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Pro tennis racket stringer Randy Gibson’s team to string 350+ rackets for US Clay Court Championship at River Oaks Country Club

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Pro tennis racket stringer Randy Gibson’s team to string 350+ rackets for US Clay Court Championship at River Oaks Country Club


HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — As River Oaks Country Club hosts the Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship, top-ranked players and title winners are on full display. Not nearly as visible, while tucked in a tiny office down a hallway, is someone who has a hand in what’s in the hands of every player in the tournament.


Randy Gibson has been stringing rackets at tennis tournaments for more than two decades – including the last four U.S. Opens. He and his team of two other stringers in the tournament racket services department will do every racket for almost every player during the event – and what an event it is. Because of the courts and the conditions, no other tournament keeps him as busy as this one.

“In Houston, especially because it’s clay court, we’ll always do more than 350 rackets,” Gibson told ABC13. “Clay court has moisture, and the ball gets the moisture and the clay, so the strings wear probably a little more.”

On a board outside the stringers’ office, fans and casual tennis players can learn what type of racket, string, and tension top players use – each the responsibility of Gibson and his team. ABC13 asked about the pressure and tension of having to produce the perfect pressure and tension for the best players in the world.

“For some, it is even more important than you would even think,” Gibson explained. “So at that point, all my job is: it’s not about my thoughts, my opinions – it’s about what they want and just making sure they’re happy.”

But sometimes the players are not happy, and it’s not the racket’s fault. How does it hit Gibson when he sees a player hit his racket in frustration – destroying his work?

“Every once in a while, you say ‘Aww man,'” Gibson, who plays tennis himself, said.

Gibson has a hand in the racket that’s in the hands of every player, and it’s better for just about everyone involved if it stays in their hand.

For more sports news, follow Adam Winkler on Facebook, X and Instagram.





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