Deep Dive Series

Deep Dive Series: Episode 2.2 – What If Andre Agassi Had Loved Tennis?

Freaking Geeks
Deep Dive Series: Episode 2.2 - What If Andre Agassi Had Loved Tennis?
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Email: tennisaddictpodcast@gmail.com          Twitter: @freakgeeksmedia          Facebook: www.facebook.com/freakinggeeksmedia
All images and audio clips are copyright of their respective copyright owners. No infringement is intended. The intro music for our show is “Basic Implosion” and is provided by Kevin MacLeod. The outro music is “Black Vulture” by Silent Partner”.

Deep Dive Series: 2.2 – What If Andre Agassi Had Loved Tennis?

Podcast Series Summary:

The “Deep Dive” series is our chance to give you a more thorough examination and understanding regarding a tennis-related subject or question that we find interesting.  The range of topics we cover can be both large and small in scale.  Fun what-if scenarios, book reviews, controversial topics as well as examinations of historical moments and their impact on both the game and culture, are just some of the possibilities that we have in store for you in this special patron-only series, which you can only get by subscribing to Freaking Geeks Media on www.patreon.com/freakinggeeks

Each “Deep Dive” subject we tackle will be broken down into two-three separate episodes, with each covering one aspect of the topic in question.  Each episode will be in the 20-40 minute range, with the series coming in at one and a half hours to two hours in total, depending on if we need more or less time to do a thorough discussion.

We hope that you like these patron-only episodes.  We at the Tennis Addict Podcast and Freaking Geeks Media, continually strive to produce excellent content on this game that we all love!

Podcast Series Summary:

In this episode, we take a look back at Andre Agassi’s career and see how he struggled with playing a game he hated.  We briefly recount his career trajectory and see how at various points he gave up tennis or displayed little-to-no effort on the court.

Show Episode Recap:

Timeline: Agassi’s Career As It Stands

  • 1970-1980: Andre’s birth and his childhood through the age of 10 with his father Mike Agassi.
  • 1980-1990: Andre outplaying local competition and therefore being sent to the Nick Bollettieri Academy, his struggles there and his early career as a pro player
  • 1990-2000: We watch as Andre navigates the difficulties in playing a sport that he hates but feels compelled to continue playing anyway and how he eventually chooses to play for his own reasons late in the decade.
  • 2000-2006: Andre finds his most sustained success in the back end of his career and retires as one of the all-time greats

Deep Dive Series: Episode 2.2 – What If Andre Agassi Had Loved Tennis?

Deep Dive Series: Episode 2.1 – What If Andre Agassi Had Loved Tennis?

Email: tennisaddictpodcast@gmail.com          Twitter: @freakgeeksmedia          Facebook: www.facebook.com/freakinggeeksmedia
All images and audio clips are copyright of their respective copyright owners. No infringement is intended. The intro music for our show is “Basic Implosion” and is provided by Kevin MacLeod. The outro music is “Black Vulture” by Silent Partner”.

Deep Dive Series: 2.1 – What If Andre Agassi Had Loved Tennis? Part 1

Podcast Series Summary:

The “Deep Dive” series is our chance to give you a more thorough examination and understanding regarding a tennis-related subject or question that we find interesting.  The range of topics we cover can be both large and small in scale.  Fun what-if scenarios, book reviews, controversial topics as well as examinations of historical moments and their impact on both the game and culture, are just some of the possibilities that we have in store for you in this special patron-only series, which you can only get by subscribing to Freaking Geeks Media on www.patreon.com/freakinggeeks

Each “Deep Dive” subject we tackle will be broken down into two-three separate episodes, with each covering one aspect of the topic in question.  Each episode will be in the 20-40 minute range, with the series coming in at one and a half hours to two hours in total, depending on if we need more or less time to do a thorough discussion.

We hope that you like these patron-only episodes.  We at the Tennis Addict Podcast and Freaking Geeks Media, continually strive to produce excellent content on this game that we all love!

Podcast Series Summary:

In this episode, we take a look back at Andre Agassi’s career and see how he struggled with playing a game he hated.  We briefly recount his career trajectory and see how at various points he gave up tennis or displayed little-to-no effort on the court.

