Exclusive: Roland Garros. Diary of an on-site master stringer.
Chris Gaudreau* (front row, third from left) was an integral part of team Babolat charged with stringing tennis racquets at the 2011 Paris Open at Roland Garros. Over the course of 14 days and 3,000+ racquets, Gaudreau kept a running diary. Here’s a sneak peek at just a very few of Gaudreau’s many behind-the-stringing-scenes reveals:
“Nadal had a 5 setter today. Babolat and the Spanish stringers were freaking out…I was the only American so I kept my mouth shut. Nadal had 3 rackets run in and the press followed. Xavie strung 2 rackets in 15 minutes…the fastest I have ever seen…”
“3 rackets were given to me for Kirilenko. It was 11:25 and they were due by 12…”
“When a player is on court and needs a racket strung a special phone rings and giant light goes off…kind of like the “bat phone” but brighter. Gasquet ran a racket in during the match but it didn’t help…”
Fun, eye-opening reading. HERE”S THE FULL TRANSCRIPT. A slice of tennis life I knew very little about.
*Chris Gaudreau is a Master Racquet Technician (MRT), USRSA certified racquet stringer and USPTA certified teaching pro. He owns and operates Racket Koop in New Haven, CT (close to the Yale Bowl). He has worked with and strung for some of the the world’s top-level tennis players at many world class tennis events. Roland Garros was his first Grand Slam event.