Photo credit to “atthenet-tennis.com”
Instead of just using one type of string on both the mains and crosses, players have begun stringing rackets with two different types of strings, one for the mains and one for the crosses. This type of stringing is called hybrid stringing.
Hybrid Stringing is also knows as “blend”. Generally, main strings break first as they tend to move more during impact and therefore endure more abrasion than the crosses. As a consequence, usually a hybrid installation will assign a more durable (harder) string to the mains and a more playable (softer) string to the crosses. Durability may not be the primary motive for choosing a hybrid though, often hybrids are chosen partially or entirely for their performance characteristics.
Some benefits of hybrid stringing is it can lower the cost of an expensive string. Say natural gut is a player’s preferred option, but the high price tag coupled with frequent restringing makes it too costly. Using a cheaper, tougher nylon in the crosses will increase durability and lower the overall cost. Will it feel exactly like a full set of gut? No. But the minimally damaging effect on overall playability is a worthwhile concession. Same goes for lowering the price on a high-end polyester by combining it with a cheaper alternative.
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