[Me] What about visibility, did you find that ball easier to see… the new one? – Yeah, only because it’s a lot bigger.
– Bigger. [Me] Could you actually tell the difference between all three? – Yes, you could see the difference in size.
– Yes. – [Me] Even between the 40mm?
– Yeah you could see it… in your hand. [Me] Which did you prefer or which did you find you could generate more spin with? – Err, the smaller of the ball. [Me] 38mm? [Adam] That’s the 38mm. [Keiron] Yeah, the 38 was spinier but I didn’t think there seemed to be a great deal in it spin wise. – Well the first small ball actually got more spin on the ball… …and it stayed lower when you chopped it.
[Tony] And we had better rallies with that one. [Billy] When it hit the floor more spin came back on the ball. [Me] The 38mm ball was spinier? – Yeah, we thought so.
– Definitely. [Me] What about the 40mm and the new ball? [Keiron] Much the same spin wise, once you get over the sound of it. [Me] Going on to sound, what did it sound like..the new ball? – It sounded like a broken egg.
– Yeah, it sounds broken… sounds broke. – The thing that put me off is the sound… because we’re not used to it. [Me] Ok, that’s the new ball? – Yes, it sounded tinny. [Me] Broken? Tinny, yeah you could say that yeah.. it made a strange sound so it didn’t feel right. [Me] And did that affect you’re game? No I don’t think so once you got used to it. It’s just one of those things.
You’d just block it out wouldn’t you. [Me] Ok. Adam? Same thing as well. Obviously you’ve got to concentrate whilst you’re playing but I would find it hard. [Me] Could you get used to that? You got used to the bigger ball after the smaller ball so I don’t see why not.
I think so, I think so. It did sound like a popped ball, obviously it’s not popped but I think you can definitely get used to that. [Me] Ok from a view point of feel, was there a difference in feel? I thought if you dropped the ball short with the new ball it was a lot easier. [Me] But feel wise, actual contact on the blade and the rubbers. When you were playing a drop shot, but when you were playing a top spin I thought the feel was a little bit hazy. [Me] With the new ball? [Me] Did it feel any different? – Yeah, mmm – A lot softer.
– The 38 feels quicker, it’s harder, it comes off the bat quicker. [Me] Ok, did you feel any difference in the smoothness of the balls or.. the hardness of the balls or.. – I don’t know you might.. – Just the grip on the blade really and the rubbers. [Me] So the grip on the blades was better with the smaller ball? – I thought so yeah.
– Yes. [Me] Better with the smaller ball?
[Billy] Yes. – Don’t forget me and Billy have probably played with that ball for 30 odd years… …and then 15 years or what ever with this new ball (40mm ball) so.. [Me] Ok what about speed wise? – It was a bit faster as well, the small ball. [Tony] Yeah…
[Billy] There’s no air going over the top of the ball. It seems to go through faster. [Me] So you thought the 38mm was faster? – The small ball was a bit faster, yeah. – The 38 feels quicker, it’s harder, it comes off the bat quicker…
possibly a bit spinier… …The 40 that we use now is noticeably slower than that… …coming off the bat. And the new one was
slower still. Really slow. [Me] What about the difference between the 40mm 3 star and the prototype? [Tony] Well I thought that the normal ball that we’re playing with now… …was just a little bit faster than the prototype. I thought the… …prototype was a bit slower and stood up a bit more. [Me] Do you think there are going to be longer rallies with this new ball? [Keiron] Yes.
[Adam] Yes, definitely. [Me] Because it’s..? – We were there and we were having a quick bang bang bang.. …a rat a tat rally which shouldn’t go beyond 3 shots each… … if we are both playing really well and it was going on for ever… [Keiron] And you’re hitting it full pelt and it’s just…
[Adam] And it feels like you’ve got time to play your shots. [Keiron] Loads of time. So points could last indeterminately. They’ll have to bring back expedite… for loopers!!! [Me] So were your rallies shorter or longer with the prototype? [Tony] Seemed to be shorter to be honest.
[Billy] Mmm. [Me] With the new ball they were shorter? – They seemed to be shorter… longer than the.. or about the same as the normal ball… …but the rallies were longer with the smaller ball. [Me] Longer with the smaller ball? [Tony] Yes.
