At a tennis tournament, countless people work in the shadows, including the team that has the meticulous task of stringing the pros’ racquets.
At the Rogers Cup, three people help get the racquets ready. Each player has a particular preference depending on string type, tension and stringing technique—requirements that must be met.
“Racquet tension varies a lot from one player to the next,” affirmed Martin Greene, one of the three stringers at the Rogers Cup. “Unlike a few years back, players often string with low tension, between 51 and 53 lbs. (23–24 kg).
“That’s pretty rare for recreational players because the racquet loses tension much faster. The pros use their racquets for 24 hours or a match and then have them restrung,” explained Greene.
By comparison, amateurs will usually string their racquets around 60 lbs.
When a tournament gets underway, the stringers are hard at work.
“In the first few days, we start at 7 a.m. But as the tournament goes on, there are fewer racquets to string,” said Green.
At the start of the week, the stringers can take care of some thirty racquets per day and four racquets per hour at peak times.
It took years of practice for Martin Greene and his colleagues to become so efficient. Today, with over two decades of experience, they have certainly mastered the art of stringing.
“Anyone can quickly learn how to string properly,” he continued. “The only difference is that it will take 45 minutes when I can do it in 10 or 12.”
Besides their day-to-day tasks, the stringers must be ready for anything at any time.
“It can happen that players will decide during a match that they aren’t happy with the racquets,” said Greene. “They’ll either want more tension or go on court with racquets at different tensions, choose one and then send the others to be restrung.”