What is a tennis player without his or her racket?
The professionals competing in Delray Beach this week will never have to find out thanks to the official stringers of the Delray Beach Open.
"If they don't have the confidence to go out and play, it's going to be pretty tough for them to have a career," said Jay Lewandowski, an officer stringer who's been in the industry for 15 years.
Located next to the stadium court, tennis players hand their rackets off to Lewandowski and his crew: from one professional to another.
"Some of the guys in the tournament we've been stringing for 15 years and sometimes longer," Lewandowski said. "We've seen them in the junior events since they were 12, 13, 14 years old."
Rackets take about 20 minutes altogether to breakdown and restring. Stringers are truly the essential workers of tennis tournaments around the country.
"You can't actually have a tournament without them," said Aziz Dougas, an FSU graduate and ATP Tour tennis player. "If someone is missing then the event can't happen."
"They need their strings and their rackets and we're able to be here," Lewandowski said. "We're blessed to be here during this time and be able to have a tournament during this pandemic."
The official stringers are welcoming anyone with tickets to the Delray Beach Open to bring their own personal racket to be worked on during the event.