How to Maximize Your Tennis Racquet's Performance

How to Maximize Your Tennis Racquet's Performance

Choosing a tennis racquet can be overwhelming, but many adjustments can be made to fine-tune it to your needs. The frame and strings significantly impact a racquet's feel and performance.
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Choosing a new tennis racquet can be overwhelming given the huge number of brands and the variety of specs and different models available. After finally deciding on a tennis racquet, however, there are many things that you can do to fine tune it to your precise needs. Depending on the type of player you are, you may be looking for more comfort, power, spin, or any number of other things.

Though the frame itself obviously plays a huge part in the overall feel of a tennis racquet, the strings are just as important. The same racquet can feel and perform very differently just from changing the tennis strings and tension. Changing the balance and overall weight of a racquet using weighted lead tape can also drastically change its feel. 


The simplest and easiest way to increase a tennis racquet's power is by lowering the string tension. Looser tennis strings will provide a trampoline effect and generate more easy power with the same string. Players who break strings often will know this intuitively from experience, as the string bed immediately loses significant tension when a tennis string snaps and becomes much more difficult to control. The type of string that you use also has a large impact on the power of a tennis racquet. Softer strings such as multifilament and natural or synthetic gut will generate the most power, but will compromise on durability and spin potential when compared to stiffer polyester strings. Apart from the tennis strings, using weighted tape to change the balance of a racquet can also help increase the power. If a racquet is headlight, putting some extra weight at the top of the head will increase the swing weight and the power potential of a frame. One should be cautious when adding weight to a racquet however, as adding too much weight and changing the balance of a tennis racquet too significantly can potentially cause elbow or wrist issues such as tendonitis and tennis elbow. 

- Best Tennis Strings for Power

     - Babolat Touch VS Natural Gut

     - Wilson NXT 

     - Gamma Live Wire XP


Choosing the right string is crucial for maximizing the spin potential of a racquet. Polyester strings along with modern tennis racquet technology have revolutionized how tennis is played at the highest level, as the game is now dominated by heavy hitting baseliners. Polyester tennis strings allow players to take massive swings at the tennis ball from far behind the baseline and still drop the ball deep in the opponents side of the court. Though all polyester strings will be superior to other string types when it comes to generating spin, certain polyester strings will be more spin friendly than others. Shaped polyester strings and rough polyester strings will offer more bite and better spin potential than their round/smooth counterparts. Some tennis players even string with two different types of polyester strings in the mains and crosses. This can maximize spin potential even further if one uses a slick poly string for the crosses and a rough or shaped poly for the mains, as the slick crosses allow the mains to snap back into place more quickly, which in turn generates more spin. 

-Best Tennis Strings for Spin

     - Solinco Tour Bite

     - Babolat RPM Blast

     - Luxilon Alu Power Rough


Stringing for comfort requires reducing the stiffness of the string bed. This can be done both by choosing soft tennis strings and stringing at a relatively low tension. Strings such as natural gut and multifilament strings will be the softest. Many players prefer the spin potential and durability of polyester strings to gut or multifilament however, and feel that they cannot play to the same level with a full bed of softer tennis strings. The downside of polyester strings is that they often are not particularly comfortable, and can cause tennis players to develop arm issues like tennis elbow. This can be mitigated by doing a few things; one can use a softer polyester string, string the polyester at a lower tension, or my personal favorite, use a hybrid string setup. A hybrid string setup allows you to get the best of both worlds, as you keep the spin potential and the bite of the polyester strings while getting the comfort and power of a softer string at the same time. The only downside of stringing in this manner is decreased durability of the strings. Particularly when they are strung along with a shaped or rough polyester string, softer strings can start to fray and wear out relatively quickly. 

-Most Comfortable Tennis String

     - Solinco Vanquish

     - Babolat Xcel

     - Babolat Touch VS Natural Gut 


In conclusion, there are many things one can do to maximize the performance of any tennis racquet. This will largely come down to stringing and adjusting the balance of the frame. Though it may still feel that there are an overwhelming number of strings and potential tensions to chose from, the good news is that when you are first starting, the string will not be hugely relevant. Until one learns to reliably hit the tennis ball cleanly and consistently, the strings will not be able to perform as they should. Also, beginners rarely break tennis strings, so as one gets better and starts to pop strings more often, they gain the opportunity to play around more with the strings and tension that they use. 

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