Racquet and Tension ( Intermediate 2 )

( Please read ‘strings guide‘ first to understand the terminologies)

Updated on: 10 Oct 2016

The overall Feel is not completely dependent on merely the string. Racquet choice and other modifications will change these qualities also.

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Response/Feedback – 

– Small head racquets does increases Response/Feedback significantly.
-Racquet weight is pretty important also. Heavier better.
– Rackets with more strings in the crosses will increase Response/Feedback.
Solid beamed quality performance frame rackets will also increase Response/Feedback.
– Racquets that are more flexible also gives more Response/Feedback. Using too large a dampener could reduce this Response/Feedback. ( Main point of a dampener is to remove ‘noise/unwanted’ vibrations ).
– Strings strung at lower tension gives more Response/Feedback.
– Racquets with thinner beams
– Having to many layers of over-grips on your racket could reduce Response/Feedback

FRAME BEAM WIDTH                                                                                                           THROAT BEAM WIDTH

BeamtypethroatBeamtype

( Regarding beam width. Look at the rackets from its side, the beam width is measured from this perspective. Prostaff rackets have thin beams, powerful rackets like Babolat Pure Drive usually have thicker beams. )

How flexible a racquet is, can be found in the specs provided by tennis warehouse . ( Look at its stiffness/flex rating. ) ( It ranges from around 55 – 73 points of flex , the average is around 65 )
Open string pattern – e.g 16 x 19 or lesser strings , Dense string pattern – e.g 18 x 20

Liveliness
Stiffer racquets gives more ‘pop’/Liveliness
– Racquet with thicker beam.
Flexible racquets are less Lively
Lighter racquets
Higher tensioned strings.
Lower tensions
– Thinner strings!
Stiffer crispier racquets

Dwell time –
Lower string tension increases Dwell time.
– Racquets with more open string pattern increases Dwell time.
Heavier Racquets has more Dwell time

Crisp –

Stiffer racquets are much more Crisp
– Racquet with denser string pattern also increases this.
– Strings strung at higher tensions will increase Crispiness

– The new modern player’s racquets are much more crisp for sure. Looking at the racquet trend, each new model tend to gravitate towards the crispier side not all though but Most . There are also drawbacks such as stiffness, feel at the net, solidness , less forgiving etc

Ball-pocketing –

Solid player racquets with small heads will have better Ball-pocketing.
Natural Gut strings has supreme ball pocketing
Lower tensioned strings
– Heavy racquets.
High ploughthrough racquets , this is linked to swingweight.

Trampoline effect

Larger head racquets suffers more from this.
Open string patterns will also be more susceptible.
– The lower your string tension , the more you will have face this problem.
Heavier Racquets with greater plough-through, has increased Trampoline effects.

Dead The more damage a string takes, the faster it goes Dead, so the factors that causes strings to go Dead more quickly are –

– Heavy spin
– Hard hitters
High string tension
– Open string patterns
– High level players hitting the ball with precision at the same spot , receive faster and heavier balls
– Rain.
– When string in string-bed loses its dynamic movements ( Snapping back effects. String riveted in position , String running , String heavily notched )

Tension Stability/Retention

– Heavy spin ( Significant factor )
– Hard hitters ( Significant factor )
High string tension
– Open string patterns ( Significant factor )
– High level players hitting the ball with precision at the same spot , receive faster and heavier balls
– Rain.

Durability Same factors as “Dead“.

In addition-
– Players who has play styles that notches strings quickly will reduce durability drastically.
– This can be quite funny and unpredictable theoretically, it really depends on the player, some players are just “string-bursters”.

Playability Same factors as “Dead“.

Stiffness

– The tension of string Very Significantly affects Stiffness.
Flexible Racquets will reduce Stiffness.
Light racquets (eg, 280 grams unstrung or less ) tend to make the strings feels a lot Stiffer!
Dense string patterns will increase Stiffness level.

Comfort – Same as factors from “Stiffness” . But adding a dampener could also increase Comfort.

Bite –  Open string pattern increases bite. Flatter strokes increases bite.

Spin – ( Greatest contributor to Spin is the player’s stroke, which determines angle of brush and racquet head speed. )

– Longer racquets , generates more spin.
– Racquets with more open string patterns has better spin.
– Racquets that are head light has better spin.
– Powerful racquets will have more powerful spin

– Basically more head speed, so lighter racquets due to greater acceleration.

Power Racquet and tension can influence this greatly! Factors that increases Power are –

Larger Racquet head
Longer Racquet
– More head heavy Racquets
– More open string pattern
– Strings at low tension
Stiffer Racquets
– Racquet with wider beam.
Heavier Racquets should in theory give more power.. but if the weight reduces your swing speed significantly, you might instead have lesser power.

Control – Factors that increases control –

Smaller racquet head
Denser string pattern
Heavier Racquets
Lower powered Racquets
– Higher string tensions
– Racquet with thinner beam/ box beam – more control for flatter lower angle shots. Beam shaped like aero pro more control for high angle spin shots. Those thick hollow leisure racquet beams will give much higher power but lower control.

Tension stability , Response/Feedback and Spin also increases control in their own way

Plush –

– Thin beamed

– Box beamed

– Solid beamed

– Heavy Racquets

Muted/Dampened – Boxed/ beamed racquets , thinner beam racquets tends to make the racquet feel more dampened. You can very easily achieve this by adding dampener, but too much will reduce Feedback .

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Strings type and model will also contribute greatly to all these characteristics.

Here is a general comparison between string types here – String Type – Comparison ( Intermediate 3 )

As for string models, they must be individually tested, I will test and write about them individually.

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As you probably have realized, the strings themselves only makes up
around 60% of the final Feel. Again I must emphasize that you will not
get the best Feel from the most expansive string, instead the best Feel
will come from the correct set-up of racket, strings ,etc. If you ask me
whats the most important characteristics of a string , my answer is simply
its price and Tension stability, there issn’t any other more important reason

why one should be paying a premium pricing for a particular string!

This is the main reason why I believe in Signum Pro strings.
Signum Pro is a premium German string brand that manufactures their own strings
in their own factory in Germany, they do not mark-up the prices of their strings and
it is generally agreed upon in the stringing industry that the strings they produce
are of the very best tension stability in the industry and are also used by pros in the top 100
(e.g Yen-Hsun Lu , Mikhail Youzhny, Bernard Tomic, Mikhail Kukushkin, Sergiy-stakhovsky, etc )
Now that you are more aware about the dynamics of strings, I hope you will pick the strings with
the best quality to price ratio.

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I hope this helps!
Chester