By Bob Strimel
Tuning up your racquet will provide a feeling of confidence on court. Remember how good a freshly strung racquet feels and a new replacement or overgrip?
When playing on Har-Tru or clay courts should you change your string tension?
My first recommendation is to find the right string, at the right tension, for your racquet, to match your style of play.
15gauge is thicker and more durable ( if you are a string breaker 15G is for you ), 17gauge is thinner and provides more spin & feel ( but 17G can break faster ), so therefore 16gauge is the world’s most popular string.
I personally prefer a multifilament string which has superior feel & touch, gives more power with less effort, and is easy on the arm. Synthetic gut is another option, it provides a crisp distinct feel. And polyesters are popular because they bite the ball & combined with your technique of topspin or slice the spin factor increases. But a warning, polyesters have little playability, need to be restrung more often, and do not absorb ball impact as efficiently as the strings above. Also polys should be strung at lower tensions. They are popular on tour for their control benefits but I recommend a hybrid of both poly & synthetic.
Now on the throat of your racquet is the recommended tension range, stringing tighter or the higher range will provide more control, stringing looser or the lower range provides more power, string tension in the middle range provides the best of both ranges. By the way you can void your 1 year racquet warranty if you string beyond the tension range recommended.
Answer to our quiz: since clay courts slow down the speed of the ball you might want to try a looser tension for more power.
Second quiz: how often do the top players in the world restring? If you said every day you win! Professional players practice on court daily and have to maintain that winning feel especially come tournament time. See the chart below how often you should string.
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