Many players spend a lot of money on a top-quality racket, whilst giving almost no consideration to their choice of tennis strings. They underestimate the importance of the right strings – although it is only the tennis strings that actually come into contact with the ball and have a significant effect on ball control, power and spin. One thing’s for sure: even the most expensive racket is useless with the wrong strings.
Here are a few basic guidelines to help you find your ideal tennis strings. Apart from the specific characteristics of an individual string there are a few more factors which influence string performance, and which can sometimes be mutually exclusive. Power strings, for example, wear out faster, whilst spin strings offer less power.
Important factors influencing the characteristics of tennis strings:
Tennis string replacement
Tennis strings lose their elasticity over time. How quickly they lose their tension depends on the strings themselves. As a general rule you shouldn’t play with the same strings for longer than 2 to 3 months. Even if the tennis racket is not used, the strings will lose their tension – which is why even recreational players who don’t play very often should replace their strings at least every 6 months. One of the characteristic features of Polyfibre strings is their excellent durability.
Stringing tension has a major effect on a string’s playing characteristics. Tennis rackets are normally strung at a tension of between 22 and 30 kilos. A loosely strung racket will provide more power and comfort and the strings won’t wear out as quickly. A tightly strung racket offers better ball control and precision. Correct stringing tension varies tremendously from player to player and needs to be individually tested.
The stringing pattern is the density of the grid of main and cross strings. In an open pattern, fewer strings are stretched within the frame and the distance between the individual strings is greater. This allows the ball to penetrate deeper into the string bed giving it more power and spin. However, this also causes the strings to wear out faster. With a denser pattern the strings last longer and ball control is better. The player’s joints are protected as ball-racket contact time is shorter. The stringing pattern obviously has to be adjusted to fit the size of the tennis racket.
The thinner the string, the higher the acceleration, spin and comfort qualities. The thicker the string, the more durable it is. The thinnest string in the Polyfibre range is the POLY HIGHTEC SPEED with a diameter of 1.10 mm. The thickest strings are the nylon strings OMNI PLAY and TP SELECT with a diameter of 1.35 mm. Most Polyfibre strings are available in several different gauges, so that players can fine-tune the strings to match their individual playing style.
Hybrid strings are a combination of two different strings for main and cross strings. In this way it is possible to combine the advantages of two different strings. In an evenly tensioned racket it is almost always the main string that breaks. This happens because the main strings move much more than the cross strings. The cross strings, on the other hand, need to be as elastic as possible. In theory it is possible to combine any string with any other string.
Polyfibre tennis strings are divided into five "characteristics categories" to make it easier for players to choose the right string.
Power strings give the player enhanced ball acceleration. The string absorbs the ball’s power and then, after impact, it transfers over 90% of that energy back to the ball.POWER Strings
Spin strings cause the ball to rotate upon impact, setting it off on a curved trajectory. The ball receives added spin in addition to the rotation caused by the movement of the racket.SPIN Strings
Control strings give the player greater stroke precision and ball control. Control strings are ideal for players with high strength levels.Strings for more CONTROL
Comfort strings are easy on the player’s arm. Each stroke generates an impact shock that is transferred straight to the player’s body. The more this energy is absorbed by the string, the lower the stress on the playing arm.COMFORT Strings
Durable strings retain their elasticity longer and are slower to wear out. Ideal for players who get through a lot of strings.Strings for more DURABILITY