Tennis String Tension

The “string tension” of a racquet, usually expressed in pounds, indicates the pressure under which the strings are secured to the frame. The string tension affects a racquet’s playing characteristics, such as the “feel” of the ball, control over the ball, as well as maximizing power.

All racquets come with recommended string tensions, most of which lie between 50 to 70 pounds (220 to 310 N).

A loosely strung racquet will usually have a larger sweet spot and will hit farther but, when swung hard enough, it will shoot balls unpredictably; a tighter string job will help make delicate shots with more finesse and control.

An extremely tightly strung racquet cuts down on a tennis player’s feel on the ball, but can give the player excellent control if swung hard enough, with a smooth stroke. Such tension may make delicate shots more difficult, but makes play from the baseline more constant.However, if a player often hits powerful shots, a tightly strung racquet may quickly tire the arm, possibly resulting in tennis elbow.

It is advised by many professional stringers to string your racquet with the lowest tension possible while still being able to maintain control of the ball. Beginning players trying to find their tension should start in the middle of the recommended tension range and adjust the tension from there to meet their needs. The recommended tension is usually printed on the racquet. With a lower tension the racquet will have more power and less control; with a higher tension, it will have less power and more control.

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