Tennis players spend a lot of time talking about, researching, and testing racquets and strings; but very little mental energy goes into selecting the correct string tension for their particular game and goals.
Most players hand their racquet to their stringer and go with the tension range usually printed on the inside of their frame. But according to Rick Flach, one of the three tennis-playing Flach brothers, most string their racquets way too tight.
“Years ago, most of the pros like John McEnroe were using string tensions down in the low 40s or even into the 35 pound range,” says Rick. “But then along came Bjorn Borg and his 70 lbs. of tension, and the tennis world followed.”
The common wisdom is that the higher the tension, the greater control you have hitting the ball. And the lower the tension, the more power your strings will impart. But to me, the very factor that theoretically gives you the power, the strings forming a pocket around the ball and then “trampolining” the ball out, should also give you more control too.
Rick Flach plays with his racquet strung at 30 lbs.; and I can tell you from firsthand experience playing against him, that he has incredible control. He swings very easily and places the ball wherever he wants (out of your reach).
While most stringers would advise you, if you are interested in trying a lower string tension, to “move down gradually,” Rick recommends going “cold turkey” and going right down to your lower string tension target … And then just work at it for a couple of weeks to get used to it.
Sooooooo, I am now having one of my Volkl racquets strung at 35 lbs. and we will see if I can deal with it!
If you are not on my “new posting alert email list” and want to be (I promise, no other uses of your email address!), just drop me a note at George@seniortennisandfitness.com