Home GearTennis Racquets Can you play with classic racquets?

Can you play with classic racquets?

by TN

I have asked the question many times over the years: Can you play with classic racquets? The answer remains the same.

James Lloyd is an ex-tennis coach and tennis nerds from the UK who I have emailed with over the last couple of months. The topic has mainly been older racquets like the HEAD Pro Tour, the older HEAD Radical Tours, and the PT57 mold, but also other things tennis. James, like me, enjoys playing with racquets from the 90s, but we’re “older” as well. That’s why we were happy to see that one of the players James hits with, 22-year-old Charlie Burrows, has made the switch from the Babolat Pure Strike Gen 2 to the HEAD Radical Tour “Candycane”. This means that the racquet, made in 1998, is older than him. Can you play with classics racquets? Yes!

Charlie is coming back to the game after some time off due to injuries. He plays at the top level in University and the UK club circuit and has great technique. He might not need a lot of free power, but the Candycane is notorious for its low-powered and flexible response. Still, he hits a BIG ball with that racquet as you will be able to see in the video below.

Charlie’s old specs

Babolat Pure Strike Gen 2 2017 (Project-One-7).
Headsize: 98sq inch
Length: 27 inches
Grip size: 3.5
String Pattern:16×19
Static Weight: 338g (strung)
Balance Point: 6pts HL (strung)
Swingweight: 335-340 range (strung)
Stiffness: 70RA (unstrung)
Strings: Hybrid Multi mains, RPM crosses, (also experimented with Solinco Hyper G).
Tension Range: 50-54lbs.
Grip: Leather basegrip and Tournagrip Original overgrip.
Babolat string dampener.

James customized Charlie’s racquets for him and wrote the following comment:

These were a HUGE pain to try and ‘match’ due to enormous differences in static weight and balance points. Such is life with some retail frames. Great frame though. New Butt caps, silicone resin, lead tape…

Charlie’s new specs

Head Radical Tour TwinTube PT57B (candy cane) – as used in the videos.
Headsize: 95sq inch
Length: 27 inches
Grip Size: 3.75
String Pattern: 18×20
Static Weight: 342g (strung)
Balance Point: 4pts HL (strung)
Swingweight: 335-340 (strung)
Stiffness: 58RA (unstrung)
Strings: Solinco Confidential 18g
Tension: 50lbs
Grip: Wilson Feather basegrip and Tournagrip original overgrip.
Robin Soderling string dampener.

Although there are different grommet sets used, because 3/4 sets that still fit these frames, these were easier to ‘match’, despite being not identical as I suspect one is an ex-players custom frame (due to far higher built-in swing weight and some scratched out decals), the other two being virtually “as new” condition retail frames. The different grommet types weigh differently, so that helped take the burden off the lead tape somewhat, as he wanted the frames matched to the one with the higher swing weight.

I personally have some PT57b Zebra frames that preceded the candy cane and they are as far as I can measure, identical.

Player Profiles

Name: Charlie Burrows (UK)
Age: 22
Right Handed, One-Handed Backhand.
Style: Aggressive-all-court.
Favourite Players: Dominic Them, Roger Federer.

Past tennis experience: Junior county-level representation (Surrey), Academy training (Sutton, Bisham Abbey, Mouratoglou).
Current tennis profile: Continued development back into the game after injury disruption and full-time education, playing top-level Division1/Premier club league and representing University tennis teams.

Racket History: (Babolat Pure Drive, Wilson Juice XL, Head YouTek Radical, Wilson Pro Staff 95S)

Currently also possesses Babolat Pure Drive 1st generation, Head Graphite Tour 600,
Head PT630 Pro Tour (Trek Font, Made in Austria non-cap gen 1)

Name: James Lloyd (UK)
Age: (needs carbon dating)
Right Handed, one-handed backhand.
Style: Lots of, thanks.
Favourite Players: Andre Agassi, Roger Federer.
Past tennis experience: Decent club level player.
Former full-time tennis coach, PTR Pro 4a, PTRUK Academy Professional, PTR UK Tutor and Tester, Coach education presenter, LTA qualified. PTR member, public liability insured.
Continuing development back into the game after over a decade of absence due to a few serious injuries. Loving the yellow ball again, enjoying the process, little steps, often. No longer an active tennis coach, just a tennis player enjoying the sport again.
(And yes I am aware of the feed position errors, it has been 10+ years since I fed a ball, and my role was to be a human ball machine for Charlie…..I am not a coach. Honest.)

