The sport of tennis is unique in that so many aspects of the sport and equipment is personalized to players. Whether that is a one-handed backhand or a two-handed backhand, (I have a one-handed backhand personally) personal preference is huge in the world of tennis.
One of the most personal choices players make is their string choice. There are tons of different strings out there that all do various things to the ball. These strings are made from all sorts of materials and shapes. The goal of this post is to help differentiate the different types of strings and (hopefully) help you choose the best string for you.
Polyester / Kevlar – The biggest selling point of these strings is their durability. These strings are perfect for players who break strings frequently. However, this durability comes at the cost of playability. These strings generate less spin and less power as these strings are less pliable meaning they deform less when hitting the ball – good for durability, bad for power. An example of polyester strings is the popular Luxilon brand of strings.
Natural Gut / Multifilament – These strings are the opposite to polyester / Kevlar strings. They have tons of playability but are the least durable string. The playability of these strings, especially the multifilament strings vary based on the composition of the strings. Some multifilaments have a polyester element in them to increase their durability.
Synthetic Gut / Soft Poly – Synthetic gut and soft polys are a great all-round string. If you’re not sure what string you need this is a good place to start. These strings offer more playability than traditional polyester strings but are more durable than natural gut and mulitfilaments. One of the great things about these strings is that they are much easier on your arm than traditional polys while still being durable.
A growing trend among players is using a combination of strings with one type on the mains (vertical strings) and a different type on the crosses (horizontal strings). This allows players to benefit from both string types, however you won’t get the full benefits of both string types. For example, if you had poly mains with multifilament crosses, you would get the added playability of the multifilament strings but not as much as playing with only multifilament. The same goes for the durability of the poly strings on the mains. Your strings will be more durable over all but not as durable as a full set of poly strings. Tennis strings are a very personal choice and it takes some trial and error to find the best set of strings for you. But, once you find the right strings you’ll never go back.