Are modern racquets and strings too good?
Racquet technology is sometimes mentioned in discussions about court speed and death of S&V. But what do you think, are modern racquets too good?
I really don't know too much about last century's tennis. But at least in '90s, fastest surfaces had turned into acefests. And I think a reason to that was improved racquets. They enabled faster and more accurate serving. On the other hand, better racquets have obviously also helped in defence. If you are just able to hit the ball, you can control the shot better than previously. A common explanation for the extinction of S&V is that with modern racquets, it's easier to hit a good return and pass the guy on net.
If the racquets were worse, it would favour more skilled players. It would be more difficult for ballbashers to blow their opponents off the court. But it would be more difficult also for grinders, it would be difficult to return shots from defending position. And who would win? The creative shotmakers. For example, only the most skilled players would be able to serve so well that they would be able to come to net. The opponent could return the serve, but it would be difficult for him to pass the guy on net.
So, if they could go the former racquets, I think tennis would be more about skills. Fastest surfaces wouldn't anymore be acefests but S&V-fests. Clay would still favour good defending, but it would be easier to beat a defence-only player with skillful playing. I'd love if they could go to '80s racquets but I guess that would be too radical a move. It would be too difficult for players to adapt to that and big crowd wouldn't necessarily understand going backwards. But at least I wouldn't like the racquets to improve anymore, better racquets mean hitting requires less skill. And I don't think regulating racquets wouldn't be against the spirit of sport. For example, they regulate skis in Alpine skiing, and sometimes make regulation changes. Why couldn't tennis also regulate racquets more? Of course, racquet manufacturers wouldn't like that. Nowadays racquets are sold by their quality, spec racquets would be sold e.g. by their paintjob.
2014 Australian Open Champion | 2014 Monte Carlo Masters Champion | 2015 French Open Champion
2008 Paris Masters Champion | 2014 Toronto Masters Champion