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Why Do Tennis Players Carry Many Racquets?
You’ve seen countless times that tennis pros carry many racquets in their bags, sometimes more than 9, which is too much for a single match.
But in the reality, it is common on the professional level to bring numerous racquets to a tournament and to have them strung before every single match.
Professional players carry up to 10 racquets in a match. This is because of a trend that was most probably started by Roger Federer changing his racquet before introducing new balls.
In this article, we will discuss the reasons why the players carry many racquets with them to the court, based on real conversations and online discussions.
1. Different Racquet Weight
Even though a professional player plays with the same racquet model with roughly the same specs, some players carry racquets that slightly differ in static weight, swingweight, and balance.
The reason is that there are days when a player lacks confidence and wants to use a conservative approach to his match. This can lead to him choosing a lighter frame to ease his arms.
Or, a player can use a racquet that is more head-heavy to give him more power and pace when he thinks he needs it in a particular phase of the match.
To sum it up you can say that it’s a strategic choice to change racquet weight and balance during the match and that’s why there are multiple racquets to choose from.
2. Different String Tension
Even 1 lb. in tension can make the difference on the pro level. Many players carry racquets strung at different tensions so that they can switch them seamlessly during the match.
A racquet with higher tension can be used to have more control but it can be rough on the arms. Whilst a racquet with a lower tension is generally used to generate more power but it requires skill and focuses to control the shots.
Tsitsipas does that constantly in his matches. You can see him switching his racquet and then firing lots of winners in an attacking approach, or he can play with more control to make fewer mistakes when he feels he needs to play more defensively.
On another hand, some players use a fresh racquet after a long set because they feel the string bed not giving the same feel or response due to hard-hitting. Federer does that a lot especially before serving or returning new balls.
Finally, club players carry at least 2 and preferably 3 or 4 racquets all strung just to avoid restringing for at least a month or two.
3. Fresh Grip
Some players are keen to replace their racquet overgrip during a set break, but the majority don’t do it during the match.
The easiest way to go is to use a different racquet that has a fresh overgrip, which offers better sweat absorption and stability.
In addition, the player benefits from a fresh string bed as well to play his best tennis.
4. Mental Thing
If you played competitive tennis before, even in a local tournament in your club, you’ve already experienced playing a disgusting first set and blaming your racquet like it’s the only reason you played like crap.
And when you change your racquet, you feel better and you start winning more points. It happened to me sometimes in the past.
There is a mental side to tennis and one reason a player can switch his racquet is that it didn’t play well and he thinks he’ll play better with the second.
Similarly, players sometimes can’t control their emotions and end up breaking one or many racquets. So, carrying backup frames is undoubtedly a good idea unless a player wants to be disqualified for lacking gear.
How Many Racquets Do Tennis Pros Carry?
Tennis pros generally carry 6 to 10 racquets. But there can be some exceptions. Here are some examples.
|Player||No. of racquets he/she carries in his/her bag|
|Dominic Thiem||5 to 6|
|Iga Swiatek||6 to 8|
Read Also: What To Carry In Your Tennis Bag? [These Are a Must]