James’ racquet specs

James is a true tennis nerd and has a glorious racquet history. Let’s start with his current frames:

Setup A: as used in the video with PT2.0

Head Pro Tour 2.0 or Head IG Prestige MP
Headsize: 95sq inch
Grip 3.5
Static Weight: 339g (strung)
Balance: 4pts HL (strung)
Swingweight: 335-340 (strung)
Stiffness: 65RA (unstrung)
Grip: Wilson Feather undergrip, Wilson Pro Overgrip – Roland Garros Edition.
Strings: Solinco Confidential 18g
Tension: 51lbs
Tourna Pete Sampras dampener.

Or, Set up B:

Head Pro Tour 2.0 or Head IG Prestige MP
Headsize: 95sq inch
Grip 3.5
Static Weight: 342g (strung)
Balance: 6pts HL (strung)
Swingweight: 335 (strung)
Stiffness: 65RA (unstrung)
Grip: Head Hydrosorb Pro undergrip, Wilson Pro Overgrip – Roland Garros Edition.
Strings: Solinco Tour Bite 19g
Tension: 50lbs
Tourna Pete Sampras dampener.

James’ racquet history

There are some legendary racquets below! Which one is your personal favourite? I added some links to reviews or content about the models on Tennisnerd. There should also be some videos etc on my YouTube channel.

(Dunlop Maxply Wood. Puma BB. Donnay Ceramic Pro 90. Head Ventoris. Dunlop Rage)

Donnay Pro One Oversize.
Head Radical Tour 630 (bumblebee) PT57
Head Radical Tour 690 (bumblebee) PT59
Head Radical Tour 630 (Zebra) PT57B
Head Radical Tour 690 (Zebra) PT59B
Head Pro Tour 630 (capped) PT630/57A
Head Radical Tour 630 (candy) PT57B
Head Radical Tour 690 (candy) PT59B
Head Ti Pro Tour 630
Head Premier Tour 600
Head Ti Radical 630 (PT113b)
Head Ti Radical 690
Yonex Super RD Power 10
Head iRadical 630 (PT113a)
Head iRadical 690
Prince Graphite Original Oversize
Head Liquidmetal Radical Tour 630
Head Liquidmetal Radical MP
Head Liquidmetal Prestige MP
Head Liquidmetal Instinct MP
Head Flexpoint Radical MP
Head Flexpoint Prestige MP
Dunlop Muscleweave 200g 90
Prince Experimental
Wilson Pro Staff Original 85
Wilson Pro Staff Tour 90
Wilson Pro Staff nCode Tour 90
Wilson Pro Staff Amplifeel Tour 90
Yonex Ezone DR 98
Yonex V-Core 95
Head IG Prestige MP
Head Pro Tour 2.0

Will Charlie stay with the Candycane?

1: Charlie hasn’t gone back to any other frame, he has settled for now on the modified PT57B Candycanes…. That is entirely his choice, it isn’t like he doesn’t have his old frames to swap back to, or alternatives.

2: I managed to get the Pro Tour PT630/PT57A Charlie owns to a spec very close to his Radical Tour PT57B frames. It is now 342g strung, 5pts head light, 340 SW approx.

It might accidentally make its way into the wrong bag one day ?. It is, as its reputation precedes it, lovely. To comment further I would only repeat positives, and limits to the frame. Essentially I feel the PT630 flexes more in the throat and feels super plush. Whereas the Candy feels a little crisper and seems to flex more towards the head, that said I am not an expert and it may just be in my head, so ask the people from Head.

