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Which Tennis Strings Will Take Your Tennis Game to the Next Level

Sep 5, 2008
Tennis Strings have been one of the hottest topics of discussion on the pro tour in recent years. Most specifically how the Luxilon tennis strings have become such powerful method of improving player performance. Darren Cahill, the long time coach of Andre Agassi, recently commented that by converting his racquet to a Luxilon blend, Andre was able to improve his spin and control dramatically in the later part of his career, extending his playing days until eventually his back gave way.

This new tennis string technology will also improve the performance of developing and social players.

Natural Gut - For decades Natural Gut string was the preferred string for top professionals. Babolat VS Natural Gut had achieved legendry status as the choice of legends such as Pete Sampras. Natural Gut delivered great "feel" and comfort for the best players. It did however have drawbacks; it wasn't very durable and would lose tension relatively quickly. For social tennis players it was out of reach due to high prices so it was only the privileged few who were able to use it.

Luxilon - More recently players have however turned to the Luxilon tennis strings in great numbers. Luxilon is a "coated poly"; it is durable, maintains its tension and delivers incredible spin and control to its users. Most of the top players from Federer to Nadal to Henin use Luxilon in their string bed. Other companies have attempted to create string with similar qualities to Luxilon, not quite reaching the magic formula but providing cheaper alternatives as a result.

Hybrid String Patterns - A popular practice with top players is to "blend" their string pattern, using a different string on the mains and the crosses. Federer, for example, uses a blend of Luxilon and Natural Gut. The aim is to get the best of both world's, the feel of Gut and the durability and spin of Luxilon. This method is highly recommended for players looking to improve their game.

A major hurdle for the developing and social player is the cost of both Luxilon and Natural Gut string. Fortunately cheaper alternatives are available which offer similar characteristics; if not quite the same performance.

All companies will have their own version of Synthetic Gut, which is designed to have similar characteristics of Natural Gut thus providing power and a "soft feel." By spending a little extra you may experience even better performance by stringing with a "multi filament" string. "Head Rip Control", "Prince Syn Gut Multifilament", "Wilson NXT" and "Klip Excellerator" are examples of multifilament strings which deliver Natural Gut like characteristics without the cost.

Different tennis companies have also begun producing Luxilon type "coated poly" strings providing extra spin and durability. "Klip K-Boom", "Head Sonic Pro" and "Kirschbaum Super Smash" are strings which imitate the qualities of Luxilon at a lower price.

Customising your racquet and string - When considering your string specifications it is also important to consider the type of racquet you use. Although technology is always improving, generally speaking racquets, like strings, are usually designed for power; or control. Using an entirely "poly" string bed in a racquet with a tight string pattern (18 mains, 95 sq inch frame) may result in a dead feeling. Conversely using a soft synthetic gut string in a wide string pattern (16 mains, 110 sq inch frame) may adversely affect your control.

Conclusion - Using a Luxilon type "poly" string in the mains and a softer "Gut" string in the crosses is a great way to get the best stringing results. Stringing entirely with a softer "gut" type string can result in broken strings and losing tension quickly. Only stringing with a "poly" can make the racquet feel stiff and uncomfortable.

If you have the budget, string your mains with Luxilon and cross with Natural Gut in a blend. You can still get great results using the cheaper options recommended in this article. This will work in all types of racquet frames and deliver the all round improvement everyone is seeking.

You may however decide you need particular upgrading in certain aspects of your game - more spin, or durability, or comfort or power. In this case you may use exclusively "poly" (more spin and durability) or "gut" (power and comfort). The most important thing is taking advantage of this revolution in tennis strings; they can and will improve your tennis game!
About the Author
For more free tennis tips, tennis drills and tennis articles you should visit GlobalSportsCoaching.com
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