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Tec Talk With Denis Kudla

Tec Talk

Kudla© ATPDenis Kudla spends at least $12,000 a year on string.

As part of Tecnifibre's ‘Tec Talk’ series, Denis Kudla discusses stringing with

What tension do you typically string at?
I generally string at 51 both ways, but I’ll adjust the tension depending on surfaces and the weather. If it’s cold, I’ll drop the tension. I usually go 51 to 49. If it’s a little hotter, I’ll stay at 51 or go up to 53. 

And for different surfaces, how do you alter it?
For grass, I’ll drop it a couple pounds, because I feel I need a little something more on the ball to get some pop. For clay, it really depends. If it’s a hot day, you need it tighter, because the ball will fly.

Apart from adjustments for surface and conditions, when was the last time your normal stringing tension and setup changed?  
About a year ago I dropped 10 pounds on my stringing. I used to string at a 60 or 61. I was having some wrist problems so I decreased the tension as I thought it would help. It ended up helping with the power behind my ball, so I like it a lot.

Were you nervous about the results of making such a significant change?
I was a little nervous, but I had a couple of good matches with it. For me, if I can do it once, I can do it again, so my confidence in it was pretty high at the beginning.

Will you have racquets strung freshly for practice?
Not too much. I tend to just go through the racquets unless the string starts dying. Then I’ll restring it. But for the most part, I’ll only get new racquets for my matches.

How many racquets do you string before a match?
If it’s best three out of five sets, I’ll do five. If it’s best two out of three sets, I’ll do three racquets.

How often during a match will you go for a fresh racquet?
I’ll probably change once or twice. It just depends on how long the racquet is playing and how the match is going. If it’s a quicker match, just once. If it’s a longer match, definitely twice and maybe three times.

What’s the worst time in a match where you broke a string?
It would probably be on a break point against a big server. I can’t really remember when, but it’s happened so many times, so I got to stop it. But it hasn’t happened to me recently, so that’s good.

During a match if you break a string, what is your strategy?
I always look at the racquet to see. If it breaks at the top, I know I only have one shot left. If it’s right in the middle, you've got to slice and come in, or just run in. You just have to see where it breaks.

When you break strings, do they normally break in the same place?
Yes. I usually always break it six strings down and five strings to the left. It seems to be the same spot.

Is it one or several strings?
Just one, because of the poly, it’s a little harder.

Have you ever won a point with a broken string?
My record with broke strings is pretty high. I’ve won a lot. The other guy automatically gets really tight, so it’s pretty good.

Can you estimate how much money you spend on stringing each year?
Weekly we’ll spend between three hundred and four hundred dollars. So it’s a lot. At least $12,000 a year.

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