is as important as attack; hence he is using a Nanospeed 9900.

From thestar.com.my
King of smashers Boon Heong holds record


MALAYSIAN doubles shuttler Tan Boon Heong was on a high after being hailed as the world’s hardest smasher. It was made official yesterday that Boon Heong now holds the fastest speed record for a smash at 421kph, which was recorded in the Japan Open in Tokyo last month.

The two previous fastest speeds were 332kph (Fu Haifeng of China) and 414kph (Naoki Kawamae of Japan).

“I feel proud of this recognition. It will certainly motivate me to do even better in this sport,” said Boon Heong.

“People started to notice my smashing ability when I was 17-years-old. And aware that it is one of my strong points, I spent extra hours working on it.

“It’s all about the timing in hitting a good smash. One does not have to be physically big to be a strong exponent in the stroke.

“Having a strong smash alone is not enough. It is also important to have a good defence and to complement well with the partner. Kien Keat and I still have to work in these areas.”

Friday, November 27, 2009

Mizuno Tetra Cross 700 Review

Mizuno TC700 Review
Date : 28 November 2009
Racket Type : Mizuno Tetra Cross 700
Specs : 3UG4
Flex: Extra Stiff
Balance: 290mm
Strings: Yonex BG66 Tension: 25lbs , 2 Piece Stringing
Grip: Karakal Super PU + Toalson overgrip
Technology : Isometric/oval frame, Carbon Nanotube, Tetra-Axial, Graphite-Aramid composite

First Impression: Initially , I thought that this color is a bit 'old' and traditional; comprising of grey, green and flanked by beige at 3/9 o'clock. The racquet looks unassuming but have a rather classical hybrid kind of look. For the first time I handle it, the racket feels even balance rather than headheavy. Frame shape is rather oval but is between isometric and oval. The 'T-joint' is rather thick and the flex is rather stiff.

Warm Ups: The racket indeed feels really solid. Still getting used to the timing since the shape of the frame is semi oval. But as usual, I start off with baseline to baseline shots. Clears are good, feels like a Yonex NS9000X in terms of stiffness. Racket head is stable and well balanced but I would say rather unforgiving owing to the (oval frame) smaller hitting area. Reaction time is moderately fast and the driving is ok. The racquet is stable in cutting thru the air and feels a bit 'heavy' after continous multiple overhead strokes.

Game Time: I like the feel of serving low using this racket. Flick serve is good as well. Net play is good and control is satisfactory. When comes to time reaction, I would say that this racket is adequate. Above average defense since the racquet is not that head heavy. Smashes and clears are excellent with this racquet as the extra stiffness and semi-oval shape (focusing the repulsion of the strings) are where the power comes from. Control is on par with a singles Yonex racquet like AT900P/AT700. The stiffness of the shaft plus the moderately heavy head gave this racquet very good accuracy when placing shuttles to the 4 corners of the court. However, this racquet is not as maneuverable/aerodynamic as the best headlight racquet due to the thick T-joint/thick shaft. Driving is average with this racquet.

Conclusion: The racquet is not beginner friendly as its frame is semi-oval giving a small sweetspot. I’m satisfied with it and how its made. It's a pretty unique racquet combining smaller sweetspot with an extra stiff shaft which result in excellent control, power and feel. On the plus side, it's moderately head heavy with above average handling.

Feel: 9/10
Control: 9/10
Power: 9/10
Defense: 7/10
Maneuverability: 7/10

Excellent power, control and feeling, the ideal parameters of a great singles racquet.

Price, rarity and perhaps small sweetspot. Also not the best doubles racquet owing to lower maneuverability and defence

Suitability: Intermediate/Advance attacking players. More of a singles racquet or a baseline smasher's weapon in doubles. Not suitable for beginners or weaker players

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Racquet collection

Hola Mi Gente;

Current colelction: 2XAT900P, 2XGosen6900, 3XTi-10, 1XMP99

Just got a Mizuno TC700, so will write a review on the racquet.

Adios muchachos

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mentality of shots in doubles vs singles

Smashes in doubles: mostly aimed at centre court between players or the 'racquet-side' thigh area of the defender.
Smashes in singles: aimed at the sidelines/crosscourt or in desperation aimed at body.

Drops in singles: sliced/reverse sliced to the 2 corners
Drops in doubels: fake smash into centre drop

Clears in doubles: almost never but in desperation to center court
Clears in singles: always to the backhand-side

Trickshots in doubles: between the leg/behind the back return of smash
Trickshots in singles: hold and flick/hold and crosscourt

Drive in doubles: when unable to smash/aim crosscourt to surprise opponent
Drive in singles: when doing return of low serve

I list them here, I can think it but doesn't mean I can do it. :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Yonex Muscle Power 99 Review

Just acquired a new MP99 3UG5
Strung with BG66

This is a well known racquet, popular amongst professionals and recreational players. I believed, if i didn't review this racquet, then I'm missing something...

Racquet: Yonex MP99

Flex: stiff

Balance: even balance

Strings: Yonex BG66 @ 22lbs

First impression: A well known racquet, once used by many pros including Lin Dan. The picture of the racquet speaks for itself. Unique to this racquet is the grommet system, which is different from other Yonex racquets. Ultimum titanium is used both in the frame and the shaft. Flex is rather stiff, head is standard isometric and even balance.

Warm up: I find it kind of funny when handling this racquet, feeling neither head heavy nor headlight when swung. Clears are the 1st shot that I start with, which is good. Drive and drops are good. Net plays are good as well.

Game time: I find this racquet to be an all-rounder, it can hit good smashes. Control is very good, the maneuverability is faster than head heavy racquets and defence is acceptably good. I can not find any weakness/fault in this racquet on court.

Conclusion: This is a classic racquet, excellent balance of playing attribute like control, power and feel. Can be played equally well for doubles and singles.

Power 8/10
Feel: 8/10
Control: 8/10
Defence: 8/10
Manueverability: 8/10

Classic iso Racquet, well balance racquet. Suitable for any style of play. Probably one of the best racquet when 1st introduced.

Cons: Maybe a bit fragile (owing to low recomended tension) and not easy to get used to as with most even balance racquets. Not as sexy as the younger and flashier models.

Suitability: Control, attacking, defensive and all around players. In short, all players (singles/doubles) will find this racquet to suit their game once they get used to it. Skill level: intermediate and above.

YONEX/Sunrise sports recommendation for player type:
For advanced to intermediate players looking for ultimate speed and excellent control

Yonex rating 1-5
Power 5
Control 5
Flex 5

(Ref: Yonex badminton chart)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Racquet collection


Racquet Collection reduced to 8 racquets.

3UG5 Ti-10 Mesh (3rd Generation)x 3
3UG5 AT900P x 1
2UG5 NS9900 X 1
Gosen Roots Aermet 6900 (Boonsak Model) X 2
Carbonex 21 x 1

Planing to try Mizuno Tetracross 700.

thus 1 x Gosen 6900 and NS9900 and about to be sold.