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Feliciano Lopez: Me and my racket


 

Originally published on: 26/09/12 00:00

How long have you played with a Wilson racket?
Probably for seven or eight years now. I played with Wilson for almost my entire life since I was young but then I moved to Babolat when I was about 20. I was with them for three or four years and then I went back to Wilson. The first rackets they gave me were totally different and it took a few months to make it more similar to what I was used to. The first time I got the Wilson Juice 100 BLX – it was a special feeling. I hit two balls in practice in Barcelona and I knew then that this was going to be my racket.

What is it that you like about the racket?
It’s a very powerful racket, but with good control. When you hit the ball in the middle, as obviously with all rackets, you have a good feeling but when you hit outside the middle on the edge of the strings, this racket is still really powerful and really helpful for your game.

How many rackets do you travel with?
Normally six. If I play in the Grand Slams I bring eight.

Do you take the same number of rackets on court?
If I play best-of-five [sets], I always string six or seven rackets because I change the rackets every ball change. If I play best of three I normally have four rackets strung in my bag.

How often do you get new frames?
I change normally three or four times a year – Australia, then Wimbledon then US Open or maybe the indoor season.

Have you ever lost a racket?
So many times! I can tell you so many examples. I lose so many things during the day – rackets, phones, wallets. I left a few tournaments having left one or two rackets at the stringing service. I’m forgetful. My father is the same so it’s probably genetics!

What grip size do you use?
Three – I think!

What strings and tensions do you use?
I use Luxilon ALUPower at between 20 and 25kg, depending on the conditions. I was playing tight two or three years ago but now seeing as the balls are heavier and the court stays low I play a little bit looser.

Do you use a vibration dampener?
I play with one. I can play without it but I’ve been playing with one for many years so it’s like a habit.

Are you a racket smasher?
Not really, only sometimes in practice.I don’t remember the last time I smashed a racket during a match. I respect the equipment and the rules of the game – I think you have to behave on the court.

Any superstitions?
No. I’m not very superstitious.

Do you remember your first racket?
It was a wooden Dunlop racket when I was five years old. I played with it for probably one or two years. Rackets were changing a lot and wooden rackets disappeared soon after. It was difficult to play with a wooden racket!

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