What should you consider when choosing strings?
Updated: Jan 29, 2021
Tennis strings are all about trade offs. Say you want to lower your tension, you will gain power but lose some control as a consequence.
Increasing the tension? Doing so will limit your power generation, but will help you gain more control and spin.
Here are a few other things to consider when choosing tennis strings.
Beginners: For beginner players you should focus on "easy" playing strings. These strings are both soft and forgiving, which helps provide a comfortable feel. Synthetic gut and multi-filaments are a great place to start.
You can reference our Tennis String Guide for a further breakdown of synthetic gut and mutl-filament strings!
Intermediate to Advanced Players: As your game and skill set improve, you can start moving to more solid strings as opposed to softer strings. Solid strings, such as polyester strings, are designed to give you more control and finesse. But, as we mentioned in our opening, tennis strings are all about trade offs. So while you will gain more control and finesse, assuming your technique is sound, you will undoubtedly lose some comfort. Most intermediate, and especially advanced players, are willing to make this trade off to further benefit their game.
Court Surfaces and Weather
Tennis is played on multiple court surfaces, from the red clay of Roland Garros to the hard court of your favorite community playground, it's important to take the playing surface into account when deciding what string to use. Clay courts usually require a drop in tension, which allows for more control and finesse, while hard courts or grass demand a higher string tension which prioritizes control.
Additionally it's worth noting, that weather conditions do play a role in string selection - specifically if you use natural gut, which is more common with high level and professional players. Humidity impacts organic strings much more than the synthetic ones, leading to a loss in tension over time.
Does playing style really matter when it comes to strings? The short answer is yes.
If you’re a counter-puncher and elect to use the pace of your opponent rather than generate most of it yourself, it’s advisable to choose tighter strings. On the other hand, if you’re an aggressive player and shotmaker, lowering the tension will help you hit harder and more penetrating shots.
If you are unsure of your style it's always good to defer to a hybrid setup, which provides the best of all worlds: power, spin, control and comfort.