Will Devine is a professional racquet stringer based in San Francisco. He’s well known for his speed and proficiency, which led him to a coveted spot as a stringer at the U.S. Open. For the past two years, he’s made the trip to New York to string the racquets of the world’s best players and just last fall, he started stringing for the pros at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.
Will began playing tennis when he was 12 and played in junior tournaments throughout high school. When he’s not working at professional tournaments, Will strings for the Stanford women’s team, as well as for recreational players of all ages and abilities.
1.Tell us about stringing for the pros at the U.S. Open and Indian Wells. What was it like?
Stringing at the U.S. Open and Indian Wells are true tests for a tournament racquet stringer. There’s immense pressure to string a high volume of racquets consistently throughout the tournament. On the first day of the 2021 U.S. Open, our string team set a new tournament record by stringing 651 racquets in one day. The pros expect each one to be perfect. What makes the hard work satisfying is working as a team alongside some of the best stringers from around the world.
2. How did you get selected?
I was selected to string for the 2020 U.S. Open due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 22 member Wilson U.S. Open team included 11 international stringers who were unable to travel to the U.S. due to the travel ban. I was recommended to the team after working the 2019 Mubadala tournament in San Jose. I was invited back to the U.S. Open the following year to complete their rigorous training process to become an official team member.
3. How long does it take you to string a racquet?
It takes me 15-20 minutes on average and 12-15 min for an on-court rush at a tournament.
4. What is your method for being able to string so quickly?
It’s from many years of practice and being efficient with my technique. It’s not how fast you string but how well you string fast.
5. When not stringing racquets, what might we find you doing?
I enjoy frequenting used record shops, going to concerts, Giants games, fishing and playing golf.
Photo by Julien Klein