[Me] That’s the complete opposite to Keiron and Adam! [Tony] We’re attacker defender. Whether that makes a difference or not I don’t know. [Me] Bounce was similarish? – Similar in all of them, it feels a little bit… probably a bit more of a bounce in the 38… …It’s just a bit quicker. That’s the way how it felt anyway.
[Adam] Yeah. [Me] What about the bounce with the old 38mm. Was that higher or lower? – There wasn’t a lot in it between the two balls was there?
– The smaller ball kept lower. [Me] Do you not think the new one bounced as much? – No I don’t think it does bounce much.
– Keiron? [Keiron] I thought it bounced all right. Much the same, not much difference… …I didn’t think there was a tremendous amount of difference between the spin or the bounce. [Me] What about the difference between the 40mm 3 star and the prototype? – Well, I thought that the normal ball we’re playing with now was just a little bit faster than the prototype… … I thought the prototype was a bit slower and stood up a bit more. – I found the new ball easier to chop. You could actually hack the ball a bit harder… …It didn’t sort of fly off as much as the ball we previously used. Mmm… …also the new ball bounced up an awful lot… …When you hit it and it was blocked by Tony the ball came back and skidded up strangely enough. [Me] Ok, from a view point of using the pimples, did you find there was a difference between the three balls? [Tony] Yes. From my point of view, when I pushed with the smaller ball the ball came up a bit and also went off the end… …a lot more, when I did it against Billy’s pimples. When I played the bigger balls… …certainly with the new ball I was able to control the ball a lot better. [Me] This was when you were using short pimples?
– Yes and even when I used my forehand with the fast stuff… …short pimples I could push it and hit it quite easy… … err, but when I pushed it with the smaller ball I had to watch it because I tended to push it off more… …because it was a bit faster. [Me] What about the difference between the 3 star ball and the prototype? – Not much. But with the new one I seemed to push better with that. Whether I’d got in to a routine or not I don’t know. [Me] You thought you had more control with the new one?
[Tony] I seemed to have, yes. [Me] Why do you think that is?
[Tony] I’ve no idea. [Adam] The difference with the new ball I found is that you’re waiting for it to come through… …It’s all right for for consistency because obviously you’re waiting for the ball… …you know you can actually wait for the ball to come through. But if you’re waiting for a quick shot to kill the ball… …it’s like you’re waiting that split milli, well split five seconds. [Billy] I had more control with the new ball because it seemed to come through a bit slower so I had more time on… …the ball to play the strokes and get in to position… …But when you’re pushing the ball short and then touch shots it seemed to be a little but hazier. [Me] This is with the prototype?
[Billy] With the prototype yes. [Me] And that’s compared to the small ball or the 3 star ball?
[Billy] Compared to both of them really. The small ball… …stays a lot lower when you chop it. [Me] Did you have a preference?
[Keiron] 38 [Adam] 38. [Me] Because?
[Keiron] Quicker. [Adam] You’re not waiting waiting for the ball to come through. [Me] So the 38 was faster for you?
[Adam] Faster. [Me] And would you have a preference? [Billy] Smaller ball. [Tony] He likes the smaller ball, I’m quite happy with the one we’re playing with now. [Me] So, does it bother you they’re bringing in the new ball? – It’s a matter if they have to bring it in they have to bring it in. It’s not going to stop me playing. [Me] Same with you Billy? – Exactly the same as Tony, you’ve just got to get on with it and see how we go with it. [Me] Ok, so if they brought in this new ball would you be disappointed, would you carry on playing? [Adam] I would be disappointed.
[Keiron] Carry on playing, but why? There is no need is there… …It’s just pointless.
[Me] Adam? – Well I would have to carry on playing. [Me] Ok, did this test allay any fears or any concerns or…? [Tony] Well, it probably…
[Billy] It’s early days yet to be honest with you. [Tony] It wouldn’t concern me at the moment. But i’d like to… …have a go against someone who blocks it or who loops at me. [Billy] I think playing with two balls over the course of a season is going to allow people to turn round and say I… …don’t like the new ball, I want to play with the old one. For me, if they are going to tell you you’ve got to play with the new ball… …they may as well do it straight away.
[Tony] Same as they did with rubbers.They (ETTA)… …must make a decision and say from “this” season you’ve got to play with it. [Me] Did it surprise you in any way? – No. They are just trying to make everything slower aren’t they… …People will stop playing eventually. They’ll lose a load of players because if it’s too slow… …it levels the playing field too much doesn’t it