DOTHAN, AL (WTVY) A good racket is a must-have for any competitive tennis player.
And there’s one person at the Hardee’s Pro Classic that all players rely on for equipment.
From sun up to sun down, Chuck Hakansson is at his workstation in the player's lobby at Westgate Tennis Center making sure every competitor’s tennis racket is up to speed.
Hakansson, is his 60's, has several decades of racket-stringing experience and estimates he's strung about 100,000 tennis rackets in his lifetime. He travels for 6 to 8 weeks at a time to tennis tournaments across the country. Hakansson uses a Babolat stringing machine. He digitally inputs tension settings per each player’s request. For this tournament alone, he’ll re-string about 25 to 30 rackets every day. Forty feet of string is used for each racket, and it only takes him 15 minutes to craft one.
Hakansson says his favorite part of the job is working with the players, and helping them find the best racket style to boost their performance on the court.
“The thing that I most enjoy is somebody coming up and sincerely thanking me for the work," said Hakansson, who works for Racket Sports Services. "I’ve had that a few times – and I’ve had tips before – but that would mean more than any tip that I could ever get.”
Once the Hardee' Pro Classic wraps up, Hakansson's next stop is the SEC Men’s Tennis Championships in Knoxville, Tennessee, which begins next Wednesday.