Show Episode Recap:

Timeline: Agassi’s Career As It Stands

15th Century: The first tennis balls were created using leather stuffed with wool

  • 1970-1980: Andre’s birth and his childhood through the age of 10 with his father Mike Agassi.
  • 1980-1990: Andre outplaying local competition and therefore being sent to the Nick Bollettieri Academy, his struggles there and his early career as a pro player
  • 1990-2000: We watch as Andre navigates the difficulties in playing a sport that he hates but feels compelled to continue playing anyway and how he eventually chooses to play for his own reasons late in the decade.
  • 2000-2006: Andre finds his most sustained success in the back end of his career and retires as one of the all-time greats

Deep Dive Series: Episode 2.1 – What If Andre Agassi Had Loved Tennis?

Deep Dive Series: 1.2 – The History & Evolution Of Tennis Balls

Email: tennisaddictpodcast@gmail.com          Twitter: @freakgeeksmedia          Facebook: www.facebook.com/freakinggeeksmedia
All images and audio clips are copyright of their respective copyright owners. No infringement is intended. The intro music for our show is “Basic Implosion” and is provided by Kevin MacLeod. The outro music is “Black Vulture” by Silent Partner”.

Podcast Series Summary:

The “Deep Dive” series is our chance to give you a more thorough examination and understanding regarding a tennis-related subject or question that we find interesting.  The range of topics we cover can be both large and small in scale.  Fun what-if scenarios, book reviews, controversial topics as well as examinations of historical moments and their impact on both the game and culture, are just some of the possibilities that we have in store for you in this special patron-only series, which you can only get by subscribing to Freaking Geeks Media on www.patreon.com/freakinggeeks

Each “Deep Dive” subject we tackle will be broken down into two-three separate episodes, with each covering one aspect of the topic in question.  Each episode will be in the 20-40 minute range, with the series coming in at one and a half hours to two hours in total, depending on if we need more or less time to do a thorough discussion.

We hope that you like these patron-only episodes.  We at the Tennis Addict Podcast and Freaking Geeks Media, continually strive to produce excellent content on this game that we all love!

Show Episode Recap:

The Timeline: 2001-Present

2001: The ITF introduces 3 new kinds of balls in an effort to counter the power game in tennis.

  • Ball Type 1 (fast speed): Is identical in size to the standard dimensions of a normal tennis ball, except that the rubber is harder.
  • Ball Type 2 (medium speed): Is simply the standard ball that has been used for decades
  • Ball Type 3 (slow speed): Is 6% larger in diameter than the standard ball and moves slower through the air after contact.  This results in an additional 10% reaction time for the receiving player.

**All are the same weight**

  • A study was conducted by the South Bank University in London which showed players using ball type 3 (the larger ball) could play 35% longer and had improved accuracy.  This allowed for longer rallies as well as a higher level of visibility for both players and spectators.

2011: Roland Garros switched from Dunlop to Babolat tennis balls.

  • Babolat had only been in the tennis ball business for 10 years at that point.
  • Players including Rafael Nadal claimed that the balls bounced higher and played faster.  Babolat claimed that the lack of rain, created a harder and faster surface which was the reason for this seemingly drastic (for tennis balls) change.
  • Babolat now acknowledges that their balls needed adjustments

Questions & Observations:

  • Despite the fact that very few rule changes regarding tennis balls, it seems like there is enough flexibility within those rules to change the speed, bounce and pace of the game that it has an obvious effect on the players.
  • Players know immediately whether a ball’s weight dimensions are even slightly off or different.  Given how many balls they hit daily, pick up, etc. these small, nuanced changes that recreational players probably fail to notice, are obvious.
  • Andy Murray said that it’s more-or-less a fact of life for tennis players.  You go to one tournament and you hit with a Dunlop ball, you go to the next and it’s a Wilson ball, etc.  Each has their own specific properties within the regulations.
  • What are our thoughts on some of these points?  Should there be so much flexibility within the rules that have such a big effect from tournament to tournament?
  • Given the three ball types that are now routinely used, how do we feel about the possibility that tournaments could use one ball or another to help or hurt certain players from winning the tournament?
  • Roger Federer hasn’t made it to the Roland Garros final since 2011 after Babolat took player complaints (I’m guessing sans Federer) and seemingly weighed them down a bit or went to ball type 3 the following year.