Both frames felt a little anemic for the modern types of swing perhaps, and therefore the SW/balance is adjusted to suit Charlie, or me, but may not necessarily suit you personally.

3: Charlie extensively tested other PT57/TK293.2 Pro Tour/Radical Tour/Prestige type frames such as Zebra, Bumblebee, Pro Tour 2.0, also the V-Core 95 amongst other frames but he chose these adjusted Candycane frames over all others, yes, that’s right, even over the original ProTour 630. Gasp.

However, that said, should someone nice from Head say, here you go, here are some PT57A2 frames matching that spec…..I am not sure he would refuse. Lol.

So can you play with older racquets?

Over to you, HEAD, can you make a 2022 ‘Prestige Pro Tour Classic 630’ with Spiral fibres or Twaron??? Or, Head/TW can you make a ‘Radical Pro Tour 2.0’ and effectively make a Twin Tube Pro Tour 2.0??

Just a thought.

Until that day, the answer to the question…..’Is a 25+-year-old frame relevant to a modern-day player with big strokes and spin? = Can you play with classic racquets?

 Well, Yes. Charlie likes his racquets rather a lot! As you can see. His rackets are older than he is!

If you don’t believe him, or me, and you question whether such a frame has a place.. Ask current players Aslan Karatsev, or Sir Andy Murray, apparently….’trust me, it’s a good stick’.

Wishing you all a safe and happy return to 2021 tennis.

Thanks to the venue

Our thanks go to:

Radyr Lawn Tennis Club, South Wales, UK.

A beautiful well-maintained 10-court, multi-surface tennis facility in the heart of South Wales, close to Cardiff.
With thanks to the committee and all those who make the club (and bar) able to function.

Special thanks to the groundskeeper, it looks superb.

Tennisnerd final words

Big thanks to James and Charlie for this article! I personally loved it and I hope you fellow tennis nerds do too. It makes me want to go out and hit with some classic racquets 🙂

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António May 6, 2021 - 16:49

My answer would be depend on the racquet.
Those candycanes are not very far from what Head produces presently. Midsize (back in the days a 95 sq.i. was a midplus…) racquets with 18×20 sting pattern an low flex rate are available currently.
Now, have this kids play with a PC 600 classic, or a Max 200g, or a PS 6.0 Mid… That’s a completely ball game for them.
I show my 6.0 95’s to the young kids I practice with and they laugh about the weight and head size. A couple of them accept the challenge of trying them, and they all say they have to work too much, the racquet doesn’t give any help, I answer to them that’s the point, get what you can with your skills only… They smile and go back to their tweeners.

J May 6, 2021 - 22:15

Hi Antonio, I’m not sure what frame Head produce currently that is like the 57/candy/zebre/PT630. Yes, there are 18/20 models…..I guess the closest thing I can think of is the Grapheme 360+ Prestige MP 98 18/20 2020 model. I heard some good things about this frame.
I know plenty of people who love the Head Speed and Extreme Tour frames.
You mention some true classic frames there! 85/95/PC600….
Max 200g sort of the generation before in terms of shaft V design, but a classic non the less.
Charlie hit with some 90sq inch frames, Wilson, Head and Dunlop and I’d be lying if I said he didn’t hit well with them. The ball still came with plenty on it.
But no…..no, no, no…..lol.
Definitely need to work harder for sure!

António May 7, 2021 - 21:30

Hi J
The thing is he tried an old school feeling racquet and connected with it to the point he changed. That’s is unusual, most young guns like tweeners-like racquets, so something like a Radical Candycane is usually out of their liking range. That is unusual (to my knowledge) and great at the same time
I ‘m not sure what Head produces now, but the low flex racquets are more common now, and Head has a couple of them that are mentioned highly. Wilson Blade now is low 60’s RA, Clash is even lower, Prince has those O’ports that play very flexy, and Phatom line is very comfortable, Donnay has a couple of 18×20 frames with low flex rate too, Yonex has at least one low flex 18×20…
If he can hit the ball clean, and he’s not a Nadal-like player, I can see why he like them. You mention the PT57A (The PT 630 modern mold), there’s an Aussie kid (Popyrin…) that plays with it.
I’m sure it’s a great racquet (never tested it, shame on me) lots of heritage there, demanding and rewarding at the same time, but if he can enjoy it, and play big with his game style, go for it

