AskThePro: A Good String Job Can Manage Your Limitations

In our previous column on rackets, we make reference to the key advantages of a good restring in managing your limitations!

The tournament pros are absolutely fanatical about their choice of strings and the associated string tension — which they change to suit both surface and playing conditions — and often during a match.  I still carry two rackets in my bag each with a slightly different tension to accommodate the changing playing conditions at Manly Lawn.

Conversely, our average tennis player puts what I euphemistically call “two dollars worth of nylon” in a $200+ high performance frame — and expects to play consistently well and without injury, especially tennis elbow.

Most club players who play two or more times a week are well advised to get a GOOD STRING JOB every 8 to 10 weeks depending on the season.  Aggressive players who blast the ball with big western forehands (Boyd, Bosko, Harry & Co) need to update every 3 to 4 weeks or so.  Yep, strings go loose and dead — and performance suffers!

Trust me when I say, your game will improve at least a POINT A GAME with a good restring! You might even be encouraged to take a few lessons to help better manage the rest of your limitations.

So what constitutes a GOOD STRING JOB?

First a little science education since modern strings come in different materials and thicknesses, each designed to suit different playing styles. In the table below, you’ll notice the differences in the main and cross strings and the dependence on whether you want control, power, comfort (did I mention managing tennis elbow?).

Thickness is pretty screwy since 18 gauge string is thinner than 16 gauge, go figure!

You can see from the graph above that the typical $2 nylon (16G) has high durability (to ensure rackets have a good shelf life) and low spin potential ( aka “feel/control”)! How did that new Wilson play Jordan with the $2 nylon??

Even at my tender age, I still use a hybrid combination of 18G multifilament Gamma Live Wire on the mains and Babolat Blast (Nadal’s string) on the crosses. Yep as I’ve aged and reverted to social player status, I’ve gone for more control and less power by reversing the mains and the crosses per the table. The 18G Live Wire is more lively (plays like gut) and gives me much more feel. The Blast allows me to give the ball a nudge and more topspin when I need to (sorry Richard).

And now the string tension.  Most players string the crosses the same as the mains and expect the tension to be even itself out throughout the racket during stringing. Well that’s the logic anyway. The GOAL was always to get an even string tension in the racket to increase the ‘sweet spot’. Yep, for most of my playing life I relied on that logic too. Of course my ball watching was so much better than, and I played with gut, so miss hits were infrequent. And yep it’s SOoooooo Wrong!

Several years ago I ran into a older, chain smoking racket stringer in California who set me straight — and he didn’t hold back!  Turns out that what most people miss is the impact of FRICTION on the Crosses when you’re feeding the string under and over through the Mains. Whatever tension you string the Mains at, you ADD 5lb to the Crosses to counter the friction. Here’s my current stringing pattern to illustrate this key point:

 

So Obi Wan (thanks Howard) how should I translate this to my game? Well most rackets come with a suggested stringing guide for tension. Start with the mid range for the racket for the Mains and then string the Crosses 5lb more.  Then adjust up and down as required until you’re comfortable with the tension. Aside, typically you can use a lower tension that the one you used previously; helps your feel and control.

Just ask Tommie for ‘Rob’s restring’ if you want to try this type of restring at the Manly Tennis Centre. You’ll find an immediate benefit of a bigger sweet spot — and most of your misshits will go over now as your control is significantly improved. Just ask Howard, Ken Grey or some of our other playmates what the effect has been on our games!

As for the choice of string, well that depends on your game. I’ve given you the guidelines in the table above which you can probably figure out yourself. Even so, probably better to go talk to Scottie, Tebbs or Howard when you want some pro advice about what strings may suit your individual playing style.

To repeat what my mate Howard the pro says, you’ve got to manage your limitations — and using better technology (whether frame and/or strings) is a great way to do this. Cunning and guile will only get you so far! Invest in the technology!

Make a regular investment in a GOOD STRING JOB using the latest materials technology; it’s absolutely worth it for your psyche alone!

Sincerely,
Rob
USPTA

Badge Semi Final Results

Manly Lawn Tennis Club has THREE teams in next Saturday’s Badge Finals; all three teams have good chances to win.

Our Mens 1 play at Neutral Bay, Mens 4 play at Royal Sydney and our Ladies 2 have a home final.

All three teams have been first or second all year and so deserve congratulating whatever happens on Saturday!

Unfortunately our Mens 7 lost their semi last weekend to a red hot Strathfield team but they had a great season.

