The tension of the strings if often a parameter players don't take enough into a account.
Most of the time, the average tension of 24 kg / 53 lbs is used, whatever type of string is used, even with polyester.
The tension of the strings is essential for feelings, power, access to topspin and last but not least, injury prevention.
In this article, I give you some advice to choose the right tension for your strings.
The string of a tennis racquet is made up of more or less elastic materials, which need to be stretched to be able to return the ball.
Using a tension of 25 kg/55 lbs means that each string of the racquet is applied with a tension of 25 kg, it is like attaching a weight of 25 kg to each string.
The tension of the string has a very important impact on the sensations, so you can hate a racquet with a certain string tension and find it very pleasant with another string tension.
If you have absolutely no idea what tension to choose for your racquet, you can follow these recommendations:
If there is no indication on your racket, you can choose as a starting point 23 or 24 kg without taking much risk.
It will then be necessary to adjust the tension according to the following parameters, by proceeding by successive tests by modifying the tension by 1 or 2 kg each time.
Changing the tension by half a kg will not make a very significant difference in feel.
You should know that the more you increase the tension of a string:
The more the tension of a string is reduced:
These elements must therefore be taken into account to adapt the tension of your string.
These types of strings are relatively flexible, they will allow you to use higher tensions while losing less comfort than with monofilaments, you can take the recommended tensions as a starting point.
These strings are stiffer than multifilament, it is recommended to lower the tension most often by 5-10% compared to the recommended tension or the tension you use in multifilament, it means around 22 or 23 kg if you are used to play with 24 kg in multifilament, and you can use even lower tensions.
You can also adjust the tension according to the size of the racket's head:
The string pattern of the racquet is also an element to take into account:
With the arrival of polyester strings, widely used, players have kept the habit of playing with a tension close to 24 kg, often more, which is a kind of reference tension.
Whatever type of string you use, for:
I recommend, at least that you try, to lower the tension of your string as much as possible, with successive attempts, lowering by 1 kg each time.
Do not set yourself any limits and forget this "reference tension" of 24 kg, only listen to your feelings and give yourself some time to adapt yourself to the new tension.
This is an exception, but professional player Adrian Mannarino tends his racquets to around 12 kg.
For players with a powerful game style who use a lot of energy when hitting, I also recommend trying to lower the tension, so you can have the same or more power with less effort.
For my part, I gradually decreased the tension of my strings from 26 to 20-21 kg and I receive many benefits from it; more power, especially on the serve, which is a weak point for me, more relaxation, less fatigue in the arm, less effort to hit the ball and I have a control that remains quite correct.
It is possible to have a different string tension on the main strings (the longest) and on the cross strings, with a higher tension of 1 or 2 kg on the mains, generally 1 kg more.
The mains being longer than the crosses, the goal is to homogenize the tension of the string on the whole frame.