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Me and my racket: Jurgen Melzer

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Originally published on: 13/02/12 11:35

Can you remember the first racket you ever had?
The funny thing is, I think it was a fake Dunlop – and I use Dunlop now! It was a huge frame – a wide frame – and my father gave it to me. I think it was called Antelope, something like that.

Was it a junior racket?
No, when I started I was nine years old and we didn’t really have junior rackets so I started with a regular racket. But I think it’s good that kids start with junior rackets now – it’s good for their wrists, elbows and shoulders.

Which brands have you used through your career?
After the fake Dunlop, I used a real Dunlop, then used Fischer for a few years then changed to HEAD, then Kneissl, and back to Dunlop.

Have you kept any of your old rackets?
I saved the one I won the Wimbledon doubles title with last year [with Philipp Petzschner].

How many rackets would you take into a match with you?
At a Grand Slam I’d take nine on court. Most of the time, four of those will be strung at the same tension, another four at a slightly different tension and one really tight one.

What grip size do you use?
Four-and-a-half. I have a custom-made grip – it’s something in between a four and a five.

How are they customised?
For me I sit down with a company called Priority One and they do my grips so whatever racket I play with the grip is always the same.

What stings do you play with and how tight are your rackets strung?
A string called Isospeed. They’re strung at 30 kilos – pretty tight.

Why might you change your tension?
It depends on weather conditions, balls, surface – I vary from 26 kilos to 30 kilos.

Do you have any racket-based superstitions?
When I get my rackets I always put the overgrip on – I always do that myself. That’s the only thing Priority One doesn’t do.

Do you ever smash rackets?
A few. I smashed one [at the US Open]. It was during my singles. It is how it is – sometimes it has to go! Some soldiers don’t want to fight with us anymore!

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