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Australian Open 2012 – 20 Jan
Day 13 – Cameras and On-courts
It starts out as a busy morning. I have racquets to string for Li Na and Kukushkin first thing but after that the room slows down. Everyone is quiet. We have quite a few camera crews and photographers coming through the room today. One camera crew decides that they are going to do a live cross from the stringing room during the Federer match. But they set the camera up looking across the room so it looks like there are only about 3 machines and at the time they come in nobody has any racquets to do. So they start setting the room up and asking us to look busy. They get three guys on machines pretending to string. They put me in the background on a computer pretending to do work. So lame. We wait about 10 minutes until they do the cross and it lasts for 30 seconds. Worthwhile.
I have a photographer taking photos of my badly manicured hands while I string a racquet. I have some strapping on a couple of fingers which is half falling off. Great look. Later on in the day channel 7 attach a camera to the handle of a racquet and get me to string and stencil it. It will be on TV in the next couple of days I am told.
It gets busier heading in to the afternoon. I will be staying late tonight as Li Na is the last match on.
Dologopolov sends in two racquets during his match with Tomic. Jarrad and I do them at the same time. Jarrad flies through it and has the racquet heading back to the court in 12 minutes. That is the fastest time of the tournament so far.
There are no more racquets from Dolgopolov that night. As the womens match between Li Na and Medina Garrigues begins I am just about ready for bed. I am the last stringer left and am just waiting for the match to finish before I go back to the hotel. Then Garrigues send in an on-court racquet after the warmup. Time to wake up. Just as I am tensioning the last string she goes over on her ankle. I bag the racquet and send it out anyway. She retires soon after and I get an early night. In bed by 12.30.
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.