Stats:

  • Wison’s extra-duty tennis balls were introduced in 1960.  They fluff up more and therefore move slower through the air.
  • Roughly 300 million tennis balls are produced each year
  • More than 200 tennis ball brands have been approved by the ITF
  • The most expensive material in the production of a tennis ball is the felt material.
  • Tennis balls are tested in a temperature of 68 degrees, 60% humidity and an atmospheric pressure of 102 kPA

Deep Dive Series: 1.1 – The History & Evolution Of Tennis Balls

Email: tennisaddictpodcast@gmail.com          Twitter: @freakgeeksmedia          Facebook: www.facebook.com/freakinggeeksmedia
All images and audio clips are copyright of their respective copyright owners. No infringement is intended. The intro music for our show is “Basic Implosion” and is provided by Kevin MacLeod. The outro music is “Black Vulture” by Silent Partner”.

Deep Dive Series: 1.1 – The History And Evolution Of Tennis Balls

Podcast Series Summary:

The “Deep Dive” series is our chance to give you a more thorough examination and understanding regarding a tennis-related subject or question that we find interesting.  The range of topics we cover can be both large and small in scale.  Fun what-if scenarios, book reviews, controversial topics as well as examinations of historical moments and their impact on both the game and culture, are just some of the possibilities that we have in store for you in this special patron-only series, which you can only get by subscribing to Freaking Geeks Media on www.patreon.com/freakinggeeks

Each “Deep Dive” subject we tackle will be broken down into two-three separate episodes, with each covering one aspect of the topic in question.  Each episode will be in the 20-40 minute range, with the series coming in at one and a half hours to two hours in total, depending on if we need more or less time to do a thorough discussion.

We hope that you like these patron-only episodes.  We at the Tennis Addict Podcast and Freaking Geeks Media, continually strive to produce excellent content on this game that we all love!

Podcast Series Summary:

In this episode, we reach back hundreds of years ago when tennis was in it’s infancy. Also in it’s infancy was the tennis balls themselves. We trace their evolution from sacks stuffed with wool and hair, to what we have today and everything in between.

Show Episode Recap:

Timeline: 15th Century to New Millenium

15th Century: The first tennis balls were created using leather stuffed with wool

  • 1844: Charles Goodyear created “vulcanized rubber” or called India Rubber.  It is a process whereby natural rubber is altered by adding sulfur or other curing additives which results in more durable materials.
  • 1870’s: India Rubber which was used to create tennis balls lead to increased bounciness. This grew lawn tennis as a sport and ultimately the modern game.
  • 1882: John Heathcote decided that the ball was simply too light, so he put some flannel on it to help weight it down.
  • 1882-1920: For years, balls were called “Clover-leaf” Balls due to their construction based on the clover-leaf principal.  Uncured rubber sheets were stamped into a three-leaf clover shape, which was then assembled into a sphere by a machine.  The hollowed out ball was then filled with pressurized gas.  This process was eventually replaced with to two half-shells which are then sealed together to produce a core and filled with gas.  This also allowed a uniformity for wall-thickness. Melton cloth replaced flannel as the cover on tennis balls.  Melton cloth has a high wool content
  • 1920-1971:  Pressure-less tennis balls were created.  They lacked gas-filled cores, and started off somewhat dead, but would bounce higher as the rubber softenened over time.
  • 1925: The ITF (International Tennis Federation) created a specific rule stating that tennis balls must bounce between 53-58 inches when dropped from a height of 100 inches.  That regulation has never changed.
  • 1972:  Up until 1972, tennis balls were white, but it was deemed that yellow tennis balls were more easily picked up on television and thus were introduced by the ITF
  • 1986:  Wimbledon remained the only yellow-ball holdout before eventually dropping the white in favor of the yellow
  • 1989:  High altitude balls were approved
  • 1996:  Other properties of the tennis ball have changed over time. The range of forward and return deformations – the change in the ball’s diameter under an increasing and decreasing load of 8.165 kg – have varied over the years, reaching their current values in 1996.

Other modern rules include:

  • The standard tennis ball must have a diameter between 2.575 Inches and 2.677
  • A standard tennis ball must weight between 2 ounces and 2.06 ounces
  • Tennis balls are pressurized to 12 pounds per square inch