J May 8, 2021 - 01:25

Oh Yeah, Popyrin!! That’s some great knowledge and also great to see that there is a wide variety of RA frames out there with some lower flex ratings too.
I have tried the Yonex VCore Pro, but at the time preferred the VCore 95…..the Prince Phantom line is certainly reminiscent of some older feeling frames.
Some really great modern frames out there, for sure!
Do you still use the 6.0 95’s or have you moved to something else as a favourite?
Thanks Antonio.

António May 8, 2021 - 15:59

6.0 95’s I have like 7, and 2 85’s (one s. vincents and a late China like the one Fed played)
In my bag always go two 95’s, a Slazenger Pro Braided (basically it’s a light PS 6.1 Classic) and a Dunlop Aerogel 300 Tour
Some days I take the 85 or a PS N-6.1 18×20.
Looks like braided graphite is my thing…

J May 8, 2021 - 16:14

It sounds like braided graphite is your thing indeed! Yes, the Slazenger Henman….the ‘in between 6.1’…
N.6.1 quite a few people are after that and feel Wilson should have put the nCode 6.1 as the Pro Labs version….I’ve no opinion as I’ve not tried them.
Wilson still braid with Kevlar in the new PS97…..also Angell do a range of braided frames
I think Paul Angell was the tech engineer for Dunlop Slaz when they made the Pro Braided. Good frames! Lovely for volleys

António May 8, 2021 - 16:16

I play with 6.0 95 since 1999, with a couple of interruptions here and there

António May 8, 2021 - 22:25

The Pro Braided is a cool racquet but a bit too light, and stiff.
The one I have (the harlequin version) bought it a few years ago in a very bad shape, scuffed bumper guard, lots of mistreat marks, but I got her for 15€ or so, replaced the bumper guard with pro staff 6.1 spares (the PB is a 6.1 clone) – a bit of hair drier heat and they fit ok, restrung it, two overgrips, but the racquet weighted 328 grams only. That’s a toy in my book – my 6.0 95’s weights around 347 grams or so.
Some lead work is what it takes. I went with 6 grams at the top of the handle, and 4 grams at 3 and 9. Kept the head-light balance, and turn it to a bit more stable racquet. So, now the racquet has 338 grams, very head-light balance, but plays more solid., specially on off-center shots, or handling pace.
Recently I added a bit more lead from a leftover at 12 (under 2 grams), so she’s now close to 340 grams
It’s stiff racquet ( my elbow feels funny if I play more than 30 minutes with it), and a spin machine.
Not that good at volleys (compared with the 6.1 classic it’s a joke), but very fast through the air (the 6.1 classic has a problem for me, it’s very sluggish, this one is the opposite, very fast moving frame), but the stiffness combined with the light balance makes it a spin machine.
Not really my coup of tea, but sometimes if things are going south I make the top spin move

J May 9, 2021 - 22:29

Hi Antonio, that seems like you know what you prefer in a frame and have a kind of A soec and B spec a bit like me.
I had friends who loved the PB harlequin, and also some who love the nCode 6.1…..

I have some frames over 350, some over 360! But I stick to 339 and 342 set ups, the 342 are a little more headlight…..

I imagine soon enough I will be playing with lighter frames that are 98……I’m not getting younger.

But I shall fight the dying of the light a little more yet!

