Finding the Right Tension for your Tennis Racket
Tennis players young and old, from the junior age grouper to the weekend warrior to the top professionals often are posed with the same question: “What is the right string tension for me?” In the 90s era, the extremely high tension was the norm (Agassi – 72lbs, Pete Sampras -74lbs, Jim Courier – 81lbs!) with these pros using a combination of synthetic and natural guts. With the development of different materials such as the Polyester and Monofilament type of strings, the norm nowadays is low, low low…er with string tensions ranging from the low to mid 60’s (lbs) range: Murray – 62lbs, Serena Williams -66lbs to the mid-50’s range: Nadal – 55lbs, Bryan twins – 51-55lbs to the ultra low tension of Roger Federer – 48lbs, and Marcos Baghdatis – 46lbs.
A multitude of factors have to be considered before choosing the most appropriate tension for you.
-Type of game you have (baseliner, serve and volley, etc)
-Swing type (Heavy topspin, flat, etc)
So what is the best tension to have? As a general rule: The harder the tension, the less power you get and the more control you have. With a lower tension, you will get the opposite effect: more power but less control. The best way is to experiment with the tension. If you play well, then excellent! If not, then move to either a higher or lower tension keeping in mind the above mentioned general rule. To help you even more, here is a more detailed list of effects on performance of different string tensions:
Tension Power Control Feel Comfort
High + – + +
Low – + – -
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