As Wimbledon becomes a distant memory and we move on to the Olympics, my thoughts turn to tennis, and inspired by Andy Murray’s success I have decided to return to the tennis court!
Having suffered intermittently with tennis elbow, it’s time to invest in new equipment!
My tennis elbow was caused by a combination of poor technique and an old racquet, and was successfully treated with a combination of physiotherapy and acupuncture. Having worked to re-strengthen the forearm muscles, I now need to choose a new racquet – but where to start?
Generally speaking, you should avoid any racquet, or string setup, that transfers a lot of shock to your arm.
Grip: Size is important, and is best measured using a ruler with your hand open and fingers extended close together. Align the ruler with the bottom lateral crease of your palm and measure to the tip of your ring finger. The length should fall somewhere between 4 and 4-5/8 inches.
Weight: Use a frame that is at the heavy end of the spectrum. The momentum created at ball impact with the heavier frame will reduce the shock, as long as the weight doesn’t alter the stroke and you end up hitting the ball late.
Strings: Avoid a very stiff string bed and go for a more forgiving one that transmits less shock to the arm. Natural gut or multifilament synthetic strings are thought to be the easiest on your arm. Buy the softest string you can find or consider lowering the tension on a high tension racquet.
Balance: The more head light the better and middle sized is best. An oversized head tends to cause more off -centre hits, which in turn causes more shock to the arm.
Racquet length: A standard 27” length is best. Longer racquets are more difficult to manoeuvre and are made lighter, therefore sending more shock to your arm.
Racquet stiffness: A more flexible frame is better and absorbs shock on impact. You should look for a stiffness measurement of 64 or less.
So now, armed with all this information I am off to purchase a new tennis racquet! I can only hope that with my new equipment, I will be able to play a little more like Serena Williams!!!
May I take this opportunity to wish all our athletes every success in the Rio Olympics.