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Archive for the ‘GLTF’ Category

PostHeaderIcon “Ask Marla” #6 – Comparing the Head Speed Pro To Other Racquets

Ask Marla
Welcome back to “Ask Marla” after an extended break thanks to the All England Club. 🙂

Head Speed Pro

Head Speed Pro

Head Speed MP

Head Speed MP

This week’s question comes via my YouTube channel in response to the video reviews of the Head Speed Pro and Head Speed MP. I’m glad that my thoughts on these two racquets was useful for others, but found myself “out of my element” with these follow-up questions in the Comments section.

Question: I used to play with a Yonex Rdis 100 mid plus, and don’t know exactly if the spin potential is the same. Please Help!

Question: I like to swing out at balls. I currently use a Head Radical Tour (98 square inch) which is a good racket due to control. Is the Speed Pro going to be hard to control by comparison? I don’t want to feel restricted because I might hit the back fence.

I headed over to City Racquet Shop to get Marla’s thoughts on how best to compare the Speed Pro to other racquets.

Answer:  It’s hard to compare newer racquets to older models. The racquet specs will give you a general guide on the most obvious performance aspects, but can’t replace taking the racquet out for a demo hit. With respect to spin, string pattern makes a difference. An open string pattern (16×19) generally allows for more spin than a closed one (18×20). So if you want more spin, go with the open pattern. With respect to power (versus control), “power” and “flex” ratings are only a guide. You have to get a racquet that works with your natural stroke production, and allows you to keep the ball in play for more than one shot.

(SFTF Note: Marla’s last suggestion of getting racquet that works with your natural stroke production is key. For example, I’ve demo’d both the Speed Pro and Speed MP. Though the Speed MP is the racquet that’s more suitable for spin based on its’ open string pattern, I found it hard to control because my natural stroke generates all the spin I need. I don’t need more. The Speed Pro “tames” my spin and gives me a ton of control.

The same is true for power. The Speed line is generally referred to as low-power, but that’s misleading. I find it to be a very powerful with minimal effort i.e. the more relaxed I swing, the more power I generate. And trust me, we’re not talking moon balls! 😉

In conclusion, racquet specs will tell you something, but the best policy is to always demo a racquet more than once, and in different play situations, before you buy it.)

Got a tennis question, but no one to ask?
Send it via email or tweet for “Ask Marla”, a (hopefully) weekly (or biweekly) question-and-answer with Marla Reid of San Francisco’s City Racquet Shop.


About Marla Reid

Marla Reid is a respected tennis pro/coach in the San Francisco Bay Area. She’s coached nationally-ranked teams and players at Occidental College, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, University of Kansas, and Florida Tech, and has over 15 years of experience at the NCAA Division I, II, and III levels. Marla has an M.A. in Exercise Physiology, and is a seasoned racquet stringer.

About City Racquet Shop

City Racquet Shop offers, superior products/services, outstanding customer service, and a community-oriented destination for tennis players to shop, hang out and talk about tennis.

City Racquet Shop online: www.cityracquetshop.com
City Racquet Shop on Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/city-racquet-shop-san-francisco
City Racquet Shop on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cityracquetshop

PostHeaderIcon USGO 2013 Player Interview – Adrian Chang (VIDEO)

imageThis final release from this year’s Player Interview series features Adrian Chang: a fellow GLTF’er and resident Canuck. I initially grabbed Adrian for a bag check but realized quickly that he would also be a great choice for a longer sit-down.

I wish could re-shoot this video. From my first to my final shoot, I got better at exploring my subjects, and more comfortable with letting the interviews go off the beaten path. Now that I’m privy to Adrian’s inner workings on Facebook, I see that there’s a lot to explore!

Alas, there are no “do-overs”; but I’m sure I’ll be able to coax him into a video update later this year. 😉

Until then, I hope you enjoy my chat with Adrian.

PostHeaderIcon USGO 2013 Player Interview – Paolo De Angelis (VIDEO)

I have a few Italian friends (i.e. Italian from Italy) and have always loved their expressiveness. So when I heard that there were USGO participants from Italy, I did my best to grab one of them for my player interview series.

Today’s player Interview features Paolo De Angelis from Rome.  Paolo made the decision to play in the USGO because it was voted the GLTA’s Best Large Tournament  for 2012. Timing is everything, however, and mine wasn’t the best since our interview came on the heels of a first-round loss in singles.  Even so, he was gracious in defeat and was glad he made the trip.