Badge Semi Finals Results

Mens 1 Won 6-2  Andrew and Bosko and Harry and Jono both won 3 sets. In drizzling rain towards the end the guys played strong tennis to set up a gripping final at Neutral Bay.
Mens 4 Won 6-2  Chris and Hugo led the way by winning all 4 sets whilst Tom and Alec won 2 sets.  Cheltenham beat us recently so the guys have set up a great final against Royal Sydney next Saturday. Royal Sydney beat us narrowly a few weeks ago also but we won the first match.
Mens 7 Lost 1-7  Ray and Raymond won 1 set whilst David and Gordon played well but the opposition were too young and too strong for that grade. They should win the final easily also. Our guys have performed well all year with Owens coaching and Georges’ leadership. Well done guys!
Ladies 2  Won 8-0  Emily and Sarah and Danni and Virginia won 4 sets each.  Chatswood will be harder to beat next Saturday but with a home court advantage and a home crowd to cheer them, they should prevail.
Ladies 1 Won 5-3  Wendy and Sofie won 4 sets, Yvonne and Janelle won 1 set.  With 2 matches to play our team will not be in the final; there is no semifinal. Even so the ladies are determined to finish off the season strongly.
On Saturday our Ladies 2 play their final early so please come along to support them.
Good luck to our teams this Saturday.

Badge Finals September 15

  • Noon Ladies 2 v Chatswood

SOCIAL TENNIS 1130AM TO 5.30PM.

SWANEE TRIVIA
Chris O’Neil was the last Australian lady to win The Australian Ladies’ Singles Title in 1978.
This week’s trivia: who was the last male to win The Australian Men’s Singles Title?
END OF BADGE BBQ
Saturday week, September 22, we will have an end of season barbecue. You can also cheer our Ladies 1 team in their last home match.

 

CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS

Club Championships will be played on October 20 21 27 28 with finals day on November 3 with a barbecue and presentation. Entries will open soon.

SINGLES LADDER

We will start up a singles ladder for those that are interested.  Please put your name on the board in the clubhouse and details will be there.  You can challenge anyone up to 3 places higher on the ladder and, if successful, change places.  The matches will be best of three sets with the last set a 10 point tiebreaker. You arrange a suitable time to play amongst yourselves. It will be a mixed ladder so it is a chance for ladies to practice their singles also.

Denis Crowley
Manly Lawn Tennis Club Captain.

Preventing Muscle Loss as We Age

Sarcopenia, a decline in skeletal muscle in older people, contributes to loss of independence.

“Use it or lose it.” I’m sure you’re familiar with this advice. And I hope you’ve been following it. I certainly thought I was. I usually do two physical activities a day, alternating among walking, cycling and swimming. I do floor exercises for my back daily, walk up and down many stairs and tackle myriad physical tasks in and around my home.

My young friends at the Y say I’m in great shape, and I suppose I am compared to most 77-year-old women in America today. But I’ve noticed in recent years that I’m not as strong as I used to be. Loads I once carried rather easily are now difficult, and some are impossible.

Thanks to an admonition from a savvy physical therapist, Marilyn Moffat, a professor at New York University, I now know why. I, like many people past 50, have a condition called sarcopenia — a decline in skeletal muscle with age. It begins as early as age 40 and, without intervention, gets increasingly worse, with as much as half of muscle mass lost by age 70. (If you’re wondering, it’s replaced by fat and fibrous tissue, making muscles resemble a well-marbled steak.)

“Sarcopenia can be considered for muscle what osteoporosis is to bone,” Dr. John E. Morley, geriatrician at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, wrote in the journal Family Practice. He pointed out that up to 13 percent of people in their 60s and as many as half of those in their 80s have sarcopenia.

As Dr. Jeremy D. Walston, geriatrician at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, put it, “Sarcopenia is one of the most important causes of functional decline and loss of independence in older adults.”

More

Badge Results Round-14

Badge semifinals are this weekend and we have 4 teams qualified to play.  Our Mens 1 Ladies 2 and Mens 4 will play at home and our Mens 7 will play at Strathfield.  Our Ladies 1 team still has several matches to play.

