Tennis is a sport that requires years of practice and dedication to get
to a competitive level. A tennis player relies on having good technique,
quick reflexes, and excellent anticipation and instincts. But one of the
most important things that separates a recreational player and a competitive
player is his or her equipment.
The racket and the strings are all a tennis player has to combat his opponent,
so he or she must choose his or her weapon of choice wisely. Below are
a few facts about both rackets and strings that a tennis player weighs
when deciding the right equipment.
A heavier frame generates more power.
A heavier frame vibrates less.
A heavier frame has a larger sweetspot.
A stiffer frame generates more power.
A stiffer frame has a larger sweetspot.
A stiffer frame transmits more of the shock load to the arm than a more
A stiffer frame provides a more uniform ball response across the entire
A larger frame generates more power.
A larger frame is more resistant to twisting.
A larger frame has a larger sweetspot.
A longer frame generates more velocity and therefore more power.
The string bed in a longer frame generates more spin due to increased
Lower string tensions generate more power (providing string movement does
Higher string tensions generate more ball control (for experienced players).
A longer string (or string plane area) produces more power.
Decreased string density (fewer strings) generates more power.
Thinner string generates more power.*
More elastic strings generate more power. (Generally, what will produce
more power will also absorb more shock load at impact.)
Softer strings, or strings with a softer coating, tend to vibrate less.
Thinner strings tend to produce more spin.
Decreased string density (fewer strings) generates more spin.
The more elastic the string, the
more tension loss in the racquet
In order to correctly choose which type of racket you want based on these
facts, you must know your playing style. For instance, the racket I use
is known as the Gamma F-9.0. Some of the features that make it a good
racket for me would be the following:
Diamond Fiber Graphite composite for lightness but still enough weight
I don't overswing on my strokes
Large face for increased chances at contact
4.5 inch grip for correct fitting (The larger the grip, the more control
Decreased string density for more power
Finding the right strings for you can be even more difficult. Strings
can be made of all different types of materials, from synthetic gut, to
real gut, to Kevlar. Each type of string has a different feel. String
that is made out of delicate materials, such as real gut, tend to have
great feel but do not last very long. This type of string is also not
wound as thickly, causing it to break quickly. Kevlar and other durable
materials are wound thick and are meant to last, but suffer when it comes
to feel. Synthetic gut and other string types are meant to fall somewhere
in the middle. I prefer synthetic gut because it offers the playability
I need with enough durability that I don‚t have to restring rackets
Lastly, string tension offers yet another avenue for a tennis player to
blame for their poor court performance. Th e tighter the string, the more
natural control is on the racket. Therefore, a person who has a string
tension of 65 lbs would have an easier time generating spin than a person
at 55 lbs. However in this case, it would be harder for the person with
65 lbs to generate pace than the person at 55 lbs. I choose to string
my racket at a higher tension (63,) which allows me to swing harder and
generate my own pace.
There is an exact science in finding what materials are right for you
that will fit your game. Finding the perfect combination takes time, but
pays off in the end.