Nadal and Federer request input from Norwich tennis racquet stringer for Rome Masters
A top tennis racquet stringer from Norwich will be flown out to Italy next month to train a team of stringers ahead of a major tournament.
Liam Nolan, technical director of the UK Racket Stringers Association, will be flying out to Milan on January 2 to begin a five day rigorous training programme for 30 Italian tournament stringers.
By day five, he will select seven of the best and these will ultimately form the core team of stringers for the Rome Masters in May, stringing racquets for the likes of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
It is believed when the tournament organisers asked the top players such as Nadal and Federer how they could improve the stringing service and bring them back to Rome in 2012, they put in a request for Mr Nolan to train the stringing team.
Mr Nolan, who lives in Amderley Drive, Eaton, and has strung racquets for the top 50 tennis players in the world, said: 'It's nice when the players ask for you to come back and sort out a few issues.
'The clay courts put enormous stress on the strings and the racquet stringing has to be first class.
'To be a top tournament stringer, you need to get things perfect every time and be able to work hard and fast within a team, sometimes from 7am to midnight.
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'By the end of the Rome Masters we can expect to have got around 600 rackets through to the players and if even one of that 600 is not 100 per cent perfect, then my mission has failed.'
He said most of the string used will be made of stiff polyester. 'My fastest re-string was for Roger Federer when he played Pete Sampras at Wimbledon many years ago,' said Mr Nolan, who teaches stringing courses at the East Anglia Tennis and Squash Club in Limetree Road in Norwich. 'Every player has his favourite racket and I managed to get his racket back on court in 13 minutes and he won that match.'