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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Changeling aka The Secret Garden

In the spring of this year, a loyal reader commented on our facebook page about court with a tree growing up through the net.  This was a perfect forgotten court.... the idea of playing a match with the tree in place was too tempting and we commenced further investigation.   Upon arrival we discovered the court was carpet and the carpet was pulled back off of one side of the court.

This did not appear safe so we started to organize a doubles match thinking we could use the extra bodies to help get the carpet playable.   Scott went out a second time to reconnoiter and found a bulldozer on the court and the tree and everything else tennis related destroyed.

We assumed this was another lost court and moved on to another tennis adventure.  In mid summer, we drove by and saw a flash of blue...... did they redo the court?  Stan stopped by to check it out.  Not only did they redo the court but they resurfaced it with plastic!

Since we have only played one match on a plastic surface we had to play this facility.   This court is a private court though so not knowing how they would feel about us playing we scheduled an early morning match thinking nobody would notice us.

To add to the excitement, our friends at Racketman have been offering us the use of the Sony Tennis Sensor to chart our match statistics.   Stan picked up the Tennis Sensor and installed its app on his phone and came to the courts with the technology ready to go.   Racketman also gave us a racket to use that is engineered to fit the Sony product.  Most new rackets will accept the technology.
Wilson Burn

Stan started out with the Burn and we began to warm up.   Bounces were pretty good but there was some inconsistency based we think upon the surface underneath the plastic tiles.   The first set was pretty close but Scott got an early break and held on to win the set 6-4.   The points were pretty short as we acclimated to the court speed, bounces and the Wilson Burn.

After the first set Scott took the Burn and Stan went back to his regular racket.  The points got longer in the second set but Stan dominated the second set.  He began hitting lines, great dropshots and a great down the line backhand winner from deep in the corner.    Set went to Stan 6-1.

a USTA 10 point tiebreaker seemed the right thing to do.   We scrapped the Burn since we both lost the set with it and went to regular rackets.   Stan jumped out to a 3-1 lead.

The next point was pivotal with both players fighting hard.... eventually Stan came to the net and Scott lofted a beautiful lob over his backhand side to make it 3-2.... wait... somehow Stan reached back and hit a backhand overhead winner crushing Scott's hopes.   After that point Stan cruised to a 10-4 win to claim the victory.

What did the Tennis Sensor tell us?   A couple things - the first being we think in our format it was a hindrance because we were thinking about it while playing.   Each of us lost the set playing with the sensor and the Wilson Burn.  We did learn our forehands were both averaging in the mid 60 mph range with a high of 67.

Stan imparted slightly more spin on the forehand with a +4.1 average.   Backhands were similar but a slower average in the 40's with slice and Stan again with slightly more backspin at -8.5 and topspin backhands averaging in the 50's again Stan slightly higher in spin with a +3.8.   Serves average around 68 with a max of 79 from Stan.

So the question is - was the new technology useful.   In some ways it gave us information - our averages were right in line with the world averages.   If you had it on all the time you could practice things and
see effects on speed, spin etc.

The two biggest drawbacks are you cannot download data to a computer and it does not have ability to track winner, unforced errors etc which are key stats.   The cost is $199 for the unit.  In summary probably not a lot of folks will buy but we can see this tech becoming integrated into rackets as a standard item in future.

The location is a 10 nice and quiet with the surface an 8.   Average of 9.   The surface has a few funny bounces due to the fact it appears to have been laid with almost zero surface prep.

Nearby places to eat are the always great Spiros and the quirky upstart KimCheese.

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