Meet the Team: Shinji Nakamura

Japanese stringer Shinji Nakamura is the owner of the Japanese tennis shop “Tennis Pit” in Kyoto. He strings at the Toray Pan Pacific Open and Rakuten Japan Open every year, charming fellow team members and players alike with his positive and friendly personality.

How did you become a stringer?

I had always loved tennis going way back. Because I liked sports, I ended up working at a sports shop. They had a stringing machine there, so I thought I’d try my hand at it.

How did you learn your skills?

I started with self-study—just trying to string on my own. But when there something I just couldn’t understand, I had to ask someone. To this end, I joined the Japan Racquet Stringers Association, and many of the members there were very kind to teach me new stringing skills. I also talked to other people who worked at shops, and they would teach me new things as well.

What do you focus on the most when stringing?

If a player has certain requests, I just do my best to string the racquet to those requests each time. You could say that I am very much focused on consistency. I do my best to fully understand the special points of each type of racquet or each type of string to help me maintain consistency. To be honest, the nature of the work is based heavily on instinct, so it’s difficult to explain specifics (laughs).

What do you think of the team this year?

Everyone on the team has a lot of experience stringing at many tournaments, so you can really count on them to do well. They’re all very friendly as well, and everyone’s just fun to be with.

Do you have any advice to those who want to become a stinger?

Stringers should probably string multiple racquets for a player prior to a match, like four or five. What is important is to make sure each racquet has exactly the same tension, so that even if the strings breaking during the match, players can use a new racquet with no big differences in feeling.