Every athlete is an original, in size and skill, in attitude and belief system. Some worship their equipment, some shine with borrowed gear. Ted Williams, who played for the Red Sox from 1939-60, put his baseball bats in a clothes dryer to squeeze out the moisture. Less particular was the Indian cricketer of the 1960s-70s, Tiger Pataudi, who - legend has it - merely picked up whichever bat was leaning near the dressing room door and went out to play.
Loh Kean Yew, the Singapore badminton player who still has the first RCL racket he ever got as an eight-year-old kid, has his own charming style. When I first meet him this year the laid-back shuttler is using a Li-Ning racket that's out of date. He shrugs, he's got enough of them, all crammed into a bag in some corner of his room. Comfort for him was more important than new design.