António May 11, 2021 - 13:21

Well, I like 340 to 360 grams with head-light balance. I can handle the PS 85 because it’s very head-light, I hit with it for 10 minutes yesterday, that thing is demanding has hell, very easy to shank shots if you’re feet mlazy

From all 6.1’s I tried or had, my favorite is the classic in 16×18. I have the HPS, and the N-Code, both 18×20, I hit a couple of shots with the black/red BLX, and I played for 2 years with the N-Code 16×19 (and prior to that, the classic too)
My PB has Wilson 6.1 grommets, just needed a bit of hair drier and they fit ok. Henman played with 6.1 classic before signing with Slazenger, and they built a 6.1 clone for him, just like Rusedsky’s Donnay, and according to some rumors, Medvedev’s Tecnifibre.

I’m hunting for a similar to my 6.0’s, yet more forgiving 98 sq.i. for off days, and tried or bought a couple ones (PS 97, Diablo MP, Dunlop AG 300, Blades…)
Closest thing I tried was the PS 97S 2nd. generation, Boxed bead, braided graphite, neutral balance begging or a bit of weight, the 18×17 thing didn’t bother much. They are hard to find for a fair condition and price

J May 11, 2021 - 21:43

Great racket history! Yes that’s correct regs Rusedski’s Donnay, probably the Jamie Murray frame too…..as for Medvedev, he did use a 6.1 so that’s feasible, but so did Dom Thiem before a swap to Head then Babolat. Pro’s do sometimes swap frames, rather than a clone. Rublev from Wilson to the Gravity, Agassi to Head, Wawrinka from Head to Yonex, Shapo from 6.1 to VCore 95…even Fed used a Prestige as a teen before he swapped to the PS85 I believe

But, others are clones or Pro stock paint jobs as we know.

Closest thing might be an Angel K7Red or maybe a Custom TC97. The K7 range is braided I think.

Angell I believe was the man who ‘cloned’ Henmans frame originally as he was the racket man for Dunlop/Slaz at the time and made a recent sort of tribute remake of the PB.

Prince make some frames in that sort of size/range, possibly braided, for sure they are using Twaron too. Twaron/Kevlar are both aramid fibres, different process/brand.

António May 13, 2021 - 14:42

Yes, I play this game since early 80’s, started with a Snawaert woodie, and played with lots of different racquets since. I’m also a small scale collector of 80 and 90’s graphites, have around 40 racquets, and with a couple exceptions, I have no racquets built after 2000 (and the only one I hit regularly is is my Aerogel 300 Tour 4d).
I settled with PS 6.0 95 late 90’s, I traded my first one for 6.1 classics, than had a small period with Fischer (Pro nr 1 and Pro Extreme), than N-6.1, than I had serious tennis elbow and got N-Blades (which I hated) and finally got my first 6.0 back from the guy I sold too. Since than every time I find one in fair condition I try to snag it. I had a total 12 6.0 95’s, cracked 3 of them (offered them to fellow collectors after taking the grommets, they are very rare and expensive), I have about 7 or 8 now, and a few sets of new grommets I ordered from USA (those were expensive…)

I believe Thiem used the 6.1 Team, and not RF but Dimitrov was a PC 600 mid user before Wilson (and a couple of years ago he almost went back to Head. He now plays an RF with a custom 18×17 string pattern painted as the regular 97)

Paul Angel was a Dunlop designer who created the Max 200, I thing the Aerogel 200/300 series were the last models he created for Dunlop, than he open Vantage with other guy, I finally went on his own. Never tried any Angel, but all I read is good stuff about his racquets.
I didn’t knew he was PB “father” (and probabily Dunlop pro stock option 2c, the racquet Tommy Robredo played with, and another 6. clone)

António May 13, 2021 - 21:47

By the way, are you related to John Lloyd, former British tennis player from 70’s and 80’s (and Chris Evert former husband, sorry but that’s the way with stars…)

António May 13, 2021 - 21:48

I forgot the “?”, sorry

J May 14, 2021 - 13:10

Hahaha made me smile Antonio, no I am not related to John or David….I don’t think. There are many Lloyds lol.

Yes Thiem was 6.1 team…..I saw an image of Fed with iPrestige but…..at the end of the day it could have been any kid or he could have been picking up someone else’s frame and irrelevant anyway.

