Australian Open Stringing Room Day 10

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Australian Open 2012 – 16 Jan

Day 10

It starts out as a busy day for me. I have racquets for Li Na and Kukushkin. Kukushkin is still playing without a stencil. He has a Wilson contract but is using Head racquets. After I get through those the racquets do not stop for me. It is not a really busy day overall. We only do 250 racquets in total for the day but I do not leave the machine. I finally get a break at 10 to 4.

I quickly grab some food and then there are racquets waiting for me when I get back to the room. I do an on-court racquet for Kukushkin. It is one piece Big Banger Original in an 18 x 20 pattern. This is not the easiest racquet to string quickly. I have it back to the runner in 16 minutes. It’s not a world record but it is well within time.

I have had to tape my fingers today. It is the first time I have had to do so. My left index finger and the middle finger on my right hand have been doing too much work. They are tender. I am avoiding using them as much as possible. I am using tools to handle the strings as much as I can to save my fingers.

By the end of today we have done 2128 racquets in total.

I leave the room just before 10pm. I am exhausted. A few of the guys are having drinks. I don’t go. I need to sit down and put my feet up. I really need a massage now.

Shane Mikic is the pro-shop manager for the Tennis Gear stores and their online store www.tennisgear.com.au in Brisbane.  He has over 17 years racquet stringing experience and is currently part of the Wilson Global Stringing Team at the 2012 US Open.  The following blog shares his experiences during his time in the Wilson Stringing room.

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