To put it simply. String tension is just weight that you apply to the string. This can range from really loose, say 11kilos to really tight – Say around 30 kilos. Most players have them sit around the mid-20’s but, as usual, it’s about testing what works for you.
Why does tension matter?
The looser the string tension, the more powerful the racket will become. The heavier, or tighter, the string tension, the more control you will get from the racket. You can imagine this like a trampoline. The more the ball sinks into the strings, the more it’s going to catapult back.
Can weather effect strings?
This is a big one – YES, weather can and does effect string tension. In fact, a lot of pros change their tension for different conditions. When it’s hot, strings get looser quicker. They lose tension. So, if you leave a racket in a hot place, say in your car, you’ll actually feel the strings get looser and you’ll get more power but you’ll lose control. However, if it’s cool or cold, the strings will remain the same or can even get tighter if it’s really cold. It sounds like a joke but a fridge would be a great place to keep your rackets to keep your strings at the correct tension.
How do I know what tension is for me?
If you play with spin you need power and you have control. So you might want to go with lower tension to help you achieve that. However, if you hit big and flat, you’ll likely want to go tighter to keep that control in your hand. However, as we say, it’s all about you. Test this stuff, see if you can improve your game.
Mistakes players make with string tension
Don’t copy other players set up – It has to be true to you and your game.
Don’t over think it – Try a tension, play for a while and see how it feels.
Don’t change just before a big match – String tension does make a difference and if you make a big change, you will notice it.
The Golden Rule
The real aim of the game here is to take the string tension as low as you can go before you feel like you are losing control. Once you do that you can be sure you’ve found the perfect set up.