Your racket is your tool; keep it sharpened by heeding the following tried-and-true advice:
Restring before the new season starts and avoid a breakdown during a crucial match.
An inexpensive frame can be tuned to play like an expensive one with correct, top-notch stringing. An expensive frame will play poorly with poor stringing.
Restring and regrip at least annually to avoid playing with a dead racket.
Fresh overwrap on your handle keeps it gripable. Use lots of it; it’s cheap!
Low tensions are easier on your elbow and shoulder.
High tensions are best for big hitters seeking more control.
Choose durable strings if you are a chronic string-breaker. If you hit hard and play frequently, it’s cheaper and more convenient.
Choose playable strings if you need comfort and touch. Consistent and versatile players will benefit.
Choose thin gauge strings at high tension if you want better spin. Use polyester and/or Kevlar hybrids.
Take your weapon to a knowledgeable stringer for the best advice; don’t waste time and money!
Gary Sherby is tennis director at Racquets and Togs Tennis Center, 115 Bradford St., just off the downtown square. His tennis tips appear Sundays.