Babolat conducts inaugural String Academy

March 8, 2012

Boulder, Colorado — Babolat, leading manufacturer of tennis products, hosted nine elite stringers in Boulder, Colorado, on February 29, 2012, for the inaugural Babolat VS String Team Academy. Babolat invited these top stringers to share expertise with their industry peers and to become certified to string on behalf of the Babolat VS String Team at Grand Slam and premier tennis events.

From the invention of tennis strings in 1875 and the debut of VS natural gut in 1927 to the Babolat ATP stringing team in the 1980s and its official stringing partnership with the French Open in 2011, Babolat proudly embraces its tennis string heritage. Led by veteran stringer Lucien Nogues, the inaugural Babolat VS String Team Academy takes the VS String Team to the next level.

“We invited the best of the best to be part of our inaugural class of the Babolat VS String Team Academy,” remarked Mickey Maule, Babolat National Sales Manager. “Our team created this event to have time together to share, learn and explore our collective knowledge of strings and the art of stringing to better service our players and customers.”

To become an official member of the Babolat VS String Team, stringers must have a comprehensive knowledge of string, stringing technique and the impact that the latest stringing technologies have on each specific player’s game.

The inaugural class of the Babolat VS String Team Academy:

Based on their stringing experience and participation in the Babolat VS String Team Academy, Chris Gaudreau and Marc Kessler were selected by Babolat to attend the 2012 French Open as official event stringers representing the U.S.

Gaudreau comes from New Haven, Connecticut, where he has been the owner of Racquet Koop for over 20 years. Among his achievements, he has been named head stringer at the following events: NCAA National Indoors, ATP World Doubles Championships, International Tennis Hall of Fame ATP Championships, WTA New Haven Open and the ATP Pilot Pen Open. In 2011, Gaudreau was selected as one of 16 international stringers at the French Open. “Kudos to Babolat for starting this Academy—it’s such a great opportunity for our industry,” remarked Gaudreau. “Even with the experience I’ve built over the years, there’s always something new to learn from other stringers.”

As co-owner of Sportech and The Tennis Professionals in New York, Kessler brings 25 years of stringing experience to the table. He previously strung with Team Babolat at the US Open from 1993-1996. “Stringing at Grand Slams is a wonderful opportunity to push yourself to your highest potential,” says Kessler. “I’ve received some great tips from the Academy that I’ll take with me to the French Open.”

“Stringing in a tournament like the French Open adds a different level of pressure,” Maule commented. “Chris and Marc both bring a strong technical proficiency and previous experience stringing for Grand Slam tournaments. We’re honored to have these talented stringers represent our brand at the French Open.”


Created in 1875, in Lyon, France, Babolat is the oldest international company specialized in tennis. Babolat is today number 1 in tennis racquet sales in the United States, France, Spain, Italy and Japan. Family-run for five generations, Babolat is an expert and innovative brand in the tennis sector providing complete technical equipment for tennis players: racquets, strings, shoes, bags, apparel, accessories and balls. The brand provides strings and racquets for numerous tennis players including Rafael Nadal, Kim Clijsters, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Li Na and Andy Roddick (who also plays with Babolat shoes). Website: /