Why Do Tennis Players Have So Many Racquets?

Tennis players are very particular about their racquets. Anyone who takes the game seriously will make sure that they have not only a racquet frame that fits their game, but strings and string tension that works for them as well.

What surprises a lot of people who don’t play tennis that much is the number of duplicate racquets players carry as well. Professionals will enter every match with several in their bag, ready to go whenever they are called upon. Is this overkill, or is there a specific reason?

Why do tennis players have so many racquets? Tennis players have many racquets because a string can break at any time. It’s recommended to always have at least two racquets that are strung and ready to go before each match. Many pro players will also carry additional racquets to make adjustments based on playing conditions and other factors.

Breaking Strings

Every tennis player goes through that moment where strings break. Maybe they have been used for months, and they were due to break at any time. There are other instances where one bad shot can cause an unfortunate break. Whatever the case is, that first time a person is stuck without a backup is when they realize why multiple racquets are pretty much necessary in the sport.

Most people have their favorite racquet that they use the majority of the time, but the more serious people take the sport, the more racquets that should be purchased.

Most players find a frame and string set up they like, and then get multiple of the same thing. This cuts out the adjustment when switching them in and out. If the racquets are not close to the same, it could take a few points, or even games, to fully adjust.

Casual and recreational players don’t have the luxury of using an on-demand stringing service like what is offered at Grand Slams, ATP, and WTA events. Professionals can get a new racquet strong in less than 30 minutes, but it could take a couple of days for most players to go to a local shop, have it done and pick it up. Instead of putting tennis on pause, backup racquets come into play.

Think of two tennis racquets as the bare minimum, and three as ideal. With three racquets, it’s almost always going to leave a person with two usable racquets at any time. It gets costly purchasing three of the same racquet, but those who play frequently don’t want to cancel matches because they don’t have racquets to play with.

Making Slight Adjustments

Casual players won’t be able to tell the difference between a racquet strung at 55 pounds, and another strung at 57 pounds. However, the best of the best can feel any slight imperfection with their racquet. That is why most players get every single racquet weighed, measured, and customized so they match up. What happens if a professional player wants a slightly different feel based on weather conditions, altitude, and other unique situations?

If a player feels like they need to make an adjustment, they will switch to a different racquet that might be slightly different. For example, if a player feels like they are having trouble keeping the ball in, they might switch out their racquet for something that is strung a little tighter. This minor adjustment can be the difference in a match, which is why professional players come equipped with so many different options.

Professional players rarely switch between different racquet models. At most, they might add or remove lead tape depending on playing conditions. Even that is rare, since most adjustments are so minor. Most of that can be achieved just with the string tension adjustments.

Losing String Tension

In best-of-five tennis matches at grand slams, two players can be battling for hours and hours. After hitting so many tennis balls, strings will inevitably start to lose tension. If the same racquet with polyester strings was used for five hours of match play, the tension would be nowhere near what it was in the beginning.

More players than ever are using polyester strings, and they love a lot of qualities they bring to the table. The string loses tension very quickly though, so it’s common for players to switch out their racquets fairly frequently. Most of the time, they base it on when new balls are put into play. At the professional level, balls are switched out every nine games. It’s all about trying to find consistency when striking every ball.

Casual players will mostly just learn to play with strings that slowly lose tension. Very few people cut the strings out before they break on their own. It becomes very costly to go that route, and a player’s game is not affected enough to make it worth it.


During the summer months, it’s very common to see tennis players struggle with their grip. Even with overgrips, tacky solutions, and more, there comes a point in time where the sweat is just too much. This is another reason why people will switch out racquets during a match.

When a new racquet is used, the previous one can start to dry out on the grip. If a player keeps up a decent rotation, they really have nothing to worry about with grip concerns. A sweaty grip can really harm a player’s game, especially on the serve. Having just one extra racquet can be very beneficial to those who sweat quite a bit.

The Importance Of Multiple Racquets

Buying multiple racquets is something that not many people enjoy doing, but it’s a necessity if tennis is taken seriously. Even at the recreational level, a person with just one racquet can have their entire day ruined if a string breaks. Not only that, but the opponent is left frustrated as well that they no longer have someone to go up against.

The good news is that there are a lot of retailers that will offer slight discounts to people who purchase two or more racquets at a time. It might not be that much in savings, but it is something to consider once a person finds the racquet they truly enjoy.

Ideally, every player should work their way towards getting three racquets if possible. This is one way to ensure that there will never be any missed playing time, and each racquet should last a long time as well.

As for pro players, carrying a lot of racquets onto the courts for each match is a trend that will continue. Players are making more money than ever, and they are looking for any edge possible. If that means switching out a racquet every few games, that’s what players will do.

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