The strings on your racket can have a huge influence on how well you play, yet most tennis players have no idea about what the strings are made of when to string a racket, or what to consider when choosing your strings. Here, we will teach you about all of this, so that you know exactly what strings to put on your racket.
There are three main types of tennis string for you to choose from. Monofilament strings, multifilament strings, and natural gut strings. In this section, we will take a close look at each one and what benefits they might offer.
Types of Tennis Strings
Monofilament means a single strand of man-made fibre. The single strand can be made up of polyester, polyether, or even a combination of the two. They can also be made of nylon.
Tennis rackets that use monofilament tend to be harder and more durable, but monofilament strings can also be used in combination with other string types (usually multifilament) to create a hybrid racket, which increases durability while allowing you to play your natural game.
- Highly durable
- Increased control
- Low price
- Not as much power
- Can be uncomfortable to use
Who is it For?
Monofilament string rackets will suit players who are naturally strong but lack control. They will need extra strength and muscular endurance because they have to generate more to hit powerful shots. Newer players who struggle to keep the ball in play would benefit from monofilament strings.
As monofilament means a single strand of man-made fibre, multifilament means multiple different strings of man-made fibre. Multifilament strings can contain thousands of fibres, all twisted together and then covered in a coating. They are much more comfortable to use but cost a little more than monofilament strings.
- Decent control
- Decent power
- Decent durability
- Good compromise between monofilament and natural gut
- Not as durable as monofilament strings
- A bit more expensive than monofilament
Who is it For?
Multifilament strings are suitable for anyone, they are a good compromise between the lower-priced monofilament strings and the higher-priced natural gut. If you have a fairly balanced game, then multifilament strings will suit you well.
Natural Gut Strings
The other main type of tennis string is natural gut. Though it is called “catgut” by many people, it is actually made from cow intestine. Natural gut can provide the best tension retention and can be very durable when looked after properly. However, it can also be the most difficult to manage, as there are a lot of issues associated with it.
- Maximum comfort
- Excellent tension retention
- Difficult to string
- Poor control
- High maintenance requirements
- Very sensitive to weather conditions
Who is it For?
Players who are able to hit the sweet spot consistently will find natural gut strings suit their game well. Players who are prepared to carry a lot of rackets (for different weather conditions), are prepared to pay more for increased comfort, and know how to properly maintain their rackets will get the most out of these rackets.
Hybrid rackets use a combination of monofilament and multifilament strings. Hybrid rackets can be made to promote the benefits of the different string types and are becoming increasingly popular with tennis players.
Things to Consider
There are lots of string patterns out there. 18 vertical strings and 20 horizontal strings (18x20) are very popular. They increase control and durability. 16 x 19 is the most popular, which allows more spin to be imparted on the ball. Then there is open string which increases spin and power.
You need about 40 feet (12 meters) of string to properly string a racket.
There are two main string tensions, low or high. Low tension will give you more power, comfort, and will increase the durability of the strings, but will lead to less control. Whereas, the high string tension will have the opposite effect, while also increasing the amount of spin you can place on the ball.
This is how thick the string is. Beginner players will suit medium/thin gauges, while thicker gauges will suit the more advanced player. The thinner the gauge, the more comfortable it is, and the more powerful.
Most string manufacturers offer a short-term warranty. If the strings snap within the first few weeks, then they will often be replaced for free. However, after that period most warranties won’t cover snapped strings, as these are mostly caused by the user rather than a manufacturer error.
Any decision you make should also be influenced by your budget. If you are a beginner, then spending a fortune on high-quality natural gut strings doesn’t make much sense.
Tennis String Maintenance
The general rule is that you should restring your racket as many times per year as you play per week. If you play three times per week, then you will need to restring your racket three times per year.