Mon-Fri, 9:30am-6:30pm; Sat, 10am-4pm; Sun, closed
7 at Fifth Ave.; B, D, F, M at 42nd St.-Bryant Park
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
Grand Central Racquet's Madison Avenue shop is so crammed with tennis, racquetball, and squash merchandise that even the staffers occasionally bring down a cascade of catgut. This garage-sale feel, however, is actually part of the allure. Despite its size, Grand Central claims to have the best selection of racquets of any pro shop in the city as well as a full array of accessories like vibration-dampeners and grips from brands like Head, Dunlop, and Prince. The store is just as renowned for its stringing service: A racquet can be custom-strung in under half an hour, and the store offers a same day guarantee for drop-offs. (One devoted ex-local even mails her racquets up from Florida, insisting that a better tune-up can't be found.) Those who suffer from claustrophobia can swing by the satellite kiosk in Grand Central Terminal, which limits itself to stringing and carries just a small selection of racquets. And if it's a matter of making that 6:15 train back to the 'burbs, customers who give advance notice can drop off their racquet at one location and pick it up at the other.