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Guess the racquet – Sampras edition

by TN

It’s time to play a game.

What racquet is 14-time grand slam champion Pete Sampras holding in the picture?

As you might know, Sampras played a heavily leaded-up Wilson Pro Staff 85 (St Vincent) for most of his career, but the above pic is clearly not that racquet!

9709799SPTTENNISBerman,Steve Photo Caption:      Date:              08/24/97 Headline:          US Open Prep at Tennis Center Assignment Caption:    various shots of US players trying to qualify for the open and  file photo from Saturday August 23, 1997 Arthur Ashe Day of two #1 seeds- Pete Sampras twirling his raquet talking with Martina Hingis. Photographer:      Berman,Steve Sack Number:       9709799 Reporter:           Slug:              TENNIS Desk:              SPT Start:              Until:              Change Time:       False City:               State:              Country:            Location:           Contact:            Contact Phone:      Reporter There?:   False Editor:            Editor,Photo Date Wanted:       08/24/97 Time Wanted:       ASAP Summary:            Photographer Type: 2 Shot?:             True Number of Rolls:   3 Scanned?:          0 Handouts:          False Notes:              Clean?:            False Assignment:        970823020A Record No:         92136

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Saša Stani? November 17, 2016 - 02:01

Blade 93, heavily leaded. Though it’s actually the string that puzzles me even more..

Tennisnerd November 21, 2016 - 15:33

It is a blacked-out and heavily leaded Babolat Pure Storm tour limited. (From “reliable” sources 🙂 )

António May 17, 2017 - 22:33

Sorry, but no

The Ltd is a 95 sq.i. with an 18×20 string pattern, Pete never played with tight string patterns like the Ltd has

The word out there on TW is that he plays with a blacked out and weighted up Pure Storm GT, meaning a 98 sq.i. frame with 16×20 string pattern
Just look at some of the early pics from Sampras with his new bab, and count the strings

You can confirm this here https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/sampras-goes-to-babolat-pics-incl.329303/

Keep up the good work

Joe W. April 13, 2020 - 17:30

It actually appears to be the Pure Storm Tour “according to his personal racquet customizer and stringer, Nate Ferguson.” https://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2010/09/mailbag-pistol-petes-new-pure-storm/38760/

Tennisnerd April 14, 2020 - 07:59

Yes, you are right. I recently published a classic racquet review of that frame. Video to come.


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