I bet you knew that every tennis shot should make contact with the strings in the racquet, and not the racquet. Wouldn’t this, in a way, make the strings more important than the frame itself? So why are players always so choosy when picking out the frame, yet pay little to no attention to the string? They are very critical of the head size, weight, balance, even the paint job. They go to great lengths demoing frame after frame, and even switch frames several times a year when a switch in strings could have saved a lot of time and money. So why spend nearly $200 on a racquet, and then equip it with cheap or inappropriate strings for your game, which don’t perform? I’m sure most of you reading this would agree that putting a set of low performance tires on a Ferrari would result in poor performance, yet this is essentially what most tennis players do in relation to the strings they put in a racquet they went to great lengths in choosing, and spending upwards of $200.00.
In the same way tires, their air pressure, and tread life could drastically impact the performance of a car, so do strings, their tension, elasticity, and “string life” impact the performance of your racquet, and more importantly your game. When one looks at car races such as the Daytona 500, the most important thing in winning races comes down to the tires on the car, the air pressure, and wear, because these are some of the most important things impacting performance and could mean the difference between winning and losing. As a result, tires are continually switched out during these races in order for the car to continue performing at a very high level. These race teams don’t wait for the tire to blow out before switching them out, nor should you wait for your tires to blow out on the expressway. Typically, when tires begin to go bald, we switch them out for new ones. What you end up with is your car running smoother, less stress on your engine, brakes, and a significant savings on gas to name a few.
Yet, the vast majority of players continue hitting with strings that have lost an enormous amount of tension, elasticity, have long since “gone dead”, and as a result, lose their power and control. Players don’t realize they are working harder when playing with strings in this condition. They are simply not getting the same performance that a fresh set of strings would give them, not to mention having the strings snap at the most inopportune time. We have all been there; break point, we hit a great return, and we here that familiar “snap”. Very frustrating to say the least. Why wait until you are going 100mph on the highway to have your tires explode, or till that crucial moment in a tennis match like a break point to have your strings snap?
Players of all level often forget or don’t realize that although frame selection is important, the STRING is what makes contact with the ball, not the frame, so make sure to keep your string job in that expensive racquet, fresh and lively!!