Broken Strings!

It has happened to all of us … playing a big point, you hear that sound of your strings breaking.  What do you do?  Most players almost concede the point; but you don’t need to.

“Pop Goes the Weasel”

Probably the first good suggestion is to be aware of the status of your string bed … and if you see them fraying, put that racquet back in your bag and play with another.

But if you do get surprised on the court during a point, it is not over.  Sure, your racquet will lose tension; but it is still very playable.  The pros all suggest that you should “get to the net” and hit volleys instead of groundstrokes.  But controlled groundstrokes are still very possible.

And, From the Other Side?

What if you are the opponent and you hear your opponent’s strings pop… what should you do?  It seems to me that you want to make your opponent continue to play … don’t go for a winner yourself; but get the ball back in play.  And if they try to come to the net, lob them and get them to hit an overhead and/or move back to the baseline.

What do YOU think… you break a string or your opponent does, what do you do?

Larry Turville Memorial

Tennis lost a great player and pioneer to the game on October 10, 2020.

Larry’s home tennis club, The St. Petersburg Country Club in Florida, is planning to honor his memory with a celebration of his life and unveiling of a bronze plaque with Larry’s likeness and accomplishments. The newly named NSMTA Larry Turville Memorial Super Senior Doubles Championship is planned to take place from January 6-10, 2021, in Naples, FL.

If anyone would like to contribute to cover the cost of the plaque and celebration of life, a special bank account has been established by long-time family friend of the Turville’s, Gary Pederson. 

There is a Wells Fargo account you can donate to the Tribute to Turville Memorial Account. Any donor may simply go to any Wells Fargo Bank branch and make a deposit to account #8713177130. You may also send a check made out to “Tribute to Turville Memorial Account” and mail to:

Gary Pederson 
P.O. Box 2623
Avila Beach, CA 93424

Know someone who should read this?  Send them a link and if you are not on my “new posting alert email list” and want to be (I promise, no other uses of your email address!), just drop me a note at GeorgeWachtel@gmail.com

My Book: if you’d like to get a copy of “Senior Tennis”, just click on the link on the upper right of this web page to go to Amazon.com, look at the list of places under “My Book” on the bar above, or ask me what clubs are carrying it!

9 thoughts on “Broken Strings!

  1. George…I must be missing something. After Officiating all levels of tennis for nearly 15 years I have never seen a player concede a point because of a broken string.

    Stay safe brother.

    Joe, maybe not “concede,” but just “give up.” thanks, george

  2. I’m most comfortable using a combination of funky side spin and underspin. It actually works better with broken strings!! I’m not a fan of rushing net to volley. I think a volley , though easier to control than a groundstroke, is still tough to control and a smart opponent would lob.

    Steve, there may be some actual logic to using side spin with broken strings! thanks, george

  3. It’s one thing to break the strings as a result of heavy play, over a few weeks or months, but when the strings break just a few days after being restrung, you end up being pissed off at your stringer while you are on the court in a big point! lol

    Jim, or the string manufacturer. thanks, george

  4. When your opponent breaks a string , same as opponent shows sign of injury, fatigue or mental walk about – first do no harm – play your highest percentage keep the ball in play and out of opponents wheelhouse for winner shots.
    Using string savers could keep your match play string breaks down – most tennis players never even consider string savers as they are not commonly used. There is no incentive for stringers to add that service as it takes longer to install them than to string the racquet. Also, the extended string life reduces frequency of restringing which of course lowers revenue. There is excellent information on plusses and minuses of string savers by doing a web search on tennis string savers. Learning to install string savers is not difficult. There are really only two readily available string saver options, both easy to install; one more economical and the other supposedly slightly better quality. I use the more economical and my gut strings life is often extended over a year with minimal tension loss.

    Winder, i used to use them; and actually thought they also added more top spin to my forehand. Now, i use Gamma Glide strings in the crosses, which has a coating to help strings slide back in place and resist wear. thanks, george

  5. 🙂 Guess my shots *sound* like they’re coming from a racquet with broken strings, eh?

    Like Winder, I’m fond of the string savers. Elasto Cross. But, noticed that they always break in about the same place, so I only stick em in about six mains and maybe 8 cross strings – up high in the center. They seem to only break on overheads. Guess that’s the only shot I’ve ever tried to hit kinda hard. 🙂 Oh, and my 200 meter reel of 15 gauge nylon goes for something like 20 bucks. I seem to be able to get some spin out of it, though. 🙂

  6. George, I agree that you should always be aware of the condition of your strings. If you see fraying or notching, it may be time for new strings. If it happens during play, just get the ball back, playing the best shot options open to you. Hopefully, luck is on your side to win the point. I agree with Winder that string savers help prolong the life of your strings. Since I use 17 gauge gut, I’m a firm believer in them to prevent friction (caused by spin). After breaking a string, I later remove the remaining strings so the uneven tension does not pull on the frame which could cause damage. Other things to inspect are grommets that look worn or jagged that may cut into the strings. It’s always a good idea to have extra grommet strips for replacement when needed. Periodically, a visual inspection of the racquet frame for cracks will help buy a little more time for your favorite stick.

    Glenn, some great suggestions! Thanks. George

  7. This subject will cause me to not only celebrate on the rare occasion I break a string but also look at which string broke and where. I have more tension on the longs. Another good subject for us is type racket and tensions.

    Dick, good idea. thanks, george

  8. Pretty rare for either me or my wife to break a string. We were rallying together over the weekend when I heard the telltale sound of my strings breaking. Started walking to the net and suddenly heard the sound, *again*! My wife’s strings had popped on the very next stroke. Not sure I would believe such a story. . .

    Kevin, without being too gruesome, it is like some of those end of life stories! george

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