My buddy called me up yesterday morning and wouldn’t take no for an answer when he asked if I wanted to play tennis last night. I tried to explain to him that tennis was part of my morning routine, but as hard as I tried to speak, there was this little nagging urge to smack a tennis ball as hard as I could across the court. It truly is an addiction, as well as this sort of aggressive release.
A few days ago, I began hitting with a full Western grip. I know, that seems to be the grip that high school kids use to get more spin on the ball. Perhaps that’s why it feels so good for me…I used it years ago when I used to play. The Western grip puts a large amount of topspin on the ball and makes you feel really good when you hit the perfect shot. It also speeds up the gameplay and gives the rally kind of a resulting rush. There is a small problem with using that grip though…broken strings.
The day I started using this new grip, I broke my strings. Good thing I have a backup racquet. They are both made by Prince, so they feel quite similar. The biggest difference between them is the price.
The reason many people break their tennis racquet strings by using the full Western grip is because the strings act as little “saws” against one another. When the racquet is strung with less tension, the strings are more free to do as they please. The tension of the strings lets them slide more easily.
Needless to say, I had to get the racquet restrung. As soon as I broke the strings, I ran up to the front desk and handed the racquet to the desk person. There is a fellow who comes by every morning to do racquet stringing. It’s not like me running up to the front desk made any difference…the guy comes by every morning, and I had already missed that day’s pickup. I ran because I had to get my backup racquet out of the car and I was in the middle of a lesson.
When I showed up for last night’s match, I had a little surprise waiting for me. It was my racquet all repaired and ready to go. This time, I had it strung at 63lbs, instead of 58lbs. Lower string tension offer slightly more power and less stress on the arm. Higher string tensions offer significantly more control and slightly better spin. I like control, so I went with the latter.
Back to the match…I have to say, my buddy and I are improving tremendously. He has such motivation and I just love the game. It’s like golf…it’s one of those sports that you will never be great at, and that’s what keeps you going.
We had a great match and are getting much closer with scoring. I would say that out of the 18 games we played, about half of them ended up at deuce, which made winning them even more exciting for the both of us.
It was a great night and we both had a lot of fun playing.
I think I am going to stick to my morning playing from now on. It’s really fun getting out there at night, but that’s when I work a lot and it’s hard to tear myself away from what I get myself into at times.