Roger Federer’s Nine Racquets | The New Yorker →

August 31, 2014 |

Nice piece by Michael Steinberger on Priority 1 (P1), the company formed by Nate Ferguson and Ron Yu, who have been stringing racquets for professional tennis players for decades:

Federer hired the duo on a trial basis at the Italian Open in May, 2004. Two months later, Federer successfully defended his Wimbledon title. A few hours after the match, Ferguson and Yu heard a knock on the door of their rented house. Federer, dressed in a tuxedo for the Champions Ball, had stopped by to let them know that he was hiring them full-time.

Great anecdote. I also agree with their view on the evolution of tennis as a sport:

They said that the polyester strings, which can generate tremendous topspin, have made tennis less interesting. “It has changed; nobody comes to the net anymore,” Ferguson said. Yu nodded in agreement. “It has become a fitness sport, not a shot-making sport,” he said.

This is one of the clearest examples in the sporting world of how technological advancements can actually make the game less interesting to watch.