Cork Tennis Blog

Welcome to the Cork Tennis Blog.

This blog will, hopefully, keep you up to date on the tennis scene in Cork, both socially and competitively. Whether you are new to the game or an experienced player I hope you find the information and posts here, useful and interesting.

You can contact me by email at

As well as local tennis news, there are also some very good articles written by local players and I am always looking for people to contribute to the blog, so don't be shy.

Please also feel free to comment on individual posts, or alternatively through the comment box on the right of the blog. I hope you enjoy reading through the blog and that it was of some use to you.

Enjoy your game, Rob

Rob's Racketrestringing

Friday, November 24, 2017

How to Prepare for Winter League - Conor Twomey

Here is the second article from our Resident Tennis Coach.

Having spent a long time working in a sports shop and trying to convince people of the importance of the right gear/equipment, I think this is a very important article for all players to read.

As we are now in winter league season, here are 5 simple tips to improve your game.

1. Your bag and more importantly what's in it!
Change of gear
Spare grips
Spare racket
Spare shock absorber
Wine gums / Jaffa cakes / banana
Water (minimum 2 litres)
Spare socks
Anti - inflammatory
Gel/ tablets
This should cover every eventuality on court. FAIL TO PREPARE, prepare to fail.

2. Your footwear.
The amount of times I see people with the incorrect footwear is frightening. Personally, for stability and durability I've always liked Babolat footwear. Wilson is my favourite for comfort. I recommend every player wear proper tennis shoes as grip, comfort and ankle stability are so important.

3. Clothing.
Clothing has come so far today that the days of cotton shirts and shorts are well gone.  I strongly recommend some form of material with cooling features, Climacool, in summer and a good baselayer in winter.
I recommend the Under Armour Baselayer range (Cold Gear) as it's very high quality and light but it is expensive.
Make sure you check that it's Cold Gear and not clima cool .

4. Hydration.
If you only drink when your thirsty it TOO LATE. Little and often is the best advise. Drink on every changeover and make it habitual. I've seen ties go on over 4 hours and that's a long time so keep hydrated. Dehydration has a dramatic effect on performance. Considering most matches are on Sundays and people have a glass of wine or 6 on a Saturday ...... hydration is important.

5. Finally and most importantly...... turn up on time and hopefully, at the right venue. I have seen teams turn up at different venues at the same time and people get the times wrong. Nothing worse for your performance than turning up late and stressed. Arrive early, chill out and look forward to the match ahead.
Of course there will be people out there who remember playing Winter league against me and they are saying.... I had no bag and dodgy runners and wearing a soccer shirt and army shorts and ham sandwiches for energy.
I wish someone had given me this advise.


Why Hybrid Stringing should be considered!

 Hybrid Stringing

Primal Hybrid Set.jpeg
Hybrid Stringing has been around a long time now and some brands, going back 20 or more years, even packaged two different strings in a set.  This is happening much more these days, with the likes of Head taking it a stage further with their new Primal string set up also been available on a mixed reel.
A hybrid string setup can be made up a number of different ways:
  • The most common of these is mixing two different materials, where the most popular on the professional tour is Polyester and Natural Gut.  Club players would generally mix Polyester and Multifilament, as this is a cheaper option to the expensive natural gut.
  • It can also be a mixture of any two strings, such as Poly and Nylon or Nylon and Multifilament.  Even mixing two polyester strings, where one is smooth and one textured for spin.
  • Mixing two different gauges (thicknesses) of a string is also classed as a hybrid set up.
So you can see Hybrid stringing can be made up a variety of different ways.
For now, let's deal with the most common ones, the Polyester/Gut combination or the Polyester/Multifilament combination.

You will find some Coaches, Players, and Stringers who are not fans of a Hybrid Setup and feel polyester is the only way to go.  They are entitled to that opinion, but if you are a Coach or a Stringer you have a responsibility to your player to explain all the options available to them.
Hybrid stringing has been referred to as 'The Best of Both Worlds'.  You get control from the Polyester string and power and comfort from the Gut or Multifilament.

Your choice of string placement also has a big influence on how the racket will play.  By putting the polyester in the main strings the emphasis is on control, as the main strings dictate the feel of the stringbed.
Alternatively, like Federer, by putting the Gut in the mains you increase the power level and comfort you feel.

There are many different reasons why Hybrid Stringing should be considered. 
For me, I use a hybrid setup because of the climate I currently live in.  I find it is a compromise of not been a big fan of the firm feel of a full poly bed, but understanding the need for control in the very hot conditions I play in.

I recommend hybrid stringing to players who are currently using polyester strings as a full bed but shouldn't be.  I say this because they do not have enough power in their strokes to compensate for the loss of power that comes from polyester.  Or they are using lightweight rackets that are stiff and with the addition of polyester strings, they increase the risk of injury through shock and vibration.

I find this is either a way to transition them to a full bed of Multifilament or Nylon or worst case a way to help them add some needed power to their game while still servicing their desire to play with polyester.

I also recommend a hybrid setup to developing juniors (those old enough to consider poly), as a way to add control to their games without jumping straight to polyester.

The downside to hybrid stringing is, generally, the softer string breaks off the firmer string.  Although, unless it breaks in the first few games, I don't consider it a big problem to those who are serious about their games.  These players should already know that for their rackets to perform at their best, regular stringing is required.

Due to the high number of injuries to some of the Top professional players this year, the stats have changed slightly, but for most of the last couple of years, a good majority of the Top male players were using hybrid setup (Murray, Djokovic, Federer, Thiem, Nishkori, Tsonga, Cilic).

For this reason alone, it makes sense to consider a Hybrid setup or at very least do a bit more research into it!