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Tennis Racquet Care and Stringing

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Taking care of a tennis racquet is a lot easier now that graphite, resins, ceramics, and metals have replaced wood in the construction of frames. We no longer have to carefully clamp a big, heavy brace onto our racquet after each match to keep it from warping. Of course, we don't get to peer suspiciously at the racquet's side profile when the ball goes eight feet astray, either. No, your racquet's not warped. Maybe it's the strings.

Racquet care is mostly common sense:

  • Don't expose it to extreme heat or cold such as by leaving it in your car in summer or winter. A hot car can soften a graphite frame enough that the string tension will pull it out of shape.
  • Keep it out of the sun when not in use.
  • Don't throw it, bang it, or sit on it.
  • Avoid scraping it while picking up balls.
  • Put protective tape over those parts of the outer surface that you might scrape reaching for low balls.
  • Install a fresh overgrip whenever your grip gets slippery. Having the racquet slip out of your hand is a common cause of breakage, and it can injure another player.
  • String within the recommended range. Exceeding this range can break your frame and will usually void your warranty.

Stringing is a little more complicated. I'll try to answer the three most common questions:

1. How often should I restring?

The conventional rule of thumb is to restring as often per year as you play per week, but no less often than twice per year. It won't hurt your racquet to restring less often, but your strings might lose their responsiveness.

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