Snawert I remember used to make a PS85 clone…..but things were different back in the day. Donnay 825i etc….great frames.

Tennis was a LOT harder with small frames, in terms of power and timing…. but, because of the larger frames, lighter materials and the different courts and balls…..the game is now very physical in terms of rally length, interval endurance etc etc. At least there is a lot of variety and skill from the baseline though.

Sounds like you have a fantastic collection!

I used a 6.0 95 for a while myself, many years ago. Lovely frames for sure. I know some people who use the BLX or the final white amplifeel PS95 frames, are you sure those grommets don’t fit? Also these seem like very popular frames, the 313g version. Why they called one version a 6.1 95 I will never know. Was so confusing.

To me a 6.1 is the classic beam, Henman, Rusedski, Dan Evans etc.

And the 6.0 is the 85 Connors, Evert, Edberg, Sampras, Courier, Pierce, Federer.

The 95 you have is the larger version of the 6.0 85 (88 if St Vincent)

I’m no expert, just asking…..

But anyway Wilson seem to sell frames painted as something but could have any balance or spec whatsoever. I cannot buy them because of that, not even the pro labs. What’s the point. Buy 4 and all of them could be totally different.

And it’s a great shame because I really like Pro Staffs.

They won’t bother paying attention unless people stop buying them. And of most average players only buy one frame they will never, ever know what on earth people are going on about. And I suspect, those people are the majority.

António May 14, 2021 - 20:38

PS 95 BLX is 16×19, 6.0 95 is 16×18, they also have different beam width. Nothing fits there

6.0 95 is a bigger version of the PS mid, as they called back than – there’s also two oversize versions of this racquet, you can google it, one with 110 sq.i. the other 125 sq.i – check here https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/wilson-pro-staff-0-125-pristine-24106783
St Vincent’s is 85 sq.i. too, the 88 you mean is the KPS developed by Sampras. I have one of those, beautiful racquet, but too beefy form my taste.

Wilson quality control is a disgrace, all my 6.0 95 have different weights and balances, I always have to do a bit of lead job to overcome that issue

J May 15, 2021 - 00:39

Yes they did a few variations on the PS mid/85, even one with a cross beam like a Prince.
I didn’t know they were 16/18, it’s been years since I’ve seen one. There must be something that’s close enough to modify with some scissors and a bit of hear or care, but I feel your pain!

The St Vincent’s were famous because they had highly motivated incentivised staff who took great pride in quality control and those/BVI tended to be selected for the Chicago Pro Room, for Pro stock mods, if any.

The St Vincent’s by the end (end of Sampras begining of Fed) had worn molds.

Therefore the frames you saw Pete with, and Roger….were 88sq inch frames. Because the molds they were made in had worn. And also that is why they made the Pete tribute frame KPS88 at that size.
Roger swapping to a Tour 90, well, 90 is closer to 88 than 85 is.

The later year St Vincent PS Miss were, better QC and slightly bigger head and maybe even 1mm wider beam too.

I believe Boris Becker had a similar issue with the molds for his BB frames which he got from Puma and Estusa took to the far East to manufacture……and he could always tell which was the Puma and which was the Estusa even when the frames were black.

When he got the molds back they weren’t making the same frames, so when he had his final run of frames made, he took them to a well known factory in Austria for them to work some magic on. Which is why, when you find them, they are more expensive and if you zoom in on the frame they are just blue and red like the Puma originals, and there is a tiny sticker that says…….

‘made in Austria, by Head’.

I’m full of useless information lol.

J May 15, 2021 - 00:54

I have had and still have some Wilson Tour 90 variant types of frames and, for example, I had 4 but using lead etc I could only match 3 of them and even then they weren’t really matched.

One was so much heavier that there was just no way.

I put them all through an X ray machine to see inside the frames to see what was going on and a couple of them surprised me with what I assume we’re strips of metal or lead higher up on the pin shaft handle, that’s not unusual, Fed I believe has this on his custom RF frames, which are not identical to the RF retail frames in finished spec (mold is same but RF97 is like saying PT57)…..

