Tennis, without All the Tension

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

The pros are trying tennis, without all the tension — string tension, that is:

Racket strings have more punch when they’re strung loosely because the ball dwells on the string bed longer, creating a trampoline effect. Years ago, when players used natural gut strings, this kind of slingshot power came at the expense of control—so most players opted for tighter strings and pinpoint placement.

Today, with the new generation of synthetic strings, players are discovering they can control that added power with all the spin the new, slicker strings naturally give them. “Players can actually control the ball better at lower tensions when they use poly strings and have a heavy topspin game,” says Roman Prokes, a technician who strings for Andy Roddick and Caroline Wozniacki. “It’s exactly the opposite of what we are used to.”


  1. Ross says:

    Maybe this explains why White House press secretaries never seem too tense: plenty of topspin, the exact opposite of what we’re used to in ordinary conversation.

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