Victor Estrella Burgos is 36 years old in August but is still playing great tennis and won his third straight Quito Open a couple of weeks ago. Despite his modest height of 1.73 m (which is very modest for a professional tennis player), he has proven that tennis is not all about age and physical attributes (usually young and tall). Just watch him play and you can see him hit a forehand as hard as pretty much anyone else on the tour with his Babolat Pure Drive Plus strung up with Babolat RPM Blast strings.
Most of my racquetholic friends will wonder how a pro can play with this kind of mega-stiff setup. Both the Babolat Pure Drive and RPM Blast are known for being very crisp and quite harmful to many amateur elbows, shoulders and wrists. However, there are a few ways you can make a Babolat Pure Drive your best friend as well:
- Lots of pro’s use softer layups (previous editions of Pure Drive have been softer)
- Silicone in the handle can reduce shock
- Hitting the ball in the sweet spot should be soft on any racquet. It’s when you hit outside that it hurts. Pro’s are good at hitting the sweet spot.
- Good physical conditioning is important.
- Proper technique reduces the risk of injury.
It sounds like a lot of work doesn’t it? So why would you do it? Well, the Babolat Pure Drive sure has some alluring power and spin and can be quite addictive to play with. Sometimes a modern racquet can feel like a Ferrari and it’s just such a blast (no pun intended) to play with. So remember that getting a good string setup and working on your technique and fitness can give you problem-free experience even with a stiff racquet and string such as the Pure Drive and RPM Blast.
There are no shortcuts to great tennis. Just hard work, but also a lots and lots of fun.
Kind of forgot about Victor Estrella Burgos in this post. He’s a great player and seems like a good guy. Watch him and remember that “shorter/older” guys can also play ball.