Eaton man strung Federer’s racquet in Wimbledon final
Millions of people will be watching Nadal and Federer battle it out at Wimbledon this year but one Norwich man has made sure their racquets have been in tip-top condition.
Liam Nolan of Amderley Drive, Eaton, has strung racquets for the top 50 tennis players in the world.
Mr Nolan teaches stringing courses at the East Anglia Tennis and Squash Club in Limetree Road and runs the UK Racket Stringers Association.
He said: 'I run professional stringing courses in the UK. It is amazing – I get guys coming in from all over the world such as Malaysia and the States.
'We have a lot of people coming in when Wimbledon is on. People want to know how they can string their racquets, what type of string to use and how best to care for them.'
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Mr Nolan has met some famous faces during his extensive career, although he no longer works at Wimbledon.
'On Swiss TV Roger Federer was asked why he had chosen me as his stringer. I was hoping he would say something glamorous, but he replied that he wanted me as his stringer because I did everything exactly the same each time and he wanted precision above all else – so I was his human robot!
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'When Federer played against Sampras in the semis in 2001, Federer sent his racquet down to the stringing cabin for a rush job, I did it in 13m 30 secs and he beat Sampras with that racquet.'
He also recalls the time Anna Kournikova made him a cup of tea.
'During Wimbledon I offered Mrs Kournikova some tea one morning and she agreed but told her daughter Anna to make the tea for us both. Anna was not amused.'
Mr Nolan's stringing career started in 1985 when he went on a course to learn how to string.
'I was the head of PE and under-14s squash coach at the young offenders' institute in Suffolk. I convinced them to send me on the course and I spent four and a half days in Kent learning how to string. I joined the Wimbledon team in 1995 and became the head stringer in 2001.
'My job in the prison service took me up to Norwich and I retired in 2004 and am writing a book about it called 27 years.'
Do you have an unusual job? Contact reporter Lucy Wright on 01603 772495 or email firstname.lastname@example.org