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Spaghetti Incident: New Film Details the World's Most Dangerous Racquet

By Richard Pagliaro

The multi-colored string bed sprouted from the imagination of German gardener Werner Fischer in 1971.

Six years later, Ilie Nastase wielded the Spaghetti-string racquet to shatter Guillermo Vilas' winning streak before the stick, which derives its name from its unique double string bed that created wildly unpredictable spin and hellacious bounce, was banned by the ITF.

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Now, the fascinating story of the Spaghetti-string racquet is a new documentary film, The Spaghetti Racket, with a cast that includes the racquet's creator as well as Nastase, John McEnroe and fellow Hall of Famer Cliff Drysdale, who calls the stick "the most dangerous racquet ever built."

A kickstarter campaign to finish the film offers you the opportunity to own a unique piece of tennis history: Your own spaghetti-string racquet.

Documentary filmmaker Hassan Amini, a former Associated Press photographer, tells Tennis Now the film is virtually complete.

Producers launched the kickstarter campaign to raise the final $109,453 necessary to cover archive and funding costs. So far, the kickstarter page has raised $11,582.

The campaign is open until January 26th. Visit the Spaghetti Racket film kickstarter campaign here.

"We are in need of funding to pay for the archive costs. The film’s pretty much finished," Amini told Tennis Now. "We are asking for quite a bit of money simply because sports archive is so expensive."

In addition to posters, t-shirts and DVDs, the kickstarter campaign is offering 50 modern spaghetti-string racquets to contributors.

"A unique piece of tennis history: Modern rackets strung Spaghetti style by the inventor Werner Fischer himself," Amini said. "He has come out of retirement and agreed to string 50 tailor-made Spaghetti Rackets. Meaning you choose whatever frame you want and whatever grip size and he will do the rest.

"We already did one for John McEnroe for the film. This is a one-off opportunity for player and racquet collectors alike. He is also giving away ten of his own original Werner Fischer rackets which was a collaboration between himself and Siegfried Keubler who later invented the wide-body racket. These are rare."

After hitting with a Spaghetti-string version of the racquet given to him by filmakers, the Hall of Famer McEnroe said the experience was transformative.

"I felt like Rafa Nadal for a few minutes," McEnroe said. "It gives you this incredible trampoline effect that's rather remarkable to put it mildly.

"Maybe I would have won the French [if I had the racquet]. Definitely would have won the French."

Photo credit: The Spaghetti Racket Film