When you’re just starting out to play tennis, you may not own a racket yet and you might be debating how many rackets you should actually buy. After all, they can be quite expensive and you don’t want to waste money on a sport you’re not even 100% sure you like yet.
If you have ever paid close attention to a professional tennis match, you may have noticed that tennis players carry several rackets in their tennis bags. They all look the same, but are they? As a tennis fan, there is a certain beauty about tennis players taking out a fresh racket out of their bag, with a new grip, new strings, and most often even inside a plastic bag.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can see an example in the video below. However, in this video, Marcos Baghdatis decides to take a rather different approach with the fresh rackets he takes out of his bag – break them.
Since not every player has severe anger issues like Mr. Baghdatis, why do other tennis players have so many rackets? Players usually carry more than 5 or 6 rackets of the same model, but often with different features. These tennis players may like a different string tension, a different grip, or a different weight balancing in their racket for different moments of the game, so they have one racket of each kind. Another reason why they carry so many rackets is because tennis strings can break after playing for a while, and they cannot continue playing with a broken string.
Below we will get a little more in-depth into the reasons mentioned above, and we will discuss how many rackets YOU should have.
The 5 Reasons Why Tennis Players Have So Many Rackets
#1 – Because The Strings Can Break
While you don’t see professional tennis players breaking their rackets’ strings very often, it does happen a lot. On average, advanced tennis players break strings after only a few hours of playing, due to the power and spin they generate in every shot. After a string breaks, the racket is compromised and it becomes very difficult to continue playing the point. The reason why that happens is that the string loses its tension, which results in significantly less control for the player.
So the reason why we don’t see players breaking strings during matches is that they prepare well and have multiple rackets in their bags. When they feel a string may be getting close to its breaking point, they switch to a new one. After all, they don’t want the strings to break during a very important point, costing them the match.
How Long Do Tennis Strings Usually Last?
As mentioned before, tennis strings usually only last a few hours of playing for professional players. However, for beginners, the same strings can last weeks and maybe even months. It all depends on how often you practice, how much spin you add to shots, and the type of string you have. If you only play once or twice a week, you can expect for your strings to last at least a couple months.
#2 – Because They Use Different String Tensions
Another reason why players have multiple rackets is that they may use different string tensions throughout the match. Looser strings will give a player more power, while tighter strings give a player more control. So players may choose to have their rackets strung with different tensions according to their strategy.
If you start paying attention, you will start noticing it quite frequently that players go to their bags and take out a new racket before they are about to start returning serves in an important game. They do that because their “older and looser” racket gave them a lot of power for serving, while the “tighter” racket will give them more control – usually improving their serve returns.
#3 – Because They May Want A Fresh Grip
The third reason why a player may have more than one racket is because they need a fresh overgrip. After playing for a few hours, an overgrip may become either worn out or wet (from sweat). Needless to say, a player needs to have a good grip to hit the ball well. So by carrying multiple rackets in their bags, the player can switch out rackets after a grip gets too old or wet.
#4 – Because They Might Have Different Weights
Something you may not know as well is that professional tennis players get their rackets perfectly balanced according to what they like best. Adding more weight to the head of the racket will give a completely different feeling than adding weight to the grip of the racket. This is usually done straight out of the factory or by professionals who work with this on a daily basis and can perfectly replicate what a player is looking for. Similarly to having different string tensions for different match situations, a player may want to have different weight balances for different moments.
#5 – Because They Might Want To Break One
Lastly, players may want to carry additional rackets in their bags so they can… well, break them. Sometimes these players have bad days, and breaking a racket may alleviate some tension. While not recommended, some players do that quite often. At the end of the day, they are all sponsored by tennis racket manufacturers and receive several rackets throughout the year.
If you’re into this kind of stuff, here are some of the best tennis racket smashes ever:
How Many Rackets Should YOU Have?
Finally we come down to figuring out how many rackets you should have. This will depend greatly on how often and at what level you play. If you have just started out playing, having just one racket is completely fine. It will take you a few months to break its strings, and you can just drop it off with a stringer after it breaks.
If you play at least 3 times a week and you add a good amount of spin to your shots, we suggest that you own a minimum of 2 rackets. This will make sure that, if you break strings, you will have a backup racket to use while your first one is being strung.
Lastly, if you usually play every day of the week, you should have at least 3 rackets. This will make sure that even if one of your rackets accidentally breaks and another one’s strings break, you will still be able to continue playing.