This translation is courtesy of Bing Translator, and I hope it’s correct: È stato un piacere incontrare e parlare con voi, Paolo. Grazie per il vostro tempo e la generosità. 🙂 (It was a pleasure meeting and talking with you, Paolo. Thanks for your time and generosity.)

Note: The off-camera voice is a friend of Paolo’s who was on hand for any necessary translations. Paolo was worried about his English, but he was great. It’d be a very different story, however, if the interview shoe was on the other foot and I had to speak Italian…

PostHeaderIcon USGO 2013 Player Interview – Jonathan South and Patrick Holzen (VIDEO)

Now that the king and queen of clay have been crowned in Paris, the tennis world turns its’ attention to the famed grass courts of London.

London is also the home of Jonathan South and Patrick Holzen, tournament directors for the Tennis London International Championships, and the featured players in today’s USGO player interview video.

Partners in crime for the past 15 years, Jonathan and Patrick were extremely gracious with their time as we discussed topics ranging from the USGO and their own GLTA tournament to the gay marriage debate going on right now in Parliament.

I had a wonderful time with them, and hope that comes across in the video. (Hopefully they had a great time with the interview too.)

(For more information on the Tennis London International Championships, here’s a link to the their tournament website: http://tennislondon.com/tournament/)

PostHeaderIcon My 2013 USTA Chronicles: Match #6 versus Golden Gate Park A


Date: 6/8/2013

Location: Golden Gate Park

Conditions: Outdoors, windy

Doubles or Singles Played: Doubles

Match Result: 7-5 6-2 Loss

Season Record: 2-4

Match Notes: WIND! That was the word of the day, and the deciding factor in the match. The winds at Golden Gate Park were swirling in all directions across the back courts. If you moved well to handle the wind, you did okay.  If you didn’t move well, you didn’t do okay. It was as simple as that.

My partner for today’s match was Casey, a teammate I’ve known for years (and I do mean years!) He hits a great ball that is fairly flat and stays low. He suggested taking the ad court, so I took deuce.

Our opponents were a mixed-level pairing. One was extremely strong with great strokes on both sides, heavy topspin, excellent volleys, and a decently-paced serve that rarely missed. (Had an excellent body serve too!) The other hit two hands on both sides and was a little inconsistent. But he could also send balls back awkwardly by virtue of sticking his racquet out and making minimal contact. I got caught flatfooted a couple of times by those frustrating shots.

Breaks of serve will kill you in dubs, and we lost by a break in the first set, and two in the second set. What’s worse is that we were up 4-1 in the first before going down 7-5. For my part, and was disappointed in my lack of footwork in the wind. I didn’t keep my feet moving, and often found myself out of position and reaching for shots. That’s not a recipe for clean tennis under these conditions.

It’s always good to focus on the positives afterward too, so here is a bright spot from today’s loss. Sometimes when I face an opponent that I know is very good, I try too hard to hit great serves/shots and end up giving away free points. I kept that in check today and didn’t overplay my serves or shots. I only wish I could have handled the wind as well I did with my internal expectations.

Still, it was a good match. And it’s always good to hang with my team. If I can’t win, I can at least have fun. 🙂

Bonehead move of the day? Holding a tough service game with a well-placed chipped lob, then hitting my hand with my racquet in excitement — thereby injuring the pinky on my left hand. *facepalm*
Still, it’s not as bad as what Mikhail Youzhny did to himself…

PostHeaderIcon USGO 2013 Player Interview – Ember Harker (VIDEO)


With this year’s USGO boasting, perhaps, its’ first lone female tournament director*, it seemed only fitting to grab Ember Harker, the Gay and Lesbian Tennis Federation’s first female president, for a player interview.

I remember when Ember first came on the scene.  In fact, she was on my winning WTT “Team Meerkats” at the 2007 USGO. (Look for the Team Meerkat photo below the video.) What I remember most about Ember back then, besides cute matching outfits, was a great smile and gracious personality.  Those same traits followed her onto the GLTF Board of Directors and, ultimately, the presidency.

These days she’s no longer on the GLTF Board, and enjoying her time as a private tennis citizen. But she’s still appreciative of her time on the board, and proud of the contributions she was able to make to the organization. (I second that pride!)

So sit back and enjoy my chat with Ember.

* – There’s a good chance that there has been a previous female director for the USGO. Will research this item for a future update.)


Team Meerkat

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