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Serving the SCV

New business: First Serve Tennis Shop is dedicated to sales and re-stringing

Posted: September 24, 2010 9:23 p.m.
Updated: September 25, 2010 4:55 a.m.

First Serve Tennis Shop owner Francis Dimaya strings a racket at his store Friday afternoon. Dimaya is having a grand opening today, where he’s planning on having a raffle for box seats at a tournament next year at Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

A new store in town catering entirely to Santa Clarita Valley tennis aficionados celebrates its grand opening today.

“As a lifelong tennis player, I understand the importance of quality service when it comes to handling all tennis needs — from the racquet down to the wristband,” said owner Francis Dimaya, 32.

First Serve Tennis Shop carries brand-name rackets and accessories. The store also offers a service some tennis players may find invaluable.

“I can string a racket with a one-day turn around service,” Dimaya said. “I learned the art 16 years ago, and I’m quick.”

First Serve Tennis Shop is the first brick-and-mortar store in Santa Clarita dedicated exclusively to tennis rackets and stringing, said Dimaya. He said each racket requires different kinds of strings and tension, and that people often have a favorite racket they want to preserve and continue using.

Dimaya said he picked up his first racquet at age 12 and soon found himself involved in every aspect of the game. Not only has he been stringing rackets for years, Dimaya became the 1995 Foothill League champion when he played varsity singles tennis for Burbank High School.

Jeff Tully, sports editor of the Burbank Leader, said Dimaya, who was the team’s No. 2 singles player that year, upset teammate Rafi Hovanessian, 6-2, 6-2, to win the competition at California State University, Northridge.

First Serve Tennis Shop sells all major tennis racket and tennis-gear brands, said Dimaya.

The store sells shoes, apparel, bags and jewelry. He said he also gives tennis-racket buyers a free bag for the racket.

“My racket prices are competitive,” Dimaya said.

Dimaya said he sells a Babolat AeroPro Drive racket for an average retail price of $175. An online search of various tennis racket retailers found prices for this particular racket ranged between $175 and $189.

Selecting a racket is somewhat of a science for an experienced player. Players consider many factors including:
Head size: Influences the power in a stroke.

Length: Affects reach on ground strokes and adds leverage on serves.

Weight and balance: Many claim a heavy racquet is more powerful, a lighter racquet is more maneuverable.
Frame stiffness: Amount a frame deflects during ball contact, directly affects its power.

String-pattern density: influences many aspects of a racket’s overall performance and feel.

Grip and handle systems: Incorporates shock and vibration to improve comfort.

The local store is Dimaya’s second retail location. His first store is located in Burbank.

The grand opening from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today will feature a tennis racket giveaway and a raffle for box seats at a tournament next year at the famed Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

There will be food and refreshments available, Dimaya said.

First Serve Tennis Store is located at 27674 Newhall Ranch Road, Unit D40 and can be reached at (661) 775-7730. Closed Mondays, the store opens 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday.


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