If you ever wondered what string type Roger Federer uses in his racquet, wonder no more. Following a win last night over Sam Groth in the US Open second round, Federer explained his stringing preference of gut in the main, synthetic in the crosses.
“Coming up on tour I played with all gut until 2002,” Federer said. “And then I switched from the 85 to the 90 square inch racquet in 2002 before Rome. Then I think I won Hamburg with it, with the half and half (gut and Luxilon). Ever since I play with the same combination. I’ve never switched Luxilon or gut in the main or the crosses. I’ve always kept it the same way. I do believe it’s revolutionized the game to some degree. You can play with more topspin. With the same swing you could not find angles that we find in today’s game.
“I’ve had to adjust over the years to this new play. It’s had a big impact on the game, no doubt.”
Four years ago in Toronto, Federer talked about the evolution of his string choice.
“I felt like I was one of the first guy who really used a lot of topspin,” Federer said in 2010. “That’s why I had to move from Pete’s racquet to a bigger-sized head racquet back in 2002. And they also then started changing the string back in 2002 with the switch of the head size, because I was just shanking the balls too much, especially on windy days, and because I was brushing the ball that much. And I think it’s definitely helped me.
“Agassi and I think Guga were some of the guys who started moving away from sort of the all gut early on, and I followed and then I became No. 1 in the world, and obviously many other players started using stuff like that, too, because, you know, you see what’s going on in the locker room. And I think I was definitely one of the first with some obviously other guys to change the string and stuff.
“But now you see much more guys with extreme grips, you know, and I think the string has definitely helped those guys, because that before wasn’t possible to come through a shot that was low and hardly hit. You couldn’t hit it with an all-gut, you know, racquet, get a short angle, almost. You know, that was almost impossible, especially with the wooden racquet. Obviously there was no chance.”
Federer has since switched to a larger racquet which has required a tension adjustment. And at Indian Wells this year he said he strings his new, larger racquet at around 55 pounds (25 kilos).
“22 kilos before, now I’m up to like 25, 26,” Federer said in March.
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