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Better tennis: Keep string tension consistent

POSTED: June 6, 2009 11:23 p.m.

Top-level players with highly-refined strokes want consistency in their games.

One way they get it is with lots of practice. Another way is a perfectly tuned racket.

A pro player can tell the difference in tension of only a few pounds in his or her racket. When it’s too tight or too loose, it throws off their game.

At this level, players require a freshly strung racket for each and every match. Hey, they’re pros; they can afford it.

The rest of us should strive to be as consistently-tuned as we can afford. The rule of thumb is to string your racket at least once a year and more often if you play two or three times a week.

Once a racket loses 20 percent of its tension, it plays much, much differently. However, most players just get used to it and change their strokes to compensate. That’s where consistency starts to creep in. No wonder you’re losing.

So restring as often as you can afford to keep your game on track.

Incidently, the hot trunk of your car can ruin a perfectly good string job in 20 minutes. Don’t let this happen because the strings will never recover, and you’ll have to restring; now that’s an expensive mistake.

Gary Sherby is tennis director at Racquets and Togs Tennis Center, 115 Bradford St., just off the downtown square. His tennis tips appear Sundays.



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