What bothered me was whoever applied the strips at manufacturing level hadn’t even bothered to make them the same length, or even apply them in a straight line.

I’ve heard stories on another forum of people recieving Pro Labs frames that are 15g away from the quoted weight, but I speak without prejudice on that one as I have not had any myself. My own personal frames were the end of the line for me with that brand, if I were to ever use them again I’d literally be weighing and checking balances etc in the outlet before I purchased. But, that goes for any other manufacturer these days really too if buying multiple frames.
I’ve been VERY fortunate to have either the support of a brand who sent matched frames, or a pro shop who made the phone call to get sequential numbered frames/matched.

But even now those days are probably gone and in truth I was quite lucky.

Also I’m crap at tennis so it doesn’t matter really. Give me a cheap racket and I’d still be about as good lol.

It just annoys me, you pay for what you see and expect to get what you pay for.

J May 15, 2021 - 01:04

The PS85/mid has WAY more variants than people think, even just in the 85 size.
There are chioata,sanhosun,Taiwan,Hong Kong, China, StVincent/Chicago manufactured frames and they all have something different either in frame lay up, undercoat, stripe or paint finish.
Also there are J spec frames for Japan which were 333g instead of 342g I think, AND one called a PS85DB. dB standing for Double Braid. U sure about that one, might have been the one courier used, I can’t remember.
I’ve even seen the mythical Edberg fake version where it’s an 85 but painted like the 6.1 PS Classic.
The frame was made for many years so, many spec versions I guess.
I know someone who always had at least 4 of those PS95 frames you use. Two friends actually. I wonder if they still have them, probably in a garage somewhere gathering dust!!

António May 15, 2021 - 12:40

Don’t forget the Belgium made ones, built by Donnay, and latter launched has a Donnay model without PWS blocks, called Pro Cynetic 1, played by Mr Sampras himself on his teens days

J May 15, 2021 - 17:52

I didn’t know that Antonio! I have seen an 825i Donnay and Pro Tour 1 or something that look very very similar, without the PWS blocks.

Great info I didn’t know!

My first proper racket was a Donnay was a light sort of blue version of one of these and I absolutely adored it. It was called a Pro Ceramic 1.

António May 15, 2021 - 21:58

Finally, I got you, lol
Just watch this exo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cH1EnooIkdU
On 1988, very young Sampras/Chang vs the Mcenroe Bros
Sampras is playing with a Donnay PC1. The story is Donnay built PS 6.0 mid in Europe under contract, and kept the formula once that contract was over. Once the deal was over they produced a copy without the PWS blocks called PC 1. Same racquet, no PWS, braided graphite/kevlar 85 sq.i. frame formula. Some say the PC1 feels better, I don’t know …

António May 15, 2021 - 22:02

But there’s a 6.0 mid generation made in Belgium, with tags, and they are quite rare
So, add the made in Belgium to the list, and the PC1 clone

J May 16, 2021 - 00:13

Lol, learn something new every day.
I knew that line of frames existed, moving on from the Borg wooden frames to the wood/graphite composites, the CTC and then GTX Graphite Borg frames that Borg never really used as he retired.
I knew they were very very good frames and I’ve also read sometimes preferred to PS85 types.
After all, when I was a kid my first ever coach had either a Donnay 825i or more likely the PC1 (very similar paint jobs)….
And my first proper adult frame aged about 12 was the Donnay Pro Ceramic 1 thing that was from exactly the same mold but probably lighter, and light blue.
What’s interesting is that means the mold possibly pre-dates the Wilson PS85.

I had no idea that Sampras used a Donnay PC1 but it’s there to see alright, even lists it on the screen.

No idea regs Belgian PS made frames, or the Donnay link.

I have held Schnauwert copies of the PS85, many years ago.

I mean, we never really know who/which company made which frame or mold. There are Schnauwert McEnroe 200g frames, Kneissl Becker type frames etc etc….

