String tension is the pressure that string is pulled at by the machine, most commonly measured using pound or kilos.
What Tension Should I be using?
The best place to start is by checking your own recommended tennis racquet stringing tension (this information is usually found on the racquet’s frame) and then adjusting your tension depending on your needs.
Low or High String Tension, What’s the difference?
Stringing your racquet at a lower tension will give you more power.
At a lower tension the stringbed will be softer, creating a trampoline effect when hitting the ball, resulting in greater power.
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A racquet strung at a higher tension will result in greater control on the ball, this is due to a harder stringbed creating a more stable hitting surface.
It is important to note that large alterations to your string tension aren’t advised, for example if you are looking to get more power there’s no need to drop your tension drastically e.g. 20lbs, lowering your tension by just 2-3 pound, should be enough to produce more power.
Other Considerations When Choosing a Tension
The type of string you use can affect what tension it is recommended you string your racquet.
For example, it is usually recommended that you lower your tension when stringing with a poly string as they tend to be stiffer than a gut or synthetic gut string
Racquets can differ greatly in weight, size and shape. When moving to a new racquet the tension you were previously using may no longer provide the control or power you desire and it may be time to alter your tension.
Arm Pain or Injuries
Players who suffer from regular arm pain or injuries may find some relief in lowering their string tension as the softer stringbed reduces stiffness and can be more forgiving.
If you do suffer regular arm pain, it may also be worth evaluating the type string and racquet you are using.
There is no one perfect tension for everyone, even the professional players tensions vary significantly.
While string tension may seem like a small issue, getting the right tension for your game can have a big impact.
Tennis Pros Strings and Tensions
- Rafael Nadal- Babolat RPM Blast, 55lbs
- Roger Federer- Wilson Natural Gut/Alu Power Rough, 48.5/45lbs
- Kevin Anderson- Alu Power, 49lbs
- Maria Sharapova- Babolat VS/Babolat RPM Blast, 62lbs
- Serena Williams- Wilson Natural Gut/Luxilon 4G, 66lbs
- Venus Williams- Wilson Natural Gut/Luxilon 4G, 66lbs
- Novak Djokovic- Babolat VS/Alu Power Rough, 59/56lbs
- Andy Murray- Alu Power/Babolat VS, 62lbs
- Samantha Stosur- Babolat RPM Blast, 49lbs
- Eugenie Bouchard- Babolat RPM Blast 49lbs
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