Badge Results Round 14

Mens 1 Lost 3-5  Despite losing to the top team the guys secured 2nd position.  Harry and Andrew won 3 sets in a great effort.
Mens2 Lost 4-4 on games.  A brave loss to a strong team meant the guys missed the semis by 3 points.Milton and John won 3 sets to cap off a great season and Harald and Mike won 1 set.
Mens 3 Lost 3-5  Another close loss to finish the season well. This team has improved each match.  Scott and Sean won 2 sets and Jono and Tim won 1 set.
Mens 4 Won 7-1  The Young guns played excellent tennis to secure 2nd position and miss top position by half a point.  Tom and Alec won 4 sets again and Chris and Hugo won 3 sets. The young guns will play in the semis and Denis and Graham will support from the bench.
Mens 5 Lost 4-4 on games.  Carl teamed up with Richard Badham to win all 4 sets in an excellent effort.Could be a good pairing for our Club Championships?
Mens 6 Lost 3-4  Another close loss to finish the season.Emerson and Daniel won 2 sets and Tommy and David won 1 set and one unfinished.
Mens 7 Lost 1-7  Despite a loss this team has performed well all year and deservedly finished 4th overall.  They have a tough match next weekend at Strathfield but anything can happen in the finals so good luck guys.
Ladies 1 Bye
Ladies 2 Lost 4-4 on games.  Despite a loss the ladies still finished 1st by a big margin.  Sarah and Virginia won 3 sets and Danni and Kirsten won 1 set.
Ladies 3 Lost 0-8 on forfeit.  The ladies misread the starting time so forfeited.A strong season to miss the semis by a slender margin.

Badge Semi Finals September 8

  • Noon Mens4 v Cheltenham 2
  • 250pm Mens1 v Kooroora 1
  • 250pm Ladies 2 v Logueville 5

If rain washes out play the highest teams are the winners in semis and finals.  Please come down and support our teams.

SOCIAL TENNIS 1130AM TO 5.30PM.
SWANEE TRIVIA
Last weeks answer was 11 Aussies have won Wimbledon since 1950:  9 men and 2 women.
This weeks question: Who was the last Aussie woman to win the Australian Ladies Singles Title?

CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS

CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS WILL BE HELD OVER THREE WEEKENDS FROM OCTOBER 20 TO NOVEMBER 3.  These will be the Open and graded events. The aged championships will be held in February 2019.

Denis Crowley
Manly Lawn Tennis Club Captain.

Badge Score Board: Round 14

Badge Results Rd 14 Sep-01
Ladies Grade Result Score Position
Manly 1 1.1 Bye 0-0 6
Manly 2 1.2 Lost 4-4 1
Manly 3 1.3 Lost 0-8 6
Mens Grade Result Score Position
Manly 1 1.1 Lost 3-5 2
Manly 2 1.3 Lost 4-4 5
Manly 3 1.5 Lost 3-5 7
Manly 4 2.2 Won 7-1 2
Manly 5 2.3 Lost 4-4 8
Manly 6 2.4 Lost 3-4 6
Manly 7 2.5 Lost 1-7 4

Thanks to Ron for compiling the results!

AskThePro: Should I Invest in a New Racket?

Finally got a new Babolat racket from Scottie last week. Scottie, Tebbs and Knoxie help me choose a Babolat Aero Drive that pretty well matched my old faithful Head Pro racket.

Yep, the grip felt good in the hand when I first picked it up — always a key test in changing rackets. In fact, my new Babolat plays like the old Dunlop Maxply that Lew Hoad used to use.

I got the heavier pro model and Tommie strung it up with my hybrid string pattern which increases the ‘sweet spot’.

While I felt a little guilty in pensioning off my Djokovic Head, nevertheless after 4 years it was time.  During my last restring, Tommie gently reminded me that my Head racket shape was no longer ‘symmetrical’. I guess about a dozen plus restrings will do that to a racket.  Tennis rackets start to break down the moment you first string them. And while modern materials technology have made rackets more durable than ever, they are not indestructible, and their life is limited.

Both playing and stringing effect the life of the frame. Each time you hit a ball, the frame distorts backward to absorb the impact, then bends forward as it returns energy to the ball. Over time, this process damages the bond between the thousands of composite graphite fibers in the frame.

Eventually, the frame loses stiffness, becomes “soft” and you lose power and control. Phew — thought it was just me getting older. Restringing puts even more stress on the racket head. During stringing, the frame deforms before returning to its regular shape. This eventually breaks down its structural integrity.

Obviously, when you see visible cracking in the frame, you know it’s time for a replacement. But if your frame still looks OK, yet isn’t performing the way you remember, and you’ve got a GOOD STRING job, replacement is suggested.

Most club players who play two or more times a week are advised to update their rackets every two years or so.  Aggressive players who blast the ball with big western forehands may need to update more often.

And remember the frames/strings technology in the newer rackets are typically more forgiving, so your miss hits are more likely to go in!

As my mate Howard and fellow pro says, you’ve got to manage your limitations — and using better technology (whether frame and/or strings) is a great way to do this. Cunning and guile will only get you so far! Invest in the technology!

Time for a change? Suggestion for Father’s Day?? Go talk to Scottie or Tebbs when you want some equipment advice.