The Wilson Profile was actually a licenced design from Kuebler, a German company who pioneered the wide body frames.

Certain Babolats are allegedly Pro Kennex old Destiny molds.

Much is made of how a Wilson H22 basically stemmed from an evolution of the PT113/Djoko frame originally, and the Blade…..and the H19 stemmed from the PT57 desire, as did certain Dunlop molds, also the P10 molds….

But, essentially I wonder just how many ‘modern’ frames are either using a mold from the past or hybridising hoop and shaft molds of the past to form a ‘new’ frame.

I mean, none of it will essentially help me be a better player, and the game has changed a lot since V shafts opened out wider etc.

But I sure did love that original Donnay. There is an ‘as new’ one sitting looking at me on my screen right now. I’m getting an itchy thumb over the ‘buy’ button…..

You got me.

Lots and lots I don’t know, for sure.

Thanks Antonio

J May 16, 2021 - 00:45

Donnay Allwood
Donnay Midwood
Donnay CTX25
Donnay GTX25
Donnay 925mid
Donnay Pro Graphite
Donnay Kevlar Mid
Donnay Pro Cynetic 1
Donnay Pro Ceramic 1
Donnay Pro One
Donnay Revolutive
Donnay WST Tonic
Donnay Formula Pro
Donnay Ghost!!!!!

My childhood flashing before my eyes. Love those old donnay colour decals.simialr to the Borg decals.

That’s a whole lot of pre-Rusedski and Donnay!

I always preferred the Prince OG to the Pro One but loved the paint on the Pro One, though I confess I smashed every single one to pieces, I was convinced I couldn’t hit the ball in a straight line with them lol.

But I should have never gone oversize, I loved that Donnay Pro Ceramic small head thing.

And, thanks to you, now I understand why.

Once upon a time, they made great frames, for great players.

J May 16, 2021 - 00:47

N.B, I was never a great player. Lol

António May 19, 2021 - 20:23

I never liked Prince, I have 2 POG’s, one is an old Series 90 (weights like hell) as a collectable, and a more recent Tour 93, and simply couldn’t play with it. I tested a couple more models, including a couple of retail frames customized for a Portuguese pro called Frederico Gil, and no way. Hated the Diablo MP too.
Donnay never tried any besides Borg’s wooden models. Like Pro Kennex, never touched any, not a common racquet here in Portugal

J May 19, 2021 - 23:25

Yeah I hear you, Prince and ‘new’ Donnay aren’t easy to come by testing wise here in the UK, nor Pro Kennex….
There have been a few Prince frames I adored, and quite a lot I didn’t get on with….
Prince Graphite Original or remake matte version 107/110 oversize is just a lovely lovely frame even if you are used to small headed frames. I was never too fond of the small headed version. A guy at the club has the 100sq inch version, but the OG Oversize is really the golden frame of the lot for me.
I hear good things about the Textreme95 frames with some weight added. And the Phantoms.
Rackets are so personal, when you click with one….you kind of stick with it or very near to.
Lots of variety available these days, online at least anyway
I saw a photo of Sampras using the Borg Donnay wooden frame!!!!! No idea if it was photoshopped, recent ISH photo.

António May 21, 2021 - 16:51

I saw that too, it was on some exo just for the fun of it., there’s a small video on youtube too.
the guys from P1 prepared one for him, and he tried it for a few points. Todd Martin did that too on an exo vs Chang, with a PS Jack Kramer, and won the match with it, there’s a video too

J May 22, 2021 - 00:18


António May 22, 2021 - 17:48

Those guys must have learn the game with a wooden racquet, it would be fun to see which one
The oldest pic I saw from Sampras he was holding a white Kneissl (or Kneissel?) and still played double handed bh

J June 13, 2021 - 01:54

Wilson K Factor Six.One 95
Limited Edition
Lighter version 315g.

Item found.

They DID make this frame. My memory was correct I knew I’d tried one once for a few mins.



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