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Old 09-06-2012, 12:47 PM   #2
Talk Tennis Guru
drakulie's Avatar
Join Date: May 2004
Location: FT. Lauderdale, Florida
Posts: 24,371


In regards to strings and stringing, Ron prefers one piece over two whenever possible, simply because of loss of tension on tie offs. Being that the use of hybrids has become ever-more popular among pro players, two piece stringing which typically consists of a poly and natural gut strings, resulting in the need to use 4 knots, which then results in quicker tension loss in a shorter amount of time. In our discussion about hybrids and gut, Ron and Nate turned the tables and asked me a question. Where I liked the gut and why? I stated I felt using natural in the crosses is a waste, simply because any other less expensive multi will do the same thing, which is to soften the string bed. Gut in the mains is where one gets the advantage and performance of using natural guts. Nate agreed, and Ron jokingly added they should pass this advice onto yet another one of their clients, Andy Murray, who uses gut in the crosses. Still, many of their clients prefer the gut in mains with a poly in the crosses, such as Federer, Djokovic, Fish, and Tsonga to name a few, all claiming they get much better performance from the string in regards to tension maintenance, power, spin, comfort and control.

A lot is debated about string and racquet technology, fitness, court surface, coaches and coaching methods, and how it has changed the game and their importance, but very little is talked about in regards to how personal service and customization to the top players has changed the way they approach the game. More importantly, about the persons who are directly responsible for that service, so it’s surprising that when a player receives their championship trophy, they don’t forget to thank sponsors, umps, coaches, wives, ball boys, fans and a list of all sorts of others, resulting in the warm embrace and cheers of the fans, but rarely if ever give thanks to those who provide one of, if not the most important functions in today’s game, the tuning and caring of ultimately the only thing that makes contact with the tennis ball, the players racquet and strings.

Perhaps one day the Hall of Fame will recognize Ron and Nate’s importance and contributions to the game; preparing and customizing the most essential tool a pro needs to win the countless matches, titles and majors they have been directly responsible for. If the greatest players the game has seen over the last 20 years who are in or on their way into the Hall of Fame have searched them out, why not the Hall with No Strings Attached? Perhaps when this happens, the work, sometimes brutal such as stringing all day and night, and working countless and tireless hours during tournaments, will be more appreciated and respected by the tennis community as a whole; From home stringers, to shop stringer, to tournament stringer. Perhaps when this happens, racquet technicians will come out from behind the Green Curtain in Oz to a front and center stage embrace of the tennis community for a long overdue curtain call. Hopefully, if one day Priority One is recognized, it will lead to the rest us “racquet wizards” in the stringing community to also be recognized, and our work justified and respected.

As many of you may or may not know, I was lucky enough to get a call from P1 this year. The call was to ask if I would be interested in joining them at the Cincinnati Masters 1000 Western & Southern Open. After meeting these legends earlier this year, not only did I feel lucky to be asked to string at such a prestigious event, I felt honored I would have my day Behind the Curtain and have the chance to be stringing side-by side with the very best racquet technicians and stringers in the world.

From left to right, the P1 2012 Cincy String team:
(Chuck, Julian, Ron, Drakulie (Rick), Glynn, Mark, Doug, and Casey (kneeling))

Nate Ferguson:

Casey, practicing his rowing skills:

Prince Textreme Tour 95 Video Review:

Last edited by drakulie; 09-07-2012 at 06:10 AM.
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