Rob
USPTA

Manly Arts Festival

7 – 23 Sept

This year we’re coming together to celebrate 25 years of this amazing Festival and the magic of creativity on the Northern Beaches.

Once again, our region will be ignited with an eclectic mix of exciting events featuring prominent musicians and visual artists, hosted in
a number of venues including artist studios, Manly Art Gallery & Museum, the Creative Space and Glen Street Theatre.

Since 1994, this community-based arts festival celebrates the achievements, dedication and innovation of the Northern Beaches creative community in the fields of visual, musical, film, literary and the performing arts.

Click here for the flyer  Manly Arts Festival Program 2018 (1)

Badge Results Round-13

Next Saturday is the LAST weekend for all Badge teams except for the Ladies 1.1 team who still have another month to play.

After this weekend the semis will take place. Manly Lawn has at least 4 teams in the semis and, hopefully, another 1 or 2.

Badge Results Round 13

Mens1.1 Won 6-2  Sean and Andrew and Harry and Bosko each won 3 sets to guarantee 2nd place and a home semi final. Well done guys!
Mens 1.3 Washed out.
Mens 1.5 Lost 3-5  Jono and Tim won 2 sets and Scott and Roberto won 1 set.
Mens 2.2 Lost 2-6  Tom and Hugo won 2 sets whilst Denis and Graham could not manage a set.
Mens 2.3 Lost 5-2  Hamish and James and Peter and Carl each won 1 set.
Mens 2.4 Lost 2-6  David and Emerson won 2 sets.
Mens 2.5 Won 7-1   Another great win to leap into 4th position. Bob and Ray won 4 sets again and Raymond and David won 3 sets.
Ladies 1.1 Won 5-1  Yvonne made a return after several weeks off with an injury and led the way with Janelle to win 3 sets and 1 unfinished. Julia and Marina won 2 sets to secure the victory.
Ladies 1.2 Won 5-3   Emily and Sarah won all 4 sets whilst Virginia and Kirsten won 1 set.  This team is now 20 + points on top with one round to play. A magnificent effort ladies. Congratulations.
Ladies 1.3 Won 7-1   Lindy and Erryn won 2 sets and Michelle and Johanna won 1 set and 4 sets were forfeited.

Badge Matches September 1

  • 1200 noon Mens 2.4
  • 1200 noon Mens 2.5
  • 1450 Mens 1.3
  • 1450 Mens 2.3
SOCIAL TENNIS TWO COURTS 1130AM TO 5.30PM.
Players are reminded that social is meant to be fun so please play accordingly and don’t argue over line calls or show disrespect to fellow members.
SWANEE TRIVIA
Last week’s answer was Rod Laver’s first professional match was in Australia and he lost to Lew Hoad.
This weeks trivia : How many Aussies have won Wimbledon Men’s or Ladies singles since 1950 ?

Good luck to all our Badge Teams this Saturday.

CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS

CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS WILL BE HELD OVER THREE WEEKENDS FROM OCTOBER 20 TO NOVEMBER 3.  These will be the Open and graded events. The aged championships will be held in February 2019.

Denis Crowley
Manly Lawn Tennis Club Captain.

Badge Score Board: Round 13

Badge Results Rd 13 Aug-25
Ladies Grade Result Score Position
Manly 1 1.1 Won 5-1 4
Manly 2 1.2 Won 5-3 1
Manly 3 1.3 Won 7-1 5
Mens Grade Result Score Position
Manly 1 1.1 Won 6-2 2
Manly 2 1.3 Draw 0-0 4
Manly 3 1.5 Lost 3-5 7
Manly 4 2.2 Lost 2-6 2
Manly 5 2.3 Lost 3-5 8
Manly 6 2.4 Lost 2-6 6
Manly 7 2.5 Won 7-1 4

Thanks to Ron for compiling the results!

Space Tennis: Yep

NASA news: WATCH incredible moment astronauts play world first TENNIS game in space

THIS is the moment NASA astronaut Andrew “Drew” Feustel did the seemingly impossible and played a game of tennis on the International Space Station (ISS).

https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1006935/NASA-news-ISS-astronauts-play-tennis-space-station-US-Open

He said: “The challenge is that anytime we move quickly or have to plant our feet or do something forceful with our bodies, it’s truly tough because you can see if I let go of my feet I just start floating.

“So if I’m just in the middle of this module here and I try to swing a racket or hit a ball or do something like kick a soccer ball, I’ve got nothing to plant my feet on.

“So I just start floating randomly and then it’s difficult to put force into anything.”

So